Review: You don’t need a giant cockpit diorama to own the pilot
Packaging & Extras: (2/5)
This figurine comes in a cardboard box inside a decorative retail sleeve prominently featuring the figurine in front of some cool art of a GERWALK mode VF-1 in a hangar bay. The box (15x 35x 7 cm) features dual badging as Robotech and Macross with the Macross name on the front and the Robotech name on the rear. Contents are listed as the “action figurine” , four hands, and a helmet but that’s not quite right, the box contains the action figure and:
1) FIVE hands (fists installed, pair of open hands, saluting right hand)
3) Doll stand
What more could you ask for? Well KitzConcept just gave us a 1/12 Rick Hunter that came with 4 additional facial expressions, a rifle (from the training homage), a hand gun (from original Macross art), more hands, and a swap out collar so Rick could have a zipped up look. The lack of accessories are a good indicator that this figurine is more intended to be treated like a handsome statue rather than a toy.
Charm & Collectability: (2/5)
At about 28 cm tall, the scale falls right in line with 1/6 of Hikaru/Rick’s height of 178 cm. If Popbox/Toynami’s previous effort (and failure) is any indication, there isn’t huge demand for 1/6 scale Macross figures. That said, this figurine is essentially an accessory to the huge 1/6 cockpit diorama/sound system that Kids Logic also offers and may help boost interest and visibility on these action figures. While the cockpit dioramas come with seated, not articulated, pilots, sometimes you want to put the pilot right next to the cockpit instead of sitting in it. Those cockpits are also limited production and incredibly expensive, so Kids Logic is going to need to reach more than the install base the cockpits provide. If things go well, expect the action figure line to follow cockpit releases. Rick is sold as Action Nations 02, Action Nations 01 was a Street Fighter II Akuma figure. So far we’ve seen:
Rick Hunter, March 2019, $124.99
Sculpt, Detail, & Paint: (8.5/10)
It feels like Kids Logic was going more for “what would a live action Rick look like?” rather than “Let’s try to take art of the original character and render it in 3D”. Rick is slender having a bit of an hourglass shape but it’s not unnatural or jarring, nor is it unlike his depiction in the anime. The flight suit looks incredible rendered in leather (or leatherette). What I always thought was a zipper that ran up the front of the suit is portrayed as a blue stripe with the true zipper on the back. Given the size of the zipper and stitching necessary to go along with it, putting it on the back of the doll makes a lot of sense. I’m not sure what Hikaru/Rick was sporting on his wrists but, on this doll, they look like watches with a blue screen and no other detail. The belt buckle is done well though no effort was made to make it appear the buckle is attached to any sort of belt. The hands are white painted plastic but they match the suit perfectly so the transition from leather sleeve to plastic hand isn’t off-putting. The helmet looks nice but there’s no wow factor to it. This is the scale where helmets should start having actual pads instead of plastic made to look like pads but it works fine as a display piece. The doll stand is suitably minimalist. Though the box shows Hikaru with his collar popped, the collar is stitched to the neck so you’d have to cut something to make that happen.
Figurines are usually statues and statues generally get zero design points. If you wanted an action figure you are going to be sorely disappointed. The inclusion of a helmet would will lead to expectations of the ability to wear the helmet but it’s not possible; the helmet is simply a prop. In comparison, the KitzConcept 1/12 Rick Hunter figure comes with a helmet that has an integrated retractable visor. While the old Popbox 1/6 Hikaru and Max figures could stand on their own, this figurine requires the doll stand. The leatherette suit conceals a layer of foam over the body which introduces articulation issues. Swapping hands is easy and everything fits securely though the interior body is sheathed in a thin layer of plastic which pokes out the sleeves during hand swaps.
Durability & Build: (8.5/10)
There were no obvious weak spots during my testing. The blue stripe that goes up the front looks like it’s glued on so that might not last forever. The limited articulation makes it unlikely you’re going to fatigue the outfit too much during handling. The helmet is nicely painted and might get scuffed if the shelf gets knocked and the figure drops it. I knew one person who received a toy with the right and left feet reversed and Kids Logic worked with them quickly to get them a replacement body.
I thought this was an action figure, not a figurine, so I was let down by the articulation (I suppose I should be impressed it’s articulated at all). Things start good at the head and get worse as you go down the figure. The head is on a ball joint with great range of movement despite the abundance of hair. The neck pivots at the base allowing the figure to lean its head forward or back. The shoulders are ball joints only limited by the tightness of the leather. There is a rotation point in the arm and an elbow that lets you get more than 90 degrees of movement. The fists are on ball joints. There is a pivot point at the torso and waist and the pelvis can rotate. The hips have extremely limited mobility, likely because of the combination of the very tight suit and the foam body applied over the rigid doll form. There is a twist point in the leg. The knee is under so much pressure that if you try to move it then it literally snaps back into a straight position. The legs are flexible so it’s possible that there’s simply a thick wire running down from the thigh area to complete the legs. The foot seems to attach to the wire frame via a ball joint or the wire simply terminates inside a cavity in the foot and is then held there by the pressure of the leatherette and foam.
Total Score: (28/55)
The release is labeled “Action Nations” but that seems inappropriate. The Action Nations line started with Akuma (AKA Gouki) being an articulated 1/6 action figure. He has light up eyes, can achieve numerous poses, and can stand on his own. None of that is like this. Don’t buy this because it’s a dynamic action figure that’s fun to pose. It’s not. You get just enough upper body articulation to strike a pose that looks “I’m a fighter pilot” cool, which is probably perfect for complimenting those massive cockpit displays. Without the massive cockpit display, there’s not a lot to appeal to the common collector. The size of this toy is smaller than the Popbox figure so you won’t have as many issues with the Kids Logic product overshadowing your primary display pieces. If all you care about are looks, and don’t mine something that’s basically a statue from the waist down, then this might spruce up your display. If you’re looking for something fun and care a lot less about capturing what Rick would look like if he was less than one foot tall, check out the KitzConcept 1/12 lines that offer far more articulation, options, and accessories at half the size and a third the cost.