In Soviet Turquoise Nation, toys review YOU!
Ah, I’ve finally took the (jail)bait. Got me a Busou Shinki. A little bit regarding Busou Shinkis. They’re basically these figures of girls with lots of accessories which you can use to interchange not only with each other, but with the main figure’s limbs as well. Basically, they’re the Mecha Musume (Mecha Maiden?) concept given plastic form.
I admit, I grew rather unhealthily fascinated with the Mecha Musume concept when I first encountered it. Not to the level of faptastic, but they were certainly very cute to me. I’m mostly over it now though, since I like a certain degree and style of mechanization and as the concept took off, it became somewhat a bother to trudge through all the Gundam-style Mecha Musume or those with the entire vehicle simply hanging off their butts.
Anyway, regarding Zelnogrard itself, she’s just about the style of Mecha Musume I like, and she was at a relatively reasonable price, so I got her to try out. If she were a dud, well, at least I got nice box art out of it.
About this review, I opened this fig awhile ago, and I will admit, I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of accessories and connectors. While clear, the instructions kinda remind me of a model kit instruction sheet due to the sheer number of parts and some of the suggested configurations. You also get a card with a silver strip that I think you can scratch off. It gives you a code that’ll let you play the online game, Battle Rondo. Also, I have no frikkin’ idea what part 31 is for.
For that reason, this won’t be a full review on Zelnogrard. Instead, it’ll focus more on the main toy itself. The basic female figure which forms the foundation of the Zelnogrard gestalt. And I shall call her… Anna, because she looks like Anna Coppola from Ichigo Mashimaro (Strawberry Marshmallows… don’t ask). So essentially, I’m reviewing the MMS body type, but peppered with impressions of what’s on offer with the Zelnogrard package. I’ll get to a proper full review once I fiddle with the figure more. So onto the review.
MMS or to be more accurate, the Multi Movable System, is a body design that as I understand it, is used for most Busou Shinki. It’s a body that’s very articulated while still being very feminine, as well as being easily taken apart. This is important. As what this means is that it’s very given to modularity, i.e. parts swapping.
I say “most” because there are a few special characters, such as the toys based on the Sky Girls cartoon series, which have some deviation with the basic MMS design. So they’re not fully compatible with MMS. That and of course, for a series that’s run so long, there’s bound to have been running changes.
Anyhow, that’s it as far as the MMS back story goes, I don’t want to focus too much on that, as I’m sure that over the last couple years, there have been some pretty comprehensive descripts of MMS posted on the net. Instead, let’s get on with the figure itself.
The MMS body is a beautiful piece of work. It’s a tall, well proportioned female body. And despite the high modularity, the removable parts are quite well hidden, especially on Anna, who is just one color anyway. It’s not all coming up roses though, there’s an obscene number of screws on the figures back, which I personally don’t care about one way or another. But for those looking for a “pure” female form, this ain’t it.
Now for a little T&A. Her breasts seems to be well proportioned, she’s got a rack on her, but it’s not really comic book sized or anything. This is worth bringing up because while with Anna, she has a chest plate accessory. Some other Shinkis, like the Mermaid one or the newer Horned Beetle one; instead of having a chest plate, simply have a bigger boobs accessory. This is most notable with the Mermaid, though having taken a look at the beetle, her chest accessory is a jet tail fin jutting out between her boobs, thereby squishing her boobs against it for tight tittied action. Yes… I just wanted to use the word “tits”.
Ass-wise she’s worth mentioning because it’s a really nice ass. Sure, it’s been visibly screwed (dirty pun alert!), but the shape is quite nice. No fat ass like with some figures, or even no ass as with others.
Not that I want to spend the majority of this section on T&A and resisting the urge to make innuendo (if you know what I mean, winkwinknudgenudge), but the rest of the body’s features will be covered in the articulation department. Suffice it to say, this is a really good basic body. Since the whole point is modularity, it’s a smooth and pleasing form, with no particular minute detail or sculpted cloth fold. But I don’t think that can be held against it. If there’s any other flaw is the somewhat obvious robo-inner-hips. But that’s no biggie in the grand scale of things either.
**** out of *****
A well articulated figure, I wouldn’t say she’s obscenely articulated. She doesn’t have ball joints for the sides of her upper chest or articulated toes like with the Souchaku Henshin/Figuarts toys. Nor does she have individually articulated fingers like some Marvel Legends. But overall, she’s well articulated, hitting all the major spots. No waist articulation, but that’s compensated with chest articulation, and her neck is quite movable as well. Her feet simply go up and down with no side movement, but it’s adequate.
One thing of note about her feet is that they’re shaped to be like that of a human’s, meaning there’s an arch on her sole. It’s a little exaggerated, almost looking like high heels, but doesn’t hurt the look of the figure very much. What it does though, is massively improve her stability. By adhering to a human style design as opposed to the standard flat foot style of most figures, she’s essentially standing on a pair of tripods… well, bipods? All this while looking reasonably well. This little feature simply ups her score in this department, I’m glad it’s the way they’ve gone with it.
In regards to her modularity, taking her individual parts off is actually quite easy, just pull it out, but whether it’s due to the “ring” system they’re using or just nicely sized molding, the parts are firm. Of course, when dealing with a figure that comes apart, you have to be careful with losing the little bits, and the rings that go in between limb components can fall off easily if you’re not paying attention. So pay attention gosh darn it to fucking hell!
The other issue is sturdiness and durability. In this, I think it’s fine. The accessories look to be quite sturdy, especially those that are essentially just a big chunky block. And while the main figure is not something you’d want to give to a child to smash against a wall, it could probably survive a fall without shattering. Though that partly depends on how high the fall is, obviously.
So all in all, well articulated, though not hyper articulated. I reckon once you get the guns and cannons on her, some limitations will get imposed, but overall, this is a good base figure.
**** out of *****
Before I go on with Anna herself, I’ve been doing some research. Seems that the Zelnogrard figure is technically just an EX Set (meaning accessory pack), but differs in that it also provides a MMS body, which most EX Sets don’t. That would explain the pricing I got her for. So I reckon a full set will have more accessories? Awesome. But I’ll have to wait and see till I get another fig first.
Onto Anna, as I said, I’m calling her Anna because her face (especially on the box art) reminds me of Anna from Ichigo Mashimaro. This is one face I wouldn’t mind seeing Gununu’ed (you perverts) and I woulnd’t be surprised if it already has.
Anyway, it’s a good face. Painted/Tampoed(?) on, much like a Figma figure. It’s another reason to get this fig. I liked the head designs and facial expressions. She’s got a neutral face and one with tensed up eyebrows to show determination or subtle anger or dominatrix lust.
Her weapons motif is uber awesome. It doesn’t hurt that she gives off a Soviet vibe to go with her co-sells’ Nazi and WW2 Japanese style vibes.
All in all, I really dig Anna, which was a big reason why I chose this set.
Stay tuned for a full review on Zelnogrard.
***** out of *****
In terms of the basic MMS body, and this particular character’s theme, Zelnogrard is pretty respectable. I took her out of the box to test out and before I knew it, it was almost an hour, and I was still just checking out the main body. Granted, a lot of the time was spent on other stuff, like checking out the instructions, art etc. But still, I had to marvel at how nice the basic figure looked and felt. I can understand why people would like to buy just the basic MMS body, as not only is it ideal for customization, but it’s a nice female figure in and of itself.
**** out of *****