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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Fredericksburg, VA

    Bandai Composite Ver. Ka PTX-EX Exbein

    Dark blue robot brings cool weapons to match its unique look...

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    Bandai’s Composite Ver. Ka series has only been around for a year or so, but it’s already garnering a lot of attention in the robot figure world. With great selections from anime and video games partnered with high quality parts and excellent sculpts and articulation, the line has it all. Descended from the Gundam Fix Figuration series, Ver. Ka is the brainchild of Hajime Katoki, the mecha designer for Gundam, Super Robot Wars, and many more. The first year of Ver. Ka brought fans the Lancelot Albion from CODE GEASS, Gurren Lagann, and the Temjin from SEGA’s Cyber Troopers Virtual-On (check out our review HERE). This year there are already four releases including what might be the coolest one yet: PTX-EX Exbein from Super Robot Wars!

    The packaging for the Composite Ver. Ka series is similar to that used on the Robot Spirits, just bigger and more visually appealing. The front panel has a huge window that reveals the figure and some of its accessories, along with an image of the Exbein off to the side. In front of the figure is printed its name, the series where it comes from, and the Ver. Ka title. The back of the box has tons of cool imagery featuring the Exbein in physical and animated versions utilizing all of its weaponry in cool poses. There’s also a whole bunch of Japanese flavor text if you can read it. Finally, the back panel notes the man behind the mechanic design: Hajime Katoki! Inside the package you’ll find two trays of parts, an instruction sheet, and a unique “sign” that you can use as a backdrop or file card.

    The Exbein is a relatively new robot, first appearing in the 2010 anime Super Robot Wars Original Generation: the Inspector. It is based on the Real Robots “Huckebein” models (themselves based on Gundams), which gives it a strongly humanoid look. It’s no generic robot, though, with plenty of unique details and a cool color scheme that stands out from a lot of its contemporaries. Standing about 6 inches tall (standard for the Composite Ver. Ka line), the Exbein has layered armor plating with scale-like textures, long lean limbs, and a cool head design with goggles, crest, and side-mounted fins. Of course, it also comes with amazing accessories that only add to the overall effect!

    Just like the Robot Spirits and other Ver. Ka robots, the Exbein has a great sculpt. From far away it might seem like other Gundam-type robots you’ve seen, but look closely and you’ll find lots of cool stuff happening. Especially on the legs, torso, and shoulders the armor plates are angled and layered, creating a sort of ablative armor look with tons of technological details. Many of those same parts are individual pieces, which just adds to the overall complexity of the robot.

    The Exbein’s arms are relatively thin and blocky, but even the forearm armor has interesting angles and panels (which will come into play later). Finally, the robot’s head is really cool, and what caught my eye in the beginning. It’s sort of reminiscent of a Transformer with a facemask and “eyes” underneath a large pair of goggles with translucent lenses. Around that is a heavily armored “helmet” that again has lots of small sculpted details. The only thing that’s not quite up to the overall level of quality is the back of the robot; the Exbein has very little detail on its dorsal surface, so make sure it’s facing forward in your display.

    The other cool thing about the Exbein is its color scheme. Many of the giant robot toys are primarily white, with the occasional red, black, or other colors. The Exbein is an overall dark blue with a metallic sheen that’s sure to pop against a sea of generic-looking robots. Even better, its secondary colors are bright white and a yellow/orange giving you the light and dark contrast. The white shows up on knees, forearms, torso, shoulders, and head, with yellow around the same areas and down the legs. Like other Composite Ver. Ka robots the Exbein has lots of decal-like imagery including minute red warning signs, white logos, and a cool “Extra Over Technology” label on the left shoulder.

    When it comes down to displaying your Exbein, there are two more important things to discuss. First is articulation. Bandai’s robot figures are well known for their poseability and the Exbein doesn’t disappoint with a full set of joints including ball and double joints. The only notable things beyond that are the feet with two ball joints (toe and ankle section) and the individually pivoting shoulder armor. Finally, the Exbein has awesome accessories. There aren’t too many (like some Gundams with more weapons than you’ll ever use), but just the right amount.

    First is the massive “Flight Pack” that plugs into the robot’s back. This piece really completes the look of the Exbein and helps hide the relatively plain back. It alone has about eight points of articulation with moving thrusters and fins for added options. In the weaponry department are two beam sabers, Graviton Rifle (larger), Photon Rifle (smaller), Chakram Shooter, and Fang Slasher. The last two are really interesting, with the former a rectangular case that deploys a disc-like weapon (and comes with a spiked version too) and the latter a four-pointed throwing weapon. The beam sabers, Chakram Shooter, and Fang Slasher all can be mounted on the Exbein’s forearms and hips for storage or a different look.

    No matter what weapons you equip it with, the Exbein is a damn fine looking robot that’s not just the run of the mill. Its look is different with the metallic blue, flight pack, and goggled helmet and it has cool weapons in the rifles and unique projectiles. The Exbein comes with a display stand (itself imprinted with the robot’s data) allowing it to maintain a cool pose even while weighted down with all of its accessories. You can find your Composite Ver. Ka Exbein at importers and unique collectible stores right now!

    Review and Photos by Scott Rubin

    Review Sample Courtesy of Bluefin

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