Saturday, June 12, 2010

Super Modeling Soul: Rockman / 超造形魂 ロックマン


Got these more than a week ago, but my PC was out of commission with a bad power supply for around 2 weeks, so I've been dragging my feet until now. Now, I knew going in that these were "trading figures" so I wasn't expecting like 1/8 scale quality (even though ironically, the box of these cost more than most 1/8 figures) and for the most part these didn't fail to meet my expectations. However I do have a few nitpicks about a couple of things.

The first issue I had was before I even ordered them, and that issue was the lineup. I remember the early days of my blind box collecting wherein the collection would have like a 50/50 split of cool figures to throwaway ones. For example, I remember a Rurouni Kenshin blind box trading figure set that had like 2 cool poses of Kenshin, a Sanosuke that was pretty cool, Saito, Shishio, and then there were like 2 Yahiko versions and a Kaoru that really, who the hell would want those? Obviously if they weren't blind boxes there wouldn't be 2 versions of Yahiko, and I bought about 15 or so over time, and I think I got 3 Kaorus and only like 1 Kenshin in his "cool pose" for that set. Or Gundam sets where you'd have the one or two actual Gundams everyone would want, but the rest of the set'd be rife with GM Balls, Goufs, Guntanks, Guncannons & a generic, non-Char-awesome Zakus that no one wants. (Wow, that was a long explanation) This set almost hearkens back to that time in that, most of the figures are actually pretty cool, but there were a few inclusions that left me scratching my head.

For one, I know very few people that are huge fans of Megaman 7, and that game spawned a character named Bass/Forte. (Aside from MM7, he's a playable character in the pitiful - yet colorfully illustrated/animated - Rockman - The Power Battle, arcade games that are supposed to be a cross between a Megaman boss battle & a fighting game) He looks kinda fruity, like, "emo before his time", always with a constipated/angry look on his face. For some inexplicable reason, the set includes not just one, but two poses of Bass as a figure. Granted, they're both cool poses if you like him as a character, but I just think that wasting one of the designs in the set, let alone two, on him was really unwarranted.

I knew they'd obligatorily throw Roll in there, and when I first saw her, I thought to myself, "I hope that this isn't an indicator that they're not doing multiple sets of these." The "Super Modeling Soul" series has been done for many franchises before such as Street Fighter, Monster Hunter, etc, and some have followup sets, others don't. For instance, Street Fighter only has one, but Monster Hunter has 5, so... Anyway, I figured that perhaps they'd save a "background character" for a future set. I'm not a giant Roll fan, I'd rather have a Tron Bonne figure or Kobun/Servbots out the wazoo. I really hope there are more sets, and Japan being crazy about limited editions and collections, I hope there are enough sets to fill out every game in the series' lineup of boss chara. ^^

Again, I understand they wanted to round out the series' that belong to the Rockman universe, so having two Zeroes isn't a bad thing. The original Rockman, Rockman X, etc, are all represented, as well as Rockman Zero, and the inclusion of that game's version of Zero in this set was pretty cool, I think.

What was irritating was that, with the inclusion of X, they put in the original version, I would've much preferred the armored/powered-up version. And in the art for the X series, which is prominently featured on the box, you can see that the characters have rounded off eyes, so why do their figures have squared off eyes painted on them? It looks really bad and awkward. I think that was my absolute least favorite thing about this set. Honestly, I got a Rockman X & Zero figure set when I was in Japan in 1996 and their faces were done perfectly (and these were "cheap" 1000yen figures), so why is it that in 2010 with way more advanced production techniques, we can't have a properly painted eye? Speaking of, the whole set seems to suffer from poor metallic painting. The Rockman series has a certain art style, and there are lots of "ports" and "joints" with open ends metallically colored. All of these look kind of globbed on, take a look at the pictures. From painting models, I know that metallic paint "behaves" sort of differently, and especially on a mass production line, I'm guessing that was the case here, too.

The other big complaint I have is that the "classic" Megaman duo of figures come with Mets/Hardhats. My complaint isn't that, I love the Mets, they're practically mascots for the series. No, it's the fact that they're molded to the bases! And at an impossibly awkward angle at that! If you display the Megaman figures right next to them as you see in the pictures on the box, they don't fit so you can see both the Met and Megaman! It sucks!

It might sound like I don't like this set, but square eyes and awkward display angles aside, I like it. Despite including only 2 boss robots, they made good picks, and both of their sculpts actually make up for the crappy paint jobs on the X figures. Airman is excellently done, Cutman is wonderful, Blues/Protoman has a great sculpt & pose and the two classic Megamen convince me that I'm buying vintage from the 80s. =P

Again, I really hope there are more sets of these, as I'm sure they make a lot of profit from a franchise like Rockman. Especially considering that inexplicably they make so few figures based on the series. (The only reason these exist is because of MM's 25th anniversary, methinks)

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