A discourse on the application of segmentation in micro-reproductions for the capability of movement for the intent of achieving aesthetically agreeable positioning of said micro-reproduction.
As in, the purpose of articulation.
Spoiler: This is a rant, not a review.
Alright, so I’m going to talk about articulation in children’s plastic playthings.
Before I dive into this, I’ll NOT explain my living conditions, but suffice it to say, I enjoy playing with my toys, but that for various reasons I have to store them in boxes when they’re not in play. So no shelf posing for poor ‘lil updatedude.
Now the thing with toys is, I’m obsessed with them. It’s sad but true, for my best purchase in these last couple years is probably my camera, which has granted unto me a whole new world of play with my toys, as well as countless hours of fun. Like I mentioned, I can’t display my toys, so the camera gives me a chance to pose my toys and enjoy their poses at my leisure. And it’s during these posing and photo shooting sessions that I’ve gained a greater appreciation for the posability of certain toys.
If you’ve seen my reviews for Firefly, Knight and Gatack, you might note that I spent a lot of time saying how great Gatack is, and how he’s the best of the lot, especially in articulation. But in the pics for those reviews, Gatack’s constantly getting his ass kicked. Heck, he even got his head eaten by Black Arachnia.
Why is that? Well, because Real Men Wear Pink. It’s the same principle. Toys with plentiful and useful articulation can pull off getting the snot beat out of them. Sometimes, they can pull it off even better than getting their punches in. In the Kabuto review, we see Kabuto putting the Sharpshooter wrestling move on Hibiki. This is basically impossible to do properly with either a Star Wars figure or even a G.I. Joe one. With Star Wars, it’s because their swivel hips prevent them from spreading their legs wide enough, and with G.I. Joe, they lack the rotational leg movement to cross their legs. Meanwhile, Hibiki is being tormented with his limbs getting twisted in the most unnatural ways I could think of.
But points of articulation isn’t the be all and end all of posability. Take Marvel Legends Ultron for instance, he has lots of points of articulation, but most of it is rendered useless by his bulk. And in any case, he has a relatively low number of poses due to his leg design. Or an even better example would be Berserk Garo, who also has a reasonable number of joints, even individually articulated claws. But they’re all mostly useless because not only does his bulk and protrusions get in the way, but he’s so gosh darn heavy he won’t even stay posed in one position for more than a day before collapsing under his own weight.
On the other hand, Scrapper from the Transformers Classics Devastator set is decently but not especially gratuitously articulated. Yet in the Kuuga Rising Mighty review, if it wasn’t for Scrapper’s ability to maintain a stable “getting knocked back”-pose, Kuuga wouldn’t have been able to stand on or Rider Kick Scrapper to hell and back without the use of additional support, such as modeling clay.
I think my point’s made. Sometimes, a toy is only as good as the toy it plays off of. Points of articulation in and of itself, while nice, can be bloody useless without proper “support”. And that’s even before we get into talking about figures with lots of PoA but can’t even frickin’ stand on their own power, ala Revoltech.
I realize there’s been a lot of shillinking (shill + linking, ha-ha) in this rant, but permit me a couple more before I end this. I present to you, Oil Slick. A supremely articulated figure, who has the added advantage of being hella more balanced and standable (stand + able, hee-hee) than he looks; his articulated supremacy would be for naught were it not for Optimus Prime. Without Prime to be his whipping boy and stand/support, Oil Slick wouldn’t be half as badass.
Moral of the rant, play with your toys, and have your toys play with your toys. And you might find that together, they can be greater than the sum of their points of articulation.
Okay, I forgot what links I wanted to link to. But in any case, I’m approaching the 20K hit mark, and for that, I thank you all. From the looks of it, I even have a few regulars. I know I don’t go out of my way to promote interactivity, but for those of you who do comment (all one of you), thanks lots. I’d also like to thank Fanmode.net, and whoever from the TFW2005.com boards who visit when I shill my reviews there (I don’t generally shill though).
And as thanks as well as to commemorate 20K hits (as well as an average of over 100 visitors per day per month), I’m working on a little something special. Hopefully I can get it done by the time the hits reach the 20K mark, but if not, it should be out soon regardless.