Bandai Robot Damashii or Robot 魂 entry for the Full Metal Panic series arm slave ARX-7 Arbalest, perhaps is one of a solid action figure mecha and yet affordable compared to the Alter Mechanical Model ARX-7 from my previous entry.
Packing is not impressive, as it comes with a typical Robot Damashii box.
For a fun toy which is not premium price, there is nothing more to expect from a standardized packaging.
The accessories as well as the figure is just pack in a single plastic bubble tray. At least the time taking the action figure or Arbalest out from the packaging is minimal compared to any Deluxe Transformers toys.
One of the important element is missing from this package is Action Figure stand. Which in my opinion is important to strike dynamic poses. Perhaps it is a sound business decision to up sell Action Figure stands.
Most part of the ARX-7 mecha, is made of durable plastics, the only part which is made of PVC is the fists and extra hands. Unlike, the high end Alter ARX-7, the action figure of ARX-7 is intuitive just like an action figure, there is no need to make adjustment a parts near to the joints to make full articulation. Of course this is one of the selling point in the Robot Damashii line; fun to play action figure which can take more abuse, an embodiment of Bandai brand name.
First step is to attach some back attachment to Arbalest.
True to the anime, knives and combat shotgun is included as accessories for Arbalest.
The combat shotgun have pump action as well as a collapsible stock.
The combat knife that I will highlight is a almost shaped like a combat knife, it comes with a sheath.
Both the combat shotgun and combat knife can be attached to the back of ARX-7, with help of an attachment. However, the hardpoint which is at the back of Arbalest pelvic needs to be swapped.
Other than stowing the combat knife at the back, it can be attached to a built-in hard point on either side of the mecha thigh.
Bandai has not left details in its Robot Damashii ARX-7 even it is an action figure toy that majority can afford.
One of the gimmick that comes with this toy is, it is able to be
transformed converted into its super mode in the manga or Anime. In the fictional universe of Full Metal Panic, arm slaves equipped with lambda drive when would be able to do kung-fu and gun-fu attacks and amazing acrobatic feats. You have to watch the anime or read the manga to visualize better.
To start the swap, take out both armor plates from both upper arms. And remove 2 attachment at the back of Arbalest. Replace it with the opened armor plates; in the anime it indicates the lamda drive is activated and extended lamda drive component.
The converting process is simpler compared to the Alter ARX-7. The details after conversion is not too shabby compared to the premium version.
One of the gimmick that Robot Damashii outshines Alter ARX-7 is its feature to change Arbalest mouth piece with an attached anti tank dagger; just like in the manga and anime.
What is needed is swapping the lower part of the head with the head with anti tank dagger. However, Arbalest head needs to be taken off from the body.
To complete the swap, place the upper part of the head which is very closely resembles a helmet onto the half face to complete the face swap.
With the head or face swap, ARX-7 looks more ass kicking. Unfortunately, the anti tank dagger cannot be detached.
Arbalest in the Bandai Robot 魂 rendition has articulation which can simulate every Full Metal Panic! fan’s favourite scene.
The poses is due to the design of ARX-7 which the weight is properly distributed. Hence, it can be posed standing up with a single leg without support or any assistance from action figure stand.
As a summary, Bandai Robot Damashii ARX-7 Arbalest is an overall better toy which is affordable and fun to play, it can recreate more scenes in the manga and anime compared to the Alter counterpart. As long as the details such as cockpit, the build-in anti-tank dagger compartment in the body as well as the lambda drive component inside the body exclusion is not important for you.