These are the Blue Knight Berserga 1-Coin Figures from Kotobukiya. These are only available in “blind boxes” priced at 500yen each. There are 5 in the series and 1 secret figure, but each figure comes in either a normal color or “weathering version”, so the total number of figures to collect is 12. The are 12 boxes in a case, and in the case I purchased, there was an even distribution of every figure in both versions, so I have a complete set. I’m not sure if this is unusual, but it was definately a relief since my favorite mecha of all time- the Red Shoulder Custom known as Death Messenger- is the alleged “secret” figure.
Rewind to the late 80’s. Writer/artist Hiroyuki Hataike and mecha designer Kazumi Fujita updated and re-imagined the designs from the original Armored Trooper VOTOMs TV series for a serialized novel series called Blue Knight Berserga which ran in Takara’s Dual Magazine. The serial led to 4 novels and the novels led to 2 Hobby Japan Mooks featuring wonderful models of the various mecha from the story and also including original designs inspired by the Blue Knight setting of futuristic and deadly arena combat. I have no idea what the whole story to Blue Knight Berserga is, and if someone could enlighten me, that would be great, but I’ve loved the mecha designs (known as Armored Trooper or simply AT) ever since I purchased the first Hobby Japan Blue Knight Mook many years ago. I fell in love with the advanced AT designs featured throughout the book.
Fast forward to 2005. Kotobukiya seems to have taken their series of expensive 1/35 resin Blue Knight models from a few years ago and downsized them for easier consumption. The details are all still there at a scale of about half the size(I estimate 1/60). These toys lack the “full-action” features of their larger predecessors, but they make up for it in pre-painted awesomeness. These toys do manage to retain a little poseability, mainly in the arms, with some also having moving hips, but the real draw is the amazing paint jobs. For 500yen(about 5 dollars), you can’t beat these for value, and if you love Blue Knight or VOTOMs in general, these are a must have, especially if you can collect a whole set from the purchase of a single case.
In short, buy these so they’ll make more!
I chose to assemble a set that was mixed with both normal and weathering versions based on which ones I imagine as tending to look beat up and which I tend to see as always being bright and shiny and clean.
Here’s the breakdown:
Funny Devil: weathering version
Shadow Flare: weathering version
Death Messenger: weathering version
Calamitydog: normal version
Testa Rossa: normal version