Friday, November 15, 2013

Robot Damashii Doraemon Part 1

Side what?

After [Side MS] Geara Zulu featured early last year, here's a new Robot Damashii review with the first non-[Side MS] figure to roll out on this blog. ^^ As a matter of fact, this is one of the very few releases in the entire Robot Damashii line since it was launched in 2008 that has no indication of its "Side", giving the figure a really special status. ^^


First released in September 2011, this is Robot Damashii Doraemon. It was reissued just two months ago, but this particular one that I have is from the first release. ^^

Created by two manga artists known with the collective name of Fujio F. Fujiko (藤子不二雄) in 1969, Doraemon is a character that resonates with the childhood memories of countless people from the 70s to the 90s I believe. ^^ I read tons of Doraemon mangas back in the old days, and the Malay-dubbed anime series were among the earliest TV programs I watched back then as well. So, I certainly have very fond memories of Doraemon and all its stories. Besides the usual slapstick humor from various shenanigans that happen when Doraemon's tools were misused by Nobita, many of the stories are very educational as well. They involve Doraemon and friends helping people, animals, and the environment, often in ways unnoticed by the victims as well. I'm pretty sure many fans of Doraemon grew up with fantasies of the robot cat popping out of their desk drawers and informed them that he was assigned to them by their future generations as companion and savior. XD I was a bit more realistic to not have such fantasies as a kid, not because of lack of imagination or anything, but unfortunately I didn't have a study table with a drawer for Doraemon to pop out of back then. XD

In many ways, I always find the fact that Doraemon has never faded away from the realm of public awareness after so many years to be quite amazing, and a very pleasant one at that. ^^ There are still new animated Doraemon movies being pushed out in Japan from time to time, which have always been well received by the audience there. Since the background of Doraemon was set in the 70s, there are so many elements that kids are exposed to nowadays that cannot be incorporated into the story of Doraemon. Technologies that we take for granted now, like computers, cell phones, robots, and many more are not available in the world of Doraemon. As a matter of fact, many of the so-called future inventions that Doraemon could pull out of his belly pocket are already available now. ^^ Yet, I always believe that there are more to the story than those fancy gadgets that captivated past generations, and is still captivating children all over the world today, with the friendship between Nobita and Doraemon being the focus no doubt.

In conjunction with the 80th birthday anniversary of Fujio F. Fujiko next year, a new 3D movie called "Stand By Me Doraemon" will be coming out.


Trailer for "Stand By Me Doraemon".
Video clip is from Youtube. Follow this link to the website if you can't see anything.

From the trailer, it seems like the story of Doraemon leaving Nobita to return to his world is going to be part of it. I read that manga chapter when I was very young, and cried a lot because of that. Just seeing very similar image of that chapter popping up near the end of the trailer clip made me feel like crying again. ^^

That's the real magic of Doraemon I suppose. Even though his world and story are no longer relevant to my life because of my age, I still care for the character. ^^



Front view of the box.

While the character is fun and adorable, I always believe that Doraemon is a character that's very difficult to be designed into an action figure, mainly because of the design of the character itself. ^^; Despite being a robot cat, Doraemon exhibits superhuman flexibility that totally defies logic. Its stubby arms and legs can extend as much as it wishes them to, and its ping-pong ball-like hands have "hidden fingers" that can pop up to hold certain items. XD On top of that, there seems to be no limit to the facial expression that Doraemon can exhibit. ^^ All of those "special" design features are no problem at all when they are shown as mere 2D illustrations of the character, obviously, but they are definitely challenging to realize for an action figure. ^^; How should the elbow and knee joints be designed, or how to realize Doraemon's giant mouth when it's opened are probably among the interesting questions posted when this Robot Damashii version was first conceived of I believe. Those challenges/limitations are probably the very reasons for the lack of Doraemon action figures in the past. ^^

Regarding the aforementioned limitations, this Robot Damashii version isn't perfect in addressing some of the challenges, nor does it exhibits any revolutionary design that helped to bridge between 2D illustration and 3D action figure design. ^^; It does have a few creative features to address some of the character's special design points, and the option parts included allow it to realize a number of iconic scenes as well. Even though it's an action figure, I'm not going to expect a lot from it, mainly because liking the character is the main motivation behind the purchase and not about wanting a fully articulated Doraemon. ^^

In many ways, Doraemon is not suitable to be turned into an action figure I suppose. ^^; Despite that, did you know that there was a series of commercials made by Toyota that featured real actors and actresses playing characters from the world of Doraemon, including Doraemon himself who was played by Jean Reno? ^^ Yes, you read that right, Doraemon played by Jean Reno, who was one of the killers for hire in the movie "Ronin" (1998) introduced in late August, that Jean Reno. ^^


Dokodemodoa~ Takecopter~ Moshimo-box~ XD
Video clip is from Youtube. Follow this link to the website if you can't see anything.


Torinuke Fupu!
Video clip is from Youtube. Follow this link to the website if you can't see anything.


Time machine!
Video clip is from Youtube. Follow this link to the website if you can't see anything.


Ankipan!
Video clip is from Youtube. Follow this link to the website if you can't see anything.

Jean Reno should really win an Oscar for his portrayal as Doraemon in this commercial series. XD





Doraemon and some of the option parts and accessories can be seen through the front window.



Manga panels showing Doraemon and friends decorate all sides of the box, except the bottom face. ^^





Closeups on some of the manga panels.






Introduction of the figure on the back of the box.



Comparison of Doraemon's box with that of a [Side MS] figure, Gouf Custom, which came out not too long after Doraemon. ^^



While the width of Doraemon's box is shorter than that of Gouf Custom, itdoes has a larger volume, thanks to Doraemon's bosy size no doubt. XD


Box open.


Front view of the package content.


Package content without the top cover.





Closer look at the content.


Rear view of the package content.





Closer look at the content.


A blue backdrop with Doraemon's bell as its pattern.


A folded instruction sheet removed from behind the backdrop.




Configuration of the different face and eye expression parts, and some of the option parts included are shown on the instruction sheet.



A straight out of box display of Robot Damashii Doraemon.


Comparison between this action figure and my palm. ^^

A look at all of Doraemon's accessories and option parts in the next posting. ^^

4 comments:

LEon said...

You reminded me that I still yet to open and review this toy!! Should do soon.:D

Ngee Khiong Chang said...

Yes you should, it's a very good figure. ^^

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