Bubblegum Crisis 1/15 Moto Slave + Priss
This is one of those figures that really intrigued me even though I had not seen the anime before. I really like the idea of your transportation turning into a robot that you can also wear as an exoskeleton. Seriously who doesn’t like a good exoskeleton, but how well has Yamato pulled this off in toy form?
Bubblegum Crisis (バブルガムクライシス) is a cyberpunk (“high tech” and “low life”) themed anime that is set in post-earthquake Tokyo, now known as “Megatokyo” in the year 2032. The name Bubblegum Crisis is a metaphor describing an unstable and critical world where if air keeps blowing into the gum, the bubble would eventually burst.
Bubblegum Crisis is an 8 episode anime series that was first released in 1987 up until 1991. It tells a story about a corrupt mega corporation called “Genom” that has immense power and global influence, producing Boomers (cyborgs) that are used for manual labor and military purposes.
Boomers were designed to serve mankind, however in the wrong hands they can become deadly weapons. The AD police (elite group of specially trained and equipped police) are tasked to deal with Boomer related crimes but are unable to cope due to political reasons and insufficient funding. This is where the Knight Sabers come in, they are a group of all female mercenary team with high combat abilities and uses highly advance body armor – Priscilla “Priss” S. Asagiri is a rock singer and the rebellious and defiant member of the Knight Sabers.
Name: Bubblegum Crisis Moto Slave + Priss
Line: Bubblegum Crisis
Material: ABS, PVC, small part zinc alloy
Release: Dec 2008
Original Price: ¥6,800 (approx. $85AUD / $75USD)
Height: Priss – 110mm / 4.33inches
Moto Slave – 150mm / 5.9inches
First impression, packaging feels solid and nicely decorated with attractive graphics. The limited edition version comes in the same box as the regular version, with an additional “Limited Edition” sticker which I don’t mind as you can flip the lid open to see the real thing. Contents come in two separate layers of plastic with a top layer to hold everything in so no twisty ties in sight, nice and easy to get the contents out. Good level of packaging for a figure at this price point.
Priss comes with 3 pairs of hands in total (1 set closed fist, 1 set open fist, 1 set closed fist with peg for exoskeleton mode) and right hand power gauntlet with a left hand open palm. Her Moto Slave comes with the 35mm MG-442 machine cannon and a right hand for holding this as well as a pair of open palm hands. The set also includes longer shoulder pegs for Priss when she is in exoskeleton mode which I’ll explain a bit further down, and the display stands. (Which is important as Priss can’t stand upright without it!)
The design and sculpt of Priss’ hardsuit is nicely proportioned and is relatively close to the original line art of the version 1 suit. It is a small figure though, much smaller than I had anticipated.
Moto Slave Mode:
As far as being a fully transformable Moto Slave with no swapping parts goes, it is very well designed and engineered. Although probably not as close to the original line art as the hardsuit, it does make up for it in playability and detail. (I realised after I had taken all the photos that the head is back to front in robot mode)
In bike mode it looks quite good, however the proportions gives the overall appearance of a deformed or “cute” vehicle especially with the round front fairing.
Articulation of Priss is not the best I’ve seen, even for a figure of this size. Firstly, the right leg of my figure likes to pop off regularly, which can be a bit annoying. Most of the joints are very basic rod and swivel type, which still provides good level of articulation, however the biggest problem that I can see here is the lack of (or poorly designed) shoulder joint. Priss is unable to lift her arms up to the side due to the lack of joint here, and this really restricts arm movement a lot. She also doesn’t look very comfortable riding the bike, but looks good just straddling it:)
The Moto Slave in robot mode on the other hand, has quite good articulation. It can kneel, splay it’s legs out wide and pull off some really dynamic poses, partly due to the fact it needed all these joints for the transformation.
But when you combine a not so well articulated figure with a pretty well articulated figure, it’s always going to cause some problems. No doubt that Priss fits nice and snug in there, and looks good doing it, but you just can’t expect to get the same type of poses as you would just the Moto Slave on its own. Not to mention some of the difficulties of combining the two which I’ll get to further down.
But either way, both figures still look really nice when displayed together.
What sets this figure apart from the regular version is of course the metallic paint job on the Moto Slave. As far as I can tell all the hardsuits come in metallic paint even with the regular version. Priss is nicely painted, primarily in a metallic blue/cyan colour. Paint application is good, minimal over spray and good line inking done on the power gauntlet.
The Moto Slave gets a massive upgrade of paint from the regular version. Not only are all the red parts now painted in a candy-apple metallic red, most of the frame and other detail bits are moulded in colour with metallic flake – this really brings out a lot more detail than the regular version.
As mentioned before, the transformation is very well engineered and everything locks in place. The only downside is that you have to temporarily separate some of the pieces, transform them then clip them back together. Transformation is quite complex at first, so best to stick with the manual, but it get easier the second time around.
When wearing the Moto Slave as an exoskeleton there are a few things that you have to do. Firstly you have to change Priss’ shoulder joint to a longer one, and then change the hands to the ones with pegs, then pull down the foot rest and manually elongate her legs to fit on the foot rest. When elongating the legs, it was difficult to get it to the right length without the legs coming off entirely, something Yamato should have paid closer attention to.
Lastly, some features which I think were quite good. The front fairing of the bike is held in with magnets, as Priss is kindly showing us, which is good as it reduces the amount of ugly joints which would have otherwise been visible. There is also a working bike stand!
This was one long review, so many things to show and talk about for such a small figure, yet I feel like I haven’t covered everything.
Just in case I missed anything let me sum it up. I think this is a really good toy especially the Moto Slave as it is well engineered, well painted and looks really good on display. The only let down being the hardsuit’s lack of shoulder joints which really restricted the upper body pose-ability as well as the exoskeleton playability.
Can’t wait to get the rest of the team together for a photoshoot!
Thanks for reading my toy review!