Sunday, 30 June 2013

HCM Pro SP-002 : MS-09RS Rick Dom

It is time to introduce a new product line here on the blog. Today's figure is just to be considered a guest though, as I had the opportunity to snatch this Rick Dom and was curious to see how it compared to the other figures. A couple of words first about the HCM Pro figure line. As cool as the acronym might be, the contrived readout "High Complete Model Progressive" severly dents the hipster-factor. Apart from that, there are a lot of things to like about this line.

HCM Pro models are made to the 1/200 scale and as such are a bit larger than the STANDart and Ultimate Operation figure lines which are generally considered to be somewhere around 1/220. The HCM Pro models typically have a much higher level of detail, smoother finish and offer many posing options and alternate equipment. You can think of them as display models with articulation nearing the MSIA action figures. The price tag is also reflecting this, as figures in this line are considerably more expensive than their STANDart counterparts, and should instead be compared to Robot Spirits and other such model lines.

Compared to the usual crowd here on the blog, the HCM Pro models are also made from a harder type of seemingly fragile PVC and I don't think a HCM will fare too well if accidentially dropped. At least in case of the Rick Dom, he's got his feet solidly on the ground which should help keeping him in place.

Taking a look at what's inside the (hideously oversized) box, you'll find Char Aznable's Rick Dom painted in a glossy red metalic which is really attractive (and puts the STANDart one to shame). It has a couple of alternative hands and weapons loadouts, and a removeable helmet which allows you to position the monoeye sensor in a preferred direction. There are many fine articulation points on the entire body from ankles to neck which is perhaps best described by the following photos.

Notice that the beam sabers need to be carefully removed from a plastic frame, just like a traditional model kit. This should be done with some sort of precision item like a good knife to make a clean cut which is needed to avoid damaging the sabres. Notice also that the sword hand's ball joint which attaches to the wrist is made from transparent plastic, if you remove it by accident the weapon will be useless. There is also a transparent tap on the yellow sabre which you can either keep and use to place the yellow sabre directly on the figure's back, or, remove said tap and instead place on the figure's back a little black plastic pegged ring which acts as the beam sabre attachment point. I was just too lazy to mess with it.

Size comparison of HCM Pro and STANDart Rick Dom figures and their boxes.
Overall it is really entertaining to think up poses for this Rick Dom, and I wish that Bandai had considered at least alternate weapons for some of their STANDart figures. They just come off really static in comparison. On the other hand the HCM Pro figures take up much more space, their oversized boxes are really putting me off from grabbing more of them (unless there is something really spectacular on offer).

Although the packaging is first rate it just seems overly contrived. Apart from the figure encapsualted in this spacey blister there is also an oversized assembly instruction in a separate plastic bag (plus a promo card from JCB bank about how to get Char on your personalized credit card...). The alternate parts could have easily been stored in a much more compact fashion. Sure, the boxs grabs your attention, but it also poses the most obvious drawback in my purchasing decision.

HCM Pro Rick Dom together with the STANDart and Ultimate Operation Doms.

When all is said and done though, this HCM Pro Rick Dom is an awesome figure with a spectacular paint job. It does not scale with the STANDart and Ultimate Operation series though, but if you like Doms you really can't go wrong with this one.

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