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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Transforming Big Hero 6 Baymax!

Unless you’ve been living under a pop culture-less rock, you’ve probably heard of “Big Hero 6.” The new movie from Walt Disney Animation Studios (yep, the same people who brought you “Frozen” and “Wreck-It Ralph”) has a really interesting provenance.

That pedigree begins with the source material—a comic book property from Marvel Comics. Originally created in 1998 by Duncan Rouleau and Steven Seagle, the original Big Hero 6 were a Japan-based team of science heroes, or super-heroes who gain their extranormal abilities from science and technology.

The team’s most recognizable appearance would be the 2008 mini-series of the same title by Chris Claremont and David Nakayama.

Everyone knows Disney bought Marvel the next year. Disney then bought the Big Hero 6 property and thoroughly Disneyfied it. This month, “Big Hero 6,” the film, came to cinemas and dominated the box office. Touching and thrilling, funny and exciting, “Big Hero 6” presents a much-transformed team of Hiro Hamada, Go Go Tomago, Honey Lemon, Wasabi and Fred and won over audiences worldwide.

The most crowd-pleasing character is Hiro’s robot sidekick Baymax. Designed by Hiro’s oldest brother to be Hiro’s nursemaid, Baymax is an adorable, kooky robot who exists only to protect Hiro. Later on in the film, Hiro equips Baymax to fight alongside the team by giving his carbon-fiber armor, wings and firing fists, transforming Baymax into a formidable cybertnetic heavy for Big Hero 6.

There is a virtual legion of toys representing Baymax. If you want the cute Baymax, there’s the Pop! Vinyl Baymax. If you want a cuddly Baymax, there’s a team of stuffed toys.

But for the action figure-loving fan, there is a perfect offering from “Big Hero “ licensee Bandai: the Big Hero 6 Armor-Up Baymax, which comes in a giant box with a big plastic window showing off the toy’s parts.

Armor-Up Baymax provides a “transformative” experience. You first get a plastic nursemaid Baymax with articulated limbs and head. You also get 15 other plastic pieces. You simply clamp on the various red and blue plastic pieces and you turn the original figure into an intimidating armored Baymax. It’s literally like turning the mild-mannered Nursebot into the super-hero identity.

The toy and its parts are made of a very hardy plastic so it will put up with the most vigorous actions. This is a very, very tough toy and so is designed to be played with and not to be left on a shelf. It just begs to be played with. When fully transformed, Armor-Up Baymax stands more than 7” tall, and looks very heroic. His limbs still move, though a little limited by the armor pieces, and the standout wings sweep up and down.

Kids will enjoy transforming Baymax back and forth. There is an instruction sheet, but the toy is simple enough that most everybody can manipulate it instinctively. When you have it in your hands, you can see just how solid and impressive Armor-Up Baymax is.

If you want a Baymax toy, you can choose from the original Baymax or the armored version, but Armored-Up Baymax offers up both iterations of the character. It’s the best of both worlds, and a wonderful part of the “Big Hero 6” experience you can take home with you.

Bandai’s Big Hero 6 Armor-Up Baymax is available from local toy stores and

---Ruey De Vera

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