Do you collect dolls? How about tiny toys? Maybe you call them action figures? How about mini mech suits a la Capcom’s Lost Planet 2? Ah, now I have your attention.
Kotobukiya, crafters of higher-end action figures and statues, sent me the series of four Lost Planet 2 action figures to take a closer look.
The series includes four mech battle suits: PTX-140R Hardballer, PTX-140 Hardballer Early Model, GTF-11 DRIO and GTF-11SR DRIO SR. These are Japanese imports and each one is about 6 inches tall with several movable and removable parts, so expect to pay $40 or more each (they retail for $39.99).
The weapons on all four figures are interchangeable primarily with ball-and-socket connection points. A few also have small slots where a piece or protruding plastic will fit, though these are a little less stable than the other connections. The primary weapons are not attached to the main figure in the package but are instead mounted in the bubble so you can see which weapon you are getting before you even open the box.
It takes a little work to get these from their plastic perches, as the plastic is both molded around the bodies and they are tied down by long metal twist-ties. Once unpacked, you can then begin to detach some of the parts, usually the legs, weapons and a few odd parts. The all-plastic box is also sealed on all sides so you will need to cut along all the borders, meaning there’s no going back to even a faux MIB (aka Mint In Box) state once opened.
The legs are initially a bit stiff and, if you like your figure to stand without the base, don’t pry them free. The plastic seems to like staying in place in shipping and once you remove the legs, they have a bit looser fit. Then you will definitely need the logo base to keep it in place.
Each base is a plastic rectangle with the Lost Planet 2logo embossed in the middle and a few pegs to place into the holes in the bottom of the mech feet. From there you can then pose the figure a little more easily, making it look like it’s in mid run or angling to a side to take a shot at an oncoming opponent.
These figures have amazing detail with colored cables and notches components. Small sections that seem like they would snap off if bend have amazing elasticity, feeling more like rubber than rigid plastic (although I would not push your luck by bending them around too much because even rubbery plastic does eventually give out).
Components have even been shaded to give a slightly worn effect and a hint of use. It’s not too heavy handed so, if you wanted to later add your own battle scars, you still have plenty of space to mar them with your own stains. The shading the artists give the figures offers nice, natural shadowing so, when they are standing, they have and extra level of depth.
I opened the GTF-11SR DRIO-SR figure and took a lot of close-up photos you can check out in the photo gallery to get a better sense of the detail.
The DRIO-SR includes a removable mini figure that is in a sitting position but can be swapped with the mini figure in the other DRIO suit. The cockpits do pivot, although you may need to use a little extra oomph to loosen the plastic. Be careful not to press any rails or holster too hard or you might bend them.
Likewise, many of the wing elements also move but are also rather stiff upon arrival, so you’ll need to look very careful at every join to see exactly where the figure really will and will not move. (If only Kotobukiya provided a guide for each figure). The cockpit canopies are a bit more mobile upon delivery and can be flipped up of down (for shade or for protection from frontal attacks). Each figure promises 20 points of articulation so keep looking until you find them all (or almost all as you’ll regret being wrong).
Knee joints are typically notched instead of a simple smooth socket, so they will settle into various positions with a slight click.
These are certainly high-end figures not meant for younger kids although my three-year-old could not quite keep his hands off of the DRIO-SR. Even after he played with it a bit – and helped me take pictures – it didn’t show the slightest hint of use. Even so, it’s not an inexpensive plaything to give to just any kid. These are figure you have to appreciate to own and often have to own to fully appreciate.
Lost Planet 2 by Capcom was released May 2010 for PS3, Xbox 360 and Windows. The Lost Planet 2 second series of mech actions figures here scheduled to be released May 2010 but did not ship until mid-to-late September 2010.