Japanese toy maker Takara has been at the toy game for a looooong time. When I was a kid, their Microman toys were released in the States by Mego as The Micronauts. I only ever had a few Micronauts figures, but I really enjoyed them. There was no set storyline so that kids could come up with their own stories, and the interchangeable nature of their parts gave play an extra dimension. While the Micronauts disappeared here in America, they never really stopped coming out in Japan for the most part. Microman figures just kept on being produced and refined. Their versatile forms have been used to make popular characters like Batman and Superman, and there have even been kits that use the Microman bodies in rubber suits that look Godzilla and Gamera!
I grabbed this figure a good while back on eBay for about 8 bucks (including shipping), and I have to say he's worth every penny. This is a Magneforce figure. The Magneforce line launched in 2005 and features magnetic parts that allow for some impressive tricks.
This figure is Achilles. He's one of three good guys in the line. Evidently the weapons that come with these dudes can combine to make some kind of super weapon, but it looks kinda lame, so I never really bothered to collect the set.
It's a beautiful figure with its shiny chromed plastic and metal parts. The silver and red go together quite nicely, and he looks quite imposing in most stances.
His face is quite typical of most Microman figures-- they're typically caucasian males with refined features. This figure is molded with a helmet and has light-piping in his eyes, so that his eyes will light up if a light source is pointed from above.
The best features of the Magneforce line are the articulation and the poseability. These guys are designed to take almost any pose and hold it. Even drunken style...
The magnets are strong enough to keep a pose for about as long as can be imagined. I had mine in the last stance up there for the longest time on my shelf. Each Magneforce figure comes with a metal stand so that he can hold poses thanks to the magnets in the bottom of the feet. Yes... you can make him stand on the side of your fridge. I did it as soon as i removed him from his package.
Each figure comes with 5 extra pairs of hands that are easily popped on and off of the figure's arms. Sometimes they actually pop off a little bit too easy, but that's part of owning a Microman figure. DEAL WITH IT! The hands allow for a great range of expression and functionality. The Magneforce line had some pretty funky weapons. They were meant to be part of some other weapon thing, but they do ok as they are. They can be swords, guns, or...
... wings. I'M A LITTLE BIRDIE TOO!
The weapons store pretty well on the back via these neato little peg holes. The Magneforce figures come with this extra set of metal ball joints with peg holes so you can attach other parts together. Or you can add wings for some kind of psycho birdman thing. The figures are pretty much in scale with most 1:18 scaled figures. They are a bit taller, but it's not horrible.
Without the armor pieces that the figure comes with the figure looks kind of spindly and robot-like. He's a bit more flexible without his armor plates, so you can really jack the poseability up a notch. The hands are made of soft vinyl, so he can hold a wide variety of objects.
Overall, these Microman Magneforce figures are a blast. You can get them and other Microman figures pretty cheap if you look around. Here are a few sales links that might help. Get 'em while they last!
MGM-02 Microman Theseus
MGM-03 Microman Icarus
Micro Sister MS04 Orga
Microman Gamera 2006 Ver
Microman Superman #1: Movie Version
Microman Superman #3: Cyborg Superman
These are all links to Hobby Link Japan, a site I've used with great success. They're great about filling orders as fast as possible, and the shipping is really good. The prices are in Yen, but you can easily see the prices in different currencies next to the Yen price. You'll get a price quote on everything including shipping before you have to pay for your item. Give 'em a try!