I’m the goddamn Dragonman
Long story short, my monitor died and I’ve been denied my digital drug for the last couple weeks. Back now with some plasticrack.
Acrocleve is from the 2004 series of Microman figures. He’s an Acroyear (bad guy) with a dragon motif, though at first glance, you can be forgiven for thinking he’s doing a Batman. Those “ears” are not bat ears by the way, they’re actually the “antlers” of a Chinese style dragon.
So regarding the Microman series, they’re the last “major” 3.75″ types that I’m aware of. It ain’t a secret that I like 3.75″ figures. I find the size to be really “cute” and playable. Over the last couple years, I’ve got Star Wars, Motion Revive Series, G.I. Joe and a few odds and ends like the 2008 Indiana Jones line. But one line I’ve been meaning to get for awhile has been the Microman line, and the 2004 series of Acroyears have been one of my targets for all this time. Thus, before I review Acrocleve, let’s see where all the others stand with me as of this writing shall we?
Star Wars – A line with a wide variety of figures. They can be hit or miss unless you’re a huge fan rather than a casual collector, but chances are there’ll be something to suit your taste amid the endless variations of Troopers. Articulation is a very mixed bag, but at best, even when they’ve got ball hinged everything, they’ll still have that stupid T-crotch that utterly kills lower body articulation. If only Star Wars figs would start having ball hips, they’d be incredible as toys. A distant third.
G.I. Joe – Looks great with a wide variety of dynamic looking characters. They have great detail and standardized articulation. If they had swivel thighs or knees, they’d be perfect. A strong second place.
Motion Revive Series – Show accurate if somewhat plain, MRS figs have superior articulation even against G.I. Joe and they’re just mighty fun to play with. The Monster Hunter subset have amazing detail, but somewhat restrictive armor. All in all, MRS are the best 3.75″ figs available right now, and they’re cheap to boot. A commanding first place amongst 3.75″ figs.
So onto Acrocleve, who is the least flashy of the 2004 Microman Acroyears. Would Acrocleve and the Micromen bump MRS off it’s #1 ranking? We shall see.
Aesthetically, Acrocleve is understated but pleasing. The Micromen and Acroyears all use the same base bodies, and Acrocleve here uses a translucent yellow version that not only works as a villainous variation because you can see his insides, but it’s also neat because, well, you can see his insides. See how all the jointing works and stuff. In any case, Acrocleve has a nice crisp flame pattern to his body that unfortunately, doesn’t help him particularly stand out. Not like some of his fellow Acroyears. They’re very neatly applied though.
Articulation is supposed to be one of the main selling points with Microman, which boasts of 30 PoA. I was a little skeptical at first, as this being a 2004 – early 2005 toy, I thought the years may have caught up with it by now.
I don’t know how really, but somehow (*cough*an extra 6 PoA*cough*), this 2004 series figure actually surpasses that of the newer MRS figures. It’s just the little things, a couple extras here and there, a better set of balljointed shoulders etc. But Acrocleve edges out your typical MRS figure, and places Joes in a firm 3rd place insofar as articulation goes.
You really can put them in virtually any pose.
Acrocleve comes with a stand, a bunch of extra hands, a pet baby dragon, a pair of wings and a couple chest pieces and some other odds and ends. It’s a good set, nothing flashy, but it’s still more than you get with most figures. However, they’re kinda necessary. As noted, the Micromen and Acroyears use shared base bodies, so the accessories are required to help differentiate between each figure. They all have distinctive heads and decos, but the accessories are vital to give them all a different “shape”. In any case, a good set of items that fit the character.
One thing of note is that Microman figures are known for being somewhat fragile. Probably due to their little sizes and lots and lots of PoA.
Knowing this, I was gentle with Acrocleve, and thus, had no problem in terms of durability, but I admit, I don’t play with him as extensively as I would with a MRS. His foot did pop off while I was putting him back in the box, but it’s a balljoint, so it’s no problem popping it back on. It doesn’t feel like the pegs are going to break though, but in any case, just don’t be too rough with ’em and you should be able to play with your Microman extensively without fear of breakage.
Acrocleve looks good, if not flashy. He’s articulated out the wazoo and has got decent extras. I personally find him really fun, and would love if TakaraTomy would revive this line later with an even more improved body and perhaps, regularly painted heads.
Before I sign off here with the score, where does Microman stand in the world of 3.75″ toys? Hmm, tough call. But for various reasons, I’ll put them as a highly contentious #2, bumping Joes down to #3. There are lots of varieties and themes to Microman, and they’re not blindpacked like MRS figures are. But they tend to be quite a bit more expensive than either MRS or Joes, and having vac-metallised heads instead of painted heads mean they lose a certain degree of playability. I’d love to integrate the MicroLady or MicroGirl figures with my other toys for instance, but their shiny heads just look out of place.
3.6 out of 4.0
0.0 – 0.0 = I’d pay to get rid of it
0.1 – 0.5 = I’d give it away
0.6 – 1.0 = I wouldn’t take it for free
1.1 – 1.5 = Very Bad
1.6 – 2.0 = Bad
2.1 – 2.5 = Average
2.6 – 3.0 = Good
3.1 – 3.5 = Very Good
3.6 – 4.0 = Excellent