These are not to be confused with the Palisades Micronaut line. Somewhere
after Mego stopped producing the Micronauts, the name splintered off and
became a separate entity. The Palisades figures are reissues of the
Americanized Micronaut line… this is a brand new generation of the
original Microman line.
Harry: Gatchaman (or as it is better
known in the U.S. - "Battle Of The Planets") is one of the true
classics of Japanese Animation. Gatchaman/ Battle Of The Planets is
currently seeing a big of a resurgence after it's original premier in the
mid-70's; an Alex Ross comic book series, DVD re-issues, Gatchaman-themed
advertising campaigns, talk of a new TV series and, of course, tons and tons
of new toys from the likes of Jun Planning, Bandai, Medicom and Diamond
Direct. (For a Gatchaman-completist like me all of this is a blessing and a
curse!) This Gatchaman figure is my latest (and greatest) find - it's the
toy I've been hoping to find since I first started collecting Gatchaman stuff
almost twenty years ago.
This preview figure is part of the new "MicroMan Tatsunoko Studio Hero Collection". There will be a total of five
figures; Gatchaman, Casshan, Polymar, Tekkaman and Voltar.
Packaging - Baimun says **1/2, Harry says
Baimun: Each Microforce figure finds its way to our shores in a tiny, translucent
tube. These are very unique and eye catching, but make it difficult to distinguish each different character except for the color of the insert and
figure. All the accessories that are unique to each figure are in tiny
plastic bags hidden on inside of the cardboard insert sleeve that the
figures are strapped to like a futuristic Frankenstein’s laboratory table.
Actually, the figures inside these tiny capsules almost look like astronauts
in tiny hibernation chambers.
Harry: The packaging of this figure
is the one sore spot for me. The package promotes a minimal amount of waste
but does a very poor job of highlighting all of the great things this figure
has to offer.
- Baimun says ***1/2, Harry says ***1/2
Baimun: Although the body design is purposefully left universally generic, the
musculature is quite well defined, well proportioned and does a good job of
hiding much of the figure’s amazing articulation. The joints are all tight
fitting with a gap tolerance that would make Marvel Legends Spiderman go
crying to Aunt May.
The only painfully exposed signs of construction are the four tiny Phillips
screws on the inner thighs and calves. The best part about these screws is
that any industrious collector with an eyeglass screwdriver can open up a
leg and use a tiny bit of tape or glue to tighten up any loose leg joints.
This neat little bonus is what allows my vintage Pharoid from the 70’s to
stand next to his new relatives instead of lying around like a rag doll.
Each figure has a uniquely designed head sculpt
and Mark’s helmet even includes the antenna out the back, and a
translucent “beak” visor.
Harry: This figure is just a tad
angular. Not nearly as clunky as a Micronaut, of which this figure is a
distant cousin of, but just a bit. Being as this is part of the new 'Microman'
line I'm sure it is a stylistic choice so I can live with it.
If I had to find one tiny complaint it would be that the plastic cape does
prevents a bit of movement.
Paint - Baimun says ***, Harry says ****
Baimun: Considering these figures are smaller than some action figures accessories,
the paint is very cleanly and evenly applied. Complimentary opaque colors
create interesting designs on the translucent arms, legs, and torsos of the
Microforce figures. All of the assorted hands are molded in a solid color
that is matched quite well with the paint on the figure.
Harry: There were probably lots of
little area's they could have skipped on this figures paint job, but they
didn't. The 'G' on his belt buckle, the Gatchaman insignia, the eyes on his
helmet, the details on his sword and sonic boomerangs, everything's spot on.
This figure has an angular line motif, almost like body armor, that wasn't a part of the original late-70's character design.
This is a stylistic choice that is a bit like Gatchaman's mid-90's OVA
series and recent Tower Records Japan commercial campaign. It looks great.
Articulation - Baimun says ****, Harry
Baiumn: All the figures share a revolutionary new body design and come equipped
with accessories including a half dozen pairs of interchangeable hands.
Takara has managed to pack all the articulation you would expect from a
12” Dragon or BBI figure, or even a 7” Marvel Legends figure, in a
figure that less than 4 inches tall! Ball jointed neck, shoulders, chest,
torso, thighs, and ankles are matched up with pivots in the biceps,
forearms, wrists, waist, thighs, upper ankle, as well as twin jointed
elbows and knees that allow arms that can fold in half to touch the
shoulder, and the legs to bend in a full squat.
The twin ball joints in each shoulder allow
the arms to shrug forward, back, up, or down as well as rotate all the way
around. Most of the wrist joints pivot vertically, but one pair or
gripping hands is actually jointed horizontally to allow swords to be held
in full fencing styles.
Harry: I'm never exactly quite sure
how you count all the joints up but least 26. 26 points of articulation on
a 3 3/4" figure!! Michael, do you allow for bonus points?
Accessories - Baimun says ***1/2, Harry
Baimun: These tiny soldiers are loaded to the teeth with more accessories then they
can carry. Each Microforce figure comes with 5 additional pairs of hands
(trigger hands, fists, open hands, karate chop, as well as the pair of
gripping hands with vertical pivots and the grippers with horizontal
joints.) All the bandoliers, swords, knives, guns, and holsters are chrome
plated like the heads and are well detailed for their size.
Ninja comes with what is arguably the
tiniest functional accessory every included on an action figure. His
bandolier has a removable holster on the front…. On the inside of this
pocket are two pins holding two removable three-pointed throwing stars. Each
throwing star is less than half a centimeter across… and could hide under
a dime without touching each other.
Mark comes with the previously mentioned
hands, a sword, bracelet, throwing blade holster, open blade, closed blade,
and a four piece cape. This cape makes the figure appear deceptively
different from its translucent micro-brethren.
Harry: Did you see the picture? A
cape, communicator wrist band, belt pouch, Gatcha-Fencer sword, two
sonic boomerangs and five additional sets of hands. All of the accessories
are well sculpted and of high quality plastic. It really adds up for a
myriad of display possibilities and just plain fun!
Value - Baimun got lazy, Harry says ****
Harry: So we have an imported Japanese figure from a classic series
with 20 accessories and (at least) 26 points of articulation - How much
would you pay? How about $5.49. Four more stars!
Overall - Both give them a big ****
Baimun: These figures are simply amazing. From the humbling amount of articulation
to the generous assortment of interchangeable parts and accessories… these
figures are more posable and have more personality than Stikfas, and at
around $5.00 street price, are a bargain. It would not surprise me one bit
if these take the place of Kubricks and Stikfas as the platform of choice
for customizers. I might just have to go back to the store, buy an entire
case of these little gems, and start my own Microforce Army.
Harry: (As I'm sure you can tell) I
love this toy! A classic anime character with a great sculpt, high quality,
tons of accessories and lots of movement for a superb price. The most fun
and enjoyment I've had with a toy in a long time.