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Ninebeats avatar 5:24 PM on 12.13.2012  (server time)
Chess Piece Collection R Tiger and Bunny - Review

Actually, it's a bit more of a mouthful than that.
'Chess Piece Collection R Tiger and Bunny Volume 1'

The backdrops and diorama-ish details made these more interesting than many trading figure sets to me, so I got a box of them.

Don't worry! It didn't arrive half-squashed like that. The small boxes have thin card and lots of space in them, so they'd squash easily. Boxes are boldly colourful with a comic book style panels, fitting with the splashy text on the figures themselves. Blah blah blah, break 'em open!

Like you might expect, they come in pieces. Each part's bagged separately and any longer sections got bubble wrapped.

Mostly it's easy to suss out what goes where, with holes and pegs being asymmetric. The fit's decent, pieces snapping into place relatively firmly. Notable exceptions are Fire Emblem's backdrop where the hole only props the backdrop up, not holding it tight. And my Wild Tiger loses his arm pretty easily.

The figures of Barnaby and Kotetsu are trickier. On each of their bases there's two holes for them, and they've got to be placed so their bent arms fit against the backdrop and in each others space. These two can be placed side to side to make up a centre piece, so you've gotta turn them to get their elbows in the right place 'til they stand together neatly. I guess the pair of holes is in case you abandon the side-to-side pose and fancy changing up the angles some.

You might wanna stick with the side-on viewing though and keep the heroes in profile 'cause...

Uh, looking kinda odd there Barnaby.
The faces are a downside. Profile is easily the best angle for them, the only angle that doesn't push your face into this expression - : /
Kotetsu comes out best, just. Purely because he doesn't have glasses moulded as part of his hair, and sitting squint on his face.
The painting and detail is there, but at wonky angles.

Sky High is maybe the most complete figure - strong pose, the lilac shading has his costume looking a clean white, there's transparent elements representing his power and it includes his catchphrase. Details moulded, present and correct.

My favourite - the cleanest, neatest and most exciting. If in doubt - explosions. Shading and gradients look great and each small detail in the paint app is executed well.

Wild Tiger, managing to hang onto his arm for a few minutes.
This is one that makes me realise how much is going in some of these pieces. Transparency and translucence, crisp lettered decals, dramatic text AND a backdrop. The buildings are striped with yellow sprays which does the job when obscured and at a distance. The benday dots look surprisingly good, even close up.

Can you play chess with these when you've got pieces like Bunny lunging out of it's base and square to tear the other side's face off?
Another solid figure, even if the lower case R is a bit weird. I like the contrast of matte and gloss here, suggesting a soft, close-fitting layer underneath, with powered armour mounted on top.

The raised text on the plaques gives an issue, smudging or bleeding down the sides, or linking the letters stencil-style. A little flaw, but 'cause the text is shouting at you in all caps, it's noticeable.

Unlike the unfortunate faces, which can be disguised with profile views. That's the side-by-side pose where you've gotta angle them and their elbows juuust right.
The pedestals have symbols for the chess pieces printed on the back. The set of six divides into two teams, white and black.

Kotetsu on the white side, with Sky High and Fire Emblem.

Whilst Barnaby leads the black side and the newest heroes.

They're an eye-catching bunch, colourful, varied and dramatically posed. I'm well chuffed with them - recommended!
Megahouse's recent chess piece sets are pretty appealing to me generally. Both the Fate/Zero and HunterXHunter set had me, making me keen to try those series out. Saber's got plenty of fans - did anyone in the tomopopulus bite at the set featuring her?

Even individually these pieces grab your attention. It'd be interesting seeing what'd happen in a second volume, but seeing Kotetsu and Barnaby's faces here I'm kinda apprehensive - hopefully Blue Rose and Dragon Kid would get better faces.

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