Product Line / The Robot Spirits ⟨Side AB⟩
Scale & Class / Non-Scale Collectible Figure
Manufacturer / Bandai Spirits / Tamashii Nations
Release Date / 2012
Appearances / Aura Battler Dunbine
“Isekai” or parallel world stories are nowadays the joke of the current seasonal anime thanks to their derivative and cheaply thrown together nature. But if you go back 30 years or so, that’s not really the case. Case in point being Aura Battler Dunbine, a 1984 series that combines the fantasy elements of parallel world stories with the, at the time, popularity of real robot shows. The concept works by making the mecha, or Aura Battlers as they’re known in-universe, have insect-based aesthetics that look more natural and less mechanical – chief of these being the titular Dunbine. It’s no surprise several figures and model kits of this design are out there, and I believe one of the better ones is The Robot Spirits version from Tamashii Nations.
Although Dunbine doesn’t have a complex design, not every figure or model kit nails the aesthetics or proportions. So, it’s really a treat that Tamashii Nations does with this one, especially with those organic curves and subtle colors. I like the hue they used with this figure and how it contrasts with the orange accents, darker backpack unit, and those clear insect wings. Speaking of insect wings, these really look great with the sculpted veins and how the plastic reflects light for that mystical glow. Articulation is also great, to which I’m noting two points. First are the forearms which have a dedicated swivel joint below the elbow and compensate for the lack of upper arm swivel because of the soft pipes connected to the shoulder armor. And second are the claw feet which have individually articulated segments. These provide significant help in balancing the figure for those walking or wide poses. Dunbine also comes with its standard accessory set, including a sword that can be stored on a sheath mounted on the backpack, and a pair of four-barrel auto cannons for each arm. It also comes with a clear slashing effect piece that slides easily over the sword for added dynamic effect.