"Beastbox/Megabox" MB-22 Kirin Toy Review


Ben's World of Transformers would like to thank 52 Toys and their generous gift of this action figure for review.

The Beastbox line of action figures started in 2015. Created by Stryker Wang of 52 Toys, this line of unique figures transformed from various creatures into cubes. Regardless of whether it was a dinosaur, a bird, a gorilla or more recently, a lobster, the Beastbox figures all turn into cubes. The figures are generally defined by a beautiful and whimsical design aesthetic that is eye catching and unique.

Among 52 Toys' most recent offerings have been several Beastbox "Mega Box" figures that have their roots in East Asian mythology. Among these figures is MB-22 Kirin, based of the Qilin. Thought to have been inspired by giraffes brought to China during the Ming Dynasty, the creatures were often portrayed as having giraffe like bodies with a dragon-like head featuring antlers. Their skin was said to have scales like a dragon, making it a very unique creature indeed and a perfect choice for a Beastbox figure. For fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you can actually see a Qilin in Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings at around the one hour, seven minute mark where one walks by our heroes. You can see a screen capture from the film below.

Beast Mode:
Kirin is an absolutely gorgeous figure. Even before 52 Toys sent me this figure, I was thinking of picking it up and when they offered to send me figures for review I was very happy to see this was one of them. While inspired by the Qilin, this figure takes some liberties with the design. The body looks more like a horse's body than a giraffe, but the head definitely looks like a traditional East Asian dragon head complete with details on the sides that appear to flow to the back of the head. Even the neck has detailing that resembles that of a dragon including a segmented section in the front.

A majority of the Beastbox figures are animal-based, but they are mechanical creatures (borne of 52 Toys' founder Stryker Wang's love of Transformers). This is most obvious on the main body and the tail. The legs in particular have mechanical styling on them (but sleek as all get out) while the tail has what look like thrusters with air intakes in front. The front legs and the main body also have translucent red flames on them, which one can imagine represents fire coming out of the machinery that makes up this form. In a call back to its mythological roots, the flames are sculpted to look like the ones in historical illustrations of the Qilin. It is a beautiful and intricate sculpt that simply looks amazing.

Kirin is mostly made up of blue-green, red, gold and translucent red plastic. Gold paint is used liberally on the head and on the legs. Silver is used on the joint areas of the legs. A beautiful application of orange is found on the tops of the flames on the main body, giving them a rich appearance. In a fun nod to the head of 52 Toys, the Chinese character for the surname "Wong" can be found on the left side front leg (the surnames Wong and Wang are sometimes used interchangeably). Between the contrasting colors, the paint and translucent plastic, the deco on this figure is really beautiful.

Update (5/2/22):  I have been informed by 52 Toys that the symbol is actually "Huang", referring to ancient ancestors in Chinese history.

There are twenty seven points of articulation on this figure, mostly concentrated in the legs. The mouth can open and close and the tail can be moved up and down. The flames on his main body also have two points of articulation each and can be moved outward to look like wings.

Transformation Commentary:
With my Transformers reviews, I generally go into a step by step transform, but this one is so intricate it is best seen. You can see the transform from cube form to beast mode here on Youtube. You would think changing anyting into a cube should be a piece of cake, but when the base form is very animal shaped with lots of bits and pieces sticking out of the main body. Collapsing all that into a cube form is not an easy undertaking. I will say for those heavily into the puzzle aspect of Transformers play, this one is sure to please.

Cube Mode:
The universal cube form used for Beastbox and Megabox figures is an interesting choice. When it comes to a blocky mode like say, a chonky panda, I can totally see how a cube form can be an alt-mode. However, wish a figure like Kirin, there are so many shapes and differently sized pieces that this transformation was extraordinary to complete.

Kirin includes a clear container intended to store the figure in cube mode. These cases can then be stacked on top of one another, creating a very organized way of storing your collection!

Final Thoughts:
MB-22 Kirin is an absolutely wonderful action figure. It is so rare to see East Asian mythological creatures represented in action figure form that this was a treat. Intricate sculpting, gorgeous colors and excellent articulation really helps make this figure a must have. If you are into the Beastbox/Megabox toys at all, this is a must have. Highly recommended!

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