by David Cabrera,
Ah, it's D-Arts again. Last time we looked at a figure in this line, it was kind of bad. I looked at the Megaman X stuff on the shelf and said “nope”, and when a buddy of mine bought Zero (Megaman X) the figure fell apart as he took it out of the box. So, from everything I have seen, Bandai's line of action figures based on videogame characters has been consistently one to avoid. This is sad, because Bandai usually does good work and they have a lot of great licenses. Nevertheless, sometimes there are openings in the schedule, and sometimes they put out Megaman action figures.
And note that this is a Megaman action figure, not a Rockman: this is one of the US versions that Bluefin has been distributing. The only difference is the art on the box.
I try to steer the column away from games if I can help it, unless there's at least some tangential connection to anime/manga. Megaman (Rockman) is one of those characters who's at the very least heavily inspired by the classics: the character has the cute, clean appeal of Astro Boy, and a robo-canine buddy like Casshern. So, what the hell, let's count him.
First thing: this figure is shorter than you're used to, indeed smaller than many “mini” figures. From an informal run around my action figure shelf, this Megaman is just barely Nendoroid height. Shorter than a girl figma. Barely reaches the waist of my Kamen Riders. Be prepared for this.
He looks just fine, in any case. It's not a bad sculpt, but owing to its 80s Nintendo origins, this is also one of the simplest imaginable character designs. It would be legitimately difficult to screw up here. (As for inevitable manufacturing screw-ups... ours has two stray dabs of red paint on the side of the helmet.) The only real point of concern is the face, particularly the eyes. I'm happy to say that they did a fine job making him look just the way we remember him from the (Japanese, thankfully) box art.
The body is articulated in all the places you would expect, and poses from the games mostly do not present a problem. Exceptions: his arm can't reach around to hold the Buster (the charge shot from the games). While the slide move is shown on the package, like with the Terry figure, it doesn't really work out in practice. Try and actually twist his chest and waist joints into the position pictured on the box and the figure will probably just pop in half. The more you play with it, the more apparent it is that the construction isn't up to Figuarts standard.
Accessories are minimal. We get faces and hands as expected (no head without a helmet like at the start of Megaman 2?) and an effect part for the Mega Buster. Parts replacement on the arms is a harrowing “will I break this?” experience. Note the pattern of the three shots: as an analog to the games, it's like Megaman is firing as he falls from the sky. Bandai is really big on transparent plastic effect parts in recent years, huh? I bet they're cheap. I really don't like these plain, transparent ones. A little frosting, some paint detail and maybe we'd be talking... but maybe that's why they're cheap.
Because this figure is so small and simple on its own, Bandai has tossed in some extras on this set. Rush the mechanical dog is his own figure, about the same size as Megaman, not as sharply sculpted and with noticeably sloppy paint. The head swivels, and the limbs have very limited back-and-forth movement at the shoulders and knees. And of course, this Rush won't be transforming into anything: that concept would warrant its own, way cooler, figure.
The hard-working mascot “Met” is included: if the Goomba is Mario's mascot enemy, then the Met is Megaman's. Nothing much to see here, it's just a fixed-pose figure.
The helmet does come off. You can't put it anywhere else (it's got these huge pegs on the underside), but it comes off. All you will reveal is chipped plastic and seam lines. So much for that mystery.
No stand is included, but you'll note that all these characters have perfectly flat feet. They stand just fine without any assistance. However, as you've already seen in this article, I use the Tamashii Stand for running and jumping poses. That stand is built with larger figures in mind, and has some trouble with Megaman's tiny waist. There's no hole on the body for a peg.
And that's about it for the package; pretty simple stuff. It's nice to write under a thousand words once in a while. This is the first D-Arts I've seen thus far that I would cautiously recommend to a fan, mostly because its problems are somewhat counterbalanced by the low price. It's still a cheapo toy, absolutely below the level of quality of a Figuarts or comparable line. As such, I don't trust the D-Arts line with anything an iota more complicated than this. Call me up when they make a Chogokin.
We got this for $33 shipped on Amazon (I have Prime). I wouldn't pay any more than that.
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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