Q Reviews: D-Arts Blastoise (Kamex)!
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not exactly a Pokémon fan - the show came out when I was in my (very) early teens, when I had long gotten deep into anime & video games. Being obsessed with more 'mature' titles like Record of Lodoss War & Tenchi Muyo, I felt Pokemon was too 'kiddish' for me, and I sat back and watched as the craze raged on.
Years do lots to change someone though, and I eventually learnt to appreciate the cultural impact the franchise has, whether in bonding generations of gamers together, or simply to show the world just how influential games can be.
Fast forward a few more years, and my playing with the Pokémon Trainer in Super Smash Bros. Melee for the Nintendo Wii made me warmed up to the characters even more, namely the first 3 starter Pokémon.
While my knowledge of the franchise is still pedestrian at best, I do like good character designs and good toys made from them. Which finally brings us to today's review: hot on the heels of the recently released D-Arts Charizard, it's the final form of the water-type Pokemon, Kamex; aka Blastoise!
Blastoise (as he shall be referred to for the rest of the review), comes in a now-standard box style used for all the Pokémon figures in Bandai's D-Arts line.
Light blue with pictures of Blastoise adorning all sides, it's a huge specimen of a box that does its job nicely. Nothing spectacular, but it also does nothing wrong.
Blastoise comes with 2 x effect parts and a Poke-ball-shaped stand.
And that's it.
While the effect parts are a welcome, if expected inclusion, the stand is pretty much useless as Blastoise is far too large for the arm to clip around him!
Admittedly, I can't quite think of anything else Blastoise could possibly come with. But regardless, those who are expecting wild & crazy stuff should take note - this is a fairly barebones package.
Bandai's been doing a great job with the Pokemon license in the D-Arts, and Blastoise certainly maintains the trend.
Blastoise is sculpted to almost complete accuracy, with very crisp lines and clean paint applications. There're even bits of shading going about on his skin and shell, to lend more dimension to his appearance.
His base colours are nice and bright as they should be, and together with his stern-yet-friendly expression on his face, make for a perfect representation of the character model from the show.
The odds were stacked against Bandai from the beginning when they thought about doing an articulated figure of ol' Blasty. Simply put, it inherently isn't the sort that lends itself well to movement with its large body, stumpy limbs, and great big shell on his back.
Regardless, Bandai did what they could here and it worked out reasonably well. Blastoise's arms, legs and even toe and finger nails can all move - but you can't really get a whole lot of posing out of them due to the nature of his design.
What articulation that does work well here are mostly upwards. Blastoise has a good amount of neck movement and can even open his mouth which really helps bring the figure to life with various expressions you can make him do.
Together with his Hydro Cannon effect parts and you can still get Blastoise into a reasonable number of poses despite his limitations, which is infinitely more than any previous figure offering.
Puzzled? Angry? That's all achievable with this figure, and it's quite a bit of fun.
He might not have much in the way of poseability nor accessories, but he excels in what counts: a great sculpt and good paint work.
All-in-all while not perfect, D-Arts Blastoise is just about the best choice there is if you're a fan of him or Pokémon in general.