REVIEW: BEN 10 OMNIVERSE JURYRIGG
I'll admit, the appeal of a lot of modern cartoons just eludes me. I'm not going to name any names, but a lot of the stuff on Cartoon Network strikes me as very poorly drawn and designed, and if there's any sort of entertaining storyline behind any of it, it's certainly not making it into the commercials.
But there are some high points here and there, and I've long felt that BEN 10 is one of them. Along with a number of entertaining animated series over a number of years now, there's also been a very impressive toy line from Bandai, the main aspect of which is a series of 4" (more or less) action figures based on Ben and the various alien heroes that he can transform into.
The current series is called BEN 10: OMNIVERSE, and I purchased a figure of one of the alien heroes available in the line, a rather freaky-looking little fellow by the name of JURYRIGG. Let's have a look at an overview of the series, and then consider the character of Juryrigg, and then his figure.
Ben 10: Omniverse is the fourth installment in the Ben 10 franchise. Man of Action (a group consisting of Duncan Rouleau, Joe Casey, Joe Kelly, and Steven T. Seagle) created the franchise, all four confirmed series, including Ben 10: Omniverse. The series premiered on September 22, 2012, with a "sneak episode" that aired on August 1, 2012.
The series follows the adventures of Ben Tennyson, bearer of the Omnitrix, a watch-like device that allows Ben to change into verious alien heroes. Storylines alternate between that of eleven-year old Ben (a year after the original series) and sixteen-year old Ben (a few months after Ben 10: Ultimate Alien).
After Gwen leaves for college and Kevin leaves to be closer and nearer to her, sixteen-year old Ben gets a new partner, a rookie by-the-book alien named Rook. On a mission to explore a secret underground alien city named Undertown, Ben explores the quirkier side of things in the alien underground and discovers that enemies from his past are looking for a rematch.
All the while, Ben becomes targeted by a mysterious hunter known as Khyber who is working for Malware (a psychotic mutant Galvanic Mechamorph) and Dr. Psychobos (a Cerebrocrustacean mad scientist).
The series has played out in several series of ten-episode arcs -- appropriately enough -- with different primary villains in each storyline, including Khyber, Malware, and the Incursions, to date.
The latest device which allows Ben to transform is known as the Omnimatrix, often referred to as the Omnitrix. It is one of Azmuth's creations and the current successor of the Ultimatrix.
Unlike the other versions of the Omnitrix, its face plate is now square instead of round and has a white and green color scheme. The hourglass (the intergalactic peace symbol) shape on the faceplate is black with two green stripes. When the faceplate is slid back, the Omnitrix's core is revealed.
The Omnitrix was first mentioned by Azmuth in "Map of Infinity". He was planning on giving it to Ben, but it was not yet complete, and Ben's maturity needing to increase before he would be allowed to use it.
Azmuth, by the events of "The Ultimate Enemy: Part 2", had completed the Omnitrix and claimed that he was working on it ever since Ben got the original Omnitrix when Ben was 10 years old. In the same episode, he gave it to Ben because he deemed him worthy after removing the Ultimatrix from the latter's wrist.
The device has several operational modes. Active Mode is the Omnitrix's default mode. Normally Active Mode is active when the Omnitrix can be used and nothing is wrong.
The Omnitrix has a holographic interface, where a holographic circle is shown, with the top half having the alien's faces, which is activated and scrolls through the aliens by the user touching the faceplate, akin to a touch screen. The faceplate will then slide open when the side button is pressed to lock in the selection, the Omnitrix core will come out and when pressed will trigger a transformation.
Unlike the predecessors, this one does not rely on the Codon Stream for transformation, instead having the DNA stored within itself in a computerized form.
For unknown reasons, the Randomized Mode can continuously changes between different aliens every few minutes before timing out.
When the battery level of the Omnitrix is low. The Omnitrix changes the user to its default DNA and the user cannot use the Omnitrix for a short period of time
The "Life-Form Lock" function allows the user to stay in an alien form for an extended period of time, or until it is countermanded. In "Frogs of War", Ben used this function to impersonate an Incursion without timing out.
Similar to the original series, it adapts the user's clothing to the Omnitrix aliens; It has a digital watch; In "Arrested Development", it is revealed that the Omnitrix has a security lock system so that only authorized users like Ben can use it. It also has an alternate identification program if some change by outside forces occurs to Ben. For Ben, admitting that he has a fear of peacocks is valid proof.
Anyway, as to the character of Juryrigg:
Juryrigg is a small, red, devil-like alien who also bares a close resemblance to a Gremlin. He wears the Ultimatrix symbol on his chest. He is very small, when he was next to Gwen he was almost as big as her head, excluding the tail. He also seems to be a little taller than Grey Matter, but smaller than Upchuck.
In Omniverse, Juryrigg now wears an aviator's outfit which comes with an ascot . His ears are now spiked and his nose is bigger. The Omnitrix symbol is now on his waist. He also now has pupils.
Juryrigg has the abilty to completely disassemble any kind of machinery in mere seconds. Although it is harder for him to do due to his craving to destroy things, Juryrigg can also construct complex machinery from scratch at a similar rate.
Juryrigg has a form of enhanced strength for his size, able to break apart a metal car brake in half. He also has a degree of enhanced agility. Juryrigg has a strong desire to break machines, and he is hard to control.
JuryRigg actually debuted in ULTIMATE ALIEN, not Omniverse, and first appeared in "The Eggman Cometh". Ben accidentally transformed into Juryrigg while in Kevin's car. Later, Juryrigg broke Dr. Animo's mutant ray. Later, he repaired and modified it.
Juryrigg returned in Omniverse in "Have I Got A Deal For You." Ben accidentally transformed into Juryrigg, but he quickly changed into Grey Matter after complaining about how Juryrigg won't help.
In "Gone Fishin", Juryrigg defeated the Mechaneers. In "Rules Of Engagement", Juryrigg fixed up parts of the Proto-TRUK and created the Tenn-Speed.
So, how's the figure? Very nicely done, but this is one weird-looking little character. If it wasn't for the Omnitrix emblem on his belt buckle, I'd've been surprised to learn that he was one of the good guys.
The "gremlin" comparison definitely fits. Juryrigg has a wide, rather oval-like head, bright red skin, spiky pointed ears, angled green eyes with a definite mischievous look to them, a nose that The Penguin would envy -- and I'm still trying to figure out how Bandai got this honker out of a mold without it being crafted as a separate piece, which I'm reasonably certain it wasn't -- and this wide, wicked grin with narrow little fangs at the sides. His nose actually descends below his mouth.
Unlike a lot of the Ben 10 aliens, Juryrigg is not a physical powerhouse. That's not his specialty. I've got no shortage of aliens here that -- whatever other physical characteristics they may have, however they may otherwise look, they tend to have rather small heads, massive torsos and huge arms, and relatively small legs.
Juryrigg isn't really like this. His head is huge relative to the rest of his body. His overall physical build is quite slender. He has proportionately very long arms, but his legs are neither too long nor too short relative to his body.
Juryrigg is wearing a green aviator's helmet, with gray goggles attached to a black strap. A lot of credit needs to go to Bandai for some impressive paint detailing here. The lenses of the goggles are bright green, and the straps have gray tips at the ends, which hang down past Juryrigg's head.
He is wearing a black bodysuit with green trim. There is a green zipper down the front, a green belt with the Omnitrix emblem on it, and he has green gauntlets that leave his fingers exposed. Similarly, the tops of his boots ate green, but the boots themselves are black, and his toes are exposed.
Juryrigg also has a light gray scarf, which was molded as a separate piece and attached during assembly. It is actually movable, and can be swung around to face any direction desired. Juryrigg also has a red tail, with a little arrow-point at the tip. This needs to be inserted into the figure when you open the package.
Juryrigg has three fingers and a thumb on each hand, and three toes on each foot. The paintwork on the figure is superbly well done. One thing Bandai knows how to do is to paint with great precision. Now, if they'd just stop leaving off painted detail on the backs of some of their products, especially Power Rangers. However, Juryrigg doesn't seem to be missing any detail.
Juryrigg stands about 3" in height, which is actually pretty short as these figures go. They're usually around 4" tall. It should be noted that the Ben 10 line has never been a "to-scale" line. The widely varying heights of these characters as they appear in the animated series would make that impossible. There are characters that are actually smaller than their action figures, all the way up to someone like Way-Big who's been known to be the approximate height of a skyscraper. So Bandai settled on making everybody roughly the same height. As to Juryrigg's slightly more diminutive status, I really don't know.
He is very well articulated. Articulation can vary quite a bit in the Ben 10 line depending on the individual and in some instances what's even possible. Not all of the characters are even humanoid. Juryrigg is, and he is nicely poseable at the head, arms, elbows, legs, and knees. The tail turns somewhat, as well. It should be noted that his legs are a bit pre-posed in a sort of crouched position, and can't be entirely straightened out, but he still has articulated knees.
Juryrigg comes with one accessory, a small bright red statue of himself with a base. This item can be used with a separately-sold toy called the Omnitrix Challenge.
So, what's my final word? I have quite a collection of Ben 10 Alien Heroes from across all of the various series. Juryrigg is a good addition to that collection, and I'm sure that if you're a Ben 10 fan, you will want to welcome him into your collection as well. Given his reputation, though, you might not want to let him near any of your machinery...
The BEN 10 OMNIVERSE figure of JURYRIGG definitely has my most enthusiastic recommendation!