Toy Review: Baymax (with Mochi), and Baymax (v 1.0), from Bandai Toys
Since its release in November of 2014, Big Hero 6 has continued Walt Disney Feature Animation’s climb back into theatrical prominence, and mainstream consciousness. It also embellished on the Marvel Comics title of the same name, re-imagining its characters, into a team of nerds-turned-superheroes. Though there was one of its members who was not actually human, and that would be Baymax.
His appearance brought forth another round of sidekick-love from Disney fans, with numerous plush of his non-armored self selling out in stores. His absence on store shelves mimicked such sidekick popularity as we saw with the likes of Olaf, and Vanellope Von Schweetz.
Though the majority of Baymax’s toys were of him in his shiny red supersuit, I and many others were more interested in his earlier incarnations. In recent months, Bandai Toys quietly expanded on their action figure line that came out in the fall, adding two more versions of Baymax.
I had seen images online of the normal Baymax, but did not expect his first armored incarnation to be made as well. Given I’d probably never see them on a store shelf again, I snatched them up, and have brought them forth for this toy review. __________
Baymax (with Mochi)
And with that simple phrase, we were introduced to Tadashi Hamada’s personal project: a soft-bodied nurse-robot. Baymax has been a part of much of the film’s advertising campaign, with even his soft plush figures selling out of the Disney Stores over the Holidays.
I must say that Bandai Toys has done a pretty good job of rendering Baymax in action figure form. From his chest-drive plate, to the darker-colored points of his elbow and ankle areas, and even the way his forearms are a little thicker in size.
While I would have loved him to have elbow-joints, I can understand the toymakers wanting to make sure his arms kept their basic shape in his standard pose.
A minor design nitpick for me, is Baymax’s head. It looks a little ‘deflated,’ compared to the many images we’ve seen since the film first came out, or it could also be that the ‘face’ portion of his head, is a little larger than in the film.
As well, given his body shape, he can’t be posed beyond simply standing straight. So, if you hoped to have him cuddling Mochi like in the previews, you’re out of luck.
Speaking of Mochi, Hiro’s cat also comes with this iteration of Baymax. Mochi himself is depicted as a normal cat, with some small rocket-powered boots on his paws. This may seem weird to those who saw the film, but in the original opening, this is explained (and which can be seen on the home video release of Big Hero 6, in the deleted scenes section).
On the deleted scenes included with the recent home video release, one segment showed how a younger Tadashi and Hiro had conceived of these rocket boots…sending poor Mochi rocketing out of the house and down the street! It is a cute and fun little addition to Baymax, and a fun easter egg for those of us who recognize it. However, the filmmakers didn’t completely abandon the rocket boots, as one inventor at San Fransokyo’s Institute of Technology was testing a similar invention on another cat.
It is nice to see this iteration of Baymax. However, it does straddle that fine line between being a poseable figure, but also staying true to the original design. As well, it does make it a little difficult to pose Baymax. I feel it would have also been good to have given him a ball-jointed neck, to give a little more articulation to Baymax’s head, since it was one of the most expressive points of his body in the film.
Mochi is a nice little accessory, though I do wish he could have maybe had the rocket boots as removable rubber pieces (though that means they probably would have gotten lost pretty easily).
Baymax (aka ‘Baymax 1.0’)
After finding out that some masked entity had begun producing microbots similar to the ones he made, Hiro decided to figure out what was going on. Much like how he’d prepare his botfight robots for the unknown, Hiro suited up Baymax using 3-D printed, carbon-fiber components.
This iteration of Baymax (which I dub “1.0,” since his red armor is considered “2.0”), is the only toy/figure I’ve seen of this particular version.
The sculpt definitely captures several great details on the figure. His “shin guard” portions are actually raised, and the ribbing and rivets on his central body portion are well-done. As well, there’s a back-hatch indent that they didn’t need to add, but did anyways!
A downside to this figure, is that unlike the wider ‘feet’ on the “nurse” Baymax, this one has small feet, limiting how he can be posed (aka, “only one way”). i was hoping he’d have pegholes in his feet so I could pose him with an action figure stand I have. Strangely enough, the main line of Big Hero 6 figures did have pegholes in their feet. As to why this and even the non-suited Baymax do not, remains a mystery.
Much like my comments on the other Baymax figure, this one I feel could have also benefitted from a ball-jointed neck as well.
Unlike the nicely-hidden elbow joints on Hiro Hamada’s figure, Baymax’s arms have a very prominent elbow hinge. Also a low point, is that I was hoping for wrist-rotation…but, I can settle for an angled fist-bump.
The good regarding this figure, is it’s nice to get all iterations of Baymax through the film, but the downside, is that the figure doesn’t live up to my expectations. Limited posing, and the inability to have him do much but stand on two feet work against it. I had hoped that with pegholes, I could use one of the pegdiscs from my Star Wars figures, and pose him in one of the action poses he was doing when Hiro tested out his new programming moves.
Aside from some online internet auctions, I’ve only seen both of these figures at a local Target store, with each one retailing for $8.99 each. However, if you are looking for these guys, the unfortunate method may be the wonderful world of the internet (with a few dollars extra mark-up).
So far, Baymax (with Mochi) and Baymax (1.0) are the only other action figure iterations beyond what originally came out from Bandai Toys in the fall. There’s been no further word about more figures for the toyline, or even of ‘nerd’ figures of each of the film’s human counterparts. That was where I was hoping the line could go, given that I think it’d be great to have a set of both normal, and superhuman figures to display.
Disney has the unfortunate habit of only continuing merchandising if the film seems to hit impossible heights of popularity (which explains why Frozen has had almost everything in it merchandised). The boys market for toys seems to be currently relegated to Marvel and Star Wars products, with a hint of the Cars and Planes product still being released.
As for merchandise for the more boy-oriented marketplace, films like Wreck-It-Ralph and Big Hero 6 have not seen the bulk of their merchandise piles grow beyond just their Fall openings. Recently, Big Hero 6’s worldwide grosses actually turned out better than expected, making it the most profitable animated feature of 2014. Of course, whether or not this could lead to more merchandise, we’ll just have to wait and see.