This is the first time I try to write a proper review for a toy here, so bare with me.
So, Kaiyodo’s Trigun Action Figure Series. I have to say that, even after finishing the Trigun anime series and thoroughly enjoy the show, I never really imagine myself to in caught into wanting this series of action figures. Partly because I felt (and still do sometimes) that I prefer a toy that is more than just to be collected and displayed. I want things that requires me to do something (such as assemble a model), or at least decent amount of interaction (such as Transformers). Action figures usually are on my black list of “toys that you can’t do much with”. But I must say that since my experience with Konami’s Busou Shinki figure lines, a line of Figures designed to be played around, I began to loosen up my restraint on what’s classified as interaction.
And now, after one and a half years later, I’m the owner of a selection of Busou Shinki figures, 4 Bandai S.I.C Kamen Rider Figures.
And of course, the Kaiyodo Trigun Figures. Started with the brilliant, if a bit loose jointed Nicolas D. Wolfwood, I have also secured myself an accessory heavy and hard to stand up properly Meryl Strife, and the Brilliantly sculpted, but no-leg-articulation Vash the Stampede, my task of collection this series is almost coming to an end. The only 2 missing in the list are: Gazelle the Peacemaker, and Monev the Gale, both of them come in 2 different colour version.
So, here is Gazelle the Peacekeeper, in the Black Beast colour variant:
Back of box background story:
It burst open. The gun did.
No, it’s not a gun.
To call it a gun is to do it injustice. It’s too big, too heavy, too awesome. From the shadows of these steel parts, came a fine mechanical sound.
In the hand of man, it has been used as a dangerous weapon in great numbers. Within the muzzle lies lurking, the silver tusked beast with a reputation to be reckoned with. Peacemaker. The time and place, as far as the historical wastelands of the American West, comes this nickname for the Colt Single Action Army. The gun was forged not as a symbol of violence but as bringer of peace and harmony.
Does he know, the one who is burdened to carry this hulk of steel?
Like a flash in a raging storm. To get blown away and smashed to pieces, was the fate of some of the outlaws. Only a scattered handful of them escaped the wrath of the weapon. But a merciless final blow was yet to come. The dangerous weapon in his hand was once again morphing into an enormous gun.
They dwelled on his face. A smile of a wild beast. The muscular arm, straining at the trigger finger. The sound of a thunderous motor. The messenger of destruction, blasts a merciless hail of hell on the helpless and miserable outlaws. The incessant downpour. The relentless downpour.
What a cynical name to call it. Gazelle the Peacekeeper. The gun that annihilates everything, as if it can truly bring peace and tranquillity.
The figure dresses in a black cowboy fashion clothing. The black flame and skull tattoos, the blue jeans with silver and yellow flame at the legs, the overall looks put on top of the hulking hunchback muscle man makes you wonder if he is the good guy or the bad guy.
Well, either way he is not lacking in any detail. The belts of bullets, the silver trims around the black leathers, the belt buckle for the jeans and gloves. There’s hardly any part of him that is NOT detailed. In another word: Amazing
Articulation is an odd one here though. The packaging states 27 point of articulation, all of which are ratcheted. The ratchet systems works well here and helps maintaining pose, unlike that of Wolfwood. The problem here, and it’s possibly just me, is that they are all (except of the knee and head) cut joints. The arms, elbows, hips, ankles and the waist are all done with multiples of 45degrees cut joints. While I’m sure with time I will get the hang of utilise them, the initial attempts at posing usually ended up in a twisted mess, with limbs bended in a horrible, painful looking poses. The hulking muscles helps disguise the cut joints, but at the same time add slight limitations to the poseability of some of the joints. I’m sure the designed did think it through during the designing stage, and must have determined that a better sculpt and styling is more important, but sometimes I do wish for on thing while having another, even knowing the 2 don’t mix well together.
To add to the poseability is a stand in the form of a torn and bleeding cyborg head and torso. The red baseplate is a separable with pegs for the figure’s feet, while the cyborg’s torso is in 2 pieces and is ratchet jointed at 2 points, with a well disguised peg that plug into the figures’ back for more stable sitting, jumping/kicking pose.
Now we know the figure. Let’s look at Gazelle the Peacekeeper!
“What?” you said? That’s right. Gazelle the Peacemaker is the giant gun. The man using it is known as…. The man…. Well I guess this is something you have to live with, when your weapon is more famous than you.
As it’s namesake, Gazelle looks like a gigantic mechanical version of the revolver handgun on the Wild West. Moulded in mainly black gunmetal and dark brown, with gold, bronze and silver detail on one side, and a more traditional black/gunmetal colour with a white “ivory handle”, it really is an item worthy of a review of it’s own.
But that’s not all. As the background story mentioned, the gun “Opens up”.
Gazelle the Peacekeeper is consisted of 3 separate components: the barrel, the chamber and hammer, and the grip handle. To open them you need to twist to unlock the “safety lock”, then it’s just a matter of sliding the pieces apart.
The Barrel unfolds into a minigun, with a large black disk representing a round magazine. The remaining 2 piece then fold and combine into a rocket launcher with a removable magazine. To be honest though, at first glance I can’t really tell what they are supposed to be, other than pieces of a giant gun. To define what they are, however, the sculptors added in various detail. The molded bullets at the base of the minigun magazine suggest to you that bullets are travelling from it into the gun barrel, while the intricate details molded on the chamber suggests how the rockets are being delivered into the firing mechanism near to the base of the rocket launcher.
The figure comes with hands with moulded on handles to allow the component weapons to be held. Be careful though: the Peacemaker is moulded in thick, almost solid lump of plastic, so take care posing the figure with the weapons. Again, the ratchet joints proves useful holding the heavy weapons in position.
Now then, how does this man carry this giant gun around? With a giant holster on his back? Well, no. Perhaps the one who created this giant heavy super-weapon really never thought about how a mere normal human is supposed to carry it. So this man carry it by…. Chains!
To use the chain, first plug the ox skull piece into the grip of Gazelle. Unplug the bull horn, which is linked to one end of the chain, and start wrapping! At the end, simply plug the horn back in position to lock the chains in place and Gazelle is ready to roll. Obviously, the gun makes the figure overall very back heavy. While I’m certain with a bit of patience he will stand well on his own, I personally.. don’t trust him. So plugged to the stand it is.
Other than the titular super gun, the set also come with a second head that look towards the left, a pair of handle griping hands, a pair of closed fist, a whisky bottle, a shotgun and a Colt Single Action Army. AKA. The Peacemaker. Yeah. I know.
So there you have it. Gazelle the Peacemaker Black Beast. And what can I say? The sculpt is amazing, the accessories are plenty, and a versatile stand. The articulation is a bit hard to get used to, but really I can’t say this is taking anything away from the figure. Sure it’s not super poseable, but so what? He is a cowboy, not a yoga master. He needs to walk, aim and shoot, and he is doing them all here plus more.
If you see him anywhere, do take a minute and consider getting him. It was originally retailed for 7800yen, but the limited availability is pushing the Black Beast version up, and the original Red and Tan version even higher.
And no, you don't need to know Trigun to appreciate him. In fact, he NEVER appear in the TV series or the manga....
Now, where can I get a Monev the Gale figure? …….