Patlabor ARL-99 Helldiver ヘルダイバー
Firstly I must apologize again for the late review. Life has been hectic, but it should all be over soon (no I’m not dying, I mean things should settle down soon XD). New place is sorted, internet is set, and bugs have been bombed! Anyway onto the review…
Sometimes, newer is not necessarily better and this toy perfectly illustrates this point. Much of the newer Revoltech toys seem to have been made just for the sake of being made, where as this particular toy seems to have been built with purpose.
The ARL-99 (Airborne Reconnaissance Labor Type 99) Helldiver is a military paratrooper labor (mecha) employed by the Japanese Ground Self-Defence Force Airborne Labor Battalion set in the anime / manga world of Mobile Police Patlabor (機動警察パトレイバー).
The Helldiver is not a main character labor, it only makes appearances in part of the TV series, and the first Patlabor movie but I recon it is one of the most badass looking labors, and definitely my favourite from the show.
Built by “Shinohara Heavy Industries” for the military, it comes armed with a 40mm rapid-fire machine gun, combat knife, parachute backpack, night vision equipment, smoke discharges and TOW anti-tank missile launcher. It stands 7.95 meters tall with Fibre-reinforced plastic body armour and Carbon-Fibre reinforced skeleton.
Name: ARL-99 Helldiver ヘルダイバー
Line: Revoltech Series 040
Sculptor: Yamaguchi Katsuhisa
Designer: Headgear / Bandai Visual
Material: PVC, ABS
Release: Dec 2007
Original Price: ¥1,995 (approx. $24AUD / $20USD)
Height: 110mm / 4.33inches
I quite like the older style Revoltech packaging, it is nice and compact and easy to store. The cardboard quality is good and sturdy, the inner linings do their job well and hold the figure and bits in place.
Helldiver comes with an interchangeable head showing the visor down for night vision mode, one sheathed (only the handle) and one unsheathed combat knife, as well as some optional hands including a finger pointing right hand to let him look like a cocky pilot man. The only thing I don’t understand is why Kaiyodo didn’t simply make one knife that can fit inside the sheath, doesn’t look to be too far off in terms of size. Display stand is included also.
The first thing I noticed when I took this guy out of the box is how dynamic he looks even in a neutral pose, this has its positives as well as some negatives. The positive being that what ever pose you place him in, he will look awesome, thanks to the beautifully detailed sculpt and ever dynamic posture. The negative being, you can’t make him stand straight and symmetrical to take a front on neutral pose photo with! Nor can you pretend he is in powered down standby mode in a hanger. Then again I don’t think Revoltechs are famous for their neutral postures as much as their dynamic poseability, at least its not over the top.
This bad boy is ultra articulated having 43 points of articulation in total, there isn’t many poses it can’t pull off. It kneels beautifully and all the joints have more than enough range of movement. I really can’t fault this figure in the articulation department, as you can see it looks darn good.
Paint is good overall, everything has been painted and panel lines even drawn in some areas. Printing is also present in the front (badge) and back (reads “Ground Self Defence Battalion” in Japanese) which makes a huge different to a toy in my opinion. The pistons on the ankles are also well painted with a hint of weathering which shows great attention to detail. Machine gun painted in a thick coat of metallic charcoal to give it a nice shine. The only downside is the matt finishing on the body, it tends to show scratched quite easily, especially under light.
The only thing I have not mentioned so far is the gimmick on the legs, they are the air brakes which deploy to slow down Helldiver’s descent after it jumps out of the plane. This is quite a cool feature of the toy, and it is quite cleverly done using a double revolver joint. Although I think it could have just as easily been done with a simple hinge.
One last thing to mention is quality control. This is an important part of everything that is manufactured to ensure the customers get the best possible product, and you can see here from the overflow of glue on the chest/waist area QC is not 100%, but not too shabby for a under $30 toy.
For me, this was one of the “must get” Revoltech toys and I have to say I’m not disappointed at all. It is often hard to choose which out of the 70+ in the range to collect, as not many of us can afford to have them all, but this one I highly recommend even if you’re not a fan of Patlabor.
Thanks for reading my toy review, please check out my other reviews and share them with your friends if you’ve enjoyed it!