Kaiyodo started up a line of high-grade, collectible action figures in 2006 called the Revoltech line—not because they were revolting, evidently, but because they featured a special kind of revolving joint that added to their stability and poseability. The Revoltech figures ranged from four to seven inches in height and covered a huge variety of characters and robots from Japanese anime.
This year the line has expanded with the Revoltech SFX series, which covers classic Japanese kaiju as well as characters and creatures from American movies, including a Batman from The Dark Knight, Aliens and Predators, even characters from Toy Story and The Nightmare Before Christmas.
I recently grabbed the Revoltech Rodan, Mothra, Baragon (from Frankenstein Conquers the World) and an Alien Queen from James Cameron’s Aliens, and respect must be paid. These things are amazing. Kaiyodo has always made superb vinyl recreations of dinosaurs and Japanese giant monsters, and the Revoltech line combines their fantastic sculpting and paint detail with a toy-maker’s love of operating features, display extras and play value.
The Revoltech Rodan features at least 15 points of articulation, and that’s not counting the rubber wings (with a 10-inch wingspan) imbedded with wires for flapping poseability of their own. The tiny, beautifully detailed mouth opens and closes, wings pivot and spread, knees bend, toes point for flight mode, the waist pivots—even the tiny wing claws are positionable. In fact, Rodan comes perched atop what may be the first articulated building I’ve ever seen—two crush zones on the roof pivot on joints so Rodan can be shown smashing into the structure with his feet, while the rest sandwiches together so it can crumple like a real building. The set also comes with a tiny in-flight Rodan so you can create some kind of force-perspective diorama reproducing the attack by two Rodans in the original 1956 feature.
Mothra also has highly positionable wings (all four on different axises) and a diorama of the destroyed Tokyo Tower with Mothra’s giant egg cocoon affixed to it. Even Mothra’s teeny weeny mouth (just slightly over 1/8 inch in diameter) opens and closes.
Baragon comes with a beautiful little forest A-frame, two trees and a rearing horse to recreate his infamous horse-eating scene in Frankenstein Conquers the World. The monster’s nose horn is translucent, and his characteristic, Cocker Spaniel-like ears are moveable.
The Revoltech Alien Queen is huge—rearing up to nearly 8 inches in height, my guess is it’s in scale with the line’s alien warrior figure. There’s not as much diorama bling included with this one—there’s a relatively simple floor base and a clear rod to support the creature—but Kaiyodo has outdone itself with the articulation and paint detail. There are at least 36 points of articulation, from all six limbs to the six moveable spines on its back, as well as a bendable tail, opening jaw and extending inner jaw. At first glance the monster looks like a simple glossy black, but it’s full of subtle deep blues, ivory highlights and clear and translucent areas that reproduce most of the subtleties of the full-size Stan Winston creation.
Each of the SFX Revoltechs come with small nameplates, and the collector-friendly packaging is beautifully done itself, with opening window panels, tons of color imagery showing the figures options and operating features and what looks like thorough background dossiers on the creatures in Japanese. Best of all, these amazing pieces are pretty affordable at $25-$30. So begins the quest to possess them all…