30 April 2011
At last, my long anticipated D-Arts Mega Man X is out! Even though I am not good at games, Mega Man X has been a series I follow a lot when I was little, and toys of them are far and few in between. Knowing back in December that X will be released on the relatively new D-Arts action figure line under Bandai's Tamashii Nation, I know I really would like to get one and see it myself.
Well, let's see how X fares in this D-Arts form then.
D-Arts Mega Man X is released on 27th April for an official retail price of 3465 Yen (tax included).
Mega Man X (or Rockman X or just X) comes from a Capcom video game series of the same name. While the connection between Mega Man X series and the original Mega Man series is quite loose, Mega Man X is set a long time after the original one, and both are created by Dr Light. Unlike the original series, X has a darker and serious theme to it.
D-Arts Mega Man X comes with 3 face expressions, 2 pairs of hands (closed fists and open palms), a normal left arm, 2 different effect parts, and an X-Buster open barrel for inserting effect parts
X-Buster. The "red gems" look quite nice and can be seen inside the X-Buster.
Not only do they appear on the helmet and inside X-Buster, these red gems can be seen underneath X's feet as well.
The 3 different expressions of X. They all look serious.
There are two barrels for the X-Buster: One with the red gem when X-Buster is not firing, and the other one with a hole so that effect parts can be inserted into it to show X-Buster firing
Buster shots can be configured in two different ways
X firing small pew-pew plasma bullets
Firing a charged shot from the X-Buster
A normal right arm can be swapped instead of the X-Buster arm so that X can have a normal right hand. Just like with the left hand, there is a closed fist or an open palm for the right hand.
Random pictures from here onwards.
X performing wall sliding, an ability he can do as well as wall kicking (to climb up the wall). D-Arts X is surprisingly light, so he can literally be held onto my desktop case with white-tac on his feet only.
X fighting against the universe-unrelated HGUC 1/144 Balls from Mobile Suit: Gundam
X: What are these Mavericks? I've never seen them before, and they just keep on coming!
X standing next to figma Black Rock Shooter. They're about the same size and roughly in the same scale I'd say.
A bonus photoshopped picture with X and his Fire Wave move (the flame is actually an accessory part from figma Signum)
As said in the beginning of the post, Mega Man X toys are fairly far and few in between, so I have been looking forward to this D-Arts Mega Man X for since its announcement.
Overall, X is a fun action figure to play around with. There are a good number of joints with good range of articulation (e.g. double joints for arms and legs, as well as the not-so-obvious chest and pelvic joints). The effect parts sure add extra play value, especially with the 3-shot part where you can have 2 configurations for them and rotate them for more poseability. With the light weight and large feet, X is quite stable too and won't fall down due to uneven weight or slightly unbalanced poses.
The figure isn't without cons. Some joints are rather loose and can fall apart when posing, such as the double joints on the arms and legs. But at the same time some joints are unbelievebly tough, so care must be placed and hold both ends of the joints to minimalise the chance of breakages. The plastic is little funny too; they feel like those that of Gunpla too, i.e. polystyrene, which may explain the light weight there. Joints inside are of polycaps and ABS (according to the official item page), which are very much like what Gunpla use for theirs too ^^;
Nonetheless, I had a good time posing X while reviewing it. Some joints may seem slightly loose while others too tight, but at least the parts are easily exchangeable, and X is quite easy to pose with. Now with Zero First Version (i.e. the X1 version) announced and is to be released in September, I do look forward to see more Mega Man-related figures from this line!
29 April 2011
Picture from Moeyo on Tamashii Feature's Vol.2 report (Mega Man section) back in February
Following X from Mega Man X game series (aka Rockman X in Japan) who has just been released very recently, Bandai's Tamashii Web has announced that his well ancitipated partner Zero will be scheduled for release on D-Arts line in late August.
And here it is:
For those who wonder why Zero has no signiture Z-Saber with him, that's because this is the X1 version (aka First Version). The round shoulders in the silhouette from the first picture is a giveaway there.
Zero in X1 has his Z-Buster, which is seen firing his shot from it in this picture. This Z-Buster shot looks bigger than X's typical pew-pew shots but smaller than X's charged shot.
Teaming up with X
Zero will be released in late August for 3675 Yen (with tax included).
With Zero X1 version being the Zero to be released first, future version(s) with the signiture Z-Saber should be announced soon or later. There are no dates or further info at this moment, so we just have to wait for now.
I am still thinking whether I should get this Zero or just wait for one with Z-Saber. Let's hope if the latter does appear it won't be some kind of Web Shop limited kind of thing (although it's likely for something like Black Zero to have this treatment, but don't count my words for that).
AmiAmi, Tamashii Staff Diary, Moeyo
28 April 2011
Tamashii Nation has announced Robot Damashii 00 QAN[T] Quantum Burst version, which is now available for pre-order on its web shop.
There will be two different versions available for pre-order. This 00 QAN[T] Quantum Burst version will be the normal one for 4725 Yen (September release).
Stand seems to be that of colourless Tamashii Stage Act 5 with the ring and GN Sword Bits that come with the original Robot Damashii 00 QAN[T] as well.
The other one available for pre-order is 00 QAN[T] Quantum Burst version Blacklight Stage set for 7350 Yen (September release). The main difference here is the addition of the so-called Blacklight Stage at the bottom. Tamashii Stage Act 5 is still included in this set according t.
Blacklight Stage by itself.
Image taken from Akibahobby
The Blacklight Stage first appeared in Tamashii Feature's Vol.2 back in February in Akihabara. The 00 QAN[T] will be the purple glowing one in the middle. From what can be seen the 00 QAN[T] gives off a flourescent glow as a result from the UV LED on the Blacklight Stage. I have no idea how well this will work in normal light conditions.
Screenshot taken from Random Curiosity (Warning: Spoiler available over there)
In the movie Gundam 00: A Wakening of the Trailblazer, 00 QAN[T] (the main Gundam unit) is able to purge its armour and activate the so-called Quantum Burst. While its purpose and consequence are essentially plot-related, let's just say that it puts the Gundam in peak performance (in some aspects). But we only get to see this form of the Gundam for a minute or so though^^;
Both versions are scheduled for September release, which is roughly a year after the movie got aired.
Given that this is the alternate / 2nd version of the same Gundam that was released back in October last year, it is not so surprising that this Quantum Burst version will be web shop order only (following the pattern of previous examples such as Gundam F91). Given that the Quantum Burst is seen very briefly in the movie and the Gundam is well known to be seen hovering over the ring of GN Sword Bits in a formation, I've seen some people jokingly called this to be a display-only robot action figure ^^; (i.e. buy this figure just for the sake of reenacting this particular scene and pose). Well, according to the content list there are still 5 pairs of hands in total, as well as "purge armour", which makes me wonder whether the original parts for the normal configuration of 00 QAN[T] will be available as well :o
As for the Blacklight Stage, it does look cool, but whether it's worth getting for 2625 Yen extra is up to you to decide. While I have no plans on getting it, I can see it being a potential display item of some sort there for collectors who really want one ^^
As for those who are interested in getting either one, it might be best to look for a proxy service in order to get it, since the web shop is mainly for Japan residents only. That is unless you know someone in Japan who will kindly send it over to you after letting you to use their address for domestic delivery address. :o
25 April 2011
If you have notice my post in "Why do you collect?" or even in my 1/144 tank collection, you may know that I like the 1/144 scale a lot. Not only is it small and collectible, but there is also a fair variety of things one can have to compare to each other there. Shall we have a quick tour on a small variety of random things in 1/144 scale and compare them together?
First off: A 1/144 WWII-era German soldier standing next to an early production Tiger I heavy tank.
A German soldier with Tiger I heavy tank and a modern German Leopard 2 MBT (main battle tank).
Adding more to the randomness, we also have an AT-ST at the back (from Star Wars), as well as an Imperial Stormtrooper on a speeder bike (also from Star Wars) and a JSDF Mitsubishi Type 73 Light Truck on the left.
By the way, the AT-ST and the speeder bike trooper are the only Star Wars things I have here ^^; , which come from the same shokugan box as well
Now adding the Gundam-related guys. The large tank on the right of Leopard II is the Type 61 "M61A2" MBT as seen from MS IGLOO 2, and the two mobile suits are GM Kai and Zaku II F2 Type, and both are from Mobile Suit Gundam 0083.
Adding more random stuff to the lot: AH-64 Apache (Greek Army) on the top left, a Ball just left of the GM Kai, as well as a blue N scale (1/150) Toyota Dyna in front of the AT-ST.
And last but certainly not least, a Dora gun at the back to show the largest gun ever made in history in comparison to real and fictional stuff in 1/144 scale. I wonder whether anyone would still notice the soldier standing in front of the Tiger I in the first place? ^^;
21 April 2011
Photo of Radio Kaikan taken during my visit to Akihabara in 2009
This is not exactly news anymore, but Radio Kaikan building in Akihabara is scheduled to close down at the end of July 2011 for rebuild.
Radio Kaikan (ラジオ会館) is one of the first noticeable buildings one will see when stepping out of the JR Akihabara Station via the Denkigai exit (電気街口). With its bright yellow banner and colourful windows and convenient location, it's not too hard to spot it. A lot of shops selling a variety of hobby stuff (figures, models, gashapons, shokugans, cards etc) are in there: Kaiyodou, Kotobukiya, Yellow Submarine, VOLKS, Uchusen, and several more.
Picture from Moeyo
According to Japanese Wikipedia, Radio Kaikan was originally built in 1953, with shops inside selling home electronics in the first place. The name "Radio" not only applies to radios but also to other home electronics in general back then. Later on audio and PC stuff slowly moved in before they were slowly "phased out" by anime-related hobby items as electronics businesses dwindled (but there are still several electronics shop in there at the moment).
Repairs on cracks on walls at the staircase after the earthquake last month (source here)
There were concerns on the building's age, as well as its resistance against earthquakes. It was decided in September 2010 that the 8-storey building will be torn down for a new one, which will be 12 floors high (10 above ground, 2 underground). The old one is scheduled to be closed at the end of July, and the new one will is scheduled to be completed some time in 2014 (although some sources suggest 2013 for completion).
Picture from Moeyo
A "farewell wall" ("Radio Kaikan Sayonara!! Wall", ラジオ会館さよなら！！ウォール) was set up on 15th April in one of the vacant rooms with a canvas board of 5.4m x 1.8m for people to sign or write what they want to bid farewell for the current Radio Kaikan building. The signing campaign ended on 19th April. It is stated on the official website that the signed wall will be kept in the new building once it is completed and it will be available for display.
Steins;Gate anime promotional poster featuring Radio Kaikan in the background, from Random Curiosity
Radio Kaikan has always been the first place I visit when I arrive in Akihabara, and I always sent at least a couple of hours just to look around from one shop to another. From what I've read so far the shops will move to nearby buildings in Akihabara while Radio Kaikan is to be rebuilt (most likely temporarily), but not all shops have confirmed on the new locations yet as it is still an ongoing thing at the moment.
Even though there are still many shops out there (and many more I may not know of) in Akihabara, I will miss Radio Kaikan for its appearance and the concentration of shops it has in one place, which is *a little* similar to some malls in Hong Kong such as Oriental 188 and Sino Centre. Hope the new Radio Kaikan will remain as memorable as the current one that we know well.
15 April 2011
Album cover of Hacken Lee's 紅日
Feeling a little nostalgic recently.
While nowadays I don't listen to Cantopop (Cantonese pop), also known as HK-pop (Hong Kong pop), it has a period that I do enjoy listening to in the 80s and perhaps early 90s too, and what's interesting is that a lot of them are actually Japanese songs originally. Inspired by Z's post, this post picks a few examples of songs to compare with.
李香蘭 by Jacky Cheung
行かないで by Tamaki Koji
風繼續吹 by Leslie Cheung
さよならの向う側 by Momoe Yamaguchi
藍月亮 by Hacken Lee
月に濡れたふたり by Anzen Chitai (sung by Koji Tamaki)
紅日 by Hacken Lee
それが大事 by 大事MANブラザーズバンド
我只在乎你 by Teresa Teng, a mandarin song sung by a well known Taiwanese singer but is very popular not only in Taiwan and Hong Kong, but also in Japan too
時の流れに身をまかせ by Teresa Teng (both are sung by the same person, as Teresa is fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, and Japanese)
A lot of these well known cover songs were released during the "golden era of Cantopop", which is mainly in the 1980s. While these liscensed songs were not the sole reason that made that period of Cantopop (or HK-pop) considered as the "golden age", a good lot of them have been very popular among us, and are still something we remember the period by.
There are people who criticise the existence of cover songs as lacking originality, or in a way even a "ripoff", or using other artists' content for their benefits of fame and success. I personally think it was quite a good link between Hong Kong and Japanese music entertainment, with Japanese artists being invited to Hong Kong to sing along with those who covered their songs in our localised language back then. Perhaps this is not something we'll get to see much nowadays due to various reasons, and looking back I do miss the good old days of music when the artists seem to put in a lot more effort and heart into the songs. It may very well be a biased feeling anyway, since I don't really know what to listen to nowadays.
I wonder whether similar things may be said about recent anime too, but I'll like to stay optimistic for the time being, at least for a bit longer. I do like to keep onto the hope.
8 April 2011
Chinese-made imitation models of Gundams have become more attention drawing. I am not talking about direct copies such as TT Hongli or Model GD, but one brand under the name of Model Comprehend (MC), a relatively new one, has been making its own versions of existing Gunpla. I may talk more about it in the future, but here is the latest one spotted on the Internet - the 1/144 scale Hi-Nu "Gundoom".
And yep it's "Gundoom" not "Gundam". I haven't actively sought for the models, but there are reviews out there already in online community. Well, let's see how this model fares.
Kit comes with clear wing parts and decal as "first batch extra goodies".
Foil stickers are included as well
Hi-Nu "Gundooom" completed and detailed, front view.
Equipped with Hyper Bazooka
Comparison with Bandai's MG 1/100 RX-78-2 Gundam OYW version. The two stand pretty much at the same height.
Box size comparison with Bandai's HGUC 1/144 Hi-Nu Gundam
Gunpla size comparison of HGUC 1/144 Hi-Nu Gundam (left) with Hi-Nu "Gundoom" (right)
At first glance, the Hi-Nu Gundoom looks a bit oversized for 1/144 scale, and heck, it even stands about the same size as an MG 1/100 Gunpla too.
For a Chinese-made imitation Gunpla kit, it appears that most, if not all, parts are possibly "original" and not directly copied from Bandai's parts (i.e. not molded over directly from original runners), but I will need people who are really familiar with the Bandai kits (i.e. those who have built them) to confirm this with me.
The kit also seems to have original parts such as an extra beam sabre mounted below the left arm that can combine with Hi-Nu's original ones. All fin funnels can be detached unlike the Bandai's HGUC 1/144 kit, and there appears to be more details with the Gundoom have sleeker proportions compared to the original.
In terms of price, I did hear it's slightly more expensive than the HGUC 1/144 kit, but I will need to check on this. I still need to find feedbacks regarding on the plastic quality or the assembly, which are well known problems for previous bootleg models. But overall, just looking at the model itself it may be a little hard to tell that this is not Bandai's original model or one of those expensive resin kits. No wonder the Gundoom got more and more well heard recently, with some shops already taking pre-orders for customers when preview pictures were released on the Internet.
I wonder what response Bandai gives regarding on the Gundooms. It is likely that they won't stay slient for too long though.
Picture sources from NWBBS (runner and parts picture available there as well) & ToysDaily forum