This toy is another of Bandai of America's little oddities.
Created on the basis that a Lopmon appears in the third season of
the show, this figure Digivolves into Kerpymon, which the Lopmon
in season three did not do. However, American children are
familiar wth Kerpymon because one DID appear in "Digimon:
The Movie" - except it was mostly the Viral version, not the
Vaccine version represented in the toy who only appeared at the
movie's end for a few seconds, and also, there was no Lopmon in
the American movie. The toy also probably draws something from
the fact that a Kerpymon (or to be more precise, a Cherubimon)
features in the fourth season of the show.
A complicated little history, no? It doesn't help that the figure was first released in season three packaging, then later released again in season four packaging, and hasn't been distributed very well, leading to it becoming fairly rare. My version came in season four packaging, so that's why it's listed under that section of the review page, and has this background.
The toy comes packaged in Kerpymon mode, and while I have a tendency to start with the "lower" Digivolutionary mode for reviewing, starting with the Kerpymon mode gives me a better lead in to my major complaint about the toy, which we'll come to shortly.
From her feet up to the maximum height her curled-back ears reach, Kerpymon is just over 9" (23cm) tall (I'm taking it that this is the Tamers Lopmon, by the way, so I'll call it a "her"). She is articulated in her shoulders, elbows (minimally) and hips, and firmly adheres to Bandai of America's tried-and-tested method of "turn me around" transformation, with Lopmon's big grinning face starting at you out of her back. At this point, though, I've just accepted this as the nature of American moulds, and it doesn't get to me as much as it used to.
Oddly, Kerpymon is mostly coloured a powdery purple colour, rather than pale pink. In Lopmon mode, her pink highlights are also this purple colour, so it wasn't done for any cross-mode reasons (like, say, Gargomon being a rich green instead of a powdery green, to better facilitate the Rapidmon mode), so it's a bit of a mystery why it's been done. This aside, though, after suffering through the paintjobs on the rest of the season three line, something about Kerpymon really jumps out at your - there's NO MISSING PAINT! In fairness, though, there's not a lot of paint to apply to Kerpymon anyway, hence there's nothing really small that you COULD leave out for the sake of laziness. Still, it's nice to see Bandai of America finally nail the paint applications.
To transform Kerpymon into Lopmon, first, you fold back her ears, then open up her back panel, rotate Kerpymon's head inside, and shut it again. You turn the ears around, and fold them down across Kerpymon's chest (Lopmon's back), criss-crossing them over one another, then you rotate in the outer portions of Kerpymon's "mane" over the top of the ears, to hold them in place. You rotate Kerpymon's arms straight up, then fold them down, reversing them to turn them into Lopmon's ears, snapping together Kerpymon's fingers to form the tips. After bringing Lopmon's arms out to her sides, you unsnap her lower legs from their position and rotate them around behind her uppers legs, then you open up the exposed knee area and rotate out Lopmon's toes.
If you own the Terriermon/MegaGargomon figure, the first thing you're going to think is how much the Lopmon mode looks like that toy's Terriermon mode. But the Lopmon mode easily surpasses it in the areas were it failed, totally nailing the look of the ears and feet. Standing at nearly 6 ½" (16cm), she is articulated in her ears, arms and hips, and also has no missing paint.
But, now my big gripe. As mentioned during the transformation instructions above, you rotate in the outer portions of Kerpymon's mane to hold down her ears. Well, the problem there is that the mane panels aren't held in by anything - no screw, no pin, just a simple peg in a hole that can be easily removed, a la Paildramon's white wings - and therefore can, and oh, most definitely WILL, fall off at every given opportunity. Kerpymon's ears, you see, do not fold down neatly, because the holy rings at their bases cannot both fit inside the groove of Kerpymon's mane, hence one is stuck out over the top of the other quite a bit, making it a challenge to get it to fit under the mane panels to any decent degree. What you will likely find you'll have to do is remove the panels, fold the ears down, then replace the panels on top of them, and press pretty dang hard to get them to stay in.
That aside, however, the mode is a nicely done one, definitely beating out Lopmon's twin.
Kerpymon is a nice toy, albeit with one irritating niggle, and certainly a fitting one to have rounded out the season three line. It's always pleasing to see characters other than the Big Names get figures, and the Tamers line gave us that with this toy, Leomon and Guardromon. It's unfortunate that the season four toy line doesn't see things this way, given the ridiculous domination of Takuya and Koji's forms. I recommend picking Kerpymon up - but you can consider yourself very lucky if you even manage to find her.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5