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Mega Man X

by Shocka

Although in my youth I never owned an original Nintendo Entertainment System, I loved my SNES like crazy. Subsequently, I never got a chance to play the original classic Mega Man nor any of its sequels until the 16-bit spin-off Mega Man X. I remember enjoying it but finding it a breeze, not knowing about the original games' infamous difficulty until more recently when the deranged Mega Man 9 came to Xbox Live Arcade.

Mega Man has become something of a videogame icon, with his popularity reaching such heights that he's a major star in the next Smash Bros game, but the franchise has never been seen good toys - until now, with the amazing Bandai-Japan D-Arts releases. Both the original Mega Man and Mega Man X have seen gorgeous action figures, as well as the evil other Bass, amongst others from the Mega Man universe.

Mega Man X comes packaged in an excellent window box showing off the action figure inside as well as the numerous accessories. The pictures on the back and sides of the box show off the toy in various poses with different accessories, offering something of a "serving suggestion" on how you should display him on the shelf. This is consistent with all of the D-Arts action figures, though I note it's somewhat odd that none of them have images of the in-game character art, which would have shown off just how amazing the sculpts are for this line.

And Mega Man X is no exception - this is one gorgeous toy. The sculpt here is absolutely identical for the character, with all the right proportions and unique detailing, complete with the shoulder pads that really distinguish his design from the original Mega Man. Because of the relative simplicity of the 8- and 16-bit character designs of the NES and SNES era, there isn't a lot of individual detail in promotional images of the characters, but everything on this toy is beautifully sculpted to bring the 2D character into a 3D world, and it looks amazing. The fact that D-Arts, like the best Japanese toys, offers a large selection of interchangeable parts adds to the excellence, but we'll come to that in a moment.

The paint here is flawless; every section of the action figure features perfect paint detailing, usually relatively simple but incredibly effective, mixing the different metallic and non-metallic blues to create an amazing look. Mega Man X is a character of contrasts, with metallic blues contrasting joints to the light blues on the arms, midsection and legs; likewise the white gloves and lighter "human face" contrast harsh blacks which border the different blues. This is my favorite Mega Man design, and it's been perfectly captured here, with no overspray or mistakes at all. It's the high quality you expect from a Japanese toy of this caliber.

The articulation on Mega Man X is insane, and thanks to his design most of these joints are well-hidden. The expected joints at the shoulders, legs, wrist(s) and neck are complimented by double joints at the elbows and knees, and hidden articulation at the chest and pelvis. Because Mega Man X is nice and light he can stay in nearly any pose you throw at him and he's very durable, although like other D-Arts figures the joints will come apart. I actually prefer this to, say, NECA action figures, where the occasional break will ruin an amazing toy. And it leads into the almighty bounty that is the accessories.

Mega Man X comes to pieces in order to accomodate his many, many interchangeable parts. He includes three different faces, all of which look different levels of serious, then an interchangeable peg hole barrel piece for the X-Buster (his arm cannon) which either connects up to three firing yellow bullets, or a green charged shot, or simply shows off the red gem inside. The firing pieces can be adjusted to have Mega Man X firing only one of the yellow bullets or all three, and they're light enough to accomodate any pose, though the charged shot is heavier and may need some assistance to keep posed. Mega Man X also features an alternative arm piece replacing his X-Buster, so he can have two normal arms instead. There are four different hands, two for each arm: two clenched fists, and two open palms.

It's incredibly easy to change over any of these pieces, with no durability problems (though I do note that it's slightly more difficult to change the face pieces here than with other D-Arts or Figma action figures due to the force needed to get the front of his helmet off, though this is relatively minor) - all together this makes for a very fun, customisable and playable action figure.

I'm blown away by how much fun this action figure is. The many interchangeable parts alongside the terrific articulation give him so much poseability, and I love the blast effects, which even offer their own "articulation" in the way that they can be posed. Any flaws with the figure - the weight of the charged shot piece, or the lack of a display stand (either to have him posed in the air, or to assist with the weight of said charged blast effect ala the D-Arts Lizardon/Charizard) are insignifant compared to how excellent the toy is overall. I loved the classic Mega Man that D-Arts produced, but this guy blows him out of the water; Mega Man X fans have cause to celebrate.

-- 13/04/13

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