Thursday, April 12, 2012

Revoltech Patlabor Ingram Unit 1 Part 1

An old-school action figure of an old-school robot

Moving away from Gunpla for a while after the work on MG Zaku II F2 EFSF Ver. ^^

The next review series will be on a Revoltech action figure - the first one of its series in this year, and the first one after Vash the Stampede and Nicholas D. Wolfwood reviewed late October last year to be exact. ^^;

This is Revoltech Ingram Unit 1 from "Mobile Police Patlabor" TV anime series.

Very much like MG Zaku II F2 EFSF Ver., this is an old item I pawned off a local forum member some time ago. ^^ Released in 2006, its item code in the Revoltech series is 010 - the 10th release in the entire series, which is an evident itself how vintage this item is. ^^ As of today, the Revoltech series has spawned into several separate categories with their own item codes, including Fraulein, Sci-fi Revoltech, Queen's Blade, Muv-Luv Alternative and the most recent Takeya series. The main category where this particular figure came from is now formerly known as the Yamaguchi line. When Ingram 1 was released however, there was no need for such distinctive "branding", as there was no sub-series at that time. Having said that, the age of this figure is really obvious. ^^;

On a related note, looking back now, the anime series where this mecha came from, "Mobile Police Patlabor" is quite an old robot series as well. ^^ It came out in 1989 and 1990, and I got to watch it a few years later when it was broadcasted on local TV network with Malaysian dub. ^^ Comparing the experience of watching it back then when I was in primary school and many many years after that when I obtained the full series, I still think that it's a really well done anime series. It's one of those rare gems in the mecha anime genre where the robot action can be very minimal, but the story is still very enjoyable. In many episodes, the stories between the characters, especially the inserted humor seemed more enjoyable than action from the Ingrams. ^^ I remember having such realization even when I was a kid who thought that every robot I watched must be capable of transforming for its show to be deemed good. XD The human touch in the story in "Patlabor" is the more interesting element, and the robots are really just accessories. ^^

The opening of "Mobile Police Patlabor" TV anime series.
Video clip is from Youtube. Follow this link to the website if you can't see anything.

Another awesome point about the show is the realism of the robot design. The fact that the Ingrams (Unit 1, 2 and 3) being beaten in terms of specs and performance not too long into the series but still managed to hold on until the end of the entire show is a very unique setting in my opinion. By today's standards, that would never happen again for commercial purposes - companies would want mid-season upgrades or new units to be rolled out for toy and model kit sales to be refreshed. The focus on realistic settings for the robots really gives rise to a lot of interesting plot points, the best one for me is the bond between the pilot and his/her unit. The bond between the protagonist, Izumi and her Ingram Unit 1 was very close and touching to watch. I don't think anyone would want her to get a new unit even when Unit 1 was outperformed by many other Labors in the show. The same thing can be said about Ota and Unit 2. I can't remember how many times he got his unit wrecked beyond repair, but it's always great to see him getting back in action with Unit 2. ^^

By the way, the color of the "rabbit ear's" tail (^^) is the indication that this version of Ingram Unit 1 is from the TV anime series. The movie version has gray tail instead of yellow one as seen on this figure. Together with a few cosmetic changes and inclusion of new accessories, Kaiyodo did released the movie version as Revoltech release No. 042 about two years after this initial version came out. Same treatment was given to Ota's Unit 2 as well. The TV anime version came out in the same year as this Ingram Unit 1 as No. 014, while its movie version was released in 2008 as limited No. 042.

A closer look at the packaging and content of this old Revoltech figure:

The figure itself, which occupies the center-most portion of the box, can be seen clearly through the front window.

An old release as it is, it's still the same generic Revoltech design style for the sides, top and bottom. ^^

Introduction of the figure on the back of the box.

Introduction of Revoltech's four special features on the paper jacket band shows that Kaiyodo still perceived it as a brand new product series that required basic introduction at this stage. ^^

Views of the box with the paper jacket band removed.

Box is opened from the side.

Top view of the box content.

Rear view of the box content.

The display base and all accessories are stored in a separate plastic container which is taped behind the tray.

With the clear plastic cover taken off.

A straight out of box display of Ingram Unit 1.

With all its accessories.

All of the figure's accessories.
The list is a bit short as compared to many subsequent Revoltech releases. ^^;

Including the special fixed right hand unit with a Revolver Cannon, there are altogether five hand units for this figure.

Two spread palms, one left hand to support the right hand with Revolver Cannon and one right hand to hold the stunt baton.

The fixed right hand unit with a Revolver Cannon.
The weapon's sculpt work is pretty detailed, and the paint work for the handle portion is carefully done as well.

(Left) With the special left hand unit designed to support the weapon.
(Right) The right hand unit to hold the stunt baton.

All the hand units' wrist joints are fixed pegs.

One spare collar antenna, two stunt batons - one retracted to be stored inside the shield and one deployed type are also included.

(Left) Pretty good sculpt work for the stunt batons' handles and the buttons.
(Right) With the stunt baton connected to the right hand.

Storing the short type inside the shield.

The connection is very secured, as it doesn't fall out at all when the shield is pointed downward.

The spare antenna is exactly the same as the default one on the figure, which can be detached very easily. I suppose the spare one is given in case the default antenna is broken, even though such accident isn't very likely in my opinion. ^^

The generic Revoltech display base, which came as clear type with a display stand in subsequent releases.

Revoltech title and product info on the back on the base.

As usual, the peg on the base can be used to connect to the figure's heels to secure its action poses.

More images of this action figure and a look at its articulation design in the next posting. ^^

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