This toy was provided by Bluefin Tamashii and is sold at Big Bad Toy Store. As a young kid with an SNES, a head fulla dreams, and access to several local rental stores I was privy to plethora of fighting games made in the era when everyone wanted to get in on that sweet Street Fighter II money. I experienced an eclectic mix of world warrior mash-ups such as Art of Fighting, Fighter's History, Power Moves, Power Instinct, Power Bass Fishing, Tuff E Nuff, and the subject of today's review: Fatal Fury.
Developed at roughly the same time as Street Fighter II, for me the Fatal Fury games always felt like they had a lot more personality to them than its shoryuken-ing rival. No more is this exemplified than in its main character, the charismatic Terry Bogard who sported a pretty blond ponytail and the fashion sense of a Japanese person trying to dress like an American trucker. Terry was and still remains cooler than any shotoclone seen in that other series. Where's some fighting game characters were content with maybe three or four special moves, Terry made a kid feel like a champion with his POWERful variety of moves. Terry is the kind of character who makes you feel awesome for cheesing out during a match. As SNK continued to expand their repertoire of games, Terry Bogard joined his brother Andy and their best friend Joe in the immensely popular King of Fighters series.
This action figure of Terry Bogard is another entry in Bandai's D-Arts line. D-Arts is an offshoot of the S.H. Figuarts main line that focuses on video game (or Digital) characters. Terry stands roughly six inches tall and is made from thick PVC plastic with hard ABS joints. The box clearly denotes this is Terry from King of Fighters '94 but since his look didn't change until much later you can just pretend this is the Bogard from your favorite year of gaming.
The detailing and paint work on Terry mostly top notch. His jeans look appropriately worn from all his wandering warrior-ing and his biceps are nicely accentuated with some subtle sculpting. The folds on his Marty McFly vest are well defined and the ALL AMERICAN star is crisp.
Before I delve into the accessories, I want to discuss Terry's articulation. For an action figure designed to replicate the agility of a fighting game character, D-Arts Terry feels rather stiff and limited. His more conservative sculpt compared to say a Revoltech mean he tends to err on the more sedate side of action. I find it hard to really pose Terry with a good sense of motion as if he were actually fighting.
Don't get me wrong. Terry certainly has a lot of joints (even working toes) but everything feels like it moves just enough to effect the look of the game sprites. Probably the most egregious are his shoulders and hips. The torn remains of his t-shirt actually rotate in their sockets so you can better move his upper arms but in conjunction with the way the shoulders cup around an inner universal joint means Terry can't really pose in an extreme way. His hips have a similar issue where the Figuarts style pull-down joint bunches up against his pelvis and can also be impeded by the "fill in" piece that floats within the joint. His waist joint is also limited to just twisting so Terry can't quite ball up into a proper crouch.
The real head scratcher is Terry's half-functioning ankles. His feet tilt downward to a good angle but the bottoms of his jeans make it difficult to bring his feet back up to a level position. You can pull each foot down a bit (to reveal... more sneaker above his ankle?) but this only works on one of his ankles on my figure.
The other foot tends to detach when I try to make it rest at a level position so poor my poor Terry has a rather touchy sense of balance.
Terry comes with a satisfying number of accessories to round out his price point. You get two alternate heads, a pair of pretty like a pony ponytails, six additional hands, a mysterious blue thing, a martial artist's travel bag with adjoining hand, and four POWER effect parts.
Terry's hands are fairly easy to swap out. You just pull them off his forearms and pick your desired appendage to reattach. Note that you only get one part of wrist cuffs for all the hands. The cuffs have a rectangular hole that only fits on the wrist joint a certain way. Be aware outer edge of each cuff has a small indent that should line up with the bulges of Terry's arm muscles.
Terry's travel bag comes threaded through its own hand part and actually uses real string. The bag is relatively weighty too so I think it's solid PVC. With either of Terry's special hat grabbing hands you can give him that classic look.
Terry's always ready to drop his bag and enter a fight with some ethnic stereotype.
If you can keep Terry in a good standing pose he absolutely looks the part. However things start to go to South Town when you focus above this figure's neck.
ARE WE NOT MEN OR ARE WE DEVO!?
First off, Terry's regular stern face suffers from a lack of depth around his tampographed eyes. It's a fact that is hard to ignore when there are pictures of a much more detailed face sculpt on the sides of the box. Also as a cost-cutting measure Terry only has one trademark FATAL FURY hat to share among his three alternate heads. Removing his hat leaves you with this weird peghead with no way of making it look normal.
Without a normal head, Terry can't even do his classic victory pose where he throws his hat off while shouting "OKAY!" You can only sorta fake it by keeping the top of his head off camera.
The act of swapping Terry's heads is also kind of a pain. His head rests atop a ball-joint that itself is on another joint in his already jointed neck. For two of the heads the hole you're supposed to plug the ball into feels too small to get a solid grip on the neck. Also the solidness of the connection either of his ponytails has to his skull seems to vary from head to head.
I find Terry's smirking face to be the best of the three. This is the Terry we all known and love. He's the guy who is always kicking ass and smiling like he's Duncan Macleod in a well written episode.
I think it's just the fact that he's smiling that give this face head a lot more depth than the other two. Terry's a real charmer like this.
"Hey c'mon c'mon!"
No Terry I think she's a little too cooldere and out of scale for you.
ARE YOU OKAY!?
Strange home invasions aside, let's look at the giant wrestler in the room that is Terry's yelling face. I mean I really don't want to look at it but here we are.
The combination of weird eyes, an awkward looking mouth, the unavoidable seam from his hat make Terry look...so...
THIS IS WHAT SOUTH TOWN DID TO ME! THIS IS WHAT SOUTH TOWN DID TO MEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
MOVING ON let's talking about some other aspects of Terry the callipygian superman. Note the small rectangular posterior panel.
Simply dig it out with your fingernail to reveal something a doctor should look at...
And then insert this stand adapter in Terry's rear end. What looked like a mysterious piece of blue plastic is in fact the way in which Terry connects to a Tamashii Act Stage or any other compatible display stand like a Figma or Revoltech stand. Hopefully this butt plug will allow D-Arts Terry to salvage some dignity by letting him do his signature moves. Remember that all move are performed assuming the photographer is facing right.
Honestly I have never understood the physics of this move outside of its function as Terry's anti-air attack. How exactly does he launch himself from a full crouch into this upside down whirling dervish?
Terry's lunging flip kick is always a crowd pleaser but I can't help but feel the lack of a good ab crunch takes away some of the dynamics of this move.
Looks more like a jaunty frolick than a badass spin kick.
I LOVE YOU THIS MUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCH!
The Burn Knuckle is where some of Terry's effects parts come into play. You get two pieces of jagged blue energy. One wraps around his forearm and the other fits over his fist. You can attach these on either arm and his shoulders do a good job keeping the whole thing outstretched.
The Power Wave is a small energy spike that is made from clear yellow plastic. After wrestling Terry into a decent crouching pose you simply place the wave in front of his fist. The distance from Terry is determined by the strength of the punch button pressed.
You can use the Burn Knuckle parts to enhance the Power Wave at the cost of making Terry more likely to topple forward.
When your super gauge is full, Terry can unleash his long standing super move. While it does look pretty impressive, I kind of feel like it's a little on the small side. Granted that's just the reality of having to fit this big chunk of plastic inside the box. Like the Power Wave you simply place it in front of Terry.
In the end D-Arts Terry Bogard is just barely ok. He really doesn't feel as dynamic or as well built as an S.H. Figuarts or other similar action figure. The sculpting on his heads range from decent to downright atrocious. The rest of his body looks great but suffers from inadequate articulation befitting a fighting game hero. As the first of a potential line of King of Fighters action figures, Terry Bogard only squeaks by with a low vitality gauge. If I were to compare other video game action figures to Terry, I would have to say my two Xenosaga Figmas do a better job at balancing good looks (and great hair) with accessories and usable articulation. That's to say nothing of the recent Samus Aran and Link from Legend of Zelda. Again even keeping comparisons between Bandai toys, Terry does not feel like he's on the same level as S.H. Figuarts Shadow Moon or Kamen Rider Black. If you want a Terry Bogard you can arrange in static poses and then leave on your shelf, the D-Arts figure will suffice however this is not the definitive Bogard by far.