The Fire Eaters (Red Army Men) bring back the nifty design for another go-round, as one of three new colors in last December's launch. The 1.3-inch figures debuted in the fall with black and green figures, and followed-up with white, red, and silver in December. The first launch sold out in a few days, the second batch lasted a while. Why? I'm not sure. They're still good figures and the unique red plastic with the yellow, black, and/or white plastic on each piece is pretty impressive.
As with before, the figure comes with two heads, two guns, a sword, and a backpack which doubles as a robot/clown head. If you're a customizer of Glyos figures, Banimon figures make for a good array of spare parts. Not only do you get a sword and two guns, but the figure is packed with Glyos pegs-- those male/male pieces you can use to fit together two other pieces and are pretty rare in Onell Design releases. (Glyans each have 1, Banimon has about 3 plus a bonus, longer one.)
By default, you get a little red army man with a package that recalls the Soviet Union, more or less. The Fire Eater has a yellow star on his helmet, black eyes, and black painted markings all over his body. Even more surprising, the bottom of his boots are also decorated with black paint. Even though the figure is tiny, it's pretty nicely done for $7 considering it also has packaging. (Many Glyos figures today eschewed packaging in favor of consistent or lower pricing.) I would assume this means it would be phased out in the next year.
The second head is the Banigoth, which looks sort of like Darth Vader mashed up with a Jawa. The sculpted grill on the face looks dynamite, and this head has three colors of paint with black for the face, white eyes, and a yellow tampo on the side. He also looks pretty swell with the sword. The figure's body has rotating shoulders, a swivel waist, and a swivel neck without much other movement so what you see is pretty much what you get here.
The main selling point of Glyos-compatible figures (other than extreme limited editions of about 300 or so for most figures) is their swappability. If you have an Onell Design Armorvor, you can give him weapons from the Banimon figure. If you have a Callgrim, he can wear a Banigoth head. The cross-compatibility of these lines allows you more control over what your figures look like while opening the doors for you to buy one or two figures from other manufacturers. So far Banimon, Onell Design, Callgrim, the Four Horsemen, and Spy Monkey Creations have embraced this system and the Banimon figures are on the simpler, lower-end part of the spectrum. (The cheapest figure remains the Crayboth from Onell Design.) Like with most Glyos figures I would suggest you buy a Banimon figure, as no one has a clear advantage over another beyond availability and therefore pricing. I really like my 3 figures so far, and while I made a decision to not collect them all, I'll probably buy a few more here and there. If they ever do a blue figure... I'm in.
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