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Astro Toy
Chogokin Archer (Gilgamesh)

by David Cabrera,

Chogokin Archer (Gilgamesh)
Series: Fate/Zero
Maker: Bandai
Cost: ~$95

A few months ago we looked at Chogokin Saber, and in keeping with the storied line of diecast metal toys, it was a very impressive figure. It was, then, a very easy decision to put in an order on the follow-up piece, Archer. Not that Archer, from Fate Stay/Night: that guy never gets figures. People usually call the dude I'm talking about by the name Gilgamesh.

A big selling point of the Fate Chogokins, and the reason for their high price, is that the characters' armor isn't just some shiny plated or painted plastic. Shoulders, chest, waist, and greaves are all metal. You'll feel it when you pick the figure up. That gold is gleamin', and it's heavy too.

Gil is both more heavily armored and quite a bit taller than Saber (the two figures are in scale with each other, and stand at a comparable height to a Figma), Along with the shipping weight, this likely explains the higher cost: Saber will run you around $80 and Gil around a hundred.

Articulation is top-class as expected: as I said before about Saber, these figures feel a lot like the Myth Cloth Saint Seiya line, sans the removable armor. The shoulder plates swivel around, the armor at the waist flaps outward. The plastic “cape” is completely inflexible, however, and posing the legs requires that you work around it. He definitely won't be sitting down.

The other sticking point is at the shoulders: because the arms are removable (for a feature we'll see later) there is a chance that the ball joint there will pop out during normal posing.  Be careful around there. Though the legs are especially heavy, the figure won't stand alone in all positions, so you may want a Tamashii Stand. The figure does come with its own stand, but as you'll see later it's a very special case.

The weapon is Gil's treasured Ea, and like last time with Jojo I want to point out how nice the detailing on the weapon itself is. In the average lines, an accessory like this is the first place you'll start to see quality slip, but not here. Fine characters are inscribed on it, and the three sections of the cylindrical “blade” actually spin independently as they do in the original work. (Does not actually create raging whirlwinds.) Quite a beautiful weapon. No metal here, likely for weight and balance reasons.

This figure does not come with the huge effect part that Saber came with-- I feel that in the last few years Bandai has come to use “fire” and “magic” effect pieces to justify high prices, but let's talk about that some other time-- but it doesn't have a bad loadout of accessories either. Alternate faces capture Gil at different degrees of smug contempt.

So here's something you don't see in action figures: Gil has his very own wine set. These accessories are based on a scene from Fate/Zero. You get a gourd and three goblets, one for Gilgamesh, one for Saber, and one for Rider. He probably isn't going to get a Chogokin figure, even though that would be pretty sweet.

Oh, damn it all, this figure can even cross its arms! They went ahead and did this the only way that truly works: extra arms that look deformed on their own, but join to properly make the pose happen. It's like they know! It's like they're talking to me. Now I'm even madder that Gunbuster didn't do this.

Anyway it's a huge pain in the ass to actually do. Expect to accidentally pull apart the entire shoulder assembly trying to get this right, because so many critical components that pop off are all in the same place.

Here's an aside, because that facial expression reminds me of something. At Otakon I saw Seki Tomokazu doing a Q&A which mostly consisted of people asking him to either do Domon Kasshu (G-Gundam) or Gil lines. The Gil guys all wanted him to say really my power level is unstoppable kind of stuff, and to laugh afterward. Anyway, a guy asked Seki if any of the things Gil says in Fate/Zero made him worry about the sanity of the writer, Gen Urobuchi. To paraphrase, Seki said that the stuff that guy spews is stuff that's running through his head most of the day anyway.

Finally, the stand is exactly the same as the one we got with Saber. It's a pedestal upon which a magic circle stands, to give the impression that the Servant has just been summoned. The only difference is, of course, that the nameplate reads ARCHER rather than SABER. This stand had a posing arm similar to a Tamashii Stand's, but the magic circle, the actual surface, is a super-thin piece of plastic which isn't intended to hold the weight of the figure.

So I'd say this figure is even better than the Saber one was. Yes, Gilgamesh fans, it's absolutely worth your money. We paid $95 shipped from an Amiami preorder, and Bluefin lists it at $102.99.

When he isn't killing time on fighting games and mahjong, David Cabrera makes moe 4-panel comics about videogames at Kawaiikochan. You can follow him on Twitter @sasuraiger.

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