Friday, June 6, 2014

Review: D-Arts Lizardon

Figure Information
Manufacturer: Bandai
Origin Series: Pocket Monsters Red/Green
Scale: Non-scale
Height: Approximately 15cm tall
Original Price: 3,990 Yen


Easily known as Charizard, appearing first in Pokemon Red and Blue versions internationally, Lizardon features an elongated box that's just enough since Lizardon's tail is quite long, haha! The box is covered in light orange, a color fitting for the pokemon and the front features an anime artwork of Lizardon in grayscale. Sides of the box doesn't have anything special as both just features a "who's that pokemon?"-ish silhouette of Lizardon with one side having a window. And as usual, the back features the various key points of the figure!


Being a non-humanoid pokemon, Lizardon/ Charizard was pretty well translated into a figure form especially its head which just screams anime ACCURATE all through out any angle, the D-Arts rendition captures the stern look that is usually how he is portrayed when seen with Satoshi/ Ash.

One of the things I didn't like but couldn't be helped was that Lizardon's neck had cuts which is intended to bring a good articulation to the big lizard/dragon but overall, its body is pretty basic and bandai did a splendid job on rendering it to figure form.

One of the wow factors is Lizardon's wings, it's really well made and the shading for the dark blue/teal(?) looks very nice and I actually am not bothered by the wing cuts present in the mold.

With the neck giving me a lot of awkward moments when looking at it, Lizardon's tail heavily intensifies this reaction has the tail features a whole lot of cuts to accommodate a semi-decent tail movement. Though the flame on the edge of its tail screams gorgeous as the it is molded in clear red orange plastic that actually gets the job done.


Accessory is pretty bland IMO, Lizardon only comes with a flamethrower effect and a specialized (and big) tamashii stage designed to resemble a pokeball with a thin clamp. Now the flame thrower is greatly appreciated but the stand is really not, I mean, seriously? with a clamp like that, it's almost impossible to have that alone support Lizardon as he is a massive dragon-like monster; the only way to actually make it possible to support Lizardon is by bending the stand to form an L shape and then patience of trying to use the clamp to actually hold the said pokemon with it. It's more of the stand is actually to be used more for the flamethrower rather than Lizardon itself, they should've just provided like 2 more stands with better clamps since it really takes at least 2 stands to properly support Lizardon in flight/mid-air stances. On the other hand, I kinda wished they included some extra handsets to Lizardon like a pair of fists for one.

Articulation Points:

Now the cuts complaint I mentioned back in the details section makes up for this part, the articulation, for a somewhat fat dragon-ish pokemon, Bandai certainly did justice on articulating Lizardon to satisfying content. Its neck is layered into 3 points, a ball joint in the bottom and middle section then a hinge at the top; each ball can tilt to a reasonable range while the hinge can swivel freely at their connection points and also look all the way up and look down to a good degree (especially when combined with the 2 ball sections).

Additionally, you can really open his mouth via a hinge on the jaw and hey, detailed tongue!

The wings attach on a ball joint but instead of tilting, you can pretty much use it only as a swivel and then the wings themselves have 2 cut points which you use to bend to a 90 in both directions.

The arms are the most surprising part, given that D-Arts is a spinoff of SHF for video game characters (but now finally merged with SHF as one line), the frame is pretty much the same in most cases except for Rockman and non-humanoid monsters from Digimon and Pokemon releases like Lizardon here, but the arms tehcnically gets the arm articulation range like that of a normal human SHF, a hinge with swivel on the shoulder, a bicep swivel and a single hinge elbow but with the range of a double jointed one due to the mold cuts present. Lastly, you can only swivel Lizardon's claws sadly.

For the legs, you can swivel via the hips on a full 360 rotation and while there's a cut in the knees, it really is nearly immovable while the ankles are mostly used for swiveling purposes.

Now each cut on the tail has like a 2-layer looking cut but it's really just 1 ball on every notable gap between the cuts, they actually feel stiff but you can at least curve the tail to a neat degree.


Bandai certainly did Lizardon justice as sacrificing a but of design for articulation made posing the pokemon look very natural. In flight sequence, Lizardon looks really neat as a figure and the expression of the eyes, along with the articulation jaw gives the pokemon a very powerful silhouette overall.

The inclusion of the flamethrower was one of the most decent parts of this package as it has always been the pokemon's trademark if you'd base it on Satoshi's Lizardon in the anime. I really feel that bandai has outdone themselves in Lizard's non humanoid frame as I heard the Kamex/Blastoise and Fushigibana/Venusaur releases felt pretty stiff, though it is most understandable in Fushigibana's case.

As there's not much to do with Lizardon alone, here's a little Smash Brothers photo tribute as Lizardon is pitted against figma Link!

While doing the fight shots with Link, I really enjoyed posing Lizardon a lot, it was very easy to do and that his poses looked very natural once they were captured by the camera.

Final Thoughts:

Lizardon is truly the best of the 3 Kanto starters stage 2 evolutions in figure form; though a minimal amount of aesthetic was sacrificed in the process, Lizardon is able to fulfill its purpose of being an action figure fully and I seriously could not wish more for the articulation. Though I personally am dissatisfied with the accessory count, the strong points of Lizardon easily overthrows my personal gripes about it. For a non-humanoid pocket monster, Lizardon is a highly suggested piece for pokemon fans and shf/d-arts collectors alike (unless, of course, you hate Lizardon). Once again, another piece I obtained from the excellent service of CWToys!

The fiery lizard receives a rightful 4 out of 5.

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