Hexa Gear Governors – Rose and Zoanthrope – Review

INTRODUCTION:

We’re venturing into some more model kit territory for the table top this time around.  Here we have two figures from Kotobukiya’s Hexa Gear line – Rose and Zoanthrope.  The Hexa Gear line features different robotic style vehicles and figures that come in model kits that need assembly.  With most model kits these days, it’s possible to have completed kits that look fairly decent but to get the most out of the end result, you’ll have to apply paint and decals.

The two figures I have here are the Governor types, and they are the figures that can be used as pilots/drivers for the Hexa Gear vehicles.  These Governor figures have a certain “designated” vehicle that they can pilot, but they seem to be pretty interchangeable between vehicles which is nice.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS:

Don’t let the advertising/promotional photos fool you – these figures are tiny, even when compared to some of the other smaller figures in my collection.  Their scale comes in at around 1:24 which puts them at a much smaller size than GI Joe figures (around 1:18 scale or 3 ¾ inch size if you’re not familiar with that comparison).

You can really get a sense for how tiny these figures are when placed next to the trusty 375mL Drink Can of Comparison. While Zoanthrope is seen as a more bulky, beast-like style unit, Rose appears to be the more speedy/nimble cyber-ninja style unit. I get a real Briareos and Deunan (from the Appleseed franchise) sort of vibe with this pairing.

It’s also worth noting that although these figures are quite small, they’re proving to be lots of fun.  There’s plenty of detail to be had here and each figure has its own distinct style. They each have a sort of mechanical/cybernetic feel to them which is pretty cool.

Once completed, the figures look pretty good as is, but to get the most out of them, you’ll have to apply some paint. While most Kotobukiya model kits don’t require glue, I found that I did have to apply a small amount of glue to some of the more tiny/fiddly pieces to make sure they wouldn’t pop off during any routine movements.

You know, I thought this thing would be smaller.

ACCESSORIES:

While Zoanthrope only comes with his two large sword/cleaver things, the clear winner when it comes to weaponry here is RoseRose comes with a katana-style sword and two bladed handguns.  The sword and guns come as individual pieces as well as pieces that have been molded into a left or right hand.  This allows for Rose to have a gun/sword combination, as well as dual-wield her weapons.  With both of Rose‘s hands full with her molded-in weapons, it allows for her to lend her spare weapons to other figures which is a handy addition.

While Zoanthrope doesn’t have any molded-in weapons, he does have interchangeable sets of hands that consist of left and right weapon/item holding, open hands, and closed fists. Rose also has a similar set of plain hands, except that her open hands are more flat unlike Zoanthrope’s which are more claw-like which fits in with his more beastly appearance.

Each figure also has a hexagonal port in their backs that can be used for things such as extra weapon options, or to attach some sort of display stand (not included, unfortunately).

ARTICULATION:

I think this is where these figures really shine.  Despite their diminutive stature, these figures can be just as expressive as their much larger counterparts. The only thing that annoys me though, is that the hands like to pop off when you’re trying to move the arms around and in to position. It’s nothing too major and it’s not a definite deal-breaker but it’s something to be mindful of.

Both figures have a ball jointed neck which allows for full rotation, but only a slight tilt in the left-right and back-forward directions.  Zoanthrope’s spikes/mane tends to get in the way of his head movements, while Rose’s long ponytail can also get in the way of hers. While the ponytail connects to the back of her head with a ball joint which offers some degree of articulation, there’s only so much that you can do with it due to its shape. You can always replace the long ponytail with the pinned-up hairpiece instead if it gets too annoying.

What do you think?… Is it me?…

They both have ball joints at the shoulders, coupled with a bicep swivel and hinged elbows.  While Rose’s wrists end in a ball joint for her hands to connect to, Zoanthrope’s wrists have a socket for his hands to plug into. Their torsos have a dual ball joint system which connects to the upper torso and the hips. The legs connect to the hips with ball joints which offers a fairly decent range of movement (my Zoanthrope’s hip joints are a little bit loose but that’s an easy fix). They also each have a sneaky thigh swivel hidden underneath their armour which helps with movement and posing.

They both have hinges at the knees, but Zoanthrope’s ankles have a ball joint that plugs into his feet which helps him keep his feet planted for most poses, whereas Rose’s ankles just have a hinge which gives no rotation and no sort of ankle rocker to help with poseability which is sort of an odd decision considering that a decent ball joint would have been just as effective if not better. Again, it’s a minor thing and something that I wouldn’t consider as being a deal-breaker given the smaller size we have here.

CONCLUSION:

My return to model kit land has yielded a much better result than my last outing (looking at you, Ms. Siegfried!). It can be difficult to find figures this size with this much articulation.  Unlike other toys/figures in my collection (e.g. Transformers) the Hexa Gear range is more suited towards the model building fans, rather than the action figure fans.  They definitely have that desktop “pick up and play” feel to them (especially since they’re pretty much dwarfed by your average desktop office supplies).  Knowing what size these figures are also helps to roughly gauge how big some of their vehicles will be, which might be something for me to consider in the near future.

Check it out! I’m a plane!
Wheeee~~

I’m pretty happy with these figures, but again, given their small size I wouldn’t really consider them to be great value for money. I guess it all depends on how much you’re willing to spend on figures such as these, as well as your affinity towards model kits.  That being said, I’ve been having quite a lot of fun with these guys and ultimately, isn’t that what toy collecting is all about?

Rose and Zoanthrope can be found at the links below along with other figures in the Hexa Gear range.

Mind if I have a look at that?
Sure, here you go.
Not too heavy?
I don’t know what you’re worried about. It feels like there’s nothing there.
Oh…

Revol Mini Cyborg Ninja and Solid Snake – Review

Introduction:

ninja-and-snake
Ninja and Snake – together at last!

From the smash-hit PlayStation game “Metal Gear Solid” comes the Revol Mini versions of Solid Snake and Cyborg Ninja.  I remember spending a lot of time playing “Metal Gear Solid” (in my younger days of course :P) and to finally have figures of these two is something that I’ve been eagerly anticipating, so on with the review!

First Impressions:

Face off!
Face off!

One of the first things that you may notice straight out of the box is that they’re fairly detailed for such small figures – roughly in scale with G.I. Joes, and their overall look feels more stylised.  The joints move smoothly considering the Revol Mini line is an offshoot of Revoltech, whose figures feature joints that have a “ratchety”feel to them and click when moved. Both of them are able to hold poses very well and feel like figures you might like to have at your work desk and just pick up and play with and try all sorts of poses and scenes.

Accessories:

Featured in Snake’s package are his FAMAS assault rifle, his trusty SOCOM pistol with silencer (which can be removed), left and right closed fists, left and right hands for holding weapons, and an open left hand that’s able to hold his cigarette.  He also comes with binoculars, a claymore mine with trigger switch and cable, a clear disc to assist with standing, and a tool to adjust his eyes.  It might not look like it at first but the eyes are actually adjustable.  He can also equip Cyborg Ninja’s arm laser.

 

Snake's Gear
Snake’s Gear

FAMAS Assault Rifle
FAMAS Assault Rifle

SOCOM Pistol with Removable Silencer
SOCOM Pistol with Removable Silencer

Cigarette Break
Cigarette Break

Featured in Cyborg Ninja’s package are his sword, left and right closed fists, left and right open hands, a gripping hand for his sword, a clear plastic disc for him to stand on, and a laser gun that slips over his forearm (once you remove his hand of course).

Ninja's Gear
Ninja’s Gear

Ninja's Sword
Ninja’s Sword

Ninja's Forearm Laser Gun
Ninja’s Forearm Laser Gun

Articulation:

They both have a reasonably large range of movement for such small figures, and are quite capable of replicating some of their more iconic poses.  The joints at the shoulders, elbows, knees and ankles make posing effortless.  One issue you may encounter, however, is that while they are able to do some pretty dynamic posing, the way that their legs have been sculpted means that they are pretty much unable to stand in a neutral position with their legs together.  In short – they’re bow-legged.  The joints in the neck, torso and hips also have a good range of movement without seeming too exaggerated.  It’s really easy to make them as expressive as you want them to be, and with the added benefit of Snake’s adjustable eyes it helps to create even more possibilities.

375mL drink can for scale
375mL drink can for scale

The clear disc helps with balancing
The clear disc helps with balancing

Conclusion:

Solid Snake and Cyborg Ninja by Revol Mini will be a welcome addition to not only fans of Metal Gear Solid, but to anyone looking to own neat little figures of Snake and Ninja to have at their desk to pick up and play with at any time.  The joint system makes posing a joy and I’ve found myself having a lot of fun with these guys.  Extra care should be taken with Snake’s cigarette accessory (a spare was included with mine) as I can see it being lost very easily due to how small and fiddly it is.  If you like, you can check them out at the links below, or other figures in the Revol Mini line.


 

Gimme back my gun!!
Gimme back my gun!!