Friday, June 19, 2015
NT-01 Cerebral: Very Probably Krang (Definitely, But Don't Tell Anyone)
NT-01 Cerebral is Krang's robot body, and you should tell everyone. Honestly though, they should already know. Look at this thing! What else could it be?
Man, who thought someone would do Third Party Ninja Turtles stuff?? The Third Party Transformer business is booming, but there doesn't seem to be much interest outside of Transformers. Well, a company called First Gokin decided to MAKE that interest. If there's one thing Playmates totally fumbled, it's the classics TMNT line. Time for First Gokin to grab that fumble.
...with expensive Third Party product. Yeah, we'll just get that out of the way: This fat baby is gona run you about 160 smackeroos (I managed 150 in a preorder deal). So right off the bat: This isn't gona be for everyone. I don't usually go for this kinda thing, but I guess I found out what I consider to be the "important" figure. Someday I want to see an independent toy company go for more affordable stuff like this, but today, we're not on the medium end. We're on the high end.
When you're on the high end, you get crazy good packaging. I'm not a packaging guy, but DAMN GURL, this is a nice box! The first pic is the outside slip, and the pic above is the main box. You slide the top off this, and BAM:
You get to the figure! If it's one thing packaging is good for (beyond, ya know, holding stuff), it's anticipation! Really gotta peel this banana to get to the...banana...meat. Is that what it's called?
As you can see; this beast is snug as a bug in a rug. Nothing moves until you want it to - still as pond on a windless day.
Also in the box is a set of directions, showing you how to use your exorbitant purchase. Nothing terribly complicated, but when it comes to expensive toys, you definitely want to know what you can do, lest you break sumthin' like a fool.
Finally, there's a little poster for further proof that this is certainly not Krang. Nope! It's pretty awesome, and it displays Cerebral menacing a suspiciously familiar Goobma-headed bandanaman holding a big fork. Dunno who that is.
Now, to begin: Let's take a look at that Krang! Not Krang. Brain guy.
This Krangly fellow is unsettling and looks like he jumped right off the screen of the old TMNT cartoon, which is crazy, since this totally isn't Krang. The body is a tiny bit squishy, and feels like it could pick up hair and dust easily, so don't leave 'em out in the open for long periods. Plus, it looks like it could slap around on it's own, so I wouldn't take your eyes off it.
He has ball jointed "shoulders" with a hinged joint right next to that, so he's actually pretty expressive! They didn't have to give him much arm movement, but they did, and I like it!
Finally, he has a magnet on the bottom! The magnet is embedded within the plastic, so you can't see it. It's just to keep Mr. Brain centered in the body, but you can mess with him if you want.
Like, how about a fridge brain? For smart food choices! Assuming you put those choices in the fridge, first. If you don't have any smart choices in there already, then the brain ain't gona help you much. (The brain didn't help me much).
He matches up nicely, size wise, with the vintage Krang, so you can almost use him as a replacement. If he were Krang.
...he won't fit in the walker, though. Good thing First Gokin is taking care of that! Until then, you'll just have to shove him into that awesome fat guy robot he came with.
Or Shredder can hold him, I dunno.
Okay, lets check out that sweet, sweet bod.
Here's your deluxe model fat guy robot, sporting absolutely superb detail and a paint job that'll make the ladies look twice (because you'll be a brain in the stomach of a fat guy robot. You'll be turning everyone's head. In the other direction. To vomit).
The interior is a smooth and shiny silver with some metallic blue and red to accent the intricate detailing. I would have liked some little controls inside, but it's so fancy that I don't really mind it.
On the roof you'll find a blue LED for lighting the cab, and for those occasional nights where you may be entertaining a guest.
The back of the robot is where you'll find the control for the LED and, of course, the power source: Two watch batteries (not included). Flip the switch to lighten the mood.
Now that you see what kinda luxury we're dealing with, why don't we step into the stomach and relax.
As explained earlier: The magnet in Brainy Smurf's underbelly keeps him centered, while a nice pane of plastic protects all the delicate brain meats. It clips in nice and snug, and won't fall out until you remove it.
Once you're ready to rock; you've got a good few points of articulation ready for you to bend and pose to your depraved whims.
There are double jointed knees and elbows with a great range, and the feet are on ball joints at the ankles, with some jointed toes to boot (er, on the boot. Jointed toes to boot on the boot). The ankles could move a little better, but they ain't bad. The only real restricted point are the hips, and even then, it feels like they got the most they could without sacrificing the look. I'll admit, I'm more of a function-over-form kinda guy, but I can't bring myself to be disappointed by this beast.
The shoulders move forward, back, and to the side, though I noticed that the left arm moves outward easier than the right (I'm sure it's just mine).
The shoulder pads don't really get in the way, 'cause they're on ball joints and move out of the way with no problem.
The fingers on both hands are ball jointed at the knuckles, allowing you to close and open the hand. They're rubbery (but not too much), so you don't have to worry about breaking them. The thumbs can also twist, though I found only one of the thumbs able to do so. I didn't want to twist the other one too much, for fear of twisting it off.
The neck is ball jointed along with a rocker joint for lookin' up (though, not so much down). The badass metal suspenders are separate, and the body has a minor forward and backward movement at the chest, with the suspenders just staying put while the body moves.
Now, if you're not familiar with the idea of Gokin: The word usually means that the figure is gona have real die cast metal parts, in certain places. With the NT-01, you'll find the feet to be metal, along with the shoulder armor. It's nice for both, because the heft of the shoulder armor makes it lay in place no matter how you move the arms, and the metal feet give him some NICE balance.
He can balance on one foot without too much work! I mean, I wouldn't leave him that way, but you get the gist.
Moving on to features! His hands are on ball joints, so they easily pop off without making you feel like you're about to break something (but neither do they feel like they'll fall off at any moment).
On those bare ball joints you can place: AXE HANDS! While these things are fancy and awesome, it technically is one place where I feel the figure is a little lacking, 'cause these are his only weapons. I would have liked one axe and maybe something else to go with it.
Still, these are NOICE. They're pretty light, so they won't weigh down the arms when you're posing, and the spikes on the ends are sharp. Really sharp. Like, needle point. Careful!
I particularly like the spikes on the end, 'cause they make me think of a conducting rod for firing electrical bursts, or something. Gives me something for him to fire off, since I felt like he could use a gun.
Of course, if you want to add your own stuff, you can shove on anything that fits. Plus: the cuffs on the forearms slide off to give you some extra space:
Then you can add junk like this!
Naturally, you can shove anything you want into the hands, as well.
Alright, lets move on to some comparisons! We already know this dude is a big six, but how big is he compared to others?
Well first off, I would totally compare him to the vintage robot body if I could, but I was never able to get it! I did get the smaller version, though.
Next up in Large Items Alexx Owns: the RX-78 from the Arch Enemies series!
And...that didn't really need to happen, but there it is!
How about Onslaught? No? Yeah, he never really caught on with me, either.
Hey, there's something bigger! Procrustus, from MotUC. But wait, I can go bigger!
There's always something bigger! But I know these aren't the ones you wana see, are they? Probably should break out the Turts.
First off, I see a lot of folks posing it with the classics Turts, which I think are a little large, compared to him. Though, perhaps they're correct, show wise - I dunno, I haven't seen the old show in so long.
The great thing about the robot body is that it has been shown to change sizes (all the way up to building-size) so it can work with pretty much anything! I personally feel it works best with the current Nick Turtles, since it pretty much matches up with the vintage size, making the robot body around the same size as the vintage, as well.
I haven't seen the old show in ages, but I do have an old coloring book (that I still crack open from time to time) with the story of Krang's robot body growing and rampaging through the city, and the Nick Turtles line up the best, for me. On top of that, if you want the building-sized robot...
Grab some of the old mini-Turts! They had these mini sets, back in the day, that worked like Might Max playsets. If you haven't seen those, well....man, I'm sorry. They were awesome! Anyway, they were hand-held sets that opened up into a mini playset for even smaller figures. TMNT did these sets that looked like regular turtles and opened up into surprisingly detailed little playsets! I'll have to cover them, sometime.
As you can see: This guy works with whatever TMNT stuff you have! He's posable, beautifully painted, detailed, and fun to mess with. The only drawbacks are a lack of diverse accessories, a little limitation in the hips, and THE EXPENSE. I'm not gona lie to ya - I would love to see what Third Parties can do, at some point, with affordable toys. While this is supremely awesome, there's still that little thought in my mind saying: What if this lacked the metal, the light, a few points of articulation, and maybe some detail? Would you get something at the same size - looking just as good with your TMNT stuff - but in the 50 to 60 dollar range (at independent toy prices, of course)? I would love to see an independent toy company try something like this but try to make it available to everyone.
Still: We know what this monster is. It's a high-end collectable, technically not meant to be "playable", though it still is. Heck, save for the sharp spikes on the axes, I might even be okay with an older kid messing with the figure. It's pretty solid! The package says 15+ and "THIS IS NOT A TOY", but if you know the kid in question, I think you could go a little younger and still pull this out for a play session without too much fear of utter destruction.
...but you won't, because this puppy is 160 bucks and you don't wana even risk a scratch on it, right? This is my dilemma with expensive figures! You buy them to mess with them, and they give you the articulation to do so, but the price makes you afraid!
So take this all into consideration, if you're thinking of throwing the cash at this beaut. If you're looking for a high-end collectable, then man, you found it! If you really want a fun replacement for the original Krang's Robot Body, well...this isn't it. Then again, if you're just looking for fun, then you're probably not perusing the high-end anyway.
So there we go! If you've got the cash, I'd say this thing gives you your money's worth, considering Third Party and independent prices (and considering the metal parts, paintwork, and detail). You'll be marveling at this thing for hours, once it's in your hands. It's sturdy, hefty, and gorgeous (for a robot fat guy with a brain in his stomach). Think about it!