Kyubimon is the
Champion form of Renamon, the Digimon partner of Rika. Kyubimon
makes her first appearance in 3.06, "O Partner, Where Art
Thou?" and then Digivolves into her Ultimate form of Taomon
in 3.18, "Digital Beauty." Renamon is based on the
Japanese myth of the Kitsune (fox spirits), and her other forms
also have a notable mythological and religious influence.
The toy comes packaged in Kyubimon mode, and its faults are readily evident. You can see in this mode that, like Growlmon and Gargomon before her, Kyubimon has a poorly done, barely-finished paint-job. The Tao symbols on her hips and shoulders are not painted at all, and the tips of her tails are also unpainted. The small flecks of black in white, which should be in either side of the painted Tao symbol on her forehead, are absent, and her ears are all yellow, instead of being half-white. Her four feet are all entirely white, in contradiction with her packaging, which shows them to be yellow, but this is actually correct - for Kyubimon, her feet SHOULD be white. Also, some stripes on her ornamental band, which should be red, are left white.
Kyubimon has articulation in her neck, hips, shoulders, elbows, knees, wrists and ankles, plus her ornamental band and tails flop about all over the place. And speaking of the tails - Kyubimon is all tails. There are five separate "tail" pieces - four outer, and one inner. Each outer piece is grooved in such a way that it is intended to represent two tails, bringing the count up to the correct nine. He Taomon arms and pants poke out of her outer tail pieces quite clearly, affecting the mode badly. Also, her rear legs are bent in an unusual, unconvincing way. The folded up Taomon "loincloth" sits underneath her belly in plain view.
Kyubimon is a disappointing mode, which is more of a collection of parts than anything else.
To transform Kyubimon into Tao, you first rotate the "flames" on her tails back inside them. Next, you straighten out her rear legs, and then detach her pants legs from inside each of her lower tail pieces. You rotate the pants legs around, and fit the pegs on them into the slots in the legs, and fold up the panel at the top and snap it into her waist. Then you unfold the "loincloth" and fit the pegs on it into the holes in the pants legs, holding the whole thing together very nicely. Next, you rotate Taomon's arms out of the upper tail pieces, and swing Kyubimon's front legs back. You bring the Taomon arms down, extending the shoulder joints, and fit them into place, lengthening them at the elbows. You can use the clips on the "flames" to hold the tails together in a bunch, but it makes little difference. Next, you rotate Kyubimon's head around, then spin her ornamental band so that the two loops rest on Taomon's shoulders, then open Taomon's chest and pull out her head. You extend Taomon's ears, and snap the chest shut.
From the front, Taomon looks very nice, aside from her missing paint (flecks in her chest Tao are missing, tops of the panels on her pants are yellow instead of white, finger claws are yellow instead of white, belt buckle is completely absent - not even any indentations to show where it would go, let alone panit of either silver or black, and definitely worst of all, her entire sleeves are plain white, instead of being cream and silver - a very poor and tacky-looking bit of work). I was relatively impressed that the Taomon head was painted as well as it was, and quite happy that they had left the thick black lips off, as they have always just looked ridiculous to me.
Kyubimon has several problems beyond her paint-job, as well. Number one is almost zero articulation. The legs cannot be moved because the pants, which do not bend, are clipped into them. The arms can only go up, and you lift them off the hinge to do so - they can't rest at her side, are always outstretched. Her neck moves a little from left to right, and her ankles still move, but that's it.
Problem number two is kibble. As I said, look at the toy straight on, and it looks good. But turn it to the side... dear GOD. This toy has the BIGGEST, most AWFUL amount of kibble that I have EVER seen. Hanging off Taomon's back are Kyubimon's front legs, her head and ornamental band, and all five tail pieces. It's just terrible.
It's quite disappointing to see this mode fall down on these points, because there's some very clever engineering at work here, particularly with the pants legs, and the various clips and pegs that they use to lock themselves on securely. I want to like this toy, but I know that I can't...
A disappointing toy, which has some nice things and ideas working for it, but they are outnumbered by the flaws, shitty paint-job (I'm REALLY hating Bandai US at the minute), and the hideous amount of kibble. I've tried to rectify at least one of these problems by repainting the toy. Overall, Kyubimon/Taomon gets:
Overall: 2 out of 5