Toy: Battle Armor Kumonga (Trendmasters)

 

Battle Armor Kumonga


English Toy Title

Godzilla Doom Island Battle Armor Kumonga

Extras:

Trading Card

Type:
Company:
Release:
Height:
Length:
Width:
Reissue:

Figure
Trendmasters
1997
8 centimeters
13 centimeters
17 centimeters
No

Source:

N/A

Toy

COMMENTS

By: Joshua Reynolds (submission)

If you fancy yourself a moderate or hardcore collector, you have certain items that you consider crown jewels. Items that you wanted for a long, long time. Sometimes, these can be extremely old figures from the 1970’s. Sometimes, they can be exclusive releases that are merely repaints or sculpted in different colors. Sometimes, they can be prototypes. And sometimes, they can be releases that just never got released far and wide. Battle Armor Kumonga is one of those releases. If you can’t tell by the previous four reviews I’ve done for the Power-Up figures Trendmasters released, I have a tremendous soft spot for these toys. But it wasn’t until about thirteen years ago that I learned of the existence (and canceling) of the Battle Armor Kumonga and Anguirus figures that would have been part of the Doom Island line.

However, it was merely a year or so ago that I learned these figures were starting to leak out to the public. It seems, just prior to the Trendmasters Godzilla line folding, a small shipment of these figures made it out. I had to have one. It cost over $100 for this figure ($109 to be exact) from a seller on E-Bay based in Taiwan. Was it worth it? Well, it was a hard pill to swallow. But once I got the figure and held it in and… yes. For me, yes. But how does it stack up to other figures? Should you bite the bullet for one if you’re just a moderate collector? Let’s see if I can help you figure that one out for yourself.

Details

  Front View (Unarmored)  
Front View (Unarmored)

Kumonga is made of plastic. I admit, he does feel a bit cheap compared to the former Power-Up figures. There is some pretty good, if not interesting, sculpt details going on here though. Really, the name Kumonga could have been dropped and this could have been given any number of names, such “Weapon Spider,” for any other toy line. The face of the toy doesn’t look much like Kumonga at all. In fact, the whole sculpt looks nothing like Kumonga beyond that of being a spider. What is neat to note, however, is that the toy has mechanical parts actually molded into its body unlike the prior Power-Up toys. These details are apparent on its back and underside, while its legs are also sculpted to show cybernetic implants throughout.

My main gripe with this sculpt is easily the face. While the eyes look “good” enough, I really wish they would have kept Kumonga’s classic spider eyes instead of relying on some cartoony, two eyed set up.

The figure does scale pretty well with the other Power-Up figures, thankfully. Given how Kumonga itself was a pretty big opponent for Godzilla to face in the Showa era, it even scales pretty decently with the six-inch line.

Articulation

Leg Articulation  
Leg Articulation

Despite being “totally poseable!” as listed on the side of its box, Battle Armor Kumonga really isn’t. Its mandibles can open and close. All eight of its legs can move up and down via hinge joints. Every other legs (IE: the legs with the buzzsaw-shaped mid-section) have secondary hinges located there, giving it a bit more reach. Strangely, the legs that lack the mid-section hinges have hinges on the bottom points to allow the points to flex. This arrangement of articulation makes it a tad difficult to get Kumonga in any sort of decent pose. In fact, I have yet to be able to make it stand without it resting on its abdomen.

For its battle armor, the snap-on missile launchers that plug onto its body armor do offer some good range and can hold its grip so long as you don’t try pointing them too high into the air. There is also a secondary gun mounted on its armor that can rotate in 360 degrees

Accessories

  Armor Pieces  
Armor Pieces

Being a “Battle Armor” release, Kumonga comes equipped with snap-on armor not unlike that of the Power-Up figures from the previous toy line (Godzilla Wars). This includes a single piece of chrome-plated battle armor that attaches to its body. Two spring-loaded missile launchers can then snap onto this armor. Additionally, there are four smaller pieces of armor to attach to four of the spider’s legs and a stinger-like missile that can loaded into its mouth and fired via springs.

Like other Trendmasters toys, Kumonga was also released with a collectible trading card. Mine came with Varan’s. From what I can tell, Kumonga was packaged with a random card for there was no Kumonga card done up at the time of its release.

Paint

Leg Detail  
Leg Detail

For a toy that was suppose to go for about $20 (I imagine), Kumonga has some decent paint. The gray and purple look good. There’s some nice purple shading going on with the legs as well, and as tradition with the Doom Island line, the black wash looks really good and makes the gray and purple pop a bit more. The silver cybernetic parts on its back look pretty good. Unfortunately, the mechanical pieces sculpted in its legs and underside remain unpainted. A little silver to those buzz saw leg joints could have gone a long way here.

That all being said, I can’t help but wonder why Trendmasters didn’t use the traditional black and yellow color scheme for the spider kaiju. I imagine it has to do with their “redesigning” process of older kaiju in the same way they did Anguirus and Baragon, but the colors they chose here drift Kumonga even further away from its original character. As I said before, even with this toy line being canceled, I don’t see why this mold couldn’t have been salvaged and just repackaged in another and called “Weapon Spider” or something.

I will say that it is a nice change of pace to see missiles that are more than just a solid red in color. Kumonga’s missiles, which are sculpted in black with silver and red tips, look pretty good when loaded into its launchers. Additionally, the stinger missile (which has a red tip) looks pretty good between its mandibles and adds a bit of needed color to its face. Additionally, the body armor has some black paint that coats the front of the armor that protects the monster’s eyes.

Overall

  Face Close-Up  
Face Close-Up

I like it. There, I said it. I’m glad I got it. It was a tough pill to swallow, and I may be bit biased because I am a bit of a Trendmasters fanboy. I do wish the colors were a bit more traditional and the implants on its legs would be painted properly. Beyond those faults, I like it. It looks pretty good with the armor plugged on and it looks REALLY good when standing alongside the former Power-Up releases. Do I recommended it if you’re not a big fan of Trendmasters? No. Do I recommend it if you’re just a casual collector looking for something not many others have? Sure. Just be prepared. Just because you spend $100+ for it doesn’t mean you’re going to get some SHMA quality here. These are toys that were made for children and the only reason they’re so expensive nowadays is because only a small amount of them escaped the warehouse before the toy line was canceled.

Oh, and for the record, I will be keeping this on display in my collection within its box. Thankfully, it’s not hard to put him in and out of it when needed. Can even keep his armor fully loaded within it.

**Below are a number of bonus images, including ones featuring the figure with and without the battle armor, and some size comparison shots.**

  Back View (Unarmored)     Underside (Unarmored)     Side View (Unarmored)  
Back View (Unarmored) Underside (Unarmored) Side View (Unarmored)
                 
  Side View (Unarmored)     Leg Buzzsaws     Stinger Missile  
  Side View (Unarmored)     Leg Buzzsaws     Stinger Missile  
                 
  Leg View (Armored)     Missile Launchers     Guns Up  
  Leg View (Armored)     Missile Launchers     Guns Up  
                 
  Size Comparison     Size Comparison     Size Comparison  
  Size Comparison     Size Comparison     Size Comparison  
Rating: Star Rating