Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sci-fi Revoltech Skeleton Army Part 1

The weird just got weirder

Another Revoltech review after VF-1S Strike Valkyrie featured late last month. ^^

A very odd entry in the equally strange Sci-fi Revoltech series, this is No. 020 Skeleton Army.

Released in January 2011, the character is from a 1963 Greek mythology movie entitled "Jason and the Argonauts". In the movie, Greek hero Jason and his band of assembled warriors faced off numerous obstacles in the quest to obtain the legendary Golden Fleece. They are called the Argonauts because the ship they used in the entire adventure is called the Argo. Defeating the skeleton warriors was the last "mission" (^^) Jason needed to accomplish before he could return home with his prize. In the entire movie however, the skeleton warriors are but one of the many mystical and magical beings the Argonauts had to defeat in the quest.

I watched "Jason and the Argonauts" when I was very young and enjoyed it very much. As the movie was made in the 60s, all the special effects were created using stop motion animation, very well executed ones I should emphasize. The creatures and fight scenes created through that cinematic technique looked believable and exciting when I first watched them, and they don't look too bad even now. ^^ The human actors who played in those scenes did amazingly to blend in with the special effects as well, which is another great feature about this movie.

The emergence of the skeleton army and some early sequence of the final fight from the movie:

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

Even though the skeleton warriors' stop motion animation scenes were very well done in the movie, I was quite surprised when the character was announced to be realized as a Sci-fi Revoltech release. ^^ It's not the most unique creature in "Jason and the Argonauts" in my opinion. The winged creatures Harpies and the many-headed serpent-like creature Hydra seemed more intriguing to me - at least they are less human-like than the skeletons, and would make great action figures I believe. ^^ But I can see the versatility of the skeleton warriors, especially in numbers. ^^

Speaking of versatility, this is the first release version of Skeleton Army. The patterns on the two shields included are an octopus and a lion's head. Kaiyodo released the second version of Skeleton Army three months after the release of the first one, with changes made to the patterns of the two shields (only ^^;). Replacing the octopus and lion head are a skeletal head of Medusa and demon head. Everything else, including the packaging remains the same. There's a new label on the front cover to indicate it as the second version I believe.

Given the nature of the character - it's a skeleton, quite mean-looking, but a plain skeleton nonetheless, XD just a figure of it alone isn't enough to justify the regular price of 2,850 Yen (inclusive of tax), even with the high level of details in the Sci-fi Revoltech series taken into consideration. A huge display base with its own set of special gimmicks is included. As a result of that, the base might seems more interesting than the figure itself for many. While I do like the figure itself, the lack of any special display base in many Revoltech action figures reviewed in the past does make the one included for Skeleton Army stand out a lot. ^^

Standard Revoltech design style for the sides, top and bottom of the box.

Introduction of the figure and its content on the back of the box.

As usual, the hard cover allows the package to be opened like a book.

Introduction of the character and movie behind the front cover.

Screenshots from "Jason and the Argonauts".

The figure itself and almost all its accessories can be seen clearly through the front window.

Box open.

Box content. Everything fit on one plastic tray.

Closeups on the content.

Rear view of the plastic tray.

The usual mini booklet previewing upcoming Revoltech releases (back in 2011 ^^;) and promotional pamphlet.

Quite a few strings are used to hold the figure onto the plastic tray.

Package content with the clear plastic cover taken off.

Closeups on the content.

A straight out-of-box Skeleton Army.

The strings used to hold the figure onto the plastic tray.

Like I said, it's just an action figure of a skeleton. ^^ Very thin in appearance (what do you expect from a skeleton? XD), but the intricate rib cage and spine, and overall gradient paint work are immediate eye-catching elements on this figure. ^^

An introduction of all the accessories coming up next. ^^

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