[Alen Yen's ToyboxDX]

  April 18, 2002

ere's a short picture essay about the little Ma.K. powered armor figures. I've just finished "assembling" one, so I'll leave the un-assembled one to give you an idea of what's in the box.

Basically, the you get the basic figure in one of 3 color schemes (I think Matt's pic from the BBS thread is clearer on this), with the legs already plugged in. The legs have almost no articulation except to pivot around the slots. Same for the arms which you have to plug in yourself - no articulation to speak of. The last two bits are the shoulder plates. The plates look difficult to insert and I simply PUSHED hard to force them in. It worked too :)

The shop had a stack of mini flyers which informed the buyer (in Japanese, no less) that you were supposed to use a blow dryer to "expand" the arm slots before attemping to insert the pegs etc. Very garage kit-like... I couldn't be bothered so I simply enlarged the slots with my trusty Tamiya dremel kit.

OK, here's where it gets interesting - when you compare the design of the suit to other "powered armor". First up is a personal favorite of mine: The Takatoku 1/24 Powered NOVE from the anime series Dorvack. Roger Harkavy had a pretty nifty page on Dorvack and lists these armored suits as "cannon fodder" for the baddies in the show. Well, the toys are probably waaay more detailed that any of the hero mecha :) Take a look at the similarities.

Besides the shared "egghead" dome and droopy posture, they also have similar layouts for the armor plates. I think one of the interesting points of the design is that the pilot's head is totally encased, and for the little Ma.K., there isn't even a hint of a "scope". Makes the mecha-head boggle as to the "technologies" used for visual feedback :)

Now let's take a look at another not-so-distant relative - the recent Kaiyodo Powered Suit...

Note the design of the legs, especially in the jints and flanges... separated at birth? I guess when you design a close-fitting, man-sized armor suit, there are a set of limitations that are universal.. not that it stopped innovators like Masamune Shirow from creating his cool Guges armor in Appleseed. Now if only the toy makers would agree to make this gems in a common scale... ahhhh!


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