TMMN Reviews: Bandai D-Arts Bass Figure w/Treble (Warning: Image-Heavy)

TMMN Reviews: Bandai D-Arts Bass Figure w/Treble (Warning: Image-Heavy)

The third in our line of Bandai D-Arts reviews (following Mega Man & Rush and Vile) is none other than the Blue Bomber's robotic rival, Bass, who is accompanied by his faithful robotic support wolf, Treble.

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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.

A Chance for Female Mega Man Characters from D-Arts?

pxz_irisDon't go getting your hopes up, but Bluefin Tamashii Nations USA recently posted the following on their Facebook: "The reception for Sailor Moon gives us great confidence for females from other series. More girls? MOAR GIRLS! Power up for tomorrow night and the Nex (sic) 3 weeks!"

Do note the part about females "from other series." Whether this means they might be more receptive to females in current series, such as Mega Man/Rockman and Power Rangers/Super Sentai, or just mean bringing on new series with a female focus, we can't be entirely sure. Nonetheless, action figures of female characters have a reputation for being a difficult sell in the west, so hopefully this bodes well for future prospects such as the recently-teased Iris.

Tamashii Nations Celebrates Rockman's Birthday with New D-Arts Pictures

megamandarts25th by Razorsaw

Tamashii Nations has put up a preview D-Arts Rockman in order to celebrate the Blue Bomber's 25th anniversary. You can view the images in this gallery, which includes this birthday picture, featuring Mega Man and his big-little brother, X!

In addition to a plethora of pics of the Blue Bomber himself, showing off the figure's impressive articulation and finer details, we also get a closer look at the Rush and Metool/Mettaur figures that come with him, as well as all three figures in package. We have to say, Rush is looking a lot more poseable than he did at first!

D-Arts Rockman is set for release in January! It won't be long now, folks!

Looks Like Bass is Getting the D-Arts Treatment (Treble Too!)

Good morning, fellow Mega Man fans. How about a little bit of figure news that may blow your minds? Check out this top pic of D-Arts Mega Man from Bandai. Pretty nice, eh? But who's that to the left? Who could that-yeah okay it's pretty Bass. I mean how could that not be Bass?

Details are still very much obscure as I write this up, but more should come with the opening of the Tamashii Nations 2012 exhibition (this photo is a preview shot). Naturally we will continue looking for more info. Stay tuned as always!

UPDATE: New pictures added direct from Tamashii Nations! Hit the jump for more, including Black Zero and the Sigma and Ride Armor prototypes.

UPDATE 2: Many more great pics can be seen on Rockman Unity. Thanks, Ucchy-san!

News Credit: Wizaman and CAP Kobun (Images via Charanet)

Bandai on X vs. Legends and More

As we all know, Bluefin Tamashii Nations and Bandai like their polls, including those which tell them what Mega Man fans want from the seven different series and their respective casts which comprise the franchise. They've gathered information via Facebook as well as the New York Comic-Con, though the latter may have presented a bit of a snag for many of the Mega Man Legends fans who voted on Facebook. When chatting on the Preorder66 podcast (18:50 in), Bandai's Adam Nemwman said that the company had believed that there was a tremendous demand for Mega Man Legends, with Facebook voters specifically calling for MegaMan Volnutt and Tron Bonne, but their poll at the 2012 New York Comic-Con told them another story. There, he says, response more strongly favored Mega Man X. He adds that the company still wants to do Legends, but that for now, those plans will have to be delayed.

For what it's worth, they say they still want feedback on Facebook, though we can understand how a statement such as the one above might make some skeptical. However, Nemwman also pointed out that their Mega Man products make up 80 percent of Tamashii's sales in the U.S. alone-- stronger here than in Japan, no less-- so that might give them plenty of reason to pay attention to that Facebook feedback.

Finally (for the Mega Man stuff, at least), they're still undecided about releasing the Sigma D-Arts mock-up they showed off at the San Diego Comic-Con. They know people want to see him in fully-articulated glory, but they're still working out the finer mechanical points to see if they can do just that.

Source: Preorder66, via Protodude's Rockman Corner

TMMN's August Giveaway: Vile's Revenge!

You smell that? That thick, smoky stench of a freshly fired shoulder cannon. It heats you up as it fills your lungs, and puts you on tenterhooks. That smell, my friends, is a chance at victory. Vile is back, and your chance at winning him just tripled! That's because the ridiculously awesome folks at Bluefin Tamashii Nations have bestowed on us not just one, but three sinisterly cool D-Arts Vile figures! We simply can't keep them all here, it'd be World War 3 with that many Viles rampaging around. Please win these figures from us, and ensure world peace! As always, the way to win is crazy simple. This time, all you need to do is comment in this post about your favorite Mega Man villain. It can be any villain from any series, with some explanation as to why. After the commenting period is up three comments will be randomly chosen, so don't think brown nosing Vile will score you any bonus points! Please remember to comment with an e-mail address we can reach you at, and make sure you can receive the prize (ask parents' permission if necessary; figures ship from the United States).

You have until Friday, August 17th at midnight, US Pacific time to make your comment, so get to it! Three of you will be big winners! Also, a very special thanks to Xavier Lim and the folks at Bluefin Tamashii Nations! Not only do they bring us kick ass figures, they give you a chance to win 'em! And have you been scoping out their Facebook page, and demanding those awesome Sigma and Ride Armor figures get made? Oh my g-DO IT NOW!

Artwork by Hoketsu

OtaRockman 2012 Report

Image courtesy of JackScarab; click to enlarge.

As we announced early last week, the last weekend in July was Otakon, and with it, "OtaRockman." Unfortunately, there wasn't nearly as much going on as in past years, with the cosplay gathering on Saturday being pretty much the one and only thing. And even then, the turnout wasn't as great as in past years.

Still, we had fun, and you can check out the costumes and a few other Mega Man-related tidbits seen at the show in our huge picture gallery below.

Image courtesy of JackScarab; click to enlarge.

Another angle of the group shot above.

Image courtesy of JackScarab; click to enlarge.

A female Proto Man... er, Proto Woman? Proto Girl?

Image courtesy of Ryouko; click to enlarge.

Our own Tabby as Proto Man. Were female Proto Men a thing this year?

Image courtesy of JackScarab; click to enlarge.

Another Proto Man, this time from The Protomen, with a Mega Man from The Protomen. Proto-tastic!

Image courtesy of Ryouko; click to enlarge.

Ryouko as Helios/Aeolus with AzureEmperor as Gregar.

Image courtesy of JackScarab; click to enlarge.

Celebrating 25 years! Classic Mega Man and LBD "Nytetrayn" as Bad Box Art Mega Man.

Image courtesy of JackScarab; click to enlarge.

Emerald as Sniper Joe from The Protomen.

Image courtesy of JackScarab; click to enlarge.

Emerald as Sniper Joe from The Protomen after an encounter with Bad Box Art Mega Man. "Bad Box Art Sniper Joe! It's been years! *click*"

Image courtesy of Ryouko; click to enlarge.

The evil Dr. Wily, of course. Actually, he wasn't so bad in person...

Image courtesy of JackScarab; click to enlarge.

It was a bad day to be Dr. Wily...

Image courtesy of WolfShadow; click to enlarge.

Another Dr. Wily, one not at the mercy of arm cannons.

Image courtesy of Ryouko; click to enlarge.

Wood Man was in attendance, but where was he when Wily needed him most?

Image courtesy of Rick Cressen; click to enlarge.

As was Zero, but he and his actually-glowing Z-Saber were elsewhere.

Image courtesy of Ryouko; click to enlarge.

Laika...

Image courtesy of Ryouko; click to enlarge.

...Bass.EXE...

Image courtesy of Ryouko; click to enlarge.

...and Poochy as Lan! Battle Network, represent!

Image courtesy of JackScarab; click to enlarge.

And Star Force is also in the hizzle, and ready to sizzle!

Image courtesy of Ryouko; click to enlarge.

Terra as Pluto. Strange, isn't it?

Image courtesy of Rick Cressen; click to enlarge.

A group shot. TMMN and company are in the house!

Image courtesy of WolfShadow; click to enlarge.

Tron Bonne, minus the misadventures. But what would Tron be without...

Image courtesy of Rick Cressen; click to enlarge.

...Servbots! Wait, something seems a little off about this one...

Image courtesy of Rick Cressen; click to enlarge.

And finally, Captain N! Because his contributions to the liberation of Megaland shall never be forgotten.

In addition to the cosplaying, there was a decent amount of Mega Man merchandise to be found in the Dealer's Room, provided you knew where to look. For instance...

Image courtesy of WolfShadow; click to enlarge.

...wall scrolls! There were a few different ones, including Classic and X series scrolls. There were some Mega Man t-shirts around, too.

Image courtesy of WolfShadow; click to enlarge.

Bluefin/Tamashii Nations was also there, and had a nice graphic on the side of their booth featuring Mega Man X, among their other offerings.

Image courtesy of LBD "Nytetrayn"; click to enlarge.

On the other side of their booth, they had some neat displays set up with the figures, including this one of D-Arts Zero Type 2 dueling with D-Arts Super Saiyan Trunks. Meanwhile, armored X is off to the side, shooting at visitors.

Image courtesy of WolfShadow; click to enlarge.

And in another case, we have Vile kindly offering a drink to his new friend, Mecha Godzilla, with X about the blast the purple Maverick in the back. What is with that guy today?

Sadly, the prototype Sigma and Ride Armor were not there, but we do have some info coming up on those for you.

And that wraps up another year of OtaRockman at Otakon. Until next year, Baltimore!

Thanks to JackScarab, Ryouko, Rick Cressen, and Wolfshadow for allowing the use of their photos-- be sure to check out their linked galleries for more. We might have taken more of our own, but it turns out that iPhone touch screens don't work well at all with rubber gloves. Go figure.

If you are featured unnamed in one of the pictures above and wish to be credited, just let us know and we'll try to add it as soon as we can!

A Little Look at Mega Man at SDCC

  
  

  

I certainly didn't make it to Comic Con this year - not a very good swimmer. But Daniel, an old high school pal of mine, did make his way over. I didn't want to burden him too much, but I asked him to take pictures of any Mega Man stuff he happened across. So, I'm just sharing with you what he got: sweet cosplays, a special edition comic, and of course, those sweet, sweet D-Arts concepts. You better be bugging Tamashii Nations to make those!

Thanks for your work, Dan! Glad you had fun!