The delivery on the Kabuto Mushi Standard Pearlescent Brown in nothing short of miraculous - on Friday, orders were placed at 7 PM Arizona time. By noonish on Monday, the figures were delivered. I've been through dozens of releases of indie figures over the last few years and usually, at best, things tend to ship out in about a week. To be shipped by Monday would be amazing, but delivered? In a crazy cold snap in which all sorts of mail delays are going on? That takes dedication - but that's just another day at the office for creator Marty "TheGodBeast" Hansen, who has been crafting all sorts of Glyos heads, prototypes, and hand-cast figures for collectors and others for years now. It's rare to see someone with the collector gene, a keen eye for toys, and tons of talent put out a figure like this but here we are!
According to a trading card packed with the Mini-Mushi horde, Matt Doughty of Onell Design conceived of the design and Mr. Hansen did the sculpting, prototyping, and other production work. The end result is a gorgeous action figure that looks lively with its metallic finish, but at the same time gives me convulsions because I also collect Transformers and am keenly aware of problems as recently as 2000 with Gold Plastic Syndrome. We haven't heard of any reports of crumbling Glyos figures yet, but it's too soon to worry about that happening. It may never happen - it's just the kind of thing that makes me nervous, and will make me buy non-metallic brown Kabuto Mushi figures if those are ever produced. I'll play with those ones. Marty - consider MK II Kabuto Mushi figures in normal, boring brown and green plastics.
The construction is good - not great. Onell Design figures were a mix of 1980s toy and 2000s designer figure, with a product that, in the end, was usually pretty stable and solid. The Kabuto Mushi is more or less like a 1990s collector figure in that it took the idea and ran with it, giving you more articulation than you could possibly need that allows you to make all kinds of surprising poses. This comes at a cost - the figure is really top-heavy, and the pieces don't seem to be seated together as closely as on Armorvors, Outlanders, Weaponeers, Banimon, and other figures. In short, it's a little more wobbly - not loose, not unstable, but the pieces require a lot more fidgeting to get the legs in the right position because of this. The shoulders are the area where this is the most noticeable, and the wedge between the torso and shoulders may be the main cause. Once removed your range of movement is more limited, but the figure looks and feels a lot tighter.
The complexity will most likely appeal to the line's key market - toys for toy people - but I'm finding the abundance of pieces in some Glyos figures to be a little daunting. Each arm is a grand total of 5 moving pieces, which is a lot to get aligned just right. I'm on a "simple figure kick" of sorts right now so 1 or 2 pieces are all I need, but those who build with Glyos parts are going to have an absolute blast putting together weird mutants and bizarre creations with the 26 pieces that make up each Kabuto Mushi action figure.
Each figure wears its inspiration proudly - you can see elements of Laser Beasts as well as the ever-popular rhinoceros beetle, an insect which it turns out is a popular pet for kids in Japan. There are a few collectibles that show how kids have a strong affection for what we would consider a rather ugly brute, but hey - that's why they sell Mushi King toys and Mushihimesama statues. This is the second Kabuto Mushi figure, the original thinner design was sold as a hand-cast resin figure. It's beautiful - but the nature of its production makes it an expensive, higher-end collectible.
If you like Glyos figures, it goes without saying that you will want one or more of these. The design is always something to behold, mostly just to see how clever the engeineering is. There are two little green pieces on the back which can be removed, and seem to serve no purpose other than to add some color and decoration to the figure. For the price - especially compared to Pheyden or an Armorvor - there's a lot more meat on the bones here, but that complexity does remove some of the quick play value. If you futz with his arms and legs, it may take time to get them back into a position that benefits his being able to stand again without pigeon-toed legs. Without a doubt, this is a gorgeous figure that's going to look great on any desk. But don't skip the Mini-Mushis - those things are great, too!
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