New M.U.S.C.L.E. Figures: Wazakeshi Vol. 2


The Kinkeshi Premium figures have been released as complete boxed sets. Bandai added to the Kinnikuman Kinkeshi Premium figures by releasing a series of figures in vending machines (Gashapon). The capsule has a checklist and single sculpt. The main Gashapon series has six sculpts in three colors: (1) Flesh; (2) Blue; and (3) Red. Some sets have painted chase-figures. Some of the sculpts are two-piece, which was a trait of some original Kinnikuman figures. The fourth series, sixth series, seventh series, ninth series, and 10th series has already been reviewed.

There are also special “best of” sets. These figures follow the same format, but the colors are Flesh, Green, and Clear. The first and second sets of this special “best of” figures have already been reviewed.

Bandai released yet another special set, “Kinnikuman Wazakeshi Premium.” This new set features two-piece combinations of characters. The sets contain five two-piece sets. They only color that is available is the original keshi/M.U.S.C.L.E.-flesh color. The first volume has already been reviewed. The most recent special edition from Bandai does not seem to have an overarching title or brand. The most recent set is simply called, “Clan Forces Gathered.”

Front

Back

There was hesitation buying the original Wazakeshi Vol. 1 set, but that hesitation was gone this time. I was very excited to receive the second wave. Could I like this set as much as the original?

No. I didn’t like this set as much as the original.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t like it; let me explain.

Trying to crack the two-piece success-code has been a running theme in many of these figure reviews. I have not found a satisfactory answer/explanation.

I should probably start with the two-piece for which I have already made a declaration of love. This is unquestionably the best combo in this set. I think it is one of the best combos we have seen from Bandai.

I even like the Ashuraman by himself. It’s weird, but there’s something interesting about him. I think it is seeing this character in a brand new position. For better or worse, this character is often in the “neutral” pose. It’s fun seeing him do something different.

On the other hand, Geronimo looks utterly absurd by himself.

The next figure combination is a little frustrating. On the one hand, I really love it. The figures are interesting and have great details. Unfortunately, on the other hand, it is difficult to effectively display and photograph.

For example, look at the two pictures below – which angle is better?

There probably isn’t a correct answer. I feel that way because the expression of the figure to the left is awesome!

No matter how I turned the combo shadows obscured the pained face. I love the detailing of this figure, but it is difficult, almost impossible, to see. The solution is certainly not to display the figure alone. It looks terrible on its own; like most combos.

I’m sure that the Kinnikuman-looking guy isn’t actual Kinnikuman. Or maybe it is? It doesn’t matter. I think the figure looks awesome. Again, this figure has great detailing.

I do have a minor problem with the figure. What is the cape-thing flying out? I can’t quite figure out what the correct movement should be. This looks like more of a pin, why would the cape be flying? Minor, minor issue – but I don’t like it.

Confidence was at an all-time high as I was ready to declare, “We have seen this combo before!”

Probably shouldn’t have been quite so confident. These are completely new sculpts doing the same move. (I’m allowing myself partial credit.)

The second time around for this move, I don’t have anything different to say then the first time. But this combination, the second time, helped me realize something important: it is pointless to photograph the figures separately.

Unless a part of the figure looks especially cool alone, why make the figures look stupid? They are designed to be displayed together. It is a waste of time and effort for me and the reader.

For example, look at this next combo below. I’m fine with it. I don’t love it and I don’t hate it. What would be the upside of showing them separately?

I wouldn’t like the set more. I wouldn’t dislike them either. As a reader, are you disappointed they aren’t photographed apart? I feel very confident your answer is, “No.”

The final combination is awesome. In almost any other set this would have been my favorite combination. Unfortunately for this sculpt, it was included with the awesome Ashuraman combo.

I really like the Polka-Dot Man. He looks very cool and I want more of his character.

With this second volume my biggest question is, “Will the Wazakeshi continue?” It feels like the boxes and Gashapon have more momentum. My gut thinks this is the final series and we’ll see more oddity sets like Clan Forces Gathered. Of course, I could just be hungry and we’ll have plenty more volumes in this series.

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  1. #1 by Rick Williams on May 15th, 2019

    The character you weren’t sure is Kinnikuman is actually him. That is a cape coming out because the move is supposed to be a slam type maneuver that is performed in mid air. The second version is the same move just a different opponent. All of these dual figure types showcase a move or important moment from the manga/anime

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