Quick Man: The Jazwares Action Figure
The Mega Man series is full of quirky and
eye-catching character designs, from the relatively simple Classic series Robot
Masters, to the complex and stylish beast-like Mavericks of the X and Zero
series. Each spin-off of the franchise has had its own unique visual theme, and
considering the series is all about robots, it'd be a surprise if there
wasn't a toy line made about it! I mean, the whole weapon changing ability
is a toyline gimmick in itself.
Sometime around 2005, Jazware set about the task of creating a toyline based
around the entire franchise, but mostly focusing on the Classic characters. Now,
normally I'd like to ramble some detail about the line, but, really, I don't know much
about it! I mean, I only saw two figures in TK Maxx, and that was the last I
ever saw of it. Apparently the Classic series had a line of simplistic chibi-style
figures in the style of the 1-6 art style with only the most basic of swivel
articulation, alongside the taller and more articulated ones. While the X series
figures had small 3-inch figurines and more articulated 6-inch variety. But
quite simply, this is the only figure I've got, so let's just cut the crap and
get straight to it, okay?
It's Quick Man! To be precise, Metallic Quick Man. Again, I've no idea if there was a flat-coloured version, but why would you want that when you can have him in metallic flavour?
Quick Man was portrayed in a more rounded and chubby manner in his first incarnation, with an elongated head and an impish smirk, but aside from those absences, this is definitely Quick Man. The oversized forehead crest, the pointed shoulder pads, the Quick Boomerang launcher on his right arm - it's all there! Given the basic design, they'd have to be trying to mess up the paint job, and it's especially nice. The metallic red plastic gives off a lovely crystal sheen, and all the yellow parts are nice and vivid. The grey isn't quite a perfect match for the black he's normally depicted in, but even then it still looks mighty sharp. If you want to get nitpicky, there's normally a slightly a yellow highlight at the beginning of his gauntlets and the feet of his foots, but it'd be awkward getting paint onto those rounded crevices, and really, it's only super mega nerds such as myself who'd notice. It's a good thing I'm a super mega nerd who doesn't care! Other super mega nerds are not so considerate.
Quick Man stands just a hair under 6 inches / 15 centimetres at the top of his head; 15.8 centimetres in total if you count his crest. This puts him a little taller than the Mega Man NT Warrior figure, but considering that's a whole different continuity and probably made by an entirely different company (Bandai, I think), it's pretty understandable. It also makes Quick Man suitable for interacting with Marvel Legends figures, but... yeah, the wacky proportions are going to spoil that image.
Mega Man fans are never happy. That's a fact. One of the things they're never happy about is the art style. Some believe the rounded, short and chubby art style of the early Classic games (up to Mega Man 7) are the definitive image of the series, while some prefer the taller and more dynamic anime-style artwork of Mega Man 7 onwards. There's also the mega-chibi art style of Mega Man: Powered Up, but since it's only been used in one game not many people can make arguments about it. While I like all the art styles, I personally believe if a toyline were to be made of the series, it's got to have exaggerate features. Chunky, overstated limbs and expressive faces. Something to give them character! Although it's rarely demonstrated in the games, every single Robot Master you face is given a detailed biography in source books explaining their personality, quirks, likes and dislikes, and the scientific explanation for how and why certain weapons hit their weak spots. I feel that's something that should be made abundantly clear in the toyline.
As it is... Quick Man looks a little flat. Without his trademark smirk, he's got no attitude. Sure, he's got those huge eyes that look a little like they're scowling thanks to his crest, but it barely looks like a battle face. He's either watching the news, walking down the street or staring at a wall - you can't tell! Heck, even one hand pointing a finger or something would've helped. He can't even pull his trademark pose!
That's the closest he can get. And that's terrible.
The articulation is where the figure kind of flounders. The Mega Man character
designs are simple and a majority of them follow a basic template, so there
really should be nothing hindering extensive poseability. On paper, Quick Man's
got a good range of motion. His neck, waist and wrists rotate, his shoulders,
elbows and knees are on hinged rotators, and his legs and feet are on ball
joints. Plus his left gauntlet can rotate independently of the elbow, for some
Considering how so many action figures are released in this day and age with only the most basic of shoulder, hip and neck swivelling, this ain't too shabby at all. The arms and legs can bend outwards! That alone is more than can be said about the NT Warrior figure. The arm range isn't too shabby, though all that limits the legs are more stabilised feet; the feet ball joints are wobbly and insecure, and although they've never come loose on me (which is more than can be said for every single Transformer I've had with ball joints), they're just not very steady; it doesn't help that thanks to the big boots they're attached to, they haven't got a wide range of motion. I call them ball jointed, but the most you can get out of them is a 20 degree twist and some wobbling.
Perhaps Transformers have spoilt me with their excellent range of articulation (while still faced with the task of converting into an automobile!), but Quick Man feels like he could've, with some simple changes, been provided a more dynamic range of motion. Transformers with shoulder pads like Quick Man here normally have the shoulder pad a separate moving piece from the torso itself, allowing it to be turned and allowing the arm the same range of motion it would normally have. Quick Man is not so fortunate, as although it provides a clean, seam-free torso, his shoulder pads are immobile so he cannot raise his arms straight upwards. Transformers' waists are normally thin shapes with ball joints jutting out on both sides, usually with nothing to prevent the leg from pointing 90 degrees backwards or forwards. Quick Man's waist is rounded with the ball-joint hidden inside a groove, which does make for a more realistic shape, but does force the leg to move to the side if it wants to aim forward. It's just little inconveniences like that, you know. Not to mention a majority of the articulation could have been exactly the same with the usage of ball joints, and allow you to mix and match pieces if you pleased. I'm not sure how Jazware incorporated Mega Man's weapon gaining gimmick, or if they bothered with it at all.
Speaking of gimmicks... okay, there isn't anything special. But true to the game, Quick Man has a projectile in his right wrist housing a Quick Boomerang, with a convenient red button allowing you to fire it.
My experience in the world of Transformers toys has taught me that toy missiles need to be a certain length to reach toy safety standards, thus why you have ludicrously long missiles jutting out of short guns. The Quick Boomerang is friggin' tiny. 1.5cm squared. This is game accurate, considering the Quick Boomerang is the smallest projectile in all of Mega Man 2, but would it have hurt to have made it bigger? It would add to my belief that exaggerated features work, make it easier to push into the slot, and also easier to retrieve after it's been fired.
Disregarding all that, it's a cute little feature, and also has a surprisingly strong spring. I haven't got a tape measure on me, but I'd estimate it travels about 50 to 60 centimetres, which is pretty darn far. It doesn't make finding the damn thing any easier, though. Children cannot be expected to hold onto anything tiny for more than five minutes. To paraphrase X-Entertainment, civilisation would be doomed if children had detachable penises.
You can also take out the Quick Boomerang and have him hold it in his
hand, but why would you want to? It's tiny and barely noticeable, and looks more
like a gravity-defying melted popsicle rather than the weapon you use to take
down a metallic dragon.
Quick Man also comes with a small enemy to accompany him. Quick Man's stage wasn't exactly filled with interesting foes, and none of them were unique to his stage besides the dreaded instant-death security beams; and the ones that were interesting wouldn't have been small enough to include as a cheap extra. So you get a robot porcupine from Needle Man's stage, in Mega Man 3. Which is the game after Quick Man's debut. You can't even say it's the Doc Robot copy of Quick Man because that fight takes place in Spark Man's stage, where there are no porcupines. Super mega nerd rage!
It's a pretty low quality thing, all things considered. The sculpt is fairly dopey looking, with a silly looking grin and a lopsided glare, and its back looks very ugly with its vast white surface. The game, being 2D of course, spared us an above-view to see if it looked like that, but it definitely appeared to have enough spines to cover a majority of its back. The paint is sparse and a little sloppy, but really, I can't imagine anyone buying it for the robot porcupine, so it's not like it's a huge letdown.
For the curious, its underside is completely hollow.
How about that.
For a regular retail price of $6.99 (I can't remember what mine cost, but probably something silly like £3), you're not getting a bad deal out of Quick Man. He's a tall figure and strikingly game accurate, and also comes with a bundle of articulation, already beating out a majority of your typical video game figurines - but not only that, he features a cute little gimmick (even if the Boomerang has no way of knocking anything over) and features a second mini-figure too; all this in some fairly decent packaging! Not to mention the simple fact that he's not a main recurring character, but a mere boss; something that's hard to find in any series of Mega Man figures.
Of course, having gotten used to the impressive construction technology used in Transformers, I obviously can't help but feel it could've been a little better in the articulation department. Rotating shoulder pads, double-jointed limbs and more stable feet, perhaps downscaled a little to lighten the weight, and I would be very intrigued.
Then again, it's hard to truly recommend the figure when it seems to be incredibly rare. eBay as of this writing only has one Quick Man available going for four times the RRP. Ain't life a bitch?
As usual with my toy reviews, some photos I couldn't squeeze in.
Size comparison with the porcupine. If it were game-accurate it would've been larger than Quick Man, but if it's crap at this size, I can't imagine scaling it up it would make it any less crap.
Slanty posing! Thanks to his bigass boots, it can be a little difficult to make him stand straight.
And some Boomerang aiming. It's really the only consistently good pose I can get out of him, thanks to his unstable boots and limited shoulders.