I’ve spent the last few years drooling over Japanese toy maker Sentinel and their various, super high end takes on Iron Man, video game characters, and classic and contemporary anime mecha, but I’ve yet to take the plunge due to their offerings being just a tad outside of my usual 1/6th (and occasionally 1/12th) scale collecting wheelhouse.
Sentinel is now expanding their repertoire with a new line 4 inch tall, highly articulated (and very affordable) “4 Inch Nel” figures, seemingly going after the Revoltech crown. Though due to him being a child, their first release, “Rockman” (that’s Mega Man to you yanks) fits in perfectly with my existing Figma and SH Figuarts, and impresses even more on the articulation, sculpting, paint and accessories fronts than those already admittedly impressive parts of my collection.
Sentinel’s take on Capcom’s stalwart blue bomber arrives in a compact, collector friendly window box housing the figure, his extra “determined” face panel, left and right hands and fists, his mega buster, and stand. That’s right, a highly articulated and customizable Figma-style stand is included, as opposed to the similarly priced SH Figuarts Mario line where the stands are sold separately. This first, but far from last, pleasant surprise about this release. Mega’s articulation is clever, thoughtful and brilliantly engineered, befitting a company known for typically dealing with more traditionally technological robot designs. The way the joints break up the smooth, animated look of the character may be off putting to some at first, but the way “Rock” can easily get into any iconic pose imaginable is well worth the aesthetic trade off. Of particular note is the way the neck joint folds into the back of the helmet, the Revoltech style universal jointed elbows and the ankle/foot design that allows Mega’s giant hooves to stay flat on the floor no matter how wide his pose.
The paint work follows right along, seriously flawless enough to trick your vision and make you go cross-eyed looking for errors that aren’t there. The various shades of blue, the red of his blaster and helmet side panels and the yellow gauge on the side of his buster are cleanly applied in perfectly chosen, game appropriate tones. Which is to say nothing of the sculpting, not as juvenile or cutesy as his Smash Bros. appearance but not as angular as in the art for his late era numbered sequels either. He looks like he stepped right out of Marvel vs. Capcom, as a matter of fact. Your mega mileage may vary, but for this old school fighting game nerd that’s absolutely perfect.
Accessories wrap up the entire unexpectedly complete package, with a full complement of alternate hands and switch out face panels that transfer perfectly (you can tell by the pics I preferred the “determined” look), and are sculpted and painted just as exquisitely as the figure itself. The biggest bonus though is the stand, a large clear, square platform with a multi segmented arm and a removable claw that can allow for any jumping, leaping, lunging or falling pose that Rock ever assumed in any of his game appearances. Again, Bandai’s similarly priced, painted and scaled Mario line put comparable stands in separate accessory packs. Sentinel including them basically for free is just the icing on this already excellent cake.
Sentinel’s reputation as a peerless high end toy company proceeds them and I’m happy to report that my first experience with their revered wares more that lives up to the hype. Whether building a Smash Bros. set up alongside Figuarts, Figma and Nendroids, pitting Rock against Marvel or Capcom’s 6″ finest, or just displaying him in a class all his own, Sentinel’s 4Inch Nel Mega Man is quite possibly the greatest figure ever made of one of gaming’ most indelible icons, and I couldn’t possibly recommend it more.