08.30.13

Accessories for Takara’s 1/18 DMZ Votoms Toys: MAP-01 Jijirium Capsule

Posted in 1/18, Takara, VOTOMS Armored Troopers at 5:20 am by micronian

The oddest toy you’ll likely find on anymoon

This toy is packaged in a plastic bubble with the back/bottom of the bubble being taped to the colored cardboard base.  Usually the entire package is then sealed in shrink-wrap but this isn’t always the case.  For retailers that wanted to hang this product on a peg the packaging can be opened to reveal a punched cardboard hanger with the included extras.  Beyond the capsule with Fyana/Proto-1 and the hanger, here’s what’s in the box:
1) Clear capsule cover
2) 10x pairs of fixed posed hands
3) Optional open-eyed head
4) Instructions/advertisement
What’s not in the box?  How about a Fyana body with clothes on, particularly her white and pink outfit that is probably more iconic than the green outfit we get with DMZ-03?  That would have been SUPER nice and a potentially more compelling reason for more folks to buy this.  Why do I need 10 sets of fixed posed hands for a naked figure that is most prominently remembered to be sleeping?  Sure, she wakes up and looks at Chirico but I don’t remember her then communicating with him through sign language.
Released July 2006 for 3,000 Yen, this toy is the definition of a ‘niche item.’  It actually does command a miniscule premium in the secondary market at this point but that is to be expected seven years after release.  Most people will see this post and that will be the most they’ll ever need to see of this toy.  Diorama builders may be intrigued.  I had a ton of fun building my own diorama but it took some effort.  I used the background provided at a convention in Japan for anyone who purchased a Material Verison DMZ-01 (not exactly easy to get a hold of but it’s out there) coupled with the Chirico and Scopedog from a DMZ-06 with the capsule and was able to come up with some fun shots from the first episode of Votoms.

I’m going to need to get a Votoms book to better compare this toy to what the capsule was envisioned as by the artist.  Judging by the anime the capsule might be a tiny bit wide but otherwise looks good.  It’s obvious that the Microman figures don’t look so nice without clothes.  I think it was a nice touch they gave us tiny dots of paint to be Fyana’s earrings but find it funny they didn’t give her nipples.  That’s a little strange because the cartoon had no beef showing us her perkies.  All the exposed joints may be a little too much for some.  Maybe they should have just given us a solid piece of plastic for her body with the same head connector and then included a Fyana Microman figure of her in her white and pink outfit.

This ‘toy’ has exactly one gimmick, it lights up.  Batteries are included and installed and with a flick of the switch two blue LEDs turn on and light our heroine up.  The shiny metallic bed she lies in does an excellent job reflecting the light outward and simulating her Jijirium bath.   It would have been really nice if the capsule featured a built in clear cover that could be flipped out and over instead of the separate cover piece we’re given.  It would have been even cooler if we got a built in clear cover AND built in metal-colored plastic doors that could extend out on top of the clear cover.  Then the capsule could operate just like it did in the show with Chirico pressing the button and then having the doors open to reveal Proto-1 inside.  I really can’t fault Takara for not going this route since that’d be a lot of extra design work for a couple extra seconds of play value that not everyone would appreciate.  I also would have liked the battery to be accessible without tools.

 


In general, selling a toy with a battery already installed in it is generally considered a bad play because batteries tend to corrode over time.  That said, the biggest durability issue relates to the shiny metallic bed.  Proto-1 is packaged lying in a plastic tray that holds her in place during shipping.  Unfortunately, that plastic tray can also rub against the metallic bed and cause damage on either or both ends.

If you are a fan of the DMZ line and like doing dioramas than this toy/accessory gives you a really fun opportunity.  If you have a huge Votoms display and think your armored troopers need something to break things up visually then this might be for you.  If you don’t fall into either of those categories, enjoy my pictures and the knowledge that this is one curiosity you’ll never have to hunt down.

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