The 19th Lord of Uranos’ Kingdom’s Tempest Domain, Drossel Juno Vierzehntes Heizregister Fürstin von Flügel has always been my favourite little robot. Purchasing the figma on a whim I instantly fell in love and managed to fit her into many of my figure reviews. Eventually I bought 2 more as I had some projects in mind but never followed through with. Now I’m onto my 4th Drossel, bigger and badder than the rest!
Bandai has chosen to produce Drossel in the nearly standard scale format of 1/8th and measures in at 19 cm tall making her exactly 5 feet tall if she was life-sized. Her MSRP was ¥8,000 / $90 CAD however AmiAmi had her for sale at ¥5,850 / $65 CAD plus shipping, which was half off at the time. Drossel is part of a very long line of Chogokin toys produced by Bandai and previously Popy Toy, going back 38 years. The word Chogokin means “Super Alloy” in Japanese.
Fireball is a short 13 episode series produced by Disney and Toei Animation. 13 episodes sounds like an average run for an anime, but it’s really not because they only total the length of a single normal anime episode. They’re very short, the longest episode runs only 2 minutes long. The series has only 3 characters, the lovely Drossel von Flügel, Gedächtnis, and Schadenfreude who I only just learned isn’t a real name, but in fact a word. The word means “pleasure derived from the misfortune of others” and is entirely deserved if I remember the series correctly. The series is pretty much nonsensical and I think I missed out on many of the jokes due to a language/knowledge barrier. This didn’t stop me from enjoying the tiny series, but I’m sure it would have been better if I’d got all the jokes. The thing that confused me most about the series though was all the German, why?
Getting back to Drossel, she’s quite possibly the cutest robot I’ve ever seen with the qualifier that she still appears to be a robot (unlike others). I felt the figma representation of Drossel was spot on and really couldn’t get any better and I still think that to be the truth. That however is not to say Bandai has done a poor job molding their Drossel, on the contrary, she too is spot on, just larger than the figma. Looking at pictures of Bandai Drossel when she’s alone, she looks like the figma, it’s hard to tell them apart without a sense of scale. This is likely due to the fact that Drossel’s a robot and the joints are supposed to be there and are designed a specific way, so she should look identical at any scale.
While both are spot on, there are differences between the two. The most noticeable for me is the face, Bandai Drossel has a more rounded face than figma Drossel. If I had to pick between the faces, I think I prefer figma Drossel’s, however I’ve been told that Bandai Drossel’s face better replicates CG Drossel. I’m not sure I agree though, maybe it’s somewhere in between but both are close enough for me to say spot on. Other differences are in the details, being a larger figure Bandai Drossel has much of the text that CG Drossel has written all over her. Though quickly looking at some episodes it appears to be arranged slightly incorrectly on the Bandai Drossel. I’m also not sure we ever get to read it in the anime, so I wonder how they decided what they’d say.
We can however read it on the figure and running the text through Google Translate offers some interesting results…
|Chest & Left Twintail||Firmengruppe Heizregister||Group Heizregister|
|Right Twintail||Auch bei Langeweile nicht ohne ihre Erlaubnis öffnen!||Not open even when boredom without their permission!|
|Legs||Vorsicht! Nicht ohne ihre Erlaubnis berühren!||Caution! Do not touch it without her permission!|
|Right Foot||Gefahr! Hochspannung||Danger! High-Voltage|
|Flight Head (Left)||Stoß Der hering schwimmt in der Marinade||Shock The herring swim in the marinade|
|Flight Head (Right)||Vorsicht! Spitze Gegenstände machen die knie weich!||Caution! Sharp objects make the knees weak!|
Bandai Drossel has one obvious fault which does annoy me as it’s right on her forehead. It appears to be paint from the black line just above it, perhaps the person painting messed up or it was wet when set down. Regardless I don’t think it should have passed quality with this, but it’s not enough to ruin the figure for me.
Like figma Drossel Bandai Drossel has many accessories, 3 heads, 6 sets of hands, wing accessories for her flight head as well as removable rockets and collapsible side bits and lastly her signature twintails. In addition to these accessories Drossel’s eyes also light up. Which is great but also reminded me of how Kirisame Marisa’s star light barely lit up. Drossel’s eyes light up perfectly considering she has a tiny battery in her head. Contrast to Kirisame Marisa, she has two AA batteries and you can still barely see the damn thing. So cudos to Bandai for doing it right and providing noticeable light!
Having never reviewed an action figure in any real detail, or followed that scene I’m not sure if there’s a strict definition of a ‘point of articulation’ or if it’s a loose term that can vary person to person. I’m going to define it as a joint in the human sense of the term. So while figma Drossel has 2 joints in her knees to give her that flexibility of rotation and bending, I would define that as one ‘point of articulation’. With that in mind when counting I come up with 16 ‘points of articulation’ for figma Drossel, and 19 for Bandai Drossel. Bandai Drossel’s extra movement comes from toe joints and an extra stomach joint. These give Bandai Drossel some good extra motion for some interesting poses. The toes manage to be mostly strong enough to support Drossel at some angles and the extra stomach joint should have been in the figma, it adds much needed motion.
Overall the poseability of Bandai Drossel is quite good and very similar to figma Drossel. Bandai Drossel being made out of metal and much heavier has much stiffer joints and annoyingly her knees only bend in certain increments due to notches clicking into place. The joints on Bandai Drossels shoulders look to be of much higher quality than figma Drossels, but that is to be expected given size differences. I still wish I could make Drossel sit curled up hugging her legs. But I suppose that would be impossible for even CG Drossel so I should stop wishing.
I’m quite happy with the additional Drossel in the family, increasing my murder of Drossels up to 4. After showing her dominance over the rest of the Drossels Bandai Drossel settled in nicely and seems to be enjoying the company. I think she was well worth the $65 CAD she cost me and hopefully I can think of some creative ways to fit her into future reviews and photoshoots. At the very least I’ll enjoy playing with her on my desk as I do with figma Drossel.
Celty von Flügel? Drossel von Celty?
Extra: A Video Review by BaronOfSolace
I found this review by @BaronOfSolace via Twitter user @Drossel_vF. The review is 7 or so minutes long but is full of details I didn’t cover like how flexible she is and how to turn her on… er turn her light on, her base and how her accessories work. It’s just too much work to take pictures of everything in every combination, and Baron manages to do a pretty good job displaying all that.
Video is no longer available
- Proper 1/8th scale
- Solid steel construction
- Tons of accessories
- 19 ‘points of articulation’ for great poseability
- Good value
- Paint smudge on her forehead
- Leg joints are limited in movement