Appleseed Ex Machina Landmate
Once in a while, you find a toy that is so good that it exceeds all expectations, especially when you didn’t even “buy” it, well…I did, but not really.
Landmates come from the world of Appleseed (アップルシ-ド), a science fiction world first appearing in manga from 1985 authored by the internationally renowned manga artist Masamune Shirow (士郎 正宗) . It has since been made into a CG anime film (Appleseed) in 2004, followed by the sequel (Appleseed Ex Machina) in 2007.
The sequel Appleseed Ex Machina takes place in the year 2133 following World War III, after a non-nuclear war that killed half the world’s human population. The utopian city-nation of Olympus, populated by humans, cyborgs and bioroids (bio-engineered human beings with genetically engineered DNA that suppresses strong emotions) living in harmony together stands as a beacon of hope in a world of chaos and conflict. Governed by a vast artificial intelligence called Gaia, and administered by bioroids, peace and order is easily maintained. However, a series of random terrorist attacks perpetrated by cyborgs and humans alike threaten to destroy this harmony. The paramilitary task force E.S.W.A.T has to get to the bottom of things before Olympus is plunged into chaos.
Landmates are the author Shirow’s version of ACPA (Assisted Combat Personel Armour), they are powersuit- like mechas worn and controlled by a single operator wearing a datasuit and are a common sight in the Appleseed world. They are used for everything from recreation to warfare and their size and design ranges depending on the use. The interior of the Landmates are covered with receptors which copy the body movement of the operator inside, making them just as maneuverable if not more so than a human body.
Name: ES.W.A.T LANDMATE
Manufacturer: Hot Toys
Line: Appleseed Ex Machina Snap Kit Series
Designer: Masamune Shirow (士郎 正宗)
Material: PVC, ABS
Original Price: N/A
Height: 170mm / 6.7inches (to the top of the head)
The Landmate comes as a bonus figure when you collect all ES.W.A.T members’ figures. Each member come as a blindbox and contain parts to assemble the Landmate (except for Briareos), as such the Landmate doesn’t actually have any packaging. The sneaky thing they’ve done here is to separate parts so that you actually need 2 of each members to get enough parts to make the Landmate – but if you purchased the display box of 10 figures, you are guaranteed all parts to make one Landmate.
Landmate comes with only one accessory, an assault rifle. However it is quite nicely made with decent grade plastic and has been dry brushed silver for the metallic effect. On top of this, the scope has red transparent plastic to mimic the lenses and there is a lever on the side for cocking the rifle (which can snap easily so be careful).
Most of you may know already that Hot Toys is Hong Kong based production house and they have produced many great actual likeness figures in various scales from Japanese animes to Hollywood movies. As yet, I have not been disappointed with any of their offerings, and this is no exception. As far as blindbox figures go, this has to be the best one I’ve seen. The sculptural work is amazingly clean and sharp, proportions are good and it looks exactly as it should in the anime.
The Landmate is a fully articulated figure with 23 points of articulation (including the wing and antenna parts). That’s an amazing amount of movement for a “bonus” figure, not to mention most of these joints can move in multiple directions like a ball joint. This gives you an enormous amount of pose-ability in the figure which equals to hours of fun!
Another thing that really surprised me was the quality and detail to the paint work applied. As you can see there is heaps of “Olympus – ES.W.A.T” text printed on the figure and it is all so clean and crisp. The whole figure has been painted in a nice metallic silver colour, none of this moulded in colour crap. There is heaps of panel line detail throughout the figure all highlighted in white, and parts such as the hands have been given a black ink wash to add a touch of realism. What can I say except that this puts a lot of my “expensive” toys to shame.
As mentioned earlier, the sculptural work on this figure is absolutely stunning, what’s more, the chest piece hinges open to reveal the operator. You can put anyone’s head here (I’ve used Deunan’s head) from the other Appleseed Snap Kit figures as it is a standard ball joint. Here you can really see the amount of detail on this figure.
Like I said, it has exceeded all my expectations from the sculptural detail to the paint work, this really is an exceptional toy and I was very impressed.
The overall quality of the parts and how they come together is so well done that I really can’t fathom why Hot Toys didn’t just sell this on its own – I’m guessing some people actually like the feeling of not knowing? And the satisfaction of finally getting all the pieces. But it’s just sad to know there will be un-assembled Landmate parts floating around out there due to the blindbox retail format.
More Ex Machina members to come soon!
Thanks for reading my toy review!