Saturday, February 22, 2014


Patlabor is an anime/manga series from the late 80's depicting the adventures of Section 2 of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police. I think that many people thought the series was boring, but I liked it because it was not flashy, and portrayed the Labors (giant robots), their operators, and maintenance crew in a rather mundane way.

In April, Patlabor: The Next Generation begins as a 1-cour live-action drama. The finale will be a theatrical release in 2015.

The costumes used in the live-action series are different from that of the original animated TV series.

Anime vs Dorama

At first, the muted colors of the new uniforms seem more "realistic", but after thinking about it for a while, the bright yellow vest actually makes more sense than the new design.

Ayame (photoshopped) vs. Erina

After all, if you were hanging around a bunch of lumbering giant robots, wouldn't you want friendly pilots to notice you so they don't step on you by accident? Even in real life, most of the motorcycle officers I see around town are wearing high-visibility safety vests when on traffic duty.

Obviously as with any successful giant robot franchise, many toys and plastic models of the robots exist. The plastic kits are primarily in 1/60 and 1/35 scale, with a couple of 1/72 kits of the Hannibal released by Kotobukiya back in 2008.

But who cares about the Hannibal? The iconic machine in Patlabor is the AV-98 Ingram, and the closest thing to a 1/72 AV-98 is from Kaiyodo. The figure below is the AV-98 Ingram 1 "Alphonse" (Revoltech Yamaguchi No. 10) operated by Noa Izumi.

The height of the AV-98 is given as 8.02m which scales down to about 11.1cm in 1/72. The toy itself is 11.8cm, so it may be too tall, but some of the features like the 37mm revolver cannon are underscale (closer to 1/76).

In any event, I'd say that it's close enough for what is essentially a fictional object (if you don't count the 1:1 prop that they use for the live-action show).

The figures in the picture below are the theatrical movie versions of AV-98 Ingram 1 (Revoltech Yamaguchi No. 042), and TV version AV-98 Ingram 2 (Revoltech Yamaguchi No. 014).

Step out of the car with your hands above your head.

Other Patlabor Revoltech figures include the AV-X0 Type Zero, various versions of the Brocken, Type J9 Griffon, and the very hard to find Helldiver. I believe all of the figures are box scale, so they may or may not be in scale with the AV-98s.

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