Saturday, February 2, 2008

[First Look] The Active Eagle.

F-15 ACTV Active Eagle, the 10th release in Volks' Advance System of Action Arms (A3) toy line, based in the Total Eclipse series.

For the first look, I just whipped the toy out of the box, posed it around and snapped a few shots. As Volks' website will show, these always come with an ample assortment of accessories (A3, yet again), but I think the proof is always in the base figure. You can only go so far with accessories and gimmicks in hiding critical flaws.

First, the bad. The trademark A-lock joints provide for an admirable amount of articulation (A3), but are pretty rubbery; I suppose the criticism is actually that the material used for the figure is too heavy for the little plastic joints. By way of example, the two legs actually slide apart when the figure stands in certain positions, owing to the flex allowed by the joints. Also, my particular figure has some kind of bum foot, the ankle of which will not pivot horizontally. In short, articulation is good, but material selection and quality control could use improvement.

I'm mixed on the paint job for the Active Eagle. The matte paint used feels a bit like the paint on the FIX Figuration Gundam toys. Not a whole lot of slop, but I can find numerous examples of paint rubbing, as you can see in the close-up photo.

The good is that the points of articulation allow for a wide range of movement; the design builds in features like swiveling and hinged hip-plates and removable leg-parts that maximize the Eagle's ability to be posed. Improved neck articulation would be a plus, however. Overall, I bought this figure based on design- the oversized knee protectors and the giant, chunky shoulders are big aesthetic turn-ons for me- and the execution seems to match up. Except the bum foot. That really bothers me.

In a compromise between loading time and photo quality, I've put up downsized images on my blog. Check out all of the photographs in full size at my flickr set.

More later with all of the accessories.

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