TMMN Reviews: Bandai D-Arts Mega Man Figure w/Rush & Metool (Warning: Image-Heavy)

IMG_0345Following our previous review of Bandai's D-Arts Vile figure from Bluefin Tamashii Nations, we are now taking a look at the next figure from their lineup, Mega Man! Or rather, Mega Man, Rush, and a Metool. One disclaimer before we go any further: As you can see from the image at right, this one is actually labeled as a Rockman figure. For all intents and purposes, the two are interchangeable and as far as we know, this Japanese release should be identical to its western counterpart. However, it's possible that any small differences between the two could be chalked up to this, so please bear that in mind.

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Before we get into the figure itself, here is another look at the front of the package alongside Vile. There are a few differences between the two worth noting, Japanese nomenclature aside. Whereas Vile's features the large golden "X" design which partially obscures some of the figure and its accessories, Mega Man's provides a clearer look at the Mega Man and Metool figure, with Rush peeking out from the side.

Interestingly enough, despite the window packaging, all three figures are displayed along the left side as well. In this image, the figures carry a slightly darker hue than the ones inside the packaging. This is most noticeable on the light blue areas of Mega Man himself, as the actual figure carries more of a "Carolina" or "sky" blue to it.

Additionally, Mega Man's packaging features a nice reflective piece of cardboard behind the plastic tray holding the figures. This is a minor thing, truth be told, but for those who wish to display the figure within the box, it's a bit nicer than seeing the instruction sheet poking through from the back.

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Rounding out the other sides of the box, we have Mega Man taking on some cool poses which, in the D-Arts tradition, are inspired by poses from promotional art throughout the Blue Bomber's storied career. The right side shows him demonstrating his Buster blast accessory, the left a sort of jumping pose, and the back a recreation of a classic image of running alongside Rush, sliding, firing from a sort of backward leap, and one of the Metool by its lonesome.

The top, for those wondering, is just the D-Arts, Rockman, and Rockman 25th anniversary logos. The bottom, of course, is a bar code and text I have no hope of reading.

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At left are the three figures together. Of the three, Mega Man is the only one given a height measurement by Gundam Planet and he measures in at 4.1 inches tall, which puts him to just about the right scale with Vile's 5.1 inches (if we were to assume that he and X are about the same height when standing straight). That makes one inch approximately equal to one real-life foot, for those keeping count.

On your right is the result of trying to pose Mega Man with his Mega Buster (and other arm) aiming forward. While still extremely versatile, one thing the Mega Man D-Arts figure doesn't quite seem to do so well is "straight." Similarly, you can't really get his arms to go down his sides in a way which seems natural; at best, they stick out at an angle from the shoulders. On the other hand, if you look at the front-facing art for most of the Classic Robot Masters, you'll notice they all seem to do that anyway.

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After swapping out the right fist for an open hand, I attempted to give Mega Man a more traditional "bracing the Mega Buster arm" aiming pose. The first attempt is on the left, and as you can see, it doesn't quite work so well. But then I discovered something.

In the middle pic, you can see where Mega Man's elbow extends at the joint, revealing a bit of detail beneath his armor. By extending this piece, you're allowed more flexibility in the elbow joint, allowing you a wider range of poses, or even simply better poses, such as the attempt to make the same "aiming" pose again at the right. When his arms or knees aren't bent, just slide the joint back into their compressed form to keep up the look which more closely matches the production art.

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In these two shots, you get a look at some of the other joints from behind the figure, as well as some of the unpainted detailing (i.e. the vents) in the back of Mega Man's helmet. Not seen are some slight areas where Mega Man's shoulders can move slightly, giving him some vertical movement in his arms. The chest offers a bit of articulation as well, though it's better suited for a horizontal swivel than any sort of gut-crunching.

His thighs also offer a bit of the same added range of articulation by sliding them down, though the knees don't seem to, despite their similarly-styled appearance.

Other points of articulation include the neck, which focuses more on left and right movements. He can tilt his head up and down slightly, but not to any great degree. Similarly, the feet are fairly limited in their movements, mostly some slight wiggle room to allow steadier footing; just don't try to make him perform any tip-toe ballet moves, and you should be okay.

Much as with Vile, even the bottoms of the feet are given careful attention to detail. While Mega Man's aren't quite as elaborate as the former Maverick Hunter's, they're still loyal to the source material and shine with a nice bit of translucent plastic which gives off a ruby-like red appearance.

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One item which caught my attention on this particular figure is the face. While it does capture Mega Man's young, optimistically heroic sort of gaze, the line work beneath the eyes seems a little thicker than the version on the packaging. It isn't a bad thing, necessarily, but to me, the lines around the eyes just seem to stand out a bit more.

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For armaments, Mega Man does well for himself. He comes with two Mega Busters, which allows you to recreate that climactic scene from Super Adventure Rockman where he wields both at once. On the downside, the extra pieces allow for only one of them to swap out the ruby-lens barrel for the open barrel piece, which in turn has room to plug in the triple Buster shot piece included.

As an aside, I don't have any of the Mega Man X or Zero D-Arts figures, so I cannot tell you whether their charged shots are compatible with Mega Man's buster barrel piece here. (Update: According to ElitePrime100 in the comments, they are not compatible. Too bad.)

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Other non-figure accessories included with Mega Man are two sets of hands for his two non-Buster arms. Ready for action, you can equip him with fists to raise triumphantly or plant in the face of another figure for a little Marvel vs. Capcom-styled action. Or for something a little more peaceful, the two open hands can be placed there instead. Both sets of hands connect via a ball joint in the wrist, allowing for a bit more movement, including swiveling. Don't expect to have Mega Man holding his open hands up in a good "stop" or pushing-style pose, though he can still high-five and even go down low pretty well.

Mega Man also comes with three faces: The calm, static expression; a for when things begin to get ugly; and a full-on screaming rage for when it all hits the fan and he is in "more than just a robot die Wily" mode. Switching the faces out is a cinch, as you just remove the front of the helmet (which, for the record, features the same ruby-ish lens in the earpieces as in the Buster barrels and feet), pull out one face, plug in another, and put the front of the helmet back on. Rock's luxurious hair doesn't dwell underneath, but I suppose we can't have it all.

As an aside, you can remove the head entirely, if it makes the switch easier for you. If I had any complaint about this, it's that the neck detaches at the bottom, rather than the top, meaning you can't just keep a Mega Man head laying around as a 1UP item.

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For those of you wondering how he looks with other Mega Man figures of the past, here's a quick look at him with Jazwares' 6" Mega Man, Jazwares' 12" Mega Man, Bandai's animated series Mega Man, Toy Biz's Marvel vs. Capcom Hyper Mega Man, and a Mega Man/Rush figure from Japan. It probably goes without saying, but this one is undoubtedly the best of the bunch. I'd love to compare him with the Kotobukiya Mega Man, but guess what I don't have.

The same goes for the old Bandai Ironbuster model kit from Mega Man 8, though if the Mega Armor series Rockman X model kits are anything to go by, this easily surpasses it.

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Also included in the package is the faithful, hapless robodog Rush. Unfortunately, he doesn't get quite as much attention as his master, but he still makes a great companion piece to our blue hero.

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Rush comes fully articulated, though most of it doesn't do much. It can be a little tight out of the box, but with a little careful work, you'll find he can move at the shoulders/thighs, elbows/knees, wrists/ankles, the base of the neck, the base of his head, and of course, his tail.

Almost surprisingly, the tail has the widest range of motion, though given it's simplistic nature, it's not that big of a shock. The limbs, meanwhile, can take on the more standard canine standing pose, but don't bend outward far enough to sit properly (see above), or even offer a paw up to "shake hands." They'll go perfectly straight, but that's as far outward as you're going to get, while going inward, they don't move far enough to even do a proper "lay down" position.

Where some fans might have some trouble is the neck movement. The base doesn't go very far at all, making some doggy-like poses a bit difficult. In the pics above, you're seeing about the full range of his up-down head movement (with the head turned sideways to better reflect the difference).

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Here, we have Rush laying on his back... or trying, at least. Between his tail and head movement, his back never even touches my desk, with the ears and tail forming a perfect tripod. As you can see, Mega Man can't seem to make heads or tails of it all.

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As you can see, that isn't to say you can't still get some fun poses out of him.

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Here's one other, for fans of the Ruby Spears animated series. Unfortunately, this is as close to the Rush Jet as you're going to get with this one.

Articulation aside, Rush is fairly well-detailed. His feet have no detailing as Mega Man does, though the shoulder/ankle joints feature the same gem-like appearance inside, albeit with a yellow tone this time.

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The third and final figure included in the set is the Metool. Is it friend? Is it foe? It's anything you want it to be!

Above, you can see how this version compares to Jazwares' earlier version (left; sadly, its propeller got bent in storage) and an even earlier version from Japan (right). This figure may have zero articulation, but it isn't without merit; watch as it does what neither of these other Metools could do:

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Truth be told, this is kind of a cheat; the Metool can't really hide under his helmet, but it is removable, allowing you to achieve the same effect.

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You can see here where the two pegs/prongs on the interior of the helmet can plug into the Metool's head. Like Rush, there's no detailing to speak of on the bottom. And while there is no way to actually plug in Mega Man's burst of fire to give the Metool a ranged attack of his own, you can still improvise a bit, as seen at right.

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As the prongs are on the inside of the Metool's helmet, this makes it a bit difficult to put it onto other figures. Difficult, but not impossible.

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D-Arts Mega Man and Jazwares' Dr. Wily play really well off each other.

If it sounds like I'm down on this figure, I'm really not. Some of the articulation and options may be limited, but compared to past figures of Mega Man, this is probably the best one to date. One of my grievances with Vile was that his accessories' tendency to come off made him closer to a model kit than the action figure he's supposed to be, but I had no such problems with Mega Man (or Rush, or the Metool, for the record). He holds together quite well, and can be treated without the kid gloves Vile requires, though you probably don't want to get too rough.

The detailing is great, though some paint apps on the back of Mega Man's helmet and the Metool's body would have been nice. Still, it's difficult to complain; the paint apps which are there are, for the most part, clean and pristine (there's a slight bit where it seems to have gone past the edge of one of Rush's ears, but you really have to look for it).

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Simply put: If you've been holding out for a figure of the original Blue Bomber, this is the one to get, unless you're waiting for some super-expensive model with mechanical skeleton, synthetic skin, and rooted hair. In that case, you're probably going to be waiting for a really long time, so you should get this anyway. While Rush isn't quite as good as a regular figure, he still makes for a terrific accessory, and the Metool rounds out the package nicely.

Mega Man X's Vile was good, and Classic Mega Man is even better. Now we just have to see how the two aesthetics come together with the figure who manages to encompass both in Bass. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the figure, feel free to ask in the comments below!

Mega Man is available now at a suggested retail price of $44.99, and less at Amazon. A sample for this review was provided to us by Bluefin.