MegaMan with Beat (MegaMan 8)
Mega Man with Beat
Height: 15.5cm to top of head.
Articulation: 20 joints in all: swivel neck; 5 joints in each arm- double-jointed shoulder, pre-elbow swivel, hinged elbow, swivel wrist; swivel waist; 4 joints in each leg- ball-jointed hips, hinged knee, post-knee swivel, swivel ankle.
Accessories: Mega Buster with projectile, Beat(robot bird)
Colors: Molded light blue and blue. Painted light blue, blue, robin egg blue(Beat), fleshtone, red, white, tan, yellow, and black (outline around eyes)
Release Data: Released first quarter 2004 for an MSRP of $6.99. This item is no longer in production as of this writing (March 23rd, 2005)
Gallery: 8 images.
JazWares, Inc. is a relatively new to the world of action figures- as far as I can tell, the Mega Man series is their first contribution to the artform. In the first assortment, honestly speaking, it shows, and it shows badly- the sculpts aren't much to speak of, the construction is a bit on the cheap side- the torso halves are splitting on mine- and the whole product feels rough.
That entire assortment is Not Worth Owning, in my opinion.
However, like any good company, they learn, and when I got a good look at the new, improved Mega Man from their second assortment, I grabbed it. And what an improvement! I have a great fondness for Mega Man, and there hadn't been a figure of the original version of the character that I really liked, until now.
The sculpt is dead-on for modern illustrations of the character- a very simple, cartoonish face in a familiar blue helmet. It swivels freely, and if I have any complaint it's that the neck feels a bit thin, and not quite as solid as I'd prefer. That's as much a fault of character design as toy design, however.
A double-jointed shoulder, part hinge and part swivel, gives as large a range of movement as you can possibly get. Mega Man is a simple design- no shoulder armor or anything of the sort to block movement. There's a pre-elbow swivel and a simple hinge elbow, which are also nicely flexible. I should note here that all the hinge joints are held together with plastic pins- noticeable, but not terribly unattractive. The fists are pretty old-fashioned- clenched fists with holes drilled through them- but they don't look out of place on the figure. There are some screws in the inner arms, but again, I'm fine with that- compared to the Arch Enemies Strike Gundam, for example, anything looks light on screws.
Again, an extremely simple design: a pale blue upper torso with a blue lower torso. 360 swivel, like the shoulders and neck, and a total of 3 screws in the back. There are some paint applications around the neck and legs, basically to make the colors of each area lead into the others smoothly.
The Legs and Feet
The hips have an excellent range- almost too good, since the leg will swing right off the ball-joint if you move it too far. It takes doing, though, so most times you won't need to worry about it at all. The knees give ever so slightly less than a 90-degree bend- it could've been a bit better, but it's not bad at all. There's a swivel below the knee, and Mega Man's large lower legs have been reproduced nicely here. There's a screw in the back of each lower leg, too, in case you were keeping count. The feet swivel from side to side and have a bit of give on the other two axes, but I don't know if this was intentional- near as I can tell, the ankles aren't ball-jointed. But still, it is a bit more articulation, and the feet are the only weak point of the figure in that respect.
Paint and Decoration
The painting on Mega Man is minimal- there's probably as many paint applications on his bird sidekick Beat as on the rest of the figure, if not more. What paint there is, is clean and looks good, the head in particular. It's an excellent rendition of the original Mega Man.
Articulation gets 8/10
Sculpt and Deco get 8/10
-Mega Buster with projectile
This replaces Mega Man's right hand, and is proportioned just about perfectly, being neither too large nor too small. It's spring-loaded, and fires a small blue "energy ball" about a foot to 18 inches. I'm surprised JazWares was able to make the missile this small- it's only an inch long, though the ball portion is a half-inch in diameter. If you were planning to give the toy to a particularly small child, or one known for putting things in their mouth, you may wish to confiscate this first.
Beat first appeared in Mega Man V, and helped Mega Man by flying around the screen and pecking his enemies to death. Seriously. Kind of resembling a blue football with a beak and wings, Beat is pretty nicely detailed and, like Mega Man himself, pretty true to the modern illustrations of the character. He's totally unarticulated, though there's not that much more you could do to him- flapping wings, maybe? He's a nice addition to the figure at any rate, a supporting character who you wouldn't really expect to get made otherwise.
Accessories get 8/10
Mega Man is a great version of the character, and visually and technically a staggering improvement over the first version JazWares put out. The articulation, sculpt and all are quite nice, and Beat is a nifty bonus for those who've followed the original Mega Man series of games.
I paid the MSRP of $6.99 for Mega Man, and I certainly don't regret it a bit. In fact, it causes me to regret the first version less, since I can see the level of improvement. If you can't find this particular figure, the same mold has since been reused for at least one recolor, and is scheduled to be used again, I believe. It's an Excellent toy, and if you're a Mega Man fan and a toy fan, you should have one.
-RAC, Revenge of the `90s Week
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