Ani-Merch’: Q Reviews - 12" PM Wild Tiger!
We've gotten a first look at it, we've talked about it, and we've written about it. Now, we (as in, me) get a chance to review it!
It's big, it's shiny, and it's heroic. That's right, it's the Bandai 12"PM Wild Tiger!
Big in size and even bigger in hype, Bandai's entry into the 12 inch action figure market touts this to be the ultimate collectible of everyone's favourite veteran hero.
Is it worth the big price tag? Let's find out!
The packaging for the figure is quite the spectacle. Housed in a box with an outer sleeve, everything is made of thick, heavy and sturdy cardboard.
Yet, everything is also really simple, with the inner box having just a flap (with a pull tab) that grants you instant access to the 2 bubble trays; one with the figure itself, and the other with the accessories.
Overall the packaging for Wild Tiger is extremely premium feeling and definitely gives a good first impression.
Wild Tiger comes with: 2 x 'thumbs up' hands, 2 x fists, 2 x open palms, 2 x relaxed hands, 2 x Wild Shot-holding hands, 2 x articulated-finger hands, 2 x Wild Shot wire guns, an optional shoulder plate, a secondary non-light up head and a white display stand (not shown).
Also included is a little manual with some basic instructions on handling the figure, as well as some information on Wild Tiger from the series.
This is definitely one of the single most numbers of hand parts any figure of him has ever had to date. However, one glaring omission here is the lack of a Good Luck Mode giant fist! While this was initially a huge surprise to me, as it will be apparently later in the review, it ended up not being as big of a deal after all (and I'm sure we'll see its release at a future date, as per Bandai's style). Still, it's worth noting.
Wild Tiger stands a little over 12 inches or about 31 cm - making him a really massive figure!
Every little detail in every little nook & cranny is present here: the sharp lines of his limbs, the lines in his helmet, the raised ridges in the abdominal section, and my favourite bit - the crisply printed sponsor logos!
I especially like having him with his optional left shoulder plate with the Family Mart logo on it for - more visual variety - an option that's normally only saved for exclusive versions of his smaller figures.
If you have fiddled with the SHFiguarts version of Wild Tiger, or with other 12" figures such as Hot Toy's Iron Man series, then you'd know exactly what to expect here.
A lot of the figure's 'DNA' and engineering is borrowed from Wild Tiger's smaller SHFiguart counter part; from the double jointed elbows & knees, to the pivoting hip joint. Even the figure's materials and construction are very similar, being almost entirely plastic, with die-cast parts being used to reinforce the hip joints.
This grants the massive figure not only an incredible amount of articulation, but articulation that's actually usable. No worries about the figure falling over, hanging limply, or breaking here - the figure balances very well on its own, and all the joints move silky smooth!
With the figure's light weight and ease of movement in its joints, it feels very similar to that of a Perfect Grade Gundam kit, especially with the articulated-finger hands.
Speaking of those hands - these are perhaps my favourite bit of Wild Tiger's articulation!
They articulate at 3 points each and look really natural. While not being able to move side-to-side (so no "peace" signs, sadly), this still grants you an incredible number of posing options.
If all the insane amounts of hype and coverage all over the internet somehow missed you, let's go over it again briefly. This figure's main attraction is that of its light-up feature.
Flip the numerous switches all over Wild Tiger's head, arms, torso and body, and all his clear-green armour bits light up to simulate his Hundred Power!
The feature works brilliantly. The LEDs used are bright, vibrant, and even have little to no "bleeding", remaining perfectly within the confines of their plastic housings, helping to preserve the Hundred Power look.
For best results, turn it on in a dimly lit room!
Aside from the lights though, Wild Tiger also has one more trick up his mechanical sleeves.
The non-light up head is able to disassemble and be posed revealing Kotetsu's head underneath!
While I do wish his expression was a little less 'blank' (a smirk would've been nice), it's very well sculpted and painted. With the figure's incredible articulation, 12" PM Wild Tiger can really be posed in many awesomely characterful ways.
Let's talk about the elephant in the room now - the figure's price.
It is once again, undeniable that the 12" PM Wild Tiger rings in at a substantial price. This item is definitely a premium collectible intended squarely for the higher end collector, or the more 'hardcore' fan of Tiger & Bunny. The lack of a key accessory or two, such as the Good Luck Mode fist, might also be factors that will make some apprehensive.
However, the figure's great sculpting and multitude of features, coupled with its optimal size, would definitely make it a head-turner in any collector's display. Take into the fact that the figure is durable and light, thus making it extremely playable, truly makes it a rare breed in the field often dominated by figures that look great but are extremely fragile.
If you're after a figure that can truly get the attention of any casual anime fan (and even non-fans), and a way to really 'immortalise' the Crusher for Justice - this is your best option!
Special thanks to Shengtai Toys for providing us with the figure!