Friday, November 4, 2011

What does the acronym even mean? A M.A.R.S. Heroes figure review.

(As always, click the pictures for a bigger resolution.)
In the middle of a taxing afternoon, I decided to check the toy section of a local mall after I heard that these guys were put up for sale from a post in this  toy group on facebook, and I remember seeing these figures being used by some customizers and general collectors. They looked cool enough in pictures, and I was really surprised how solid they were in-hand. 
Since they were also cheap I splurged a little and bought three of them for 100php (about 2$) each. 

The ones I got were the MARS Alien and MARS Megabot (both blue). in retrospect, while the blue bot guy is neat, I should have gotten the green one. I didn't bother getting one of each since I'm kinda "meh" on the trooper figures. the Aliens though are pretty cool.

This is the catalog of the available figures in this wave. Seems like what we got in stores is the first wave of the line. 

Out of package these guys are pretty nice, stuff's not as hollow or cheap feeling like I thought it would be, in fact it seems like these were mostly cast in hard PVC and not rotocast as well, so yes you can chuck these things at people you hate and they won't break. Well they will but you can rebuild them again and they'll be fine.

Height wise here's how they fare. In between Microman (well microlady) and Marvel Universe, the Megabot is just about the same size as Sakura, while the Alien is about as tall as Iron Man. either way, if you're a 3 3/4" collector these things are right up your alley. 

These things are held together by ball joints which is pretty useful on the ankles, hips, legs and shoulders but limited on the elbows and knees. If you're into He-Manesque or Warcraft 3-ish squat posing, then you'll love these guys. 

Here's the blue bot's removable weaponry. the shoulder missiles and the two-barrel gun have gaps on their back and undersides, respectively. And I really hate that. 

Did I mention  that the parts held together by joints also come off? The ball posts are bigger than 5mm though so no luck in mixing and matching from other toylines. 
As mentioned,those are the hideous gaps on the back of the missle racks, and there are additional mounting holes at the back of the thighs, I assume it's for the mix and match gimmick of these toys.

visually, the designs aren't half bad, and it even managed to blend in with this Starcraft Terran Marine figure (that belongs to my brother), with really nice sculpting and lots of mechanical detailing. In contrast,  I think the MARS guys are way more solid and less prone to loose joints unlike the marine up there. 

The Megabot, overall is a pretty nice figure to have and if it wasn't for those gaps on the shoulder weapons, or ill designed elbows and knees he'd be near perfect.  Now let's move on to the other figure in this review, the MARS Alien.

I picked the blue guy out of the lot because he has this sweet transparent energy blade. Another draw to the figure is his being cast in translucent PVC which is just so beautiful up close, and has that Microman/Acroyear (or if you're feeling artsy, GLYOS) feel to it. Very nice.

Removable parts from the main body, the green...thing(?) and an energy blade. 

 In terms of design he's way more flexible than the megabot due to the long slender limbs, but loses out because of having slightly loose sockets holding him together. Because this is PVC being held by more PVC there's not enough friction or grip for the joints to really hold. The heavy, full cast body parts doesn't help either.

In short, he falls apart too easily. 

Of course the main draw to these toys is their ball and socket system which allows you to mix and match parts for more fun. Nice touch, if only they allowed for compatability with other toys as well, and like I mentioned before, the ball and socket system also has its drawbacks in terms of poseability.

Are M.A.R.S. Heroes figures worth getting? Well, honestly yes. At their cheap price range you get a solid toy with decent enough paint apps and nifty designs, as well as good playability and decent poseability. making good on any or all of those criteria would usually mean a bigger price range, but these toys in their own peculiar way deliver very well, and are well balanced in all of those aforementioned aspects . 

Just be prepared for some really minor flaws like hollow molding on some parts or loose joints, but these figures will definitely be fun and enjoyable. Definitely recommending these things. 

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