Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Retro Toy Week: Gundam Wing Deathscythe Hell! (Custom?)

The Ramones asked if you remembered rock 'n roll radio; I'm curious if you remember Toonami. From Bandai and 2000, the Gundam Wing Deathscythe Hell!

I know I watched Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, and I know the Deathscythe pilot was supposed to be the deadliest, but I'm going to be completely vague on the details since I don't think the show has aged especially well in my memory. I also think Gundam Wing was aiming for nuanced and dark and ended squarely in emo, before that was even the term. That's doubtless not a fair assessment for a kids' show designed to sell several tons of action figures and models; because by that metric, mission accomplished.
OK, the figure; and you'll excuse me if I forget if it's the Gundam Deathscythe proper or the Deathscythe Hell Custom upsell upgrade: there's not a lot of paint, since most of the pieces are cast in the appropriate colors. There's a goodly amount of articulation, including the wings of the big, Batman-like cape or whatever; but a lot of it is blocked by the design, which technically would be referred to as a "hot mess." Take your basic Gundam chassis, then add Wicked Witch of the West pointy shoes, huge grey pointy bits that go on top of the shoulder and knee pads, wrist guards and skirt piece, including a codpiece that appears to be at half-mast, giant cape with additional pointy bits, and the traditional Gundam head with big V-crest. (There may be some warping on mine from the position he was in on my desk, namely wedged between it and the wall.) Deathscythe makes the Big O look positively streamlined...he also comes with his "beam scythe," which he holds fine, but it's problematic to get him in a good two-handed grip-slash-action pose.

So, Deathscythe Hell might be trying a little too hard to be "extreme." Especially for the show it was on: if you're going to call that thing "Deathscythe Hell," own it. Go full-on death metal with it. But the figure is a fun reminder of when anime was still on Cartoon Network. Maybe that cycle will spin around again someday...


Dale Bagwell said...

I too was a big Toonami fan back in the day, but I preferred watching Dragon Ball Z instead.

CalvinPitt said...

Yeah, that's the version of the Deathsycthe they had in Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz, which was a movie (I think?). All the mobile suits got more elaborate designs in that, i guess because they didn't have to animate as many fight scenes as for an entire series.

It's been probably 3 years since I last watched Gundam Wing and I still liked it then, but "trying for dark and nuanced and ending up emo" is a fair assessment. The writers' reach may have exceeded their grasp, or they got too wrapped up in melodrama.

Do they still show anime on Adult Swim? That seemed to be the last bastion for Cartoon Network, but I go long stretches with no TV, so I'm out of the loop.