Well, I suppose it was bound to happen at one point.
This is the first mecha I am reviewing. Interestingly, it’s not a Gundam unit. It is a Patlabor unit. I am generally not interested in robots because I find them too unrealistic. Now, I have enjoyed Gundam series but I’ve never collected or built any gundam units or any figures from the series.
Robots from Patlabor are a little different in general. They are far more realistic in terms of their aesthetics as well as their abilities. Robots (or Labors) from Patlabor series are, well, labors. They are meant to replace human workforce with far superior strength and durability.
Because of that, no labors fly. No labor shoots lasers.
“Patlabor” means basically police + labor. A specialized police division utilizes these. The codename for this unit is Ingram 98. 98 because it was released in 1998.
You see, Patlabor manga began its serialization in 1989 and its time setting was 10 year later in 1998. The anime version boldly claims that you may see real labors like the ones in the anime a decade later.
Well, fast forward 31 years, we haven’t got anything remotely close.
In my own opinion, man kind developed in computing related tech rapidly, but when it comes to good old mechanical engineering, we’ve been stalling.
I firmly believe that, if mechanical engineering developed as rapid as silicon chips did, we would have real labors in 2020.
There are three Ingram 98 units in Patlabor division 2. Unit 1 is controlled by a young woman named Izumi Noa. She named the unit 1 Alphonse.
Unit 1 is what I have here.
Now, there have been robot figures for Patlabors in the past but their scale have been awkward. 1/48, 1/60, 1/66 etc … It’s been all over the places.
This is strictly 1/35 scale, and this is important. 1/35 scale means they can squeeze in a 1/35 figure. The figure, Izumi Noa, is a standalone unit. It has to be inserted into the labor. The labor’s height is about 23cm.
Speaking of which, this is a masterfully done robot unit. Its skeleton is of metal which makes this quite heavy. But its skeleton being metal means it is durable. Additionally, cockpit door hinges are of metal as well.
The shoulder police light has a small circuit board that can house two AG1 batteries. When switched on, it will circle between red and yellow, mimicking police light. It’s probably better to watch a video I made below.
This may be my first robot figure I’ve ever had, but I can tell that the quality is likely one of the best out there. The unit seems to be very durable. It looks like it can take abuses of being played with.
There is also no paint on the body. The white parts are just glossy white plastics, and black parts are glossy black plastics. There can and will be scratches but there won’t be any paint peel over.
Well, I lied, a bit. There is paint but it’s on its feet because its feet are metal. A good choice I’d say since metal feet ensures that its center of weight goes down. The lower a center of weight, the better balance overall. Feet are also where it makes a contact with surface, so metal feet mean durability.
The box comes with a lot of parts to swap out or equip as well. There is a shotgun, a pistol, two stun bars (on and off ver), and an eye (main camera) guard. I am in particular impressed by the amount of options for its hands.
This does give you a lot of poses you could mimic, such as –
Again, I am impressed in how well this unit has been built. It’s tough as nails while handling it. And attention to detail is very impressive.
This thing cost me 180 CAD which is on par with what figures generally costs in 2020.
Almost everything can be articulated no matter how small and minor. See the tiny window on top of Noa’s head? It can go up and down. See the pair of lights? It can open and close. The mesh grill on chest is metal as well.
The box also contains a custom base plus a support arm if you wish to pose the robot so dynamic that it won’t stand on its own.
Really, I’ve got no complaint at all about this product. It is masterfully done. If this company makes more of Patlabors from the series, I am willing to purchase them.
Ingram unit 2 is controlled by Ota Isao who is so reckless that his unit lost its head so many times. As a direct result, the division installs a cheaper and simpler head. “Why bother when he loses his head so often,” is the excuse which is correct both figuratively and literally, meaning unit 2 has a slightly different head.
There are also Peacemaker 00 and Griffon which is the nemesis of Ingram along with numerous civilian and military grade labors, meaning there are a lot of labors to cover if a company chooses to manufacture 1/35 scale labors.
Finally, box shots.
Personally, I don’t know why I chose to purchase this. I even pre-ordered it. I was given a chance to cancel my pre-order as COVID hit and it was delayed by an unknown amount of time.
Still, I kept my pre-order alive. I’ve watched Patlabor before but that was decades ago. I don’t have strong sentiment toward the series to warrant the purchase of this.
In the end, I’ve kept my order alive and it is here after 6 months of delay. Do I regret the purchase?
I do not because the quality of this thing is amazing.