Takara Kerberos ‘Panzer Cop’
Chuichi Koshiramaru


"The following is a guest review.  The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."

Regular review Jeff Parker is back tonight with another great sixth scale review - take it away, Jeff!

I have been getting withdrawal symptoms, don’t get me wrong I’ve still been buying those accursed 1/6 figures, and as 2007 has been officially titled ‘war on the wallet’ for all 12” collectors I have had little choice, those darn toy companies just keep churning out one quality figure after another, what’s a plastic crack addict to do.

No, my withdrawal has been caused by my lack of time available to sit down and write a review, which makes my admiration for ‘The Crawfmeister’ even bigger. How Michael manages four reviews a week, has a day job, a wife, a family and stays sane is beyond me.

Any way back to the matter in hand, this is Takara’s second release of their GenXcore body (the first being Batman Begins), and is a great companion piece to go with Kerberos, Midori Washio, that they released as a Cool/Cy girl a couple of years ago, which I reviewed here.

Packaging - ***
This is a lovely bit of graphic design, the front bears a rather arty close up photograph of a real MG34 machine gun and the back has a picture of the Kerberos division badge/crest over a photo of a wolfs head (signifying the wolf brigade). The title this figure is given is, and I quote: - “Kerberos Saga, protect gear, Metropolitan Police riot squad rushing into member, Chuichi Koshiramaru”. Now this is obviously somewhat lost in translation, I would imagine they mean ‘rapid response unit’ but I kind of like ‘rushing into member’ 
By Takara’s usual standards it’s pretty collector friendly too, gone is the annoying tray on the inside flap that you had to rip open and destroy the box to get to. Now you simply have two trays facing each other, one deep for the figure and one shallower for his armour and accessories, much like many of Hot Toys boxes and SST Star Wars line, and like the Star Wars line a magnet is used to hold it shut. When you first open don’t panic (like I did) it appears various pieces are missing from the tray on the figure side. But all those bits are now situated in the accessory tray opposite. They obviously decided to re-distribute the accessories after production had started and used the old tray.

Sculpting - ****
This guy comes with a pretty generic head, looking vaguely Western, vaguely Asian and extremely arrogant. But as he also comes with a full set of Kerberos ‘Protect Gear’ armour, I don’t think many people will be looking at this particular face. Where the sculpting shines is on that amazingly intricate armour, comprising of reinforced boots, shin guards, flank guards (with holster attachment and without), codpiece, gloved hands (7 different sculpts), forearm guards (with shield attached to left arm), shoulder protectors, upper torso armour, comprising of chest-plate and back-plate, to which is attached a life support backpack and mounted on top of this is an armoured ammunition drum through which is fed his belted ammunition. This is then all crowned with a very cool/sinister full-face respirator mask (with red glass lenses) and German Storm-trooper style helmet. Many of the pieces have hinges, buckles and other articulated elements.

At this point I’d like to thank ‘Edwint’ a friend from over on the Medi-world board for letting me use his as always excellent photographs, (the ones with the white background) hopefully my photos will help as well, and do justice to this figures detailing, but as anyone who’s tried will tell you, getting decent photo’s with good contrast of an all black figure can be pretty tough (But if you need more to wet your appetite check out this other link for some more cool pics). 

Paint - ***
There really is very little paint used here, basically just his head and a few details on his guns and ammo. However, it may be little in quantity but the quality is spot on.

Articulation - ***1/2
As I said above, this is only the second release using the GenXcore body, and a very fine body it is too. Sadly, still not quite as poseable as the Medicom RAH301, but just as good as the new Hot Toys body, but with slightly better proportions across the shoulders and heightened ankle mobility.

And where both this and the Hot Toys bodies improve on the RAH301 is they feel much more robust. And as we keep hearing horror stories of how Medicom figures keep ‘falling apart’ in peoples hands that ain’t no bad thing.

Maybe Sideshow should develop a new body with Medicom, as they sell each others products a common body would make a lot of sense. I’ve never had a SST body fall apart on me, but they don’t pose well (to put it mildly), whereas Medicom bods look freaking awesome but fall apart if you look at them funny. It would make swapping clothes and accessories a lot easier too… But back to the matter at hand.

Accessories - ****
This guy only comes with two guns, but oh, what guns! He has a Mauser which is exactly the same as Midori’s from the last release, but he also packs a MG34 belt fed machine gun, the detailing on this is very cool it has quite a few articulated elements including a spring loaded re-coil and he poses with it fantastically. You also get a sheet of decals to customize your figure. I’m afraid I wimped out again; as I have no plans to ever sell this figure, but I like to keep them reasonably box fresh.

I have to admit I was in two minds whether to include the backpack as an accessory, and in many ways I guess it is, but as it’s also an intrinsic part of the figures over all look I put it in outfit.

Outfit - ****
Well I already listed his armour panels in sculpting. But beneath the armour is a multi-layered cloth and pleather suit, he wears soft pleather boots with reinforced toe and ankle guards, a vest, trousers, jacket and a flack vest with solid shoulder points onto which attach his articulate armadillo shoulder armour and lastly a soft balaclava. All in all, this entire outfit is incredibly well thought through and has to get top marks. As even when he is fully kitted up his articulation is great.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
This figure was $150 to $199 when it came out just before Christmas, now, a whole five months later it goes on eBay for between $250 to $500 (I kid you not) So while I’m sure any kid could have a lot of fun with this figure, it ain’t likely that’s gonna happen!  However as a poseable display figure it doesn’t get much better.

Value - ***
This is a sticky wicket, as at the end of the day it’s an (albeit very nice) G.I Joe for well over 100 bucks, but If you picked it up for $150 or less on pre-order I think you’d be a very happy bunny. You truly are getting your moneys worth (not something you can often say about a figure at this price point) but I’d say knock a star off for every $40 you pay over that. I certainly wouldn’t pay $500 for a figure…yet, but money is a very relative thing, whilst I’d fret and feel guilty spending that much, the Sultan of Brunei ain’t gonna lose any sleep, so it’s up to you.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Lots of fragile bits, so treat with care, but no actual problems.

Overall - ****
This figure just stands there on the shelf screaming 4 stars at you. It absolutely has to be 4 stars! I don’t care what anyone says, IT IS ART!

Packaging - ***
Sculpt - ****
Paint - ***
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - ****
Outfit - ****
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - ***
Overall - ****

Where to Buy - 
I got mine from my most used and most trusted Hong Kong supplier Charles on eBay you’ll find him under Charlesay and Kidultgarden.

I would imagine most bricks and mortar shops sold out ages ago, and his eBay price is skyrocketing, and as he was made in smaller quantities than their Batman it isn’t surprising. There is hope however, as this is the first Kerberos figure in a series that will eventually swell to four or five figures, so remember, good things come to those who wait.


Figure from the collection of Jeff Parker and Edwint.

This page copyright 2003, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour