At CollectionDX we’re into a wide variety of toys that originate from media properties ranging from the well known to the strange and esoteric. People who have been reading my CollectionDX reviews for the past few months know that lately I’ve been reviewing lots of action figures based on the Muv-Luv universe. What is a Muv and how do you Luv it? It’s kind of hard to explain.
The basic premise is a young man named Takeru starts off like in most Japanese romantic comedies as a high school student embroiled in a silly love triangle involving himself, his next door neighbor, and the anime girl equivalent of Richie Rich. Everything seemed so innocent and idyllic until one day Takeru goes outside and finds himself in a parallel world where mankind is fighting a losing battle against a vicious hostile alien force known simply as the BETA. Takeru is forced to quickly learn how to live and function in a world on the brink of annihilation. To make matters worse, all of his friends still exist in this world but do not know who he is and are different from the carefree people he once knew.
Muv-Luv combines heady sci-fi concepts with heavy military drama and mixes it all together with cute girls with impossible hairstyles to create one of the most intense and gripping mecha series to come out in a long while. The only catch is most entries in the Muv-Luv franchise are only available as visual novels. What’s a visual novel? Well picture your favorite Japanese video game like Final Fantasy or Metal Gear Solid and imagine if it was only the dialog scenes. And I don’t mean the cutscenes, I mean people talking while dialog boxes display their text. Despite their simplicity and almost complete lack of “being a game,” visual novels are pretty popular in Japan and have spawned many successful franchises like Muv-Luv and the Fate/stay night series.
Kaiyodo has been marching forward with their Revoltech toys for quite some time. These simple PVC action figures all utilize the titular Revoltech joints to create dynamic looking toys that combine the sculpted look of low run resin kits with the availability of mass-market products. For about a year, Kaiyodo churned out numerous Revoltech figures based on many of the giant robots from the Muv-Luv franchise.
The F-18E/F Super Hornet in “Black Knives” colors is the fourth release in the Muv-Luv Revoltech line and stands about 0.9 He-Mans tall. It is constructed almost entirely from thick PVC plastic.
As I mentioned before, Revoltechs are pretty simple toys that consist of big chunks of PVC held together with Revoltech joints of various sizes. Only the Super Hornet’s knees use a regular hinge joint. As a result, the Super Hornet is a very sturdy figure that can be easily disassembled if desired.
The Super Hornet is a nicely detailed figure although some of the finer bits can get lost in all the blue. Anyone who is into military aviation may be wondering, “how is this robot an F-18?” One of the cool things about Muv-Luv is the alternate history take on weapons technology. In this universe, the BETA are extremely adept at shooting down high flying airplanes so all of the familiar fighter jets in our world are now low-flying giant robots called Tactical Surface Fighters.
Like many of the Tactical Surface Fighters named after real life airplanes, the Super Hornet incorporates various design elements of its namesake. For example, the head is styled after the front of the real F/A-18 Super Hornet with the jet intakes becoming a pair of sensor banks on the Muv-Luv robot.
Thanks to all the Revoltech joints, the Super Hornet is well articulated.
The Muv-Luv Revoltechs in particular are very well balanced and can even stand on one foot.
Wide-legged poses are also quite easy to pull off.
And it can kneel like nobody’s business. One thing to keep in mind about all but the smallest Revoltech joints is they all click when moved into different positions. They’re also swivel joints, not ball-joints so on places like the shoulders or hips you have to think about how you want to move them when posing.
The blue and yellow Super Hornets belong to the United State Marine Corp’s “Black Knives” squadron who are feature prominently in the spinoff series called Muv-Luv Unlimited: The Day After. The main protagonist of one such story is the Americaniest American, 2nd Lieutenant Wilbert D. Collins. Even in a Japanese franchise, the good ol’ USA gets all the cool dudes and the sweetest giant robots.
For your 2,765 yen (about 27 dollars) you get a good spread of accessories to go with the Super Hornet. Some of things included are multiple stand parts, a small container, two extra pairs of hands (splayed and weapon holding), and several weapons.
The stand parts are especially handy if you want to do some more off balance poses.
The Super Hornet’s main weapons are a pair of assault cannons which fit into either weapon holding hand. All of the hands peg into the wrist and also feature an additional swivel at the bottom of the hand.
The rear view shows off the standard Tactical Surface Fighter equipment like the Mount Pylons which can be used to carry extra weapons and the miniature airplane looking Jump Units that allow the machine to fly low to the ground at high speeds.
As a nice nod to real life aircraft, the one tail fin on each jump unit has a small squadron emblem for the Black Knives. Each jump unit is mounted on a double Revoltech joint which allows it to move all around.
Sticking an assault cannon into one of the mount pylons is pretty easy. Just wedge the gun into the prongs gunsight first and you’re all set.
Once attached the Super Hornet shows its advantage over the merely two-handed by firing in two directions at once.
The assault cannons themselves are nicely detailed and are made out of solid ABS plastic.
The underslung 120 mm cannon on each gun can be removed if so desired.
If you have another Super Hornet or the Revoltech F-22 Raptor you can equip your figure with a full loadout of four assault cannons.
With four guns the Super Hornet is ready for what they call “Gun Sweeper” duty for when sheer volume of fire is needed to keep a hoard of BETA at bay.
The big boxy contraptions on the figure’s shoulders are a pair of missile launchers. They plug into a hole on each shoulder pauldron with their own tiny Revoltech joints.
The tops of each launcher swing open like a lunchbox filled with death.
For close combat most Tactical Surface Fighters have a pair of knives. The Super Hornet actually stores them in those huge knee guards but the Revoltech doesn’t replicate that feature. You can at least fake the look though.
The hands are flexible enough that you can insert a knife facing either up or down. Unwary opponents will face the Hornet’s sting!
In addition to the normal foot stand, you get what Kaiyodo refers to as an “effect part.” This action stamp thing works just like the regular stand but looks a little more dynamic and cool. I personally don’t uses these things that much because I find the figure stands well enough by itself.
Like its namesake, the Super Hornet is a carrier based Tactical Surface Fighter. They get loaded up on the flight deck to be catapulted off towards the shore.
The included stand parts let you depict the figure in flight. A pair of large white Revoltech joints allow the stand to bend in different positions while maintaining its shape.
Thanks to the large number of Revoltechs I own, I have a lot of those action stamp things which actually make a decent little effect for showing a Tactical Surface Fighter coming in on a hot landing. Always fight on the bounce, trooper.
After touching down, our hero is ready to deal with some BETA.
The little ones aren’t a problem, but you have to watch out for the big one.
Hit the jets and finish of that bater.
And when you’re all done playing you can put all of the Super Hornet’s small accessories inside the Revo-container.
In addition the Black Knives Super Hornet, there is also the all gray Raging Busters version. Unlike a lot of the colors variants in this line, both Super Hornets were release at normal retail. I reviewed the gray Super Hornet previously at CollectionDX. Basically all of the Muv-Luv Revoltechs are great action figures that really fit the definition of hand candy. They’re really fun to pose and mess around with. For whatever reason the line was quietly cancelled in favor of more plastic model kits from Kotobukiya. Most of the Muv-Luv Revoltech figures are still available at many online retailers and generally go for less than their MSRP. The whole line is great for anyone looking to get into Japanese action figures.
Visit CollectionDX for more great toy reviews, video shows, and podcasts!