PaildramonWhen the writers of Digimon 02 decided they wanted to introduce a new method of Digivolving to Ultimate for the second series, they used DNA Digivolving, a concept introduced in the second Digimon movie - when two Digimon combine with each other to form a new, more powerful Digimon. When Davis’s ExVeemon and Ken’s Stingmon DNA Digivolved together - Paildramon was born! Paildramon first appeared in “United We Stand,” and enjoyed regular appearances in the rest of the series, even gaining the rare privilege of Digivolving to the Mega level. He’s probably the most popular of the DNA Digivolved Ultimates. Bandai US declined to import the Japanese mould of the toy, which featured two separate ExVeemon and Stingmon figures which could be combined into one Paildramon, and instead created their own toy, a single figure which instead transforms into all three forms.

The toy comes packaged in Paildramon mode, but for transformation simplicity’s sake, I’ll begin with ExVeemon. ExVeemon is a sturdy figure, well-moulded to resemble his cartoon counterpart. As you’d expect with a toy like this, there is kibble - Paildramon’s claws are on the back of his forearms, and if you turn the figure around, you can see all the Stingmon details in the backs of his legs and feet - which rather makes the ExVeemon tail somewhat needless, as it ExVeemoncan barely be seen from any other angle. Also, ExVeemon’s white wings are merely held to the body by two pegs which don’t lock in any way, and are prone to falling off. However, ExVeemon is a pleasing mode.

To transform from ExVeemon into Paildramon, you split apart the ExVeemon head to reveal Paildramon’s head. The ExVeemon head halves become Paildramon’s blue wings. You open the chest and flip out his chestplates, moving up his shoulder armour, then rotate his waist 180 degrees. You then rotate his lower legs the same, raising up and extending his Desperado Blasters from the rear. Finally, you open his forearms and fold the ExVeemon fists inside, before closing and unfolding Paildramon’s claws.

It’s nothing if not an impressive change. Paildramon is definitely the best of the three modes, with minimal kibble (beyond the legs and the head-halves being wings). Funnily, his Desperado Blasters have been made cylindrical for this toy, as opposed to being cuboids, as they are in the show, which would not affect the toy at all. Something you definitley notice about Paildramon is his size - he’s the biggest, chunkiest figure in the entire Digimon Digivolving figure range. This is definitely a plus for the kids. Paildramon does need a lick of paint, though - the spikes on his shoulders, the points on his hands should be silver, and his thumb knuckle should be black. These are minor details, of course, but it would be nice if some attention to detail were paid (seeing as how the picture of the toy on the back of the card show him with these areas painted the right colour).
To transform Paildramon into Stingmon, you twist his waist 180 degrees, and flip out Stingmon’s toes, folding ExVeemon’s toes in. You fold the Desperado Blasters back, and rotate the white wings down, folding them in half. You move the blue wings down out of sight (as best as can be managed) and fold up ExVeemon’s tail, then you open the chest and swap Paildramon’s head for Stingmon’s.

Stingmon is quite visibly the mode which has suffered the most. His entire torso and arms are just Paildramon’s - which are *close* to Stingmon’s, but just not right. There’s entirely too much blue on him, but, in honesty, it's really just the chest and upper arms which affect this figure. Everything else about him is spot on, down to the flexible, bendy-rubber antennae. It’s hard to move the blue wings so that they wont be seen, but if you don’t care about symmetry, it is a problem that can be overcome. Also - on my figure, at least - the chest does not lock very well in Stingmon mode.

Paildramon is a little tricky to rate, as two of his modes are very good, and the other is sub-par. It must be said, however, that with Paildramon, Bandai US have produced what is definitely the best of their own toys - Paildramon is leaps and bounds ahead in terms of quality when compared to the Armour Digivolving figures. He’s solid, colourful and has a clever design. I recommend him.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5