Astro Toy
SH Figuarts Sky High

by David Cabrera,

SH Figuarts Sky High
Series: Tiger and Bunny
Maker: Bandai
Cost: ~$40

Hello again, Astro Toys. What are you up to? I'm getting ready for Otakon (my and Carl's mahjong panel is 10AM Friday, we're up against the ANN panel!) and staring at pictures of the DX Chogokin Mazinger Z. No, really, that's about all I've been doing with my life. It's way too hot outside to be busy.

So this week I figured we would complete Astro Toy's “For The Ladies” Month by coming back to the Tiger and Bunny Figuarts line. The show's a huge hit, the toys are good, it's a home run for everybody. Barnaby had been available for a while, but the powersuit look is a little too similar. As such, I went with the superstar, Sky High. You know, this is my third figure review for Tiger and Bunny and I still haven't watched the show past the first episode.

As usual, Bandai is on point with masked, costumed superheroes. Paint and sculpt are strong as expected. But, this isn't much of a surprise anymore: I'm more surprised when I see ugly Figuarts (like say Kazuma).

Of course, it isn't a Tiger and Bunny figure without crisply detailed sponsor logos. In this case the sponsors are Ustream (the streaming video site) and Tamashii Nations, the name of Bandai's otaku figure imprint. It's like how Bunny has BANDAI across his chest: you have to keep some of the really good ad spaces for yourself. These will forever remind me of the for-advertisers promo reel for the TV series that I saw at Toy Fair in Bluefin's booth: it was a lot of footage with exhortations that your name could be here.

The long coat is made of two pieces of rock-hard plastic. They flap out at the sides to simulate flight, held by a hinge. It's not like the segmented coats we've seen in Revoltech, nor is it slightly malleable plastic like Stocking's hair. It's a hard outer shell for the lower body.

When we do this, we can see... legs!! That's right, legs. No outstanding detail here. Though their movement in most poses is severely limited by the long coat (he may as well be wearing a dress), the articulation is not. The joints are about the same as any you'll find in the Figuarts line and the movement is just as good. The feet, for those who love zinc the way I do, are diecast metal.

Though it doesn't make any sense, there's nothing stopping you from just removing the lower end of the coat outright and pretending that it's a costume change. Shoulder armor pops out as well.

There's a replacement face mask with a slightly shorter horn, and a fragment of the horn is included in the package. I assume that at some point in the show Sky High's horn gets broken? But I haven't seen this show. Maybe it's removable. Maybe there are a lot of Sky Highs out there-- like Sky High has been mass produced, hundreds of years from now-- and the one with the fancier antenna is their leader. Anyway, be careful with the broken horn bit: it is the tiniest accessory I've seen come with a toy in quite a while. A grain of rice is bigger. It doesn't come with anything to keep it safe, and if you don't keep track of it you will lose it.

Ahh, effect parts. This might have been a dull review, but rockets have come to save me. Obviously this guy has a jetpack, he flies around. But you don't have to imagine flaming rocket exhaust. You can live flaming rocket exhaust with these extra bits!

This figure cannot stand well on its own: despite the diecast feet the jetpack throws it off balance and makes it fall over easily. As with the other TnB figures, the stand is a custom one bearing the Sky High name and alter ego (Keith Goodman). There is no peg in the back (what with the backpack) so instead we have the type that reaches around the body and hugs the figure.

There are good Figuarts and bad Figuarts and very little in between, and this is one of the good ones. However, be aware that it's also a very bare-bones figure with little in the way of accessories or gimmicks. We usually try not to review these because there's so little to talk about! Still, if you're a Sky High fan, have no reservations about buying this one. Hell, it's been out long enough that you might already own it.

We paid $40 on Amazon, thanks again to Bluefin's low-cost US distribution. They're lifesavers.

Signing off. I'll see you at Otakon!

When he isn't killing time on fighting games and mahjong, David Cabrera gets hype about anime, manga and gaming at Subatomic Brainfreeze. You can follow him on Twitter @sasuraiger.

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