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Doom Diver
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hypnotator



Joined: 10 May 2006
Posts: 1525

PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:31 pm    Post subject: Doom Diver Reply with quote

After posting some lukewarm comments on Clone’s Assemble Borg review, I got playing with mine and decided I had to get more. They are very difficult to stand, and the joints take some getting used to, but they take some of the best ideas from the Henshin Cyborg and Microman lines and distil them into something amazing. The main thing is that they take the interchangeable concept which was really only applicable to the vehicles and playsets in the Microman/Micronaut lines, and apply it to the figures themselves, which come apart and can be reconfigured at every joint.



Doom Diver really is the weirdest action figure I’ve seen in a long time, possibly ever. He is much further from Henshin Cyborg and Microman than the other figures, being opaque and only having a few of the regular Assemble Borg body parts. I was convinced that this was just an accessory set until it arrived, but you get the green upper arms, pelvis and thighs to make up the figure.



The design of this figure reminds me of the surreal rococo patterns in Jim Woodring’s trippy comic strips, for those of you that know them. Woodring has had a go at designing toys himself, but I wasn’t keen to get ‘em. It’s the sheer ambiguity of the Doom Diver that I like; he has an organic look despite being obviously robotic and he also has a touch of Victorian sci-fi about him. The Jarknoids are evil looking mutant alien types, but he could be from a completely different party of inscrutably weird self-evolving robots.



I even love the name of this guy. What the fuck is a Doom Diver anyway? What the fuck would this guy go diving for? But he is a bit like between a cross between a deep sea diver and a diving bell, or a bell end. The featureless face works well, I think. Are those Dennis Healy’s eyebrows? Here is a back view:



Like Acroyear and Robot A, he has a face suggested on the back of his head, more so in fact than on the front. The chin makes it difficult to turn the head round when he is in standard configuration, though. But who wants to keep him in standard configuration anyway?



I’m not really one for playing with toys much; I tend to just display them, but you really can have a lot of fun with the Assemble Borg series. You’ve got to devote a bit of time to playing with these. The joint system can be really tricky and you have to shove the little poles into the holes, where they sometimes don’t fit or even snap off so gently does it...
Unlike the other Assemble Borgs, Doom Diver comes unassembled in a tray. You have to spend a patient hour just getting him out and assembling him for the first time. I had to deflower some of the holes with a craft knife and a needle file. The housing for one of the back holes snapped off completely, but it was a glued-on part and went back on with cyano acrylate easy enough, after I loosened it up a bit.



The silver “torso” piece is so un-torso like that it invites configuring in all sorts of ways. It certainly doesn’t look any less like a torso when it’s upside down. Heck, if you take the limbs and head off, it looks nothing like a torso.



I’m glad I did this review as it really got me playing. Assemble Borg beats Microman/Micronauts hands down for interchangeability in my view. It’s closer to Lego in terms of versatility. And the results are freakier than both.





Really the other Assemble Borgs deserve separate reviews, if I had time, but here’s a quick peek at some jolly limb switching I done with Jarknoid Yeeg and his correspondingly coloured mini Xo pal. Haw haw he looks like a Thalidomide.



“Where’s my Thalidomide cake?”
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fantasticplastic



Joined: 26 Mar 2009
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Location: England

PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like something from THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN or HELLBOY!
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Clone666



Joined: 10 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice review Hypno!
I was reading a Japanese blog about the Doom Diver, and the design is considered to be retro over there if you can believe it.
Sorry to hear you had problems standing your borgs, I always display mine armed to the teeth with accessories and they never fall over. Guess they're balanced out?
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gort



Joined: 25 May 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great review! I wasn't going to bother with Assemble Borg unless I found one in the flesh but Doom Diver has my resolve shaking.
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GUYx1
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes reminds me of hellBoy, but I also am reminded of 5th element's Mondoshawan head


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KB



Joined: 18 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice review Hypno, great interchangability, looks like its come out of a comic - great stuff
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hypnotator



Joined: 10 May 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Sorry to hear you had problems standing your borgs, I always display mine armed to the teeth with accessories and they never fall over.


Yep there are ways around balancing them but I like to display them with just one weapon each or it distracts from the toy, plus some of those sabre/gun things are a bit over the top in my opinion. With a little patience you can get them well balanced, but you have to click and swivel those joints over and over. When I first got my Assemble Borgs I was impatient to get them out of all that packaging and on display, and I had so little time. These really are toys to spend a little time and patience on, though.

I had Yeeg perched on a high shelf but I hadn’t balanced his legs well, and he took a plunge in the middle of the night. His chin and part of the rim around the back of his neck broke off. The bits superglued back on easily once I had found them on the carpet.

Quote:
I wasn't going to bother with Assemble Borg unless I found one in the flesh


According to Dokuroking, Assemble Borgs will not be distributed outside Japan. They are on Ebay, though. I got mine from Samurai Toys Japan. I’m really looking forward to the costume-like converter sets for the three Jarknoids when they are released.

I was able to pick up all the mini Jarknoid colours on Yahoo Japan, big thanks to Clone here, including the clear one. I was so careful trying to unplug his dummy joints to replace them, but I still had three of the dummy joints snap off inside, just like you warned, Clone. I found that heating with a hairdryer helped to loosen them and also bending them very carefully to free them where the sides stick together. But the damage was done, and I managed to hook one bit out and had to drill the other two. This took its toll on the clear parts, the drill went straight through the pelvis at one point and one thigh got sticky clear resin residue on it when I put it in my mini vice. I tried to clean it off with meths and the part went cloudy. That trick I suggested of heating a wire didn’t work at all; the black plastic of the dummy joints didn’t melt around the hot wire. He looks okay now but it niggles that he isn’t perfect.
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Clone666



Joined: 10 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you have problems with any dummy joints in the coloured ones? Or was it just the clear ones like me?
Sorry to hear about your troubles with that, sounds like you went through a lot of work. I still have one more clear one with dummy parts still broken inside of it that I haven't touched yet because of what I went through last time.


Bigbadtoystore carries all the Assembleborg figures now
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/menu.aspx?menu=2119&company=60
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hypnotator



Joined: 10 May 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Did you have problems with any dummy joints in the coloured ones?



Yeah just one joint wouldn't pull out of the left foot of the purple one, but by that time I had already broken the three joints off in the clear one, so I resolved to put it aside and take my time. Later I tried the hairdryer and it worked. You are right to put your other clear one aside and psyche up for a harrowing troubleshoot.

Nice to see people stocking Assemble Borgs but Samurai Toys seem to do the best deal at $35 each compared to $55 at Bigbad. I haven't checked the postage though.
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microbry



Joined: 10 May 2006
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Location: Rescue Base Seattle

PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gawdammit, you had to make the Woodring comparison. I totally didn't grok these, but now it all looks very tasty again. It really looks a lot like his typical black and white work. I have his Mr. Bumper toy, and it's one of my favorites in my collection (partly because it looks a lot like something I created as a kid once).

I've seen a lot of Japanese postings using this toy, but your "recipes" with it are more to my taste. Great stuff.

And yeah, I have the standing issue as well and it really ticks me off actually. I really wanted to like Revoltech, but every single toy I've bought in the line is just no fun for me to pose, and even if I get a pose I like, it will almost never hold it for very long. Sad Figma, Busou Shinki, and M.R.S. are all much better in that department in my book. I also just don't have any use for the scale Assemble Borg is in. I hate to bag on it as I love the general aesthetic and the possibilities, but ah well.
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hypnotator



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm just pleased someone who read this thread knew who I was on about. Woodring isn't exactly mainstream.

Mister Bumper - is that the frogish guy in the big red car? I saw one in a glass case once and I thought it a bit cumbersome. Is it soft vinyl? The very first toys he did - lizardlike statuettes if I remember - looked to be the best of his toys. For me Woodring's strips are about the juxtaposition of a naive, cartoony look and gory, sinister, shocking stuff as well as surrealism, of course. Not enough of this came over in the toys.

After I did my review, I checked out the assembleborg.com page and saw a few combinations I hadn't thought of. Please post links of any other sites, Bry.

Figma, Busou Shinki and MRS? Are these other revoltech toys? I never heard of Revoltech or had any interest until someone started posting previews of Assemble Borg here. At the time I thought Assemble Borg looked like an interesting Microforce KO but they are much more.
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microbry



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hypnotator wrote:
I'm just pleased someone who read this thread knew who I was on about. Woodring isn't exactly mainstream.

Mister Bumper - is that the frogish guy in the big red car? I saw one in a glass case once and I thought it a bit cumbersome. Is it soft vinyl? The very first toys he did - lizardlike statuettes if I remember - looked to be the best of his toys. For me Woodring's strips are about the juxtaposition of a naive, cartoony look and gory, sinister, shocking stuff as well as surrealism, of course. Not enough of this came over in the toys.


Here's mine. They came in a few variant paint schemes.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3233/2838852673_6fdabdf068_b.jpg

With "removable cowl" removed, revealing things are not quite what they seem:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3170/2838853607_a45c5db4e0_b.jpg

(can't seem to get image embedding to work on this post...ah well)

I'm not sure what material is used...it seems like vinyl but it isn't soft vinyl, it's a harder material. It's also non posable, which is kind of a shame with all those legs. But I really dig it. I knew I had to have one as soon as I saw it reviewed somewhere. I've only seen a couple of his other toys, but none of them have grabbed me like this fellow did. You are right though that the toys seem more whimsical and less sinister overall.

Quote:
After I did my review, I checked out the assembleborg.com page and saw a few combinations I hadn't thought of. Please post links of any other sites, Bry.


I haven't really kept up so much. Fanmode.Net has a dedicated page of Assemble Borg links http://www.fanmode.net/2009/01/15/assemble-borg-checklist/ (as well as one for Busou Shinki and one for Figma). The official site has a bbs there which is the best location as thousands of posts have been made by fans of images of their creations there.

Quote:
Figma, Busou Shinki and MRS? Are these other revoltech toys? I never heard of Revoltech or had any interest until someone started posting previews of Assemble Borg here. At the time I thought Assemble Borg looked like an interesting Microforce KO but they are much more.


Well they cover different ranges... Figma is mostly anime figures (though due to a very popular internet meme in Japan they did a couple of runs of one based on gay porn star body builder Billy Herrington --seriously, you can't make up this kind of stuff: http://www.goodsmile.info/detail/jpn/2338/figma+%E3%83%93%E3%83%AA%E3%83%BC%E3%83%BB%E3%83%98%E3%83%AA%E3%83%B3%E3%83%88%E3%83%B3.html ), but based on a system of interchangeable joints like Revoltech. These joints hold poses better, glide smoothly, and are more discrete in appearance. They did do two all-clear exclusive figmas (called Archetypes) that would likely appeal to Visible Innards folks: http://figma.jp/products/2009/fig09wh9-01.html and http://figma.jp/products/2009/fig09wh9-02.html

Fanmode Page: http://www.fanmode.net/2008/09/29/figma-checklist/

Busou Shinki is also mostly anime style stuff with cute girl characters, but a larger scale with oldschool riveted joints and tons of interchangeable parts and SF-themed armor, mecha parts, and accessories. Like Microman, they are supposed to be 1/1 scale androids so there's a lot of cyborg enhancement-style goodness and they are also interchangeable with Konami's prior "Amdriver" toyline. I wouldn't recommend them to folks who don't like the anime look (although I believe there were a couple recently done in a more realistic style as a spinoff, and there are also "blank figures" similar to Microman material force), but if you like lots of cool interchangable parts and a kind of Microman-like feel, this is a pretty good series.

Fanmode Page: http://www.fanmode.net/2007/10/09/busou-shinki-sets/

Motion Revive Series is a very Microman "MicroAction"-derivative 1/18 scale toyline from Bandai. Originally it was just used for Kamen Rider figures (example: http://takufig.exblog.jp/7102303/ ) and didn't interest me or catch my attention, but more recently they also did toys of characters from the game Monster Hunter that are extremely cool and very Microman-like ( examples: http://updatedude.wordpress.com/2009/01/11/mrs-monster-hunter-rathalos/ and http://updatedude.wordpress.com/2009/01/09/mrs-monster-hunter-girl-3/ although the pics in those links don't do the figures justice...), as well as KosMos and TelLos from Xenosaga which are pretty sweet. I haven't shot pics yet, but they'll be in a forthcoming Flickr post and review on my blog at some point.
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hypnotator



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the Mister Bumper pics, Bry. I’ve saved them. I had no idea what I was passing over at the time. Even though I saw this in the flesh at Forbidden Planet, Bristol, maybe I would have been swayed if I had seen him come apart, which I had no idea he did.

I ain’t homophobic, but I find that Billy Herrington figure rather upsetting.

I got completely lost in the link to fanmode.net and ended up learning all about how Henshin Cyborg owes his existence to the Vietnam War. Read all about it, Innarders:

http://www.fanmode.net/2008/12/25/henshin-cyborg/

Plus an interesting article about “Bowlingual”, the Takara device that lets you communicate with dogs, as if you’d want to:

http://www.andyraskin.com/host/takara.html

It’s also about how brilliant and clever the Takara Boss Yasuta Satoh “The God of Toys” was. It’s interesting to compare this account of the amazingly successful and innovative toy company with the versions I used to hear about a bunch of arguing executives when the company effectively folded and merged with Tomy.
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Clone666



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hypnotator wrote:

I ain’t homophobic, but I find that Billy Herrington figure rather upsetting.
.


No kidding!

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BAZ



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh dear........................
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