Outside of the Robot Damashii and Revoltech Yamaguchi lines, there hasn’t really been any other entrants into the smaller articulated mecha figure lines. However, new manufacturer Sentinel looks to make a splash with their RIOBOT offerings and hopes to compete with the more well-known juggernauts from Bandai and Kaiyodo. Sentinel is certainly looking at the right franchises to make figures of as they’ve tapped into the more popular ones so far, such as Gurren Lagann, as shown above.
In a competitive market where it’s quite difficult to differentiate one from the other, Sentinel looks to be focusing more on the build quality of their figures more than any other. While I haven’t played with any of their toys so far, the preview shots for their Gurren Lagann give the impression that it’s gotten a better paint job and articulation compared to its more celebrated rival toy lines. While I can’t say anything about the included accessories so far, Sentinel, at the very least will be including those wings of Gurren Lagann’s, which as infamously known, was left out in the mecha’s Composite Ver. KA. rendition.
Sentinel’s RIOBOT Gurren Lagann will be released in April 2012 for an astoundingly expensive price of 9500 yen. If that doesn’t signal the use of premium materials and a much better overall figure, then I don’t know what would.