Review by JoshB
Blader comes from the1982 animated movie Techno Police 21C. It's a mediocre movie about a reckless country cop who movies to the city, only to be assigned to the robot crimes division. It's there that he, along with two others, are partnered with Technoroids. His is called Blader. The entire movie is basically the pursuit of a hijacked robot tank by the Techno Police.
Its only official release in the US was through a terrible bootleg VHS that was sold at KB Toys around 1987. It was the purchase of this tape, as well as the Clash of the Bionoids (Macross, Do You Remember Love), re-ignited my interest in anime.
Techno Police 21C is also notable for having an early score by Joe Hisahi (known for Ghibli Soundtracks), Character design by Yoshitaka Amano (Gatchaman), and mechanical design by Studio Nue, which consisted of Shouji Kawamori and Kazutaka Miyatake (Macross, Orguss). So, the movie has a great pedigree, even though the movie itself is nothing spectacular.
It's only due to the pedigree of the above people that Blader is able to see toy form in 2019. The only other merchandise this movie got was a series of model kits back in the 80s. To see a design from the film get a high-end toy release 35 years later is a gift.
The box is small and light. I've got over the disappointment of the Hi-Metal R line not having a lot of metal some time ago, so this is no surprise. Inside the figure rests in a plastic tray with its accessories and instructions.
Included are six variant hands, two antennae, handcuff, two cables, sniper rifle and tamashii stand adaptor.
The figure is stunning. it stands at 6.5 inches tall and is one of the most poseable robot toys i've ever owned. It has way more articulation than it needs, but none of it gets in the way of some remarkably natural posing.
The antenna has to be attached, and a second one is included in case of breakage or loss.
Lets take a look at the remarkable neck joint. There's a ball joint at the base of the head, but then that's attached to a cylinder and then an extendable joint that allows for a tremendous range of motion.
The shoulders hinge forward and backward, rotate, and splay out. The shoulder pads move, the bicep swivels, there's a double jointed elbow, and the forearm rotates AND extends slightly. Even the wrists extend slightly.
The torso has a similar folding joint that not only allows you to rotate and move back and forward, but also extend.
The hips have moveable hip skirts on the front and the side, but not on the back. The side skirts also pull out a bit at the joint. The hips are on ball joints with a swivel in the upper thigh. The knees are double jointed and have a cool effect where the topmost part of the blue panel slides forward when the knees are bent.
The feet are on ball joints with an extending ankle. The toes bend, and the heel bends a little to reveal small non-rolling wheels under the feet.
the handcuff weapon is supposed to shoot out of the forearm like in the anime, but here it is an added attachment. There are two cables that can connect to the handcuff. One cable is rigid and shorter, the other is longer and is made out of coated bendable wire. Both can attach to the handcuff which has an opening clasp.
The sniper rifle features a moveable stand at the end of the barrel. The stand can fold down, or slide anywhere on the barrel. Gun holding hands are included.
The small Tamashii stand adaptor plugs into the back of the figure, and enables the use of any Tamashii stand. The stand is not included.
Overall, this is a fantastic release. I would love for Bandai to do the other two robots in the series, but I don't think that's going to happen due to the relative unpopularity of the series. This toy was also released in a limited edition through Amazon Japan, but the only difference I can see is that the Amazon version came with a Blu-Ray of the movie.
Special thanks to HobbyLink Japan for this review sample. You can get yours here.