I primarily collect 6-inch (1:12 scale) action figures, and when the opportunity presented itself to supply those action figures with in-scale classic arcade cabinets, you better believe I did not waste a second.
I LOVE classic video games, and I mean everything about them: from the straightforward game play to the design aesthetics and everything in between. I am a big fan of classic arcade cabinets as well because their giant clunky designs housed the games perfectly, and the pressboard exteriors were often works of art all on their own. I don’t own an actual arcade cabinet (yet), so if I cannot spend hours playing some classic video games, at least my toys can.
FREEing has teamed up with Namco to produce these 1:12 scale replicas of five classic games, and if I had to boil it down to one assertion to describe them, these are a hell of a lot of fun. The graphics and overall look of these are definitely cool, but the fact that I can have everyone from Bruce Lee to Obi-Wan Kenobi kick alien ass in Galaga is something I probably cannot live without. I am not sure how much I can say about these as actual products, save for a few things I will get to, but I cannot say enough about how fun these make my collection.
Joining the aforementioned Galaga is Rally-X, Tank Battalion, Galaxian, and, likely the most popular of set, Pac-Man. These have been modeled after the original cabinets, and while the plastic portions are identical in terms of sculpt and form, the various colors and graphic really make each one of these unique. Now, these are not functional in the fact that they do not play the actual games like some small arcade machines I have seen, but, instead, these go for accuracy to the cabinets themselves, and these do a good job doing so. All of the screens have mid-game graphics that capture the iconic feel of each of games. I really only have sentimental attachment to Pac-Man and Galaga, but all of these are colorful and interesting to look at, especially when Lupin III or Freddie Mercury is taking a turn.
Now, even though I find these to be a lot of fun, they are not perfect, and, really, it all starts with the price tag. I got these directly from Japan and they came to about $25 a pop, which, in my opinion, is about ten bucks too much. These are cool, but they are really just display pieces, and with no moving parts (I thought maybe the joysticks would move) or functionality, most of the fun comes from the interaction of you action figure collection. Also, most of the graphics are accomplished via decals, which was unexpected. I understand that this was likely a better method to get the tiny detail accomplished over paint or prints, but I had to smooth out some bubbles on a couple of these right out of the box. Also, YOU must apply the side cabinet decals and coin price stickers. I get that some might want to keep the sides solid colors, but I wanted the decals on there and it was REALLY stressful to get on there perfectly. Again, these points work together to make me wish these were a bit cheaper, but they already have my money.
Listen, if you like fun for your action figures, and you like classic video game arcades, I think it will be hard for you to pass these up. Despite some flaws, these are just too much fun, so if you can be okay with the price, you should go get at least one of them to try them out. BBTS has them up for pre-order now, so I expect they will be in stock soon. Now we need Good Smile to team up with other classic game publishers and get us some more of these babies. I mean, could you imagine Burger Time? Eep!