Variable Action Linebarrel ラインバレル

A couple of months ago, I would have been like “what the hell is a Linebarrel, is it a kind of barrel?” After a bit of research I found the answer to my question, and I’m glad I did as I’ve grown quite fond of this mecha – mostly due to the figure I’m about to review.

Background:

Linebarrels of Iron (鉄のラインバレル) is an ongoing Japanese manga series that appear in the monthly shōnen manga magazine “Champion Red” from 2004.

It was adapted into anime by Gonzo (anime studio) and premiered in Japan on October 2008, it consists of 24 episodes.

Story summary taken from the Official Linebarrels Website.
“Fourteen-year-old Kouichi Hayase’s (早瀬 浩一) life has always been a mediocre one, if not dismal. However, those days of being bullied by classmates and escaping to a fantasy of being a hero are put to an end when a certain “accident” bestows on him a girl and a gigantic humanoid robot called “LINEBARREL”. The extraordinary power that Kouichi obtains puts him and everything around him on a sudden rollercoaster ride of battles, intrigues and friendship! During the course of his adventure, the boy starts to learn what life has to offer; he meets new friends, bids farewell to the old ones, but most of all he now has considerable responsibilities and is forced to confront the world around him.”

Variable Action LinebarrelThere are two types of mechas in this anime, “Machinas” and “Armas”. “Machinas” have an unknown origin and are limited in numbers, they are mechas that are powered by nanobots called D-S.O.I.L which allows them to regenerate after being damaged as if they are living objects. They also seem to have their own consciousness and can only be piloted by the one chosen “factor” (pilot). They have the ability to teleport and can be stored in another dimension. Linebarrels is the main “Machina” in this anime.

Since there are limited numbers of “Machinas” in existence, humans created the “Armas” which are imitations of the “Machinas”, however they cannot regenerate or teleport, can be piloted by anyone and are nowhere as powerful as the real thing.

Name: Linebarrel ラインバレル
Manufacturer: Megahouse メガハウス
Line: Variable Action
Sculptor:
Scale: 1/144
Material: ABS, PVC
Release: March 2009
Original Price: ¥5,775 (approx. $70AUD / $64USD)
Height: 170mm / 6.69inches (to top of horn)

Packaging:

Linebarrel comes in a conventional cardboard box with display window in the front and the top to view the figure inside. Graphics on the box are nice and shows the figure in various poses and configurations. Open the box and you’ll find the figure and accessories packed in between plastic trays, no tape or wires in sight making extraction a very simple process! Packaging is collector friendly.

  • Linebarrel Packaging
  • Linebarrel Packaging inside

Accessories:

There aren’t many accessories that come with this guy. You get two swords, 3 sets of hands, two sword handles and a display stand. Interesting to note that the swords cannot actually be stored in the scabbard, you have to replace the handle to simulate the swords being stored.

  • Linebarrel accessories - sword and hilt
  • Linebarrel accessories - display stand

Form/Sculpt:

Design wise, this mecha is very unique and is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. It took a while for me to get used to those “legs”, but the more I look at it the more I appreciate the design being so different. In my honest opinion, this would have to be the best representation of the Linebarrel released in toy form (and closest to the anime design), Kotobukiya has a model kit, Volks has an action figure and CM’s Corporation has a Brave Gohkin of this mecha but none of them have quite nailed the proportions as well as Megahouse.

Linebarrel front and back view

This figure was designed and modelled by master sculptors as well as using 3D CAD technology, this is quite apparent in the sharp lines and small detail found throughout the toy.

Articulation/Action:

One of the main reasons why I am so impressed with this toy is the amount of articulation and the ability to pull off some really dynamic action poses. It really puts a lot of my other mecha action figures to shame, just take a look at the photos!

  • Linebarrel action pose
  • Linebarrel charging with swords
  • Linebarrel ready for battle
  • Linebarrel drawing sword (simulated)
  • Linebarrel high kick!
  • Linebarrel ready for fist fight

Paint/Print:

Another really impressive part was the paint and print application on this figure. Two Linebarrel symbols printed in total, one on the head and one on the back, both very crisp and sharp. Great paint detail throughout the figure, with panel lines pre-drawn in most places. Paint is mostly tidy and clean but I did find one slight problem in this department though.

  • Linebarrel symbol print on head
  • Linebarrel back detail and symbol print
  • Linebarrel sword and hilt paint detail
  • Linebarrel rear stabilizer paint detail
  • Linebarrel shoulder paint detail
  • Linebarrel back of leg paint detail

The paint seems to be quite thin in some places, and scratches off somewhat easily through wear, just have to be careful when handling this toy not to rub any painted parts together.

  • Linebarrel paint wear from shoulders
  • Linebarrel paint wear on head from packaging

Detail/Features:

Some really cool small detail I found on this figure, like on the back tail stabilizer for example you can see they’ve made the effort to put some thrusters. The heel of the feet can open up and the fins on the leg can also be rotated up and down.

  • Linebarrel thruster/vent detail on tail stabilizer
  • Linebarrel heel detail and rotating fins

The shoulder joints are very cleverly done using a double joint to allow movement in all 3 plans – this gives Linebarrel a huge amount of movement in the shoulders. The head can also be tilted all the way back allowing Linebarrel to look up, or look forward when he is in a charging/flight pose. This does leave a slightly unsightly gap on the base of its neck, but I’d prefer this than a non-tilting head.

  • Linebarrel shoulder joint detail
  • Linebarrel neck joint detail

Comparing the size and design against the CM’s Linebarrel, it is smaller in scale but as you can see, the proportions are just that little bit nicer. It also looks great facing off against “Vardant”, also released by Megahouse. If you like this figure, you’ll LOVE Vardant – review soon!

  • Linebarrel Megahouse (right) vs CM's Corporation (left)
  • Linebarrel vs Vardant!!

Overall:

I’m really glad I found this anime, which has led me to acquire this awesome figure. The price range is quite reasonable considering the amount of detail and paint. This is another one of those completed figures that could almost pass off as a pro-built model kit. Only improvements I can see would be to thicken up the paint job and perhaps include more accessories such as Linebarrel’s Executor cannon.

Hopefully we’ll see a future release of the “Hind-Kind”, if this figure is anything to go by in terms of quality then consider one sold to me:)

Thanks for reading my toy review!



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2 Comments

    Great review!

    By the way, I happen to have the same figure, too. I’d like to ask a question, the ball joints confuse me somehow. You see, I tried to make him split his legs, but it’s too hard and I’m scared of breaking it. Same applies to the joints that connects his arms to his body. I can’t move it up or down for fear of breaking it.

    • Thanks!

      The ball joints are a little tight on my one too, especially the shoulder joints. If you do find them hard to move try heating it up a bit with a hair dryer. It also helps to support the ball joint with your finger whilst rotating it slowly. Joints can seize over time if the figures are not played with often. Just be gentle with it and it should be okay.

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