While I'm not the foremost expert on robots, I have bought and played with quite a few in my day. For the most part, I have the most experience with Kaiyodo's Revoltech line, which for me have been the cheapest and easiest to get amongst the robots poseable. However, in recent months I've had the pleasure in experience mechs from the Robot Damashii and Super Robot Chogokin lines, which have proven to be vastly superior in overall quality, accessory choice and the sheer ability to put it any position that I desire.
Thanks to Bluefin Distribution, I can add the Composite Ver. Ka. line to my toy experience. While not every toy in the line is perfect (as you'll read in future reviews), the Ver. Ka. Exbein Bluefin sent me is the best non-diecast robot I've had the pleasure of getting my hands on. Hit the jump to find out why.
Yep. That there is a box. It's bright and there are a lot of words on it. I doubt you'd be able to miss this if you see it in person, as the white and blue pop out well. The white text on the plastic screen will not let you forget that this is from the Compost Ver. Ka line and that this is indeed the Exbein that you are looking for. Enough of these shenanigans; on to the 'bot of the hour!
Halt! Stoppen! Cesser! Parada! Before you get started rocking out with your new toy, it would behoove you to read the instructions. Granted, most of the stuff with the Exbein is pretty intuitive, but there were a couple of things that I found out only through deciphering the Japanese on this double-sided sheet of paper. This included how to get the blood rifles attached to the Exbein's hands as well as the various ways the boomerang-like device in the header can be used. For your sake, do NOT lose this.
OK, so you have your instructions and you're ready to take this bad boy out of the plastic. You open the box and this is the first thing you see.
Whoa, that's a lot of plastic. That's also a lot of accessories. From this photo, you can see that there are four pairs of hands, two rifles, a buzz saw, two beam sabers, a flight pack and a couple of wrist attachments. This is definitely the most feature packed set I've gotten my hands on. No matter how you like to pose your mechs, whether with melee or firearm, you'll be sure to find something here that'll tickle your fancy.
I think the Exbein is also ready to get out of the plastic.
Aww yeah, he's ready to party. As you can see, he looks pretty good on his own. Minus the flight pack, he's a pretty lithe guy. Bandai has done a great job making him feel as solid as plastic can be. Despite the somewhat delicate look that mecha designer Katoki has given the Exbein, rest assured that he'll be able to take just about anything you can dish out. He's also phenomenally well-balanced and is given plenty of articulation.
Here, the Exbein goes for a jog, showing the people how well he can be put in a non-standard position. I'd also like to note how good the articulation feels. By that, I mean his joints move smoothly and don't feel like they're going to pop off at a moments notice. I'm consistently worried that my Revoltechs are going to either topple over or that I'm going to snap off their joints. The ball socket thing the Exbein has going for it ensures that you'll be able to move the sucker wherever you want.
As nice as he looks naked, the Exbein isn't complete without the flight pack. What good is a super robot without the ability to fly?!? Let's fix that post haste. With a slight push into a square hole, the flight pack slips in with no problem.
Other photos will show how the pack looks as a whole, but I wanted to show you a nice bit of detail. Ver. Kas are known for their abundance of logos, decals and/or tattoos, as evident by Andres' review of Katoki's Gurren Lagann. While I'm personally not bothered by the extra text and markings, there are a few folks out there that are. That said, I feel that the decals add more to the figure, making it look like it's just out of R&D and ready to rock some faces off.
We've got a couple things here. First, you'll notice that I've got the Exbein on it's base. Through a hole in its crotch, you can have it set up in various hovering poses like you see here. There's another hole that would allow you to have it in a diving position, but my peg couldn't fit in it properly. Whether that hole is supposed to be for something else or the factory didn't make it big enough, I don't know. All I know is I can't have it diving forward firing its guns and that makes me sad. It isn't a deal breaker, but it annoyed me enough to make it worth mentioning.
Second, I've got this Gundam-lookalike wielding two beam sabers. You can have the Exbein going Florentine a la Star Driver or have the blades tucked into one of the wrist holders. You'll see in one of the gallery photos how the Exbein can have the blade shooting out of its wrist, freeing up the hand for other combative moves.
This tight shot shows off the two giant rifles that come in the box. Either hand can use either gun, but proper handling requires removal of the handle to affix a hand onto the weapon. It looks messy, but it works. Another great thing about this figure is that the arms can actually hold up the guns with little problem. Most toys with large weapons have problems holding them up, but that isn't present here.
So in summary, the Exbein is one of, if not the best mech I've had my hands on. A combination of a sturdy build, wide poseability, a multitude of accessories and great visual style make it well worth the scratch. Here comes one of the few negatives here: the Exbein ain't cheap. Lower end mechs in the Revoltech line will run you somewhere in the US$30 range, but this guy is going to cost you in the range of US$50 to US$70 depending on sales. However, for that price, you're getting one of the best toys out there in the market. If you identify yourself as a fan of robots, you do yourself a disservice by not having this in you collection.
[Once again, a big thank you goes out to Bluefin Distribution for providing this gem for review.]
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