01.21.18

Bandai Hi-Metal R Regult Toys

Posted in 1/100, Bandai, Enemy Mecha, Macross/Robotech TMS at 12:01 am by micronian

Review: Now includes Tamashii web exclusive missile set!

Packaging & Extras: Regular release: (3/5), Missile set: (4/5)
The toy’s box is graced with some lovely Tenjin art and a small window that lets you see the toy within. As with previous Hi-Metal R (HMR) releases, there’s no flip top lid here, you have to cut the tape and open the box if you want to admire the toy more. Inside the box you’ll find the following:
1) Large turrets for that need to be installed on the toy
2) Small turrets that need to be installed on the toy’s chin
3) A spare set of small turrets for the chin in case you break or lose the first set
4) A display stand adapter
5) A Tamashii Stage Act display stand (Taped to the back of the tray).
6) Instructions
The display stand consists of two parts, a base and an arm. There’s a plug in the base that lets you choose from two different positions for mounting the arm. Bandai didn’t include an extension which seems a little cheap but that might be because the Regult has some good heft and you wouldn’t be able to do too much with an extension. TIP – if your display stand isn’t holding your Regult up, tighten the screw at the top of the arm. When this toy was first released I lamented the lack of optional weaponry and said that sales of the toy would likely determine if or how that weaponry would become available. Fortunately, it seems sales were good because Bandai followed up with an excellent second Regult offering. The only other major absence here is a pilot figure.

On top of everything that came with the original release, you also received:
7) A second set of everything listed above in 1-6
8) Light missile pod
9) Heavy missile pod
The thing that would have really put this over the top would have been providing two light missile pods and two heavy missile pods. That would have been cool for people who were a fan of one look over the other and people who wanted to convert their previously purchased regults to have the extra weaponry. Of course, a box with a flip-top lid is always nice but the art on this set is phenomenal and it wasn’t too long ago that Tamashii exclusives two-tone affairs so I’m not complaining

Charm & Collectability: (4/5)
Nobody likes enemy mecha… or at least that’s the common thinking. This particular enemy mecha does have metal joints though and is the best version we’ve ever seen of a Regult toy so it has managed to draw a crowd. For sticklers of scale, this toy is 19CM tall. How tall a Regult is supposed to be seems to be a matter of debate with measurements ranging from 15.12 to 17.4 meters tall. This toy is only 1/80 scale if you use the smaller size, it’s 1/92 at the larger measurement which jives well with the HMR sizes. Sales of the regular release were brisk enough that it warranted the release of a follow-up Tamashii exclusive set that included light and heavy artillery. The Tamashii exclusive also sold out very quickly and now both releases demand a premium in the secondary market. Is it too bold to start dreaming of a scout release? Here are the releases so far:
Standard Regult, February 2016, 6,800¥
Heavy and Light Missile Set, December 2017, 15,120円 (JPY after tax), Tamashii Web Exclusive

Sculpt, Detail, & Paint: (9/10)
No question that this is a fine representation of the Regult. The shiny silver boosters on each side are a nice detail. There certainly could have been more Zentran markings but I think Bandai struck a nice balance between the anime and some of the line art that’s out there. The rear-facing top-of-the-head lasers and the forward facing main cannons have hollow tips to look more like real weapons. The back hatch seals tightly shut without any evidence of opening mechanisms and then opens to a nice bit of cockpit detail including a clear green monitor screen. The use of clear plastics also makes it theoretically possible for customizers to create a lit cockpit and a light up ‘eye’. My only nit would be that the front eye extends too far from the body and is too conical but it’s not off by so much that it bothers me.
In a move that gets a big thumbs up from me, Bandai painted different Zentran writing on the light and heavy missile versions of the Regult. Otherwise, there were no changes made to the Regult mold so no new observations to add. The weapon pods, both light and heavy, look great to me. Like the Regult, some could say they wanted more markings if they’re comparing to line art, but since those markings are not in the TV show, I think the included amount of markings is the perfect compromise.

Design: (8.5/10)
Though this toy has an opening cockpit, it can’t facilitate a figure and it’s hard to imagine anything could fit in there, let alone a 1/100 Zentran figure. That said, it does have an opening hatch which is way more than I would have expected from Bandai on such a risky toy. Feedback on the hatch has been very positive so it would seem like Bandai made the right decision. The top lasers can be removed to be swapped with the weaponry in the missile Regult set but it’s not a very smooth process. I had to place the toy between my knees and yank up on the head lasers being very careful to not break them. Unfortunately, if you’re using the standard head lasers, they peg in with a round peg on a curved surface so they spin freely and will frequently look askew. Bandai should have added a notch so they could have seated in the proper spot. Similarly, the boosters on the side spin too freely on the regular release, they were a bit stiffer on the missile-set. It would have been nice if there were a couple locations that offered more friction for the user to know he had both sides in similar positions. These are, of course, very minor nits and, on-the-whole, I’m very impressed with the care that went into this toy. The display stand adapter attaches securely though the weight of the Regult does make flying poses a challenge for the fairly flimsy stand.

Durability & Build: (7/10)
The instructions warn you about two easily broken parts: the guns on top of the head and the whisker guns on the chin. Fortunately, you do get a second set of whisker guns in the box. If you break your top-of-the-head lasers you’ll need to glue them back together. Neither of these should be broken in normal handling but it’s pretty easy to imagine how a fall could cause some pain. It’s also easy to imagine breaking the top of the head lasers when trying to remove them to install the light or heavy missiles so take abundant care! Otherwise the toy has lots of joints that are very stiff out of the box that are responsible for holding up a lot of weight. If those joints get loose over time this toy will become a lot less fun to play with. Fortunately, even if the knees or other joints get very loose over time, using the stand at least ensures you’ll be able to get the thing to stand in somewhat regular poses. I have seen a couple reports of loose knees in the missile-set so if that becomes more prevalent the score might get dinged here.

Articulation: (9/10)
The Kaiyodo Revoltech toy remains the king in this category but the HMR is not far behind. This toy will do just about everything you want from it. There’s articulated toes, heels, double knees, hips, waist, main guns, and side boosters. The whisker and top of the head guns are not articulated. The hips feature a gimmick allowing you to pull them out for further range of movement. The main lasers can point just about straight but they can’t go beyond that and point in the opposite direction from their beginning direction on the head. The light and heavy missiles feature independently articulated pods, a central up/down pivot, and the ability to twist where the weapon meets the body.

Total Score: (40.5/50) +1 for missile set
If you’re a fan of the Regult this is, without question, the best Regult toy to date and you should go buy one. If you’re less into bad guys but would like to just put a few in the background of a display the answer is a little less clear cut. For a while you could find Toynami vinyl Regult toys for about $20 and they certainly represented a better deal if you were just filling a background space. If you can still find them at that price the Toynami is still a good option for a fairly static pose/display case filler. If you’re looking for a Regult toy to actually handle, the HMR definitely is the better choice. Obviously it plays very well with the other Bandai HMR toys, particularly the Glaug.
Note, this review has been updated: Original post March 22, 2016
Updated January 21, 2018 to include content relating to the missile set release

2 Comments »

  1. Kun-kun said,

    September 16, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    Would you be able to recommend a fix to loose joints on this toy? Not sure what would work given the design of these metal hinges.

  2. micronian said,

    September 17, 2018 at 4:11 am

    I don’t have personal experience with the issue but I’ve heard people swear by Future floor polish being brushed into joints in the past to stiffen them up. If there’s no way to mechanically do it, that may be your best bet.

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