10.28.18

Toynami Robotech 1/18 Action Figures

Posted in 1/18, Figures, Macross/Robotech TMS, Toynami at 8:32 am by micronian

Review: Rick, Roy, Max, Miriya, and Minmay

Packaging & Extras: (1.5/5)
I’m not a fan of blister cards but at least these ones are attractive, replete with time-tested Tommy Yune art and metal foil ROBOTECH label. Humorously, Toynami had to re-write all the character bios and did their best to make the Max & Miriya relationship sound as absurd as possible. Obviously, destruction of the packaging is necessary if you want to play with your new action figure. The pilot figures, Roy, Rick, Max, and Miriya come with the following:
1) Stand (a round, clear piece of plastic with a peg that goes in the foot)
2) Helmet
3) Hair part for use with helmet
Minmei drops the helmet and just comes with the base.
So what more could we ask for? Quite a bit right? Interchangeable hands? Different facial expressions? A hand holding a microphone for Minmei? Visor down effect for the helmet? The Matchbox toys had guns though that doesn’t really jive with the show too well. Roy needs a guitar and a bowl of pineapple salad (there’s your Comic-con exclusive for next year!). Maybe each toy should have come with a part of Ben Dixon…

Charm & Collectability: (2/5)
I’m always amazed that anyone bothers collecting the old atrocious Matchbox, Irwin, or Harmony Gold toys. They’re horrendous looking… but for some reason, people still buy them. So, even if these toys fail to live up to most reasonable expectations, it’s a pretty good bet that somebody somewhere wants to buy them. I bought them so no (or maybe just ‘limited’) judgment here. These toys debuted at SDCC 2018 in a ‘collector’s sleeve’. The sleeve and the cards from the Comic-con versions features gold foil. The standard releases don’t offer a collector’s sleeve and come with yellow print rather than gold foil. At the Robotech panel at SDCC they said there were special ‘paint apps’ but I’m pretty sure that was meant to describe the foil packaging as I see no discernible difference on the figures. The regular release shelves in September 2018. Figures released so far include:
Roy Fokker
Rick Hunter
Max Sterling
Miriya Sterling
Minmei (like Madonna, she needs only one name)

Sculpt, Detail, & Build: (7/10)
Close-up of these faces will leave you unimpressed but the figures themselves are small in hand (Roy is 11CM) so the likeness isn’t as bad as it may seem and certainly worlds better than Matchbox was able to achieve. The figures all look a little narrow to me which has the unfortunate side effect of making the hips look knobby. If you’re not too worried about size (or price), KitzConcept has a 1/12 line that should have much better sculpts, articulation, and accessories. I’ve always been a bigger fan of Robotech mecha than characters so it’s possible details on these flight suits aren’t perfect but they were close enough for me. The stripes on the legs should probably match the width of the stripe down the chest but the spacing of the hips interferes with this so it doesn’t really bother me and works if you display the character with its feet farther apart. The paint applications are average; the backpack isn’t painted and the pegs connecting the knees aren’t painted to match the uniform on the inside of the leg.

Design: (5/10)
My primary design complaint is that these figures are all the same size. I thought this would be an attempt to make true 1/18 scale figures but it’s not. Roy and Minmei stand eye-to-eye when she would more accurately be looking at his nipples (yes, even if she’s wearing heels). If these figures were all designed to fit in uniform cockpits of an accompanying line of toys (like the old Matchbox figure) then the uniform size would be a lot more forgivable. Here everyone is the same size to save money.

There aren’t a lot of other design elements that I won’t tackle in the articulation section. I wish the face was interchangeable so we could do different expressions. The helmet replacement is simple and secure. The hair stays on well enough when not using the helmet. Removing the hair is straight forward as is applying the thin bit of replacement hair before putting the helmet on. To ensure a secure fit, the helmets are rubbery.
The included stand is pretty lame. If Toynami wasn’t going to give us ankles than a stand with a vertical peg means you’re going to need to have a vertical leg to the knee. It’s not the end of the world but it’d be nice if there were a few different pegs that could be used or even an arm that attaches to the stand and pegs into the back of the figure like Bandai often uses.

Durability & Build: (8.5/10)
The benefit of a simple toy is that it’s harder to mess it up. The only issue I’ve come across so far is some awkward loose spots in the rotation joints on the shoulders. My toys appear to have pretty good paint applications, minimal seams/production flash, and appropriately stiff joints. These are new releases so the sample size is small, if you have issues with your toys, please leave a comment!

Articulation: (5/10)
What a letdown! Action figures are supposed to invite ACTION! You get a pivot at the neck, a ball jointed shoulder, hands that spin at the wrist because they attach via pegs, a waist, limited ball jointed hips, and a knee. Technically, the head may be a ball-joint, but the design of it severely inhibits the up/down and I couldn’t cock the head left or right at all. WHERE THE F*CK IS THE ELBOW? I mean, we all knew it didn’t have one because you can see that clear as day in all the promo pictures and in the package but seriously? The knees don’t even go 90 degrees and there are no ankles. You can’t pose the toy down on one knee but you can accomplish something akin to a running pose. When you think about how good Takara’s Microman figures were or the CM’s action figures that came with their ride armors, it’s downright embarrassing how poorly articulated these figures are.

Total Score: (29/50)
Now that your suspicions about these toys have been confirmed, you can make the informed decision about whether they are something you need to have. I’m admittedly NOT an action figure guy. Growing up, I didn’t own a single GI Joe, He-Man, Thundercat, or even Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. No, I bought vehicles, robots, and vehicles that transformed into robots and that’s still my thing (I think the MASK figures came with the vehicles so I did own those guys). That said, I do see some value to character figures. It is, after all, the characters that drive the shows and I think displays that feature both the mechs and the characters are great. So, if you’re not looking to play with your action figures, if you’re just looking to spruce up a display of very dynamic robots doing super cool things, then the limitations of these ‘action’ figures may not impair your enjoyment. If you’re specifically looking to pair these with your Matchbox/Harmony Gold/Playmates toys, the size differential may cause you headaches.

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