ZegaPain Altair from Bandai’s Robot Damashii

June 11, 2012

Today we’re going to look at another Japanese offering in the form of one of the robots from Bandai’s Robot Damashii, or The Robot Spirits, line.

Bandai is a name fairly familiar with toy collectors in the States, but over in Japan they are a major force.  In their Robot Damashii line, they offer robots from various anime, manga, and video games much in the same way the Revoltech line does.  Figures are generally of the 5″-6″ height, roughly 100-144th scale depending on the property, and feature high quality decos with superb articulation.  Today we’re gonna focus on the ZegaPain Altair offering.

First off, I have no idea what this is a toy of.  I have some vague notion that it’s from a Japanese exclusive video game, but I’m not sure if I actually read that somewhere or the voices in my head are lying to me again.  I love Japanese robots, but just don’t get into the Japanese Anime or video game scene.  That said, I get to come at a toy like ZegaPain with a completely clean slate with little preconceived notions.  This is also my first purchase from the Robot Damashii line, and while it may not be my favorite Japanese robot toy ever, I certainly am open to buying more from the line.

Packaging is the standard Japanese box with a plastic clamshell inside to hold the figure and accessories in place.  The design allows the toy to be taken out and put back without damaging the packaging.  Fairly generic artwork and pictures of the toy cover the packaging.  While fairly standard fare for a Japanese toy, it still is a very nice package.

ZegaPain stands about 5 1/2 inches tall, very comprable to Revoltech figures.  The first thing that stands out is the very striking deco of the robot.  It sports a lot of translucent emerald-green parts overlaying a silver, blue, navy, and gun-metal frame.  A couple of accents of red and yellow also adorn the figure.  A more yellow-green translucent plastic covers the “cone” section of the torso. The wing, shield, and blade accessories are cast in a translucent purple/pink color, with the arm beam effects in a bright blue translucent plastic.  Over all the coloring is very eye-catching and gives the figure a very futuristic/electronic vibe to it.

The actual robot itself kinda harkens to a Neon Genesis Evolution or Zone of Enders style to it.  The torso is very compact with long legs, and the large shoulders almost make the figure look headless.  The conical shape protruding from the chest gives a slight allusion to a jet cockpit.  The figure features a lot of rounded parts, as opposed to a cubed look that many robots go for.  The head shape mirrors the chest in that it is longer than tall, and features fins to give it an almost aquatic look.  There is a lot of sculpted detail visible through the translucent plastic, and the way the parts are joined together leaves the translucent parts free of any glue spots, unneccessary posts, and overall gives it a very clean streamlined look.

Accessories are numerous and include: 2 Back Wings, a clip on Shield, a Clip on Gun/Blade set up that allows the blades to be detached with another longer blade able to fit into the configuration, 2 Arm Beams, 2 circular arm Effect Rings, 2 pairs of Extra Hands, an Arm Cable, and a small female figurine who I assume is named Ryoko Kaminagi since that name is on the package.  She’s more than likely either the pilot or some sort of creepy love interest for the robot.  It’s Japanese, so it could go either way.  The accessories all fit fairly well.  The arm effect rings sit a bit loose when attached, but because they fit between the hand and the wrist, there is no worry of them falling off completely.  The arm cable to show a hand shooting out is especially keen.

Okay, articulation points.  Grab a coke, cause this is gonna take a while:

Ball Jointed Head, Shoulder swivel, shoulder ball joint, shoulder hinge joint.  Each shoulder pad is also hinged.  Bicep swivel.  Double hinged elbows.  Ball Joint wrists.  Ball Joint waist.  Back wings are on a swivel and attached to a sliding swivel.  Ball Joint hips.  Double hinge knees.  Double Ball Joint upper ankles.  Ball joint lower ankles.

The articulation is crazy.  The only missing articulation is weirdly the lack of leg swivel.  No swivel part at hip, thigh, or knee, which keeps this figure from having perfect articulation.  Of note are the ankle and shoulder assemblies.  The pegging system and double ball joints lead to crazy posability at these points, which also leads to very expressive stances.  Joints are loose enough to easily move while maintaining enough friction to hold and pose you put ZegaPain into.

Okay, so how does he stack up to a Revoltech figure?  Pretty well actually.  While I love the Revoltech rachet joint, I love seeing a mix of joints to achieve ultimate posability.  Paint on this particular robot is minimal, but I’m a sucker for translucent plastic, so from a deco standpoint, I love it.   While it’s different from Revoltech, there is no problem blending the two lines together.  He actually reminds me a lot of Microman figures with the translucent bits and crazy articulation.  So yeah, if you dig weird-looking robots, or just want to try something a bit different, I’d give Robot Damashii’s ZegaPain Altair a high review, especially since you can find this one on the cheap from a number of importers right now.


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