I have reason for fans of stunning mechs to rejoice: The Duang’s Cube Bot (2016) from JPX. But, if like me, you’re not a big manga buff then you might be wondering who The Duang is, so let’s start there.

The Duang is the pen name of Veerachai Duangpla, a Thai artist that is probably best known for his manga series The Story Begins With…. To understand just how well-recognized this piece is, it was chosen out of 189 entries at the 4th annual International MANGA Award and given one of the three coveted Silver placements. Of course, on the other hand, designer toy fans might recognize his work more readily from the Thailand Toy Expo, as he designed and illustrated the event’s Nong Toy mascot character.

My Impressions of Cube Bot

For his first partnership with JPX, The Duang designed the Cube Bot figure, which is housed in this exquisitely illustrated box. While the packaging might appear a bit minimalist in execution, once you compare it to the piece within then it becomes an obvious representation of the mech itself. Made all the more appropriate given the robot’s angular, geometric form.

The Cube Bot itself stands 6” tall and has eight points of articulation. Wait, did I just say 8 points of articulation?!? I did! The arms, the forearms, the hands, and the legs all rotate. But the multitude of display options this grants you isn’t even the best part of the figure…
The paint application has a really skillful, thoughtful weathering to it, which you can stands out on the white detailing areas but is brilliantly carried over to the joints and, more subtly, to the body itself. For cohesion, even the devil-child driver has a gritty color wash on his eyes and teeth.
The multi-tone, steampunk-esque exhausts have a wonderful texture and a beautiful asymmetry to them, the latter really being pronounced from the top view. And a similar aesthetic is granted to the rocket pack on the back. Now, you might be wondering what the hole on the back is for. Well, the Cube Bot comes with a wind-up key accessory. A beautiful piece with or without this inserted, I love how including it gives the whole a nostalgic toy feel and also places it in line with the Thailand Toy Expo mascot.
This piece actually debuted at this year’s Thailand Toy Expo, with the edition limited to 400 copies… Most of which were this original Red version, though 20% were randomly packaged Monochromatic chases. Regardless of which color you received, I definitely think you got yourself a winner.
That said, it is a piece you have to be a bit careful with. The soft vinyl used to manufacture Cube Bot leaves smaller parts very vulnerable to bending and even potentially breaking. This is noticeable with the fingers, though I’m most concerned about the piping elements and, especially, the driver figure’s neck, hands, and control sticks. But these concerns are meaningless once you put this piece in your Detolf cabinet and just let the vinyl sculpture speak for itself.

Editions of Cube Bot [show]

For more information on The Duang:
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