Revoltech is a Japanese toyline of poseable action figures, usually around 5 inches tall and unique in using a specialized type of joint to allow for versatile articulation. It is produced by Kaiyodo, and was started in late 2006. They usually occupy the ¥2000¥4000 price point and often have a fair range of accessories.
The main gimmick of the line, so to speak, is the Revolver Joint, a specialized point of articulation originally developed by Yasuhiro Nightow of Trigun fame. While other Japanese action figure lines tend to use organically moving joints such as ball joints and the like, Revolver Joints are a form of ratcheting joint that are designed to hold their position using rows of teeth on the inside of the assembly itself, and they tend to click quite distinctively when moved. The idea is that since the toys are being purchased mainly by collectors, they'll be holding poses for extended amounts of time on shelves, so more rigid joints that hold poses better are necessary. No other toyline uses these exact joints, and the line prides itself on the innovation; the name of the line is a portmanteau of "Revolver Technology", after all.
Being such a long-running series, it has covered a massive range of franchises. Initially it was very Super Robot and Mecha-centric, concentrating on franchises such as the Evangelion series, Getter Robo and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, and was exclusively sculpted by Katsuhisa Yamaguchi. Yamaguchi employed a very dynamic and exaggerated style of sculpting, intended to suit the "action poses" the figures would inevitably assume. Over time, it split into several sub-lines, and the overall range diversified:
- Revoltech Yamaguchi: The original line, now overseen by Yamaguchi rather than wholly sculpted. Has stretched into Video Game territory, with Professor Layton, Monster Hunter, and Zone of the Enders figures.
- Tokusatsu Revoltech/SFX Revoltech: A line concentrating on Kaiju monsters and Sci-Fi franchises, including Western properties. Popular for including a multitude of Toho monsters, several Iron Man suits and the infamous "Rapeface" Woody from Toy Story.
- Revoltech Fräulein: A small range of figures using a universal female body sculpt. Designed to compete with Figma, the leaders of that particular market.
- Hokuto no Ken REVOLUTION: A range of figures dedicated entirely to the titular series. Very popular with fans, as the figures are of a particularly high quality.
- Revoltech Takeya: A unique line that releases articulated Buddhist statues, eastern mythical creatures, Japanese skeletons and Gothic field armors.
- Assemble Borg: The line for which the Revolver Joint was originally developed and brainchild of Nightow. As the toys are highly modular, parts-swapping is actively encouraged and the official Web site showcases fan creations.
Tropes specific to this toyline:
- Dem Bones: Skeleton Army from Jason and the Argonauts, as well as Takeya Japanese Skeleton and Skeleton Samurai.
- Law of 100: Revochips, which used to come with all Revoltechs, would give you points toward specific rewards obtained through Kaiyodo-partnered retail outlets. The rewards were usually multiples of 100 points...
- Useless Accessory: ...But you could only get the rewards in Japan, making Revochips this for Western collectors & other collectores who live outside of Japan..
- Not Quite Starring: To a degree with the SFX Revoltech Batman. He comes with an extra "unmasked" head, but it appears that Kaiyodo couldn't secure Christian Bale's likeness, so they had to fudge it a bit. The resulting representation of Bruce Wayne is...less than good.
- Units Not to Scale: Especially evident with human figures from different sub-lines. Hilariously obvious in the Gurren Lagann figures.