Sunday, August 11, 2013

Kaiyodo Revoltech Baragon Review

The time has finally come, my very first Kaiju from Kaiyodo's Sci-Fi Revoltech line! Baragon was up there in my list of monsters I'd love to own from this line. Thanks to my good friend WimpLo, all of this was possible!

Kaiyodo's Revoltech Baragon is, from what I understand, one of, if not the first Kaiju figure in this line and is based on the movie Frankenstein Conquers The World. Baragon's existence came into light when he surfaced from the underground to eat livestock from rural farm villages while trampling a lot of houses and facilities along the way. By comparing the toy with Baragon in the movie, Kaiyodo managed to create a near perfect, if not accurate representation in this figure. Baragon is molded out of brown PVC plastic, brushed with some hints of black to bring out the details of some flaps and wrinkles, particularly the face. A lot of careful attention has also been put into the bumps that cover Baragon's face and all four legs; a line of spikes that start on top of the head and ends at the back of the neck; rows of protruding plates that cover the back and tail; square patterned texture underneath; and more wrinkles in between.

There is also a translucent yellow horn that more or less glows under a light. From head to toe, there's nothing to nit pick about in detail.

Through some clever engineering, Baragon can display multiple expressions. Those hinged ears can switch Baragon's facial appearance from calm to angry very quickly, depending on how they are positioned. The hinged mouth can be posed either open or closed to mimic a growl or bite attack, but most importantly, Baragon has the ability to switch mobility between crawling and standing stances.

As cool and durable as Baragon seems, there are a few potential problems that could happen some time in the future. For example, Baragon's head is held together by a small Revoltech joint located in the neck. The result gives Baragon's head sort of a flimsy, bobbing motion, yet the head somehow doesn't pop off. Even the segmented neck is rigged with another Revoltech joint that seems not durable enough to support a little excess twist or bends. Another potential problem in the future could be the bendable wire installed inside Baragon's rubber tail, for added curving poseability, which could ruin or crack the material after years if the rubber decays.

As an added incentive, Baragon comes with miniature replicas from a few set pieces to recreate a scene from the movie. In Frankenstein Conquers The World, Baragon emerged from under the ground, demolished the Shirane Lodge, then later destroyed a small farm, and trampled a horse, if not eaten. Kaiyodo provided those miniatures. Available in this set is the Shirane Lodge, two trees to enhance the environment, and a horse to plow. Although these miniature props are nice to have as a bonus, not having a fire breathing effect to come out of Baragon's mouth is a major disappointment. Baragon blew fire out of his mouth in the movie during a battle with Frankenstein's monster, so why can't this toy mimic the same thing?

If you're looking for a highly detailed figure of Baragon with super poseable capabilities, this toy is the cream of the crop, unless S.H. MonsterArts includes their own figure of this monster that is comparable with Kaiyodo's version. Baragon has excellent details, a wonderful paint job, an ability to crawl and stand, and possesses a reasonable range of motion. Those accessories stays true to the movie by paying a wonderful homage to Baragon's terror in the mountainous, rural areas in Japan. However, not including Baragon's fire blowing accessories seems like a violation to an unwritten rule. There is also a concern on whether Baragon will still be pristine and not deteriorating 10 years from now, considering Kaiyodo's questionable move to mold the monster's tail out of rubber and have it rigged with a bendable wire, or the small ball joints located inside that segmented neck, which may be prone to breaking easily if great care is not taken. However, I'm not really a toy designing expert, so my concerns may not be true at all. Therefore, if anyone still insists on seeking this figure set despite my negative points of view, go for it!

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