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Kits: Cougar Type I

Posted on : 03-03-2010 | By : | In : Toys/Kits, Videos



Courtesy of our good friends at HobbyLink Japan, we’ve been sent a kit from Border Break to review. Specifically, Kotobukiya’s 1/35 scale Cougar Type I . Our review only covers the kit in its out of the box and unpainted form (however, we have also included painted photos towards the end). In addition, to give the kit some context, we’ve also linked some gameplay footage of the design in action from Border Break at the end end of the review.

We’ve already espoused Border Break’s virtues in our review and as always Kotobukiya have re-created the starting blast runner frame, the Cougar, with their usual finesse. The sculpt and especially the detailing are very impressive when you consider its price. The articulation is also suitably thorough too and can be posed very sturdily.

Kit: 1/35 Cougar Type I
Price: 3500 yen
Size/Weight: 31.1 x 19.2 x 8.7 cm / 480g

The kit itself is part of a new Cross Frame series, which sounds as though it could be related to the Frame Arms line (also from Kotobukiya). In real world terms, this means the kit has a pseudo endo-skeleton and an interesting internal joints configuration for the chest. The corollary of all this is, as stated above, the kit is incredibly poseable and very sturdy. As gimmicks go, the kit – like the dessign itself – is rather straightforward. However, it does sport two “racks” where weapons can be stored (as they are in game). In short this is very much a real robot design and, to those familiar with either VOTOMS or Heavy Gear, the spartan and minimalist pragmatism of the mecha are its main appeal.

As gaming kits go, this is probably Kotobukiya’s finest yet. The sculpt is very accurate but the construction is relatively straightforward, yet the final product still remains beefy enough to be handled without fear of breaking. Certain parts do require some glue but overall it’s coming closer to the Bandai “snap fit” toy approach, though the detailing does exceed much of Bandai’s Master and High Grade output for Gundam.

In summation, if you’re a fan of the game’s designs and like affordable but beautifully crafted models then you’ll be very pleased with this kit. Though, as with many of Kotobukiya’s gaming releases, it will probably have a relatively short shelf life so don’t dawdle.

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Comments (10)

Excellent review. And it’s the truth–I’ve purchased the Cougar from HLJ and even though I have not built it yet, I’ve been amazed by the detailing and the quality of the kit.

It certainly is comparable to the MG series from Bandai. While I have never played BB, the game has caught my interest with its designs and gameplay. It’s certainly a worth successor to VIRTUAL ON.

Kotobukiya has done a masterful work with this kit, and hopefully future BB kits will continue the quality work.

Wow, that looks pretty nice even unpainted.

I really wish the Transformers movie looked like this rather than the shit they had.

Hey Persona…let’s not go there…8-).

You do have a valid point, but remember that those designs were approved by Hasbro. Also, Michael Bay had a lot of input into the designs, which might explain things.

Speaking of Kotobukiya, they have an upcoming kit from the manga/anime of BROKEN BLADE (BREAK BLADE) that looks stunning….wonder if Kotobukiya is moving into territory previously ruled by Bandai’s venerable Master Grade series?

The anime versions of the mecha were penned by Takayuki Yanase, who also does the designs for Kotobukiya’s Frame Arms toys.

Oh wow, thanks for that! I was not familiar with Yanase’s work, but now I will definitely check him out.

True, talking about the movie Transformers mecha design is like inviting people to pick on a crippled child. :/

How are Kotobukiya kits like? The only experience with plamo I’ve had are simple Gundam models as a kid and the Hasegawa Fei Yen that was a nightmare for an amateur like me.

The Cougar looks very good (even though it hasn’t been fully assembled yet). I would definitely compare it to Bandai’s Master Grade kits, and it has quite a bit of detailing. I am building it about the same time that I’m finishing up a MG RGM-79C kit, so I can compare both.

Loved the Gundam kits from back in the day, but I’ve also had experience with the old-school Imai and Arii Macross kits. Never touched a Hasegawa kit though.

The kit in the review is fully assembled, just not painted (hence the painted pictures below, for comparison purposes). Just thought I’d clear that up.

It’s a really lovely kit though.

I really wish mecha designers would give their robots flexing toes that really work. A lot of really cool designs don’t have toes and thus do not have that spring in their step to make them nimble (animators just make it seem that way). This Cougar and the rest of its Blast Runner progeny all appear to have flexing toes. But the actual toy itself doesn’t have one that moves. Flexing toes will give the toy more ground poseabilty even if it will be more challenging to balance (that’s what crotch grabbing stands are for). Look at Bandai’s latest RX-78 MG kit, thay decided to put in flexing toe tips to improve its crouching poseability. Other toy makers should follow suit. Border Break should break the usual mold and follow suit with their next production batch.

My sixth grade notebooks were filled to the brim with Battletech designs in the margins, and I always made sure to give them toes. Mecha require a suspension of disbelief but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t occasionally factor in real-life limitations, and having flexible feet makes them more possible, or at least, less impossible. That this seems to carry over into toys and model kits helps improve the verisimilitude of seeing toes in games and anime as well, as we have a working model of why it seems to work.

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