Now Bandai is at it again, launching a new D-Arts poseable figure series, with good old X as the first in the line. How does it measure up? A decade later, is it a worthy follow up to one of my favorite toy series ever?
Short answer: heck yes. For the long answer: check out all the juicy details after the break!
Figure Name: D-Arts Rockman X
Figure Maker: Bandai
Retail Price: US$39.99 or ¥3,300
Available At: Entertainment Earth, HobbyLink Japan
First, you'll notice that the box keeps the overall blue, red, and gold color scheme associated with the logo of the game. The front window shows off the contents and has a pretty neat stylized X over it. The D-Arts logo is on the right side, and as the first entry in this line it's safe to assume we'll see similar layouts in the future. And of course, it has an official Capcom sticker on it, depicting classic Mega Man's head.
On the back we see some very cool figure shots, along with a bit of technobabble regarding X's construction. You also get to see a nice side-by-side comparison of his three expressions. All in all it's some really nice packaging, and show's that Bandai knows that when dealing with such a beloved series, it's worth doing every little thing right.
He looks really great right out of the box, and he quickly impressed me with the smooth articulation. The great thing about mechanical characters is that the joints don't look out of place like they do on humans, and X looks just like he should. Most of the ball joints holding him together are covered by the dark grey rings you can see on his elbows and hips.
Speaking of joints, the D-Arts line seems to have some unusual ones. Taking the blue guy apart revealed just what they look like, and you can see the results below:
The hands and feet are attached to swivelling ball joints, while the leg and forearm are connected by some strange prong looking things. While the parts all stayed together quite well during posing, and the hands and arms are meant to switch out easily, the leg and foot gave me a little trouble when it came time to reattach them. I got them back on eventually, but due to the shape and location of the joints you have to wiggle them around blindly a bit and hope they get into the right place.
Also, see that light blue part of his torso? That is connected to both the hip part and chest part on ball joints, giving him a really great degree of articulation. His neck also similarly has joints where it connects to his head and body, making this a very bendy figure indeed.
Unfortunately he's not quite bendy enough to do the dash pose, but I tried. His leg just won't go high enough or his body far forward enough. But enough about poseability, on to accessories!
X comes with a really cool looking set of three regular shots stuck together. Three has always been the number of regular shots that any version of Mega Man can have on screen at one time and figures often come with three shots. The part of the shot that's flashing back over the X Buster is actually separate and can be removed in case you want to attach the shot without it.
Unfortunately, the charged shot is quite heavy and while it looks really cool, you can see how it makes X's arm droop when attached. You might be able to use his other arm to stabilize his cannon, but I doubt that you'll ever be able to stick the charge shot straight out without some sagging.
Here you can also see his open mouth angry face. While his face looks consistent through all his different expressions, and each sculpt and paint job is quite nice, he looks super pissed all the time! The X series is a bit darker than classic so he's not going to have and jubilant expressions, but something other than angry and angrier would have been appreciated.
Here's X showing his teeth gritting angry face while jumping through the foliage while a ghost hand holds him up. There are actually two different tips to the X Buster. The one that you see here has a red gem in it and is meant to be the default when no shot is attached. There is a separate one that has no red gem and extra space for the pegs on the shot attachments. The gap between the buster and the tip is a little small, so I had to use my pocket knife to pry it off whenever I wanted to change it out. You also need to do this to pry off the front of his helmet to change the faces, and I was worried that doing this constantly for the photo shoot would scratch the plastic, but with some care that can be avoided.
Unfortunately, there is a scratch on the red gem in his right 'ear' as you can see here. It came this way and I have no idea how a recessed part like that got scratched, but it did. Fortunately you can't really see it unless you're looking for it. Take a look at how nice his eye looks, though! Very sharp paint job on the face.
The only other problem area is here on his right arm, where the light blue paint is a bit smudged near his shoulder. This is minor, and depending on the pose is also hard to see. Given the high quality of the figure overall, neither of these defects should be considered deal breakers.
Compared to the old Mega Armor version of X, the D-Arts line has proportionally smaller helmet, shoulder, and buster pieces, with longer and skinner legs and torso. There is better contrast between the light and dark blues of the armor, and the D-Arts open hand sculpt also looks much nicer, with dramatically splayed fingers for more posing possibilities.
While it may seem that I've given equal time to the positives and negatives of this figure in the review, that doesn't mean that they're equally weighted. This is overall a fantastic figure that had me smiling from ear to ear whenever I handled it, and I can't wait to see more from the D-Arts series. The news of an upcoming Zero nearly gave me a heart attack, and I fully plan on getting it and all subsequent figures.
Buy it, or X will come after you!Photo Gallery: (16 images)
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