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Toy Review - Astro Boy Gashapon

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Astro Boy (Tetsuwan Atom) merchandise is, in no way, in short supply. Merchandise ranges from t-shirts to action figure to creepy tin toys of his sister. The real hunt is for genuine action figures of all your favorite characters (besides Astro or Uran). Many of the hardest Tezuka characters to find in toy form are the adults or villains...Dr. Tenma has no more than four existing figures (only one is moderately easy to find), Lamp and Hamegg each got one figure released in the late 90's, and Atlas figures are barely known of. The hardest character to find is Skunk Kusai, despite being the most badass villain in the 80's series, only got to appear as a cardboard cut-out target to be shot at with an Astro-brand pellet gun. The reason I've brought this up is because some kid somewhere may want to stage an all-out action figure battle, finds themselves short a few characters, and has to make do with a rock and a drawing of the selected character. I've been there.
Today, we bring you another toy review, this time of a set of small gashapon from TOMY-YUJIN. See, in Asia, there are huge Gashapon toy machines like that of a gum or keychain machine in your mall. These Gasha-Machines can actually fill stores, and usually bring you a hot girl figure. The toy will come in a little plastic capsule, and you nave to assemble it yourself. This certain set came with nine different figures, except three of them were greyscale versions of the normal Astros in the set. Since they were extremely rare, I've left them in their capsules, unassembled. Let's begin...
Action Astro

Astro is bizarrely unhappy in this first figure. Standing at 3 3/4 inches (8cm), Astro comes together in five pieces (head, left & right arms, right leg, torso-avec-body). My only complaints are that the plastic molding appears a little messy. There are odd factory-made wrinkles sharply visible on Astro's face, and I'd initially worried that I'd made the damage myself. The paint is good for a mass-produced kid's toy, but if the same quality were used on an Evangelion toy, it wouldn't be valued much.
Listening Astro

21/2" (61/2 cm). The painting and moudling is just about the same on this figure, but with less subtle nicks from the manufacturing. Part of Astro's waistband isn't even painted. As you can see above, there's a weird nip on Astro's right elbow. In real life, it looks life a semi-sircle with a small glob of plastic at the end. This probably isn't on all the Listening Astro figures out there, but still, it's a bit of a let-down.
Sleepy Astro

31/4" (8cm). Probably my favorite figure in the series, Sleepy Astro comes with little-to-no manufacting faults, and has a special feature. The painting is even and appealing. The only problem is that he doesn't come with a stand, so he has to stand on his own, and he's sort of wobbly, so expect him to fall down a few times. He does come with a hole in his foot, so I guess you could swap stands with another figure in the set. As a bonus, his chestplate is removable, and you can see into his system.

21/2" (6cm). Astro's younger sister is the second most-merchandised character in the series, and as is common with anything about her, her panties are yet again visible from any angle. Her painting is good, with the exception of her face paint spreading into her hair. Also, she has a very weird lemon-yellow pigmentation for her skin. Now, the real problem is her arms. They're molded together and need to be attached at the shoulders, and they're hard to get in place. Here, I begun to notice that these figures seem to be intended for display, rather than for play with children.
Dr. Ochanomizu (Dr. Elefun)

31/2" (91/2 cm) I am not kidding when I say this is the heaviest figure in the set. I'magine a handful of nickels, and that's about as heavy as Dr. O. He doesn't have those weird production wrinkles on him, but he does have a weird, faint green smudge on the left side of his chest, like it were a painting error. In order to fit him in his capsule, Dr. O comes in six pieces - body-avec-head, left and right arms, left and right legs, and nose. That's right, it comes off!

31/2" (8 cm), This is what I believe to be the only colour figure of 1980's Atlas, and probably the only figure reflecting upon the 80's series. Atlas falls prey to the same weird wrinkles on his arm, face and hair. However, he is very well painted, even with a bit of glaze on his boots. He comes in two halves, so in the end he looks solid and seamless. It's kind of a shame the rest of the characters weren't produced as neat as this.
And then, there were the three greyscale figures of Astro, basically colourless versions of the three main Astros in this set. They're pretty hard to find with the main set, so only look for them if you want to have a complete set. If you just want the set to play with, look for the basic six.
While these figures are fitting to any Astro collection and cute, a few manufactuing flaws might ruin the overall coolness of the set. They are small and appear to be for play, but just built for shelf display, without posability. Aside from that, they look nice among a collection, and having your own Atlas (if you were a fan of the 80's series) is cool on its own.
Action Astro       =    2/5
Listening Astro  =    3/5
Sleepy Astro     =     5/5
Uran                   =     4/5
Ochanomizu      =     4/5
Atlas                  =     5/5
Overall              =     83%


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