Robot Damashii Aura Battler Billbine by Bandai (Available From HobbyLink Japan)
Following the unboxing, here is the review for the simply epic Robot Damashii Billbine from the classic anime series Aura Battler Dunbine. It’s a thoroughly fantastic toy and I’m really glad to be finally covering it.
There have been lots of Billbine toys over the years, from those back in the ’80s that were pretty fun if a little blocky, to the more recent Aura Battler in action figures. The latter were okay, but the new Robot Damashii versions are something else entirely.
The main difference is twofold: the accuracy of the sculpt and the excellent articulation. The Dunbine designs were always a tricky thing for toy and kit manufacturers, so to have Bandai approach the aura battlers in such a faithful way is rather remarkable.
The designs themselves are deceptively simple looking and the new Robot Damashii toys capture that very well. It’s only when you start playing with them that you realize how difficult and complex they are.
The Billbine is definitely one of the better figures to show Bandai’s expertise off and it really doesn’t disappoint.
This toy is very comprehensive, which is impressive considering the reasonable price tag. It features all the weapons in the anime, from the aura sword to the beam rifle, and back mounted aura cannons. The latter also are nicely hinged and do the over-shoulder firing position brilliantly. The aura converters at the back are also separately articulated, as are the wings.
The cockpit also opens up but like with other aura battlers in the range lacks a pilot figure, which is the only real omission.
Then we get on to the sculpt. It’s pretty much flawless and looks exactly like it does in the anime. The detailing is simple and clean, too, again in-line with the anime. It’s a bit strange actually because it looks so like the original designs but is still tangible. Strange but definitely wonderful.
Lastly, the articulation is very good and has a full range of motion and poses brilliantly. A stand is really useful, too, as Billbine was ostensibly an aerial-based mecha but is sold separately.
Billbine also transforms into wing caliber mode like in the anime and if you have the Robot Damashii Dunbine (also sold separately) then you can swap out the back parts and Dunbine can take a ride.
Overall then this is a very welcome re-release and is an exemplary take on a surprisingly subtle and complex design. If you’re a Dunbine fan then you absolutely need this in your life — but if not, it’s still a great toy and very affordable with it.