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Mar 05, 2007

Yira: Dragon of Doom Review

Go Hero recently released Yira: The Dragon of Doom, the third retro-japanese themed figure in the company's Mechabot universe (following Mechabot and Tentkill). We first saw Yira roughly a year ago at Toy Tokyo's Toy Fair '06 booth and were impressed from the first encounter with its sense of presence.  This is an imposing figure standing nearly 7" high and and 17" long (1:32 scale !).  The armor scaling running the full length of the body adds to the sense that one is looking at an instrument of death and destruction.

Vinyl Pulse received the standard metallic black and red Yira (limited to 250 pcs) for review.  First impressions can be quite powerful and telling.  Upon opening the mailing box and freeing the dragon from his bubble wrap cocoon, I placed it on the table and stared for quite a while. At the risk of flirting with hyperbole, this figure commands attention -- due to its sheer size and hard-boiled streamlined design.   Perhaps more than any of the other colorways (with the exception of the lovely Flame variant), the black and red brings out the dark and powerful core of Yira's being as designed by Steve Forde. The shiny metallic black paint application is quite nice with tiny sparkly flecks that really have to been close up to be appreciated. Bright red highlights the edges of the scales and is also used for detailing throughout. 

Besides the black and red edition reviewed here, Go Hero has released several other limited colorways including Flaming Rage (50), Black and Silver (50 - split between SURU and Kaiju Taro), Bioluminesecent Glow (50), Pearlescent White/Silver White (50 - Toy Toyko), and Gojira Green (50 - Kidrobot).

Upon picking up the figure, the first thing you notice is just how solid it feels.  While Yira is rotocast vinyl, its shape plus heft had me drawing late-night comparisons to bludgeoning weapons (vinyl mace anyone?).  The other image that comes immediately to mind is of a small pet.  Yira proves that size does matter.  The only (minor) downside to the size is that Yira just barely fits in the ubiquitous Ikea Detolf and only if you place it diagonally. 

While Yira appears to be hewn from one massive piece of vinyl, it has 6 points of articulation (head, arms, legs, and mouth).  The mouth is a pleasant touch as it somewhat unexpectedly opens to reveal a forked tongue.  For art toys, articulation is less about playability and more about poseability.  Opening and closing Yira's mouth allows one to go from ominous to flat-out dangerous.  In playing with Yira, I noticed that several of the joints were very difficult to move initially. While I don't know the technical issues here, I imagine that the joint is intially frozen from the paint application.  Once freed, articulation is usually smooth.   This is a rather common  issue for art toys and certainly not isolated to Yira by any means. It's a rather unfortunate situation -- I'm always left thinking hmm, do I really want to apply that much force, what IF it snaps off (as unlikely as that might be) ?  Perhaps factories could pre-articulate the joints or perhaps no one really cares ;-)

All in all, yira is an excellent figure with an imposing original design from Steve Forde and high quality throughout.  As somewhat of a nit, I would have liked to see Yira come in packaging (rather than bubble wrap and a simple yet nice neck tag).  The traditional bag and header card would be rather cumbersome given Yira's size, so a slick box perhaps.  On the big plus side, the black and red Yira has a suggested retail of $60.  Given the large size, $60 seems like somewhat of a bargain. Even without pad printing, the pricing for a toy of this size makes us scratch our head at some of the pricing we're seeing on newer relatively small figures. Yira is a recommended buy for the  nice original design, imposing size, good execution, and strong value.

Posted by Jack @ 11:00 AM in review | Permalink  | Comments (2) |


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Love that black and red colorway.

Looks like a character straight out of pokemon.

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