About a month ago I ordered a pair of robot figures based on Tomotaka Takahashi’s Chroino and Team Osaka’s VisiON from Vstone’s online store. A package arrived from Japan yesterday, and you know what that means. The figures are small, and not articulated at all, but are nicely detailed replicas of the robots they’re based on, and pretty cheap too.
It was actually Chroino and Tomotaka Takahashi’s other robots (FT, NEON, etc.) that got me really interested in robots to begin with a couple of years ago. I saw a video and some photos of Chroino and its immaculate design and cute automaton-like motions immediately floored me. Following up on his robots led to everything else. I’ve been a huge fan of his work so naturally this is one figure I couldn’t pass up, and it certainly makes a cool desk top toy.
VisiON, also chiefly designed by Takahashi-san, was Team Osaka’s first entry into RoboCup Soccer’s Humanoid League. The omni-directional camera atop its head – now against the rules – is painted a solid gray rather than being a transparent casing, but otherwise looks pretty awesome. The VisiON robots, with their glowing LED eyes, simple color schemes, and barrel-chested antics, have been compared to Mega Man villains. Aesthetically speaking, the VisiON robots remain the most polished competitors of the RoboCup league. Probably because Vstone invested in opening its store in Akihabara earlier this year, Team Osaka so far hasn’t competed in 2009.
You can pick up the pair for yourself for a paltry 1,260 JPY ($13.50) before shipping which is worth it if you like their designs. They have a number of other figures as well, including VisiON NEXTA (attached to keychains), Takeshi Maeda’s Omni Zero 2, and Vstone’s Robovie R-2.