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[COMPOSITE VER.KA] MBV-04 Temjin

August 7, 2011

“FLOODED CITY. GET READY.”

Announcer, Cyber Trooper Virtual-On: Operation Moongate

Ah, Temjin. Where would my childhood be without you? Despite the newb-punishing game that is Virtual-On, the few arcade machines that the Japanese shipped over would develop a small but solid following; that said, there aren’t many Virtual-On Oratorio Tangram machines left nowadays, much less classic Virtual-On. The game certainly left a lasting impression on me, in no small part thanks to the iconic dashing and weapons noises from the various Virtuaroids in the game. This was the only other mecha-related part of my childhood (apart from Gundam Wing).

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Welcome to the DNA Corporation Gun Shop, unfortunately, our weapons plant blew up and this is all we have...

Anyways, I just got myself this here Temjin Ver. KA.

Armaments:

– MultiPurpose Beam Launcher-7 Mk. III

– MultiPurpose Beam Launcher-7 Mk. II-d

– Mk. 94 Hand Grenade

Summary:

One of the most iconic machines within its own universe, the Main Battle Virtuaroid Temjin is one of the first VRs to enter production during the events of Operation Moongate. A well-balanced fighter with decent armor, and equipped with the MPBL that can sustain a beam sword or act as a rifle, the Temjin is gifted with good melee and ranged capabilities. In addition, a skilled pilot can also fight a running-gun distraction battle with the careful and surgical use of Temjin’s speed and its wide-radius bomb weapon. The Temjin can also be equipped with a stronger beam launcher weapon that sacrifices close-quarter capabilities for vastly increased ranged firepower; however, most VR encounters during Operation Moongate were solo, and the weapon is recommended only for group sorties.  With no discernible weaknesses and strengths, this allows Temjin pilots to adapt to nearly any battlefield situation. On the same note, the Temjin line is not built to specialize, and pilots who do not learn to be flexible will quickly find themselves on the short end of the stick.

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This is HEAVY FIREPOWER!

I’m sure some of you might remember the start of the Composite Ver. KA line of figures. This Temjin, if I recall, is the first of its line, and a fitting choice too, considering that this is one of the first “main character” mecha that Katoki designed outside of his work in Gundam Sentinel (not enough people appreciate Sentinel nowadays and Bandai already has other kits for that).

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And this is HEAVIER FIREPOWER! I CHANNEL THE SPIRIT OF THE HEAVY!

As you can guess by now the Ver. Ka is a toy line that comes with a couple of accessories and a stand; unpack and play, no need for assembly. The Temjin gets its iconic sword/rifle and an additional beam launcher in the Temjin’s colors; the latter weapon is only mentioned in side-stories, and it’s a nice touch to release it along with the Temjin’s standard fare since this time you get to examine the weapon in close detail, in all of its spartan design glory.

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Screw this shit, I'm sniping from the hip!

As you can see from the previous two pictures, I managed to replicate Temjin’s over-the-shoulder weapons-holding pose from the video intro to the Virtual-On game; however, do note that that isn’t the default position and the posture of the whole toy will get a bit loose, grip on weapons included. The above picture is the standard weapons pose as seen in the game, and sometimes the weapons’ long stock might clash against the Temjin’s backpack.

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Ooooorya! Wooooaaa! Eiiiiiyaaaaooooooohhhhh....

And this is a replicate of the stabbing attack you get when you try to use rifle shots in close-combat proximity. It’s nice how the game creators accounted for a lot of measures.

Speaking of which, while you can replicate a lot of poses with the stand, it’s nowhere near as flexible as it looks. Well, about equal to a model kit, but you’ll expect a toy to have a lot more flexibility than that; the stand is simplistic and allows only for perpendicular posing.

Perhaps that’s for the Robot Spirits line, and the Composite Ver. Ka is more of a “dynamic posing” toy as opposed to most model kits which are “dynamic posing” kits. As you can see this is about the best I can replicate the stabbing pose with (it’s supposed to be a bit lower, but I couldn’t fit it), and while the Temjin does have the nice idea of being able to bend its foot it can’t swing them sideways due to the foot guards (a design flaw which was present in the original design, but the game’s age meant that cutting into model polygons was the least of their worries).

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Ten-hut!

I tried the PERFECT SCORE pose from VO Oratorio Tangram with both weapon types and since it’s obvious you can’t stab the sword/rifle through surfaces like in the game, using the launcher is more stable. The good thing is that it has tough joints, and this helps in keeping your poses steady.

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Blatent advertising at its finest...

All VRs had a Sega Dreamcast, or at least a near-perfect replica strapped onto their backs; canonically, this lookalike device from the future allows it to read the disk contained inside the Dreamcast to perform the various moves each VR can do. VRs starting from VO-Force removed the obvious Dreamcast (because SEGA was no longer directly producing the VO-related games after Oratorio Tangram) and replaced it with a normal disk reader with a transparent section showing the spinning.

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This is a prime target for combat pragmatism...

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... Like this!

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This CD-ROM is bigger than your SUV.

The one thing that would make VO fans squeal with joy is the near-perfect replication of the pop-up system whenever a VR jumped or dashed across the land; the Dreamcast would open up along with any boosters it had. In this case Temjin has twin back boosters to complement its spinning disk.

The disk itself pops up during gameplay, spinning clockwise (I think…) madly in all situations. Of course it can’t spin here, but the disk part they give has a shiny surface that shines just like a real CD-ROM, adding to the nostalgia/coolness/realism factor (take your pick).

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I can has cookies FeiYen-oneechan?

The Temjin comes with six different hand parts, totalling in three different pairs of hands. One pair for trigger-gripping, one pair for open-hands, and one pair for closed fists.

If you so desire, you could stick with the closed fists and have the Temjin parody various moves to test out its flexibility; you’ll find that unfortunately, while outwardly the Temjin seems very flexible, other poses like splits, flying kicks, hammer kicks and even the basic kneel, the ultimate litmus test for lower-body build in all model kits, figures and toys, present trouble; some big, and some small for the Temjin.

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Rated OG for Overly Gung-ho.

With the hand parts for the trigger grips having it dual-wielding either way is easy business. I’ll like to see a first-gen Temjin dash with all this extra weight, but alas, Virtual-On related fluff and official side-stories are severely lacking, and will probably remain so.

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IMMA SPAM THIS BOMB HERE LIKE THE MOTHERLOVING FIST OF THE NORTH STAR!

The open-palm parts double as bomb-grip hand parts for Temjin. While you only get one bomb (thus negating “double spiky balls attack” or jokes of similar caliber), you can fit the Mk. 94 bomb on either hand part that’s unoccupied. You can try for a baseball pose, but it might be a bit out of the Temjin’s range…

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Whose bloody idea was it to use acrylic and not sheet plastic?!?!

Last but not least, you get a beam part for the sword. Probably the one thing that’s the least satisfactory about the Temjin Ver. Ka is this beam part; it’s too heavy, the color is wrong and… overall it just looks like some random piece of plastic. The original Temjin’s beam sword was thinner and shorter, and I’m pretty sure it emitted from the sides of the sword instead of covering it entirely.

Bottom point is, the sword is simply too heavy to hold in any meaningful pose. A major disappointment for melee-oriented Temjin fans.

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DIETO?!

Well, as you can see, not everything is perfect, and seeing as I got this particular Composite Ver. Ka Temjin for cheap, it shouldn’t come to much surprise that upon closer inspection there seems to be paint damage, overly stiff joints, scratches and debris around. It’s not much and I’m not particularly bothered by it, but it did make me wonder if Singapore Toy R’ Us at Vivo has taken up the slack of selling counterfeit goods, or these were going for cheap as damaged items. Probably the latter, hopefully.

There are some other photos not included in this post; you can find them here.

The Verdict:

Overall, I don’t have a problem with the Temjin, at least, not any that require blinding rage and incoherent ranting. The Temjin is wonderfully flexible for most poses and its joint construction is sufficient for its purposes; the Temjin has also received a full re-decal at the hands of the Katoki, its original designer. Bar the paint job of this particular model, I imagine another different Temjin might be spectacular to see; every detail of the Temjin from the game has been replicated with additional touch-ups for this toy line.

In terms of flexibility the Temjin tends to fall short. Not a single Katoki-designed kit has yet been able to kneel down properly and the Temjin is no exception. Apart from that, however, the Temjin is a-okay, being able to do the split up to a certain extent, arm rotation for 360 degrees thanks to independent pieces for the shoulder armor not attached to the arm socket joint itself, and its head can tilt backwards to a respectable angle (but not forward), in addition to turning like a corkscrew if you move it so.

About one flexibility problem is its feet, since they can’t bend sideways thanks to the feet guards. As well, bending in front is restricted, and the simple stand restricts the types of poses you can do with it. But that’s a small problem, and overall the Composite Ver. Ka. Temjin is good to go for a fan’s purchases. If you’re practically married to the Temjin as a VO Player, then there’s very little reason to not get this, unless you prefer model kits to a pre-built poseable statue.

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