Tamashii Stage Act 5 Mechanics Base Stand

I’m not a big collector of Japanese import toys. It’s not that I have anything against them or that I’m blindly biased towards the more western oriented Hasbro. It’s just that they’re so damned expensive.

Take Bandai’s Super Imaginative Chogokin, or S.I.C., line. This is a group of figures that depict characters from the Kamen Rider franchise (a weekly staple of Japanese television since 1971). In 2001, Bandai took the S.I.C line switched from boring mini statues to fully articulated figures. Since then, they’ve produced over 50 figures.

Since the iconic Rider is usually depicted in the show as having unsurpassed martial prowess, it behooves Bandai to include stands that allow you to pose your Rider in those eponymous poses. Hence the Tamashii Stage series of figure stands.

The one I bought last week at Toy Kingdom is the fifth iteration in the line (each iteration is called an “act” apparently, as in “Tamashii Stage Act 1, Tamashii Stage Act 2”) and has had some nice improvements since the last version. For one, this one has the “for Mechanics” suffix, rather than the “for Humanoid” that was attached to the previous 4.

It’s curious to look at the series from Act 1 all the way to this version. At first, all they were were a black rectangular base with a vertical post standing at the back. On the post, a figure clip could be adjusted up and down. It was literally, a “stand” and held figures in place while they stood vertically. That was it.

Then Act 2 introduced a compound post jointed with hinges that gave more height and many more posing options. Act 3 added a third post to give even more height to the figure.

Act 4… well I’m not entirely sure what they added to the Act 4 boxes.

Act 5, though, though is totally sweet. The fist thing that you'll see is that the base is no longer a rectangle; but a hexagon with unequal sides that let you arrange them in several different alignments. Each side has a tiny zone bisecting it where you can plug in one of the 4 connectors that come with the package. They're tiny, and I just know I'm going to lose them in no time.

Now, I have to assume (since I don’t speak, let alone read Japanese) that “for Mechanics” means built for robots: robots being larger scale mecha figures/models which tend to be heavier built. That’s a judgment based on the thicker, truss-braced anchoring arm and the ratcheted hinge at the bottom of it.

Because of this sturdier piece, the stand can hold up more weight than its predecessors, as well as hold its position if set at an angle (all sorts of gnarly). Of course, you don’t want to overdo it; the clip and the secondary arm are both still pretty thin and the base isn’t all that large. I’d limit it to figures that are in the 1/12th scale (6-7”), and avoid the big guys (don’t be stupid and try to balance your Marvel Select Juggernaut on it). On second thought, you might also avoid some of the heavier 1/10th scale crowd as well. I’m thinking figures like the Play Arts Final Fantasy Advent Children would snap the transparent plastic if held for any amount of time in an aerial pose. Too bad, too, since Tifa Lockhart would have looked great kicking at the center of my display.

However, even with the limitations, this is a solid purchase and is hands down the best figure stand I own.

Of course, that comes with a price. In this case it’s… the price. You can get a simple metal and wire flight stand for a standard 6” figure at places like Comic Alley for about p150 (if I remember correctly), or build yourself one out of scratch with some illustration board and an extra hanger (if you were MacGyver). If you decide to get these, you’re going to have to pay something like p800 (est. price at Great Toys) to p1150 (price I paid for it in Toy Kingdom).

In return for your wad of cash, you get 3 pose-able figure stands made of clear plastic (or choose from other colors “Glowing” Red, “Cosmic” Blue, and “Horonic” Green), that are inter-connectable in a multitude of configurations. They can also be disassembled, in case you want to bring them with you to the office and don’t want them broken in your backpack.

They also come with 2 different heads: a “claw” type which wraps securely around the waists of 1/18th scale (3.75-4”) figures, and a “clip” type that clips onto whatever body parts you can get at. The claw is good for standing poses or simple floating/ landing poses, but I prefer the clip if I’ve got a figure lunging or moving forward. The arm looks less obvious if it’s just clipped to a leg.

Anyway, p1150 for 3 of these stands means just under p400 each. While still remarkably steep, the ease with which I can now pose my Star Wars figures was inconceivable to me before. I would spend an hour just trying to balance something on top of a Play Arts stand, of just getting a figure to cooperate and stand up on my desk.

Now I can just break one of these out and be done in two minutes. That's worth a ton to me.

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