It may not be a surprise that I’m a huge fan of Mega Man, but you may be wondering why I’m doing a review on a model kit of the “Blue Bomber.” Admittedly I’ve never been much into collectibles such as this, with the extent of my collection consisting of shirts, hats, and the occasional watch and keychain. However, being a huge Mega Man fan comes with some minor annoyances. You see, while Mega Man is considered to be one of the most iconic figures in video game history, the amount of merchandise featuring him is far less than what you would expect. Which is strange seeing as how he’s been around just as long or far longer than some other merchandise-friendly franchises like Street Fighter, Legend of Zelda, and Minecraft. So, as a fan, whenever I see something relating to Mega Man I’m instantly drawn towards it because it may be a while before I get to run into anything else. In fact, there’s been multiple times when I’ve gone to conventions where I didn’t see a SINGLE piece of Mega Man related merchandise! No figures, no shirts, no DVD’s, and not even any original artwork. It was only when I commissioned an artist to draw him that I finally saw my beloved Blue Bomber on the showroom floor. So you can understand my excitement when I saw this Mega Man figure displayed at my local video game store. I had never attempted a model kit before, but when I saw this awesome Mega Man model I knew I had to get it!
As I mentioned previously, I had never really purchased this sort of thing before so I didn’t have any kind of experience prior to trying my hand at this model kit. So my review of this model is from the perspective of somebody whose new to this particular kind of hobby. Take this review from somebody who can’t compare this to other model kits out there, and from somebody whose just now getting into building models of this type. Even though I may not have the same experience as others, what I can say is that I loved playing with construction type toys growing up. Things like LEGO’s, Play-Dough, and other types of construction type toys were an absolute favorite of mine, and this model kit seems to be the natural evolution of those type of toys. If you’re the type of person that enjoys putting things together and seeing it slowly take shape then you’ll really enjoy this model kit.
Let me first start off by saying that if you think that this is simply an action figure then you’ll be in for a huge shock. I can’t stress enough that this is NOT meant for children. It may not seem like it at first glance due to the bright colorful box and its similarities to your typical action figure, but this is meant for an older audience. There are MANY small pieces involved and can be chocking hazards for small children. Not only that but due to the nature of model building you’ll also be dealing with sharp objects like scissors or X-Acto knives as you try to cut away some of the pieces from their plastic restraints. Lastly, even after the model has been completed it is still rather fragile and won’t hold up to the rough handling that children are accustomed to. So if you’re thinking about buying this for somebody young I would seriously reconsider.
My first impressions of the box itself were good. They definitely captured the bright, cheery personality of Mega Man and the art itself is pretty nice, definitely something to make you want to keep the box on display. Once you actually open the box you’ll soon see why this kit isn’t meant for children. As pictured below, there are many plastic restraints holding the individual pieces of the Mega Man model. This is where you find out (if you’re a first timer like I was) that this is going to take a while to build, and that it would be in your best interest to place these pieces on a flat surface so that you don’t end up loosing any piece. If you do, then the entire model will go to waste since you need every last piece to build Mega Man and you don’t get more than the necessary pieces to build him. There are just enough to build one Mega Man figure and you get a few extra parts to make your own custom facial expression, but that really won’t help much if you’re missing an entire arm or leg!
The other thing that you’ll notice is that the instructions that come with this kit are in Japanese! And I’m not talking about them having some Japanese phrases, the ENTIRE manual is in Japanese. NO ENGLISH. This might seem intimidating at first, but thankfully they provide drawings and diagrams clearly enough so that you just have to follow visually in order to understand what’s going on. No need to spend hundreds of dollars on a Japanese language course at the local community college! Everything is simple enough, though every now and then you might have to fidget around to see how some of the pieces fit in. This also gets to my next point. As stated before there are many small parts and you’ll have to be careful when cutting them out of the restraints and when putting them together so that you don’t accidentally end up breaking them. I unfortunately found this out the hard way as a small piece ended up breaking on me. I didn’t even realize it was broken until after I had put the whole thing together. Thankfully it wasn’t a major part (it was this really thin piece that goes around the neck), but the point still stands. You have to handle these pieces with care if you want to make sure you put it all together the way it’s supposed to.
The great thing about this model is that it doesn’t require any kind of glue and everything comes together by fitting corresponding joints with each other. This keeps things from getting too messy and it also gives the benefit of being able to interchange certain parts. Yup, that’s right, you can change certain parts of Mega Man like his hands, his arm cannon, and his face. This gives you the chance to pose him however way you want and even change the type of expression he has on his face! He comes with two sets of hands and an arm cannon (with two types of “beams”) and he comes with three facial expressions (happy, shouting, and neutral). He also comes with an “E-Tank” straight from the video game which he’s able to hold in his hand. Simply put, this provides a wide variety of opportunities to pose him and he is surprisingly stable on a flat surface, which means that you’ll have very little trouble getting him to stand on his own. It’s surprisingly fun coming up with different ways to pose him and this can actually serve as a great reference if you enjoy drawing him (like I do!).
Of course not everything is perfect and this does come with a few drawbacks. For starters, since all the pieces come attached to their plastic restraints you may have a bit of trouble cutting them out, especially the smaller pieces. I used a combination of scissors, a nail clipper, and an X-Acto knife. The bigger pieces weren’t that much trouble, but since the smaller pieces are more fragile I had to be careful that I didn’t break them while I was trying to detach them from their restraints. I had a few times when I almost cut myself with the X-Acto knife as I was trying to do so, so I should also stress that you have to be careful while doing this if you’re using sharp objects. The other thing about these plastic restraints is that they leave behind some small notches where the parts were connected. Even after cutting them down they can still be pretty noticeable. I’ve heard that you can remedy this by sanding them down with sand paper, but this means that you’ll have to recolor each piece which can obviously be a daunting task if you’re new to this type of hobby. Speaking of color, all the parts come colored already but strangely enough the box art shows them with a gradient, giving them a more “complete” finish instead of everything being a solid color. This may be a bit of a downer but it also means that you’re encouraged to paint the model yourself. This could be a positive or negative depending on how you look at it, but it nonetheless comes off as a bit of a downer if you were expecting it to look the exact same way as it does on the box. Lastly, due to the nature of the kit, some of the parts have a tendency to fall off as you’re reposing the figuring. It may be different for each person, but for me any time I try to change Mega Man’s pose his arms are always the first things to pop off! It’s all part of the nature of model kits but it can still be a bit annoying nonetheless.
Check out some of the different poses:
Have you built this model? What were your thoughts on it?