Revoltech

A rant and general point of reference for whenever I get around to doing Revoltech reviews.

I’ll preface this by saying that I’m generally not a fan of Revoltech. I was in the bandwagon when the figures first came out, and although I just couldn’t resist getting a bunch of them throughout the years, there are a few factors about them that have never sat well with me. That said, over time, I’ve come to accept those factors as an intentional stylistic choice that shouldn’t necessarily detract from the individual figures themselves.

So what are these factors? What are the pros, cons and preferences of Revoltech? Well, let’s start with the stuff that bothers me about them, as well as the counterpoints to my complaints. There are two or three things common to most Revoltech figures that I just don’t dig.

First off, they can’t effin’ stand. Not in a natural, relaxed and symmetrical sort of way. Some can manage it, many can’t. Heck, truth be told, I’ve found that it’s generally quite difficult to get Revoltech to stay up at all, even in some dynamic poses.

Note though, that I say it’s “quite difficult”, not outright impossible. With some work, you can get Revoltech to stay upright in a pose sans a display stand. I’ve seen many a Revoltech displayed quite dynamically in many a shop display cases. Also, many Revoltechs do in fact come with a stand, so it’s not as if they’re selling you a figure that can’t be displayed at all. It’s just my preference to pose figures without the use of stands.

The thing is, Revoltech are meant to be display pieces. They’re not your regular action figures. They’re sculpted in such a way that they can strike crazy dynamic poses, but the downside to that is that they absolutely suck at regular static poses.

The second thing that bothers the abso-friggin’-heck out of me is that they aren’t symmetrical. In package, they look fine. But once you start fiddling with them, you’ll find that they’re simply not sculpted symmetrically. Like, the peg hole for one thigh will be at a slightly different angle from the other and stuff like that. This contributes to a Revoltech’s difficulty in taking up a static pose, and probably contributes to it’s ability to look great in a dynamic display.

The asymmetry is also pretty subtle… which is why it bugs the effin’ heck out of me. It’s not the figure’s fault I guess. It’s just a stylistic sculpting decision for the line. But it just plain doesn’t jive with my personality. It annoys the bajeebus out of me as I futilely try to line everything up in a symmetrical and orderly manner.

The final major complaint I have with Revoltech is that they simply aren’t all that well articulated. I’m sorry to say this, but Revoltech are just plain overrated in the articulation department. They have fantastic posability, but their actual ability to move to your manipulations is limited.

Sure, the Revol-joints have a great range of motion and their ratcheted nature means that they can maintain their position fairly well, but because of their ratcheted nature, you’re limited to just a handful of preset positions per joint.

So there you have it. In my view, Revoltech are overrated little figures that unless you’re getting them in a sale, are also somewhat overpriced. As figures, they have their good and bad points. They’re decent enough toys and are great for display, but as conventional figures, they’re somewhat lacking.

HOWEVER, the one thing Revoltech (as a toyline) does better than any other line out there right now is to bring us a depth of characters that is just plain out of this world. This is the most tempting and addicting facet of Revoltech for me. It’s the primary reason why I still buy into it, despite repeated disappointment.

Through Revoltech, you can get all sorts of characters you’d never thought was possible. You can get a normally super expensive figure for relatively cheap. Mazinkaiser or even the Patlabor units for instance. I’ve mentioned that I feel Revoltech are generally a little overpriced for what you get, but they’re still a cheap alternative to getting a Chogokin or limited edition or whatever version of Mazinkaiser. Which are pretty much the only alternatives if you want an articulated Mazinkaiser. There aren’t any other cheap versions of that character for some reason.

They also bring us characters we’d never think would get toys. Such as Dix Neuf from Gunbuster 2, or the various Gurren Lagann units from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Sure, there are multiple versions of the default Gurren Lagann unit out there, but Revoltech brings us the Arch Gurren Lagann and the Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann and even the titular Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann itself (this is a spoiler by the way). Heck, you can even get the Ragult from Macross or the DMC crew here.

And of course, the jewels to the Revoltech crown, Yotsuba & Danboard (you see what I did there?)

So in conclusion, while Revoltech is not the best toyline ever, it’s still your best bet at getting otherwise unattainable characters. It helps that the figures aren’t actually bad per se; in fact, they’re decent (even good) for what they are.

Would I recommend Revoltech? Well, if there’s a character you want or you find them for dirt cheap, then yes. But they shouldn’t be your first choice. Get ’em only when they’re the only viable choice. If there’s an affordable and articulated alternative to a character other than the Revoltech one, you’ll probably want to check that one out first.

So there you have it. My rant/disclaimer/views on Revoltech. This pretty much applies to all the Revoltech I’ve gotten, and likely it’ll apply to all I will get. So I might as well compile it all here rather than keep repeating myself every time I do a Revoltech review.

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7 Responses to Revoltech

  1. microbry says:

    This.

    That sums up my feelings about the Revoltech line perfectly. Great concept, wonky execution. I keep finding my figures fallen over later even when I get them to hold a pose–the abs-to-pvc pivot connections slip slowly over time. So frustrating!

    Thankfully, Figma is starting to muscle in on their territory with much nicer articulation and diverse characters (if no mecha yet) and IMHO better quality for the dollar. Figmas hold their poses, have better hidden joints, which are nicely tight and with no ratchet locking points, and tend in my opinion to have sharper detail and more optional parts (like alternate hands and faces).

    The one thing that Revoltech does better though is cross-compatibility, great for kitbashing original figures or costumes for them, new mecha options, etc.

    • updatedude says:

      On Figma, they seem to have some degree of cross compatibility as well, but being mostly human (and female) figures, it does limit things a bit in comparison to robots. I have to admit that Figma and SHFiguarts are the current standard bearers for articulated Japanese figures for me though.

      It’s a pity that GN-U Dou’s gone Dodo, but it was lacking that certain something anyway. I’m still tempted to get the Goshogun though. My hope now is that Robot Damashii can help to add spice to the articulated robot wars. My main concern with the line though, is that it isn’t quite as affordable as Revoltech, which I think is going to be a major factor keeping it from being a viable competitor/alternative to Revoltech.

      However, if Robot Damashii starts digging into the character well, we might be in for a nice toy war, which is always a good thing.

  2. eyeforthings says:

    Do your Revoltechs smell, i.e., have a plasticky/paint odor? If so, I’m wondering how you deal with it..

  3. Pingback: Revoltech Gloomy Bear « Turquoise Version

  4. clark says:

    I was introduced the Revoltech with the original Evangelion figures that they released. I had never seen the show, but loved the look of the figures so I picked a couple up. I still love those figures and think they play and display well, but then I picked up a Giant robo and Optimus Prime and was disappointed in both of those.
    Now before purchasing one I have to scrutinize how the joints are placed, because as you mentioned if one of those joints goes in at a wonky angle it really hurts the figure as a whole. I am really interested in the assemble borg figures, but I can’t get one for under $50 here in the states, and I just can’t spend that kind of money to try out a figure.

    • updatedude says:

      Yeah, the Eva ones seem to be one of the better ones. I’ve only got one of the Mini Evas, but he’s pretty darn neat. I think the advantage they have is in the fact that they’re pretty slim, so there’s not much variation in how the Revol-joints can fit in, allowing for a more symmetrical and therefore, conventionally poseable figure overall.

      I tend to look for figures with big flat feet myself. Since I just don’t like using stands, so they need those big feet to remain stable on their own. But that’s a personal preference.

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