Get to ride future hold burning heart!
I’m quite impressed with Fanmode with how they can find alternate reviews to even obscure toys and characters to link to in addition to the main reviews. I know there are a few English language reviews to this toy, I wonder if they’ll be able to find those? Or reviews for the Silver or Red editions (particularly in English)? Haha, yes, this is something of a combination shout out and challenge to Fanmode. All in good fun though. Also because I’d like to read those reviews myself. :)
Panda Z was an awesome cartoon shown a few years back. It was akin to silent movies in that there was (awesome) rock/metal music playing in the background and any dialogue would be displayed in an insert screen. The story was about Panda Z (Mazinger Z as a panda) as piloted by Pantarou (or was it Pantaron?) as they fought to protect their fellow Robonimals against the eeeeeeeeevil Skull Panda (?) and his organization of eeeeeeeeeeeeevil.
I won’t delve into individual episodes or sequences of awesome, ’cause there’d be to much to cover, but suffice it to say, the show had its moments, but it was the great music that made each episode good, regardless of the content.
Apparently, the show spawned an inordinate amount of merchandise despite being relatively obscure. It even had a Soul of Chogokin version. As well as the Perfect Model version, which are all plastic but sports better articulation and other stuff. I was actually just looking for a regular black and white Panda Z, but all that store I went to had was the Limited Edition Silver and Red. I found the Red more striking but felt that the Silver was closer to what I was looking for, as well as felt that the novelty of red would probably wear off faster than silver. I was actually a bit worried I made a mistake in choosing the duller silver… until I opened the box and got him out. Now I’ve no regrets I got this version of the guy. Whew.
It looks like Panda Z. And err, yeah, it looks like the character. Only silver instead of where it’d be black. The proportions are nice and dynamic. He’s both cute and cool. I’ve read another review that felt this version was too lean and mean compared to the SOC version, but I’m totally fine with it.
As far as the silver goes though, this is one of those toys you have to unpack. To heck with it being mint-in-sealed-box super rare limited edition. Silver Edition Panda Z looks kinda dull in package, but once you get him out and handle him, he’s uber cool. He looks way better once you play with him and despite my poor lighting and camera skills, I think he’s pretty photogenic as well. The silver gives off a real nice metallic feel, which coupled with the nice heft the toy has, almost makes it seem like diecast. Which of course, it isn’t.
Another cool thing about Perfect Model Panda Z are the details. You’d think he’s pretty minimalist, but as you can see from the pics, where detail can be inserted, the designers have certainly not skimped. From the sole of his feet to the cockpit, you gotta love the attention to detail.
Panda Z is well articulated and will do almost anything you need. The hips are a tad restricted, and the cute fluffy design of the toy will of course, limit things a bit, but otherwise, he moves at all the major points. Indeed, the joints are almost Revoltech-like in that they can turn as well as bend.
There are two drawbacks though. One, like the Revoltech joints, you have to align the joint in the right direction before you bend the joint. This is problematic because the design of the toy and the tightness of the joints can make it rather difficult to set everything up the way you want it. This is especially true with the hips, which has little clearance for you to grip the joint sans the use of tools. It’s not totally detrimental to a toy like this, but I like to play with my acquisitions, so ease of play is a factor.
The other thing is that his head is slightly wobbly. I’m not sure it can be tightened somehow, as I don’t want to risk breaking Panda Z. Panda Z seems pretty durable, but still, it took me a long time to find this guy. The wobbly head doesn’t hurt it too much, it’s very subtle; you wouldn’t even notice it once you’re done posing. It’s just that during posing, it can be bothersome, as it shifts the center of gravity ever so slightly.
Despite these two major detractions, Perfect Model: Panda Z still has superb articulation, and will do most of what you need it to do.
What you see (in the pic) is what you get. Panda Z comes with a Scrander, a mace punch, a blade punch and a drill punch attachment, in addition to his removable forearms which would of course, function as rocket punches. Alas, there are no instructions to show you how to properly remove ’em, ick.
You also get a nice little Pantaron to pilot your Panda Z, and he’s pretty awesome in his own right. His head turns, which was a surprise to me, I thought he’d be totally stationary. And his well defined smile just goes against the subtle/dull-ish lines this toy in general, but somehow that just makes the overall toy better if perhaps a bit creepy.
You see, it’s like… you have this subtle white and silvery gray robotic mass coming at you, and at the top of that mass, you see a little panda smile. Even before you notice that red scarf or the bloody wings of death or the drill that can pierce the heaves, the smile “bears” down upon ye. Lose faith and accept DEATH o ye faithless philistines!
A neat toy of a neat character from a neat series. You really need to ignore the Special Limited Super Rare Edition tags and just open this puppy up though. That is if you want the full effect.
While this is not a toy without its flaws, they are all easily forgivable. You’re getting it as much for the character as for a good toy. And this is a good toy. Taking everything into consideration, I’d say Perfect Model: Panda Z (Limited Silver Edition) is an excellent addition to anyone’s shelf or computer table.
3.7 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