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Toys: Riobot Tsugumori

Posted on : 14-06-2013 | By : | In : Toys/Kits

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Courtesy of our good friends at HobbyLink Japan we’ve been sent the Riobot Tsugumori from the epic manga Knights of Sidonia (though this is an anime on the way). This is the latest work from the renowned Tsutomu Nihei. As this is a slight departure from our usual toy reviews, as this mecha has yet to be featured in a game, there is no footage as to show the mecha in action.

We first came into contact with Nihei’s brilliance in the manga Blame!, this was a bleak but endlessly fascinating take on a very distant future where humanity eeked out an existence amongst the sprawling superstructure of an immense Dyson Sphere. With very little dialogue to speak of, the manga relied on imagery and narrative inference to convey its plot. It was and still is a unique and deeply refreshing work. So when we found out that Nihei would be doing a new manga, this time with mecha, set in deep space we couldn’t wait to read it.

Knights of Sidonia is based around a generational spaceship making its way through deep space to escape somewhat of a galactic plague known as the gauna. These gauna have devoured Earth and the Sidonia is one of a few ships left with the last of human civilisation aboard it. Whilst the Sidonia is utterly massive it is by no means defenseless, as it is protected by its Guardians. These are giant mecha with the ability to obliterate the true core of gaunas.

So when Sentinel announced that they’d be making a Riobot toy of the Tsugumori, we were ecstatic. The actual creation of the design itself was also quite interesting, as Nihei kitbashed all manner of mecha model kits to arrive at the final design. This is why the mecha appears to be deceptively simple but is in fact very complex in terms of its composition.

Like the other Riobot toys, this one is similarly meticulous in terms of sculpt and articulation. It seems that Sentinel have really made a name for themselves in producing uncomprising figures and the Tsugumori is certainly a challenging one at that.

Toy: 1/144 Riobot Type 17 Morito Tsugumori
Price: 7,933 yen
Size/Weight: 30.0 x 26.0 x 12.5 cm / 680g

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The box the toy comes in is worth noting for its very stylish typeface and handrawn art of the mecha by Nihei.

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Despite the booster at the rear, the toy can just about stand up on its own. The articulation on the arms is quite good, with the shoulders being somewhat retractable. In addition the vertical shoulder “blades” also have a degree of movement, as they are connected via another ball/socket joint. The head is also nicely done, as the neck slots can be extracted out (like in the manga). There is also another head available, with the Higgs cannon activated.

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The real party piece is the full size rail gun, that’s comprised of multiple intersecting pieces. Whilst the stands the figure come with can allow for some nice poses the sheer size of the full railgun means it has to rest on the ground. It’s still wonderfully impressive though.

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Overall then, this is a truly fantastic figure of the Tsugumori. However, its accuracy is tempered by the obvious fact it’s quite delicate. Whilst this is very much a toy and a well articulated one at that, it has to be handled carefully. The price should probably emphasise the fact that it is meant for collectors but what a collector’s piece it is. As such it comes thoroughly recommended.

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Comments (3)

Sweet review. I just ordered one from HLJ myself!
Can’t wait. I absolutely love the Manga. Here’s hoping the anime`ll be any good 🙂

Wow. I love this thing. Love it.

Nice! Love the manga and I’m awaiting the anime. This figure looks amazing–excellent review!

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