Toy Review: Vash the Stampede

“Dangerous toys are fun, but you can get hurt.”

Or so Kaiyodo had the world believe in the spring of 2010. To celebrate the theatrical release of the animated film “Trigun: Badlands Rumble”, they launched the mean and absolutely fantastic Revoltech figure of Vash the Stampede. Prior to this, there had been exactly two moderately successful attempts to produce Trigun figures. In 2000, there was McFarlane and a year later a company named Toy Tribe manufactured a number of character variants. However, neither come even close to this iconic creation from Katsuhisa Yamaguchi.  For the uninitiated, Trigun is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yasuhiro Nightow. Both mangas were adapted into an animated television series in 1998 produced by The Madhouse Studios. The main character of the series is Vash the Stampede, a jovial, pacifist gunman who is always followed by disaster and misfortune as a result of the large bounty put on his head. The rest is for you to go ahead and discover.

Packaging – 8/10

 

Packaged inside a white Revoltech Yamaguchi box with a see through plastic screen that exposes the toy and its numerous parts inside. The sides of the box have information on the Revoltech joint system printed on them. The back contains images of the figure in various poses, and of the included accessories. Inside the box the figure is held between two pieces of molded plastic, with spaces for their accessories. The stand is stored in plastic bags taped to the back of the plastic packaging. Figures are usually wrapped with plastic in certain areas to protect the paint. Some are even held in place with twisty ties and double layers of molded plastic are placed behind the main piece holding long accessories that don’t fit in the first piece of packaging. Revoltechs also come with a little orange box for storing accessories in. I could have actually rated this a nine, I felt that the figure deserved something a bit more special.

Sculpt – 10/10

The sculpting on this toy is the closest to perfection that I have ever seen on a production line figure of its size.  Vash’s classic red coat is intricately detailed with folds, wrinkles, buttons, armour and piping. The front piece and the lower folds of his coat are made of softer plastic. They are shaped to look windblown and their points of articulation allow them to orient in any configuration for posing. The left prosthetic arm and legs have sculpted bolts, belts and buckles. Even the soles on his shoes have treads. But the real genius of Yamaguchi shows in the three head sculpts that come with this figure. The iconic expression on each coupled with the perfectly crafted spiked hair show the amount of detailing that has gone into making this figure. The earring on Vash’s left ear is also sculpted, something I happened to notice while reviewing the figure.

Paint – 10/10

It’s the paint job that takes this figure a notch further than its already fantastic sculpt would.  The colour scheme is dominated by the red on Vash’s flowing coat. Some ripples on the surface and underneath the flaps have been painted in shades of brown giving us an impression of shadow and depth. All the black lines, buttons and buckles on his jacket are done nicely, with the buttons being a nice chrome gunmetal colour. The left arm and legs are black with gunmetal, copper and silver chrome highlights. All three head sculpts are painted excellently with great attention to detail. The lenses on his glasses have coat of glossy orange and yellow. The earring on his left ear is a dash of silver and the eyebrows and glass rims are also painted to perfection without any noticeable runs. His gun blast effect is well painted and his special stand looks beautifully weathered. The ochre on his hair looks very slightly dull on my figure compared to the box / promo shots.

 

Articulation – 10/10

Vash uses the standard Revoltech Yamaguchi joint system. Revoltech joints are revolver joints with pegs at either end allowing forward and backward movement as well as rotation. Articulation and detail have been the prevailing points for the Yamaguchi line of figures and the same applies to Vash. I have never really counted, but most information regarding the product points to 26 points of articulation. The upper neck, lower neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, torso, waist, thighs and ankles are all revolver joints. His knees are double revolvers. This makes for a figure that can be posed in innumerable styles. Kaiyodo has taken a step further and included one Revoltech joint per piece of the coat tail. One joint is located at where the jacket flares out from his torso and another at the end providing for added dynamism in posing Vash without compromising articulation. The toy can be set up in all the poses printed on the box and many more. It can be difficult to set up the figure on the special stand. If not oriented perfectly (especially the jacket tails), the weight distribution causes the stand to topple off the clear plastic base. This is probably the most articulate figure I have ever seen.

Accessories – 9/10

Vash comes with a large array of extras, 11 of which are hands. One complaint I have is that his silver .45 caliber revolver is attached to one of his right hands. It restricts the possibility of experimenting with the character’s main weapon. There is a firing effect that can be plugged into the nozzle of the .45. The sculpt has three faces with different expressions. The regular Revoltech Yamaguchi stand and base made of clear plastic are included. There is also an additional effects base piece which the figure  can use to pose instead of the regular stand. Vash also comes with a special stand piece which plugs into his main stand base. It is a crumbling wall with reinforced metal and peppered with bullet holes. There is an orange plastic box for storing his accessories.

Overall – 9.5/10

All I can say is, on another day I might have given this figure a perfect score. It is a toy that truly fleshes out the character in the avatar in which he is meant to be seen. It is an achievement in excellence on Kaiyodo’s part, and for me, its ownership, a source of pride.