Astro Boy and Atlas


King Randor steps up tonight with a great guest review of the new Astro Boy figures - take it away, your majesty!

Ask many people, 30 or older, if they remember a cartoon named Astro Boy, and chances are theyíll say yes, fondly. Astro Boy was apparently one of the first anime cartoons that came over to US. Well, Astro Boy is back, now, with a new cartoon, and new figures from Bandai, to boot. I was overall very impressed with the new cartoon, I definitely want it when it comes out on DVD, and so yes, I decided to pick up a few of the figures, recently. Here, we have Astro Boy, and Atlas.

Packaging - ****
OK, this is NICE packaging,. Shows the figure, and it looks great doing it. Has that retro futuristic look to it which ya gotta loveÖat least I do.

Sculpting - Astro Boy ****, Atlas ***
To me, Astro Boy is PERFECT. From that Ď50s style hairdo, to the slightly pissed expression on his face, to the look of the hands, the torso, and the boots, this is a DEAD WRINGER. NO IMPROVEMENT NEEDED.

Atlas, on the other hand, while STILL a really nice looking figure, I just COULDNíT give as high a score to. Why, you may ask- letís start with the scale between him and Astro. Whilst they ARE in scale with each other, in the cartoon, their heads are the same size as each other. 

Now, I understand Atlasís had to be a bit smaller since has that huge helmet, but to me, it was still thrown off a bit. The other point has to do more with articulation, but it DOES effect the sculpt of it. I guess THAT Iíll explain later.

Paint - Astro Boy ****, Atlas ***Ĺ
The paint job on Astro Boy is next to perfect. Whatever paint bleed there IS itís in an area you wouldnít even look anyway, and itís EXTREMELY minor ( like some underneath his torso plate). Otherwise, everything is nice and clean. The Paint wash job- NOT A SINGLE PROBLEM. Itís just perfect. 

Atlas, on the other hand, while a pretty good job, has several more, and sadly VERY noticeable areas with paint bleed- like all over his boots. Sadly, it IS that noticeable. However, most other parts of his body are nice and clean, so that I was happy about. And once again, NO problems with paint wash.

Articulation - Astro Boy **Ĺ, Atlast **
Ok, HEREíS the area that REALLY takes a hit. 

Astro has shoulders, wrist, pelvis, and knee articulation. Now, had the shoulders been ball-jointed, Iíd have loved it- sorry, they arenĎt. What about the head, you ask? Iíd love to tell you, but it seems so solid, Iím afraid that if I try and turn it, itíll break off. Well, for the sake of this review, you may ask again, will I be nice enough to break it off JUST for you to prove it to ya? To that, I ask YOU a question- are you willing to pay for another Astro Boy figure for me, to find out? 

Now, remember what I said about Atlas? Ok, hereís the scoop- much like Astro, he has shoulders, wrists, pelvis, and knee articulation. Unfortunately, due to the way heís sculpted, it REALLY hurts the overall look. I think even Al Gore looked more lifelike, sadly.

Accessories - Astro Boy **, Atlas **Ĺ
For once, Astro actually takes a bit of a hit over Atlas. Astro comes with an alternate torso- a transparent torso, If you will. And my question isÖwhy? Iím glad he came with something, but it doesnít make any sense to me. I WILL confess that I havenít been watching the show as of late, and maybe itís something new he got, but I think itís just overall pointless.

Now, as for Atlas, HE gets some accessories. So why the low score? Well, itís all about what you THINK of those accessories. Atlas comes with four electric bolts that attach to the transmitters on top of his helmet. Now, on the package, they look great. When you actually put them ON himÖwell, thatís up to YOU to decide. Part of me thinks they look kinda cool, part of me thinks they just look downright goofy.

Both figures come with a card. Each card illustrates a different tech spec of Astro Boyís mechanics- didnít really amaze me, but Astro Boy HARDCORE FANS will probably love it.

Action Feature - Astro Boy ***Ĺ, Atlas ***
Astro Boy and Atlas BOTH have a pretty nifty action feature- light up eyes. Itís simple, yet looks REALLY great, truthfully. The thing is, somehow it just seems to work SO much better for Astro Boy than it does for Atlas. Maybe itís just the way Atlas is sculpted or something, but Astro Boyís glowing eyes just emit wonder, while AtlasÖwell, itís still a nice touch.

Value - **1/2
I paid $6.99 each for them- of course I bought them at Suncoast on a RePlay Triple Point weekend, so I made out better than most will, but I donít think THESE will be too much cheaper elsewhere, truthfully. I say, knock Ďem down about $2 each, and thatís MUCH more appropriate.

Overall - Astro Boy ***, Atlas **Ĺ
I was really looking forward to these figures, and they really DO look great, but they SO severely lack, and thatís why I had to give them the score I did. Kidsíll probably like Ďem- though the figures DO suffer from severe articulation issues. Collectors, unless theyíre hardcore completists, will likely pass on them, and I donít blame them. Seriously, at the price of these figures, itís really your call- is it worth the $5-6.99, or not?

Unfortunately, Suncoast and the other Musicland Affiliates are the only stores Iíve successfully found the figures at, as of now, so I canít really give you a heads up on anywhere else to look. But Iím sure youíll see Ďem elsewhere, soon enough.

Figure from the collection of King Randor.

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