|02-28-2016, 10:52 PM||#1|
Admin AKA Zordon
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Lexington, Ky
Premium Bandai is at it again with another Shuriken Sentai Ninninger high end release. Last year saw the inaugural figure of this premium sub line with the Artisan Chogokin Shinobimaru. Now for round 2 we have yet another high end articulated replacement for a DX figure with a touch of diecast to give it that premium feel. Today we're taking a look at the Super Sentai Artisan Rodeomaru!
Artisan Rodeomaru comes in a box slightly larger than Shinobimaru, mostly because of the vastly improved accessory count. It's still a very compact but wonderful looking box. A shot of the actual show suit is used on the front while the back prominently features Chouzetsu Akaninger. There's also the characters for Chogokin/超合金 on the front so you legitimately get excited about the figure you're about to handle.
As a Super Sentai Artisan release one can expect a degree of quality in this figure that simply isn't present in the main retail toyline. To a degree Rodeomaru is a great example of what the Artisan premium line could be. Much like Shinobimaru it's a pretty quality figure, but it does still have some significant drawbacks.
In the plus column, Rodeomaru looks fantastic, just a wonderfully almost perfectly accurate representation of this mecha. His DX counterpart looked fine, but as you can see in the comparisons, it was molded in such a way as to allow it to combine more than anything else. So the individual robot mode of the figure suffered for it. The way the arms and shoulders were on the DX was specific for it's combinations with Bison Buggy/King. As you can see in the accessory list below, the Artisan has an answer to that, but one that isn't all that great. Now on the topic of the arms they are pretty solid. There's a nice swivel joint in the upper shoulder, the elbows have good ranger, and the poseable fingers help this guy do a lot of things, like hold silly accessories as pictured below. However his shoulders are gargantuan, and not designed to angle out of the way. You won't get much outward movement from them.
The legs, while featuring some nice hefty chunks of diecast and the same cool floating knee pads as Shinobimaru, are pretty limited. The way the hip armor works on his things it impacts the waist, and unlike with Shinobimaru where there was angled hip armor to use to your advantage, Rodeo just suffers with hips that can't reach their full potential. While there are swivel joints just above the knee to maneuver these thigh pads, you still lose a bit of movement because of them. I still managed to get him into some decent poses despite these flaws and he looks undoubtedly good while doing them.
Rounding things out this figure features the same kind of back clips as Shinobimaru, allowing it to sit in DX Shurikenjins' pilot seat to form Shurikenjin Texas. And we should also take a look at the final 2 gorgeous components of the figure, the golden chest plate, and that wonderfully sculpted head. Now while the head IS sculpted very well, the paint can vary figure to figure. As you can see below mine has a rather noticeable golden droplet just below his chin. Sadly I have to report that the head wasn't designed to angle up at a 90 degree angle like the DX either, so when you do combine it to form Bison King, you're going to have some issue with the head sticking out too far, as pictured.
In STARK contrast to Shinobimaru, the accessory breakdown for this release is pretty solid. Honestly it's kind of funny because one of these "accessories" is an entirely new figure:
1 - Starninger figure. This is meant to replicate the way in which Kinji rides Rodeomaru into battle. To use it you just need to slide out the rectangular piece on the figures' right shoulder, then plug this in. At it's size the sculpt is great for this part and it gives the figure a good sense of scale, but otherwise it doesn't do anything and features no paint applications. Just like the Akaninger included with Shinobimaru
2 - replacement arms. These arms are meant to more properly replicate the way the DX toy and show counterpart of Rodeomaru ride on Bison Buggy. The arms can be pulled off at a rather inconveniently placed plug up inside the shoulder. Plugging the new arms on can be a little bit of a pain as well. When in use I can't say I find the results all that satisfying. You lose the articulated and therefore much stronger grip of the normal arms' hands, and the tabs on their undersides, meant to interface with the buggy physically, don't click in very strongly. Honestly the arms are really disappointing and don't amount to a cast improvement. They'd have been better served making fold out clips on the underside of the normal arms.
2 - replacement shoulder pads. Perhaps not quite as disappointing as the new arms, these pads can be used by sliding out the top section of the normal shoulders. These have clips which allow the DX Bison King Shuriken to plug onto Artisan Rodeomaru as it would his DX counterpart. Again, just as with the underside of the arms, these clips really don't snap in very well. The connection is kind of loose and dodgy. Add to this that Artisan Rodeomaru doesn't have the kind of neck his DX counterpart does and his head sticks straight forward very noticeably making the Bison King faceplate look as though it's pointing at an outward angle.
1 - Chouzetsu Akaninger figure. Now this little guy is what was originally the real selling point of this set to me. The announcement of his inclusoin got me excited. Then I got the figure in hand. So much for premium chogokin eh? Akaninger is an entirely plastic, yet admittedly nicely articulated figure. This diminutive little guy is about the size of his DX counterpart so he's still compatible with Lion Ha OH, though he requires 2 adapter accessories pictured with him below. He also included his Ninja Ichibantou and has a peg hole molded into his back to store it. While there are some paint apps present on the figure it isn't especially accurate, it's equivalent to the DX. While Akaninger is a neat inclusion it's ultimately rather pointless.
Overall I would say that as a standalone figure, Super Sentai Artisan Rodeomaru really is a decent release. However much like it's DX counterpart it looses a little bit of the individuality that would serve to make it a better toy on it's own. Likewise the included Chouzetsu Akaninger, while definitely nice to have, really doesn't offer much in terms of difference to the deluxe. While it's more fun and articulated it can't do much without a DX Lion Ha Oh, and even then that requires additional parts which are included. As is this set is fun but flawed, something that I don't feel was entirely worth the premium price tag. These figures are indeed cool & dynamic, but ultimately not quite as spectacular as Shinobimaru was. Which is crazy for me to say given the difference in accessories. But I can't help but feel that way.
|02-28-2016, 10:52 PM||#2|
Admin AKA Zordon
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Lexington, Ky
- Chouzetsu Akaninger
|02-29-2016, 09:18 AM||#3|
The Loch-Ness Monster
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Phoenix, AZ
I love these figures but the metal makes them a little off balanced. One day my display area got bumped, rodeomaru took a nice little fall and his knee joint immediately broke. It's put back together with super glue for now but I'm worried about him taking a fall again.
|12-20-2016, 11:09 PM||#4|
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Ontario, Canada
They figures look great. The line is a great idea, kinda sucks it seems to be on hiatus. But I guess it's understandable when Ninja steel is getting action versions of some of the mecha for much cheaper than this. Great Gallery though !
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