DX Majuu Gattai Gao Hunter Evil
Review by EVA_Unit_4A
Over 1000 years ago, the demonic Orgu- soulless creatures created from the despair and hatred of humanity- fought a terrible war against humans. Side-by-side with the mighty Power Animals, the ancient Gao warriors were just able to defeat the Orgu generals, and drive them back into the deepest places on Earth. By 2001, the Orgu had slowly gathered their strength once more, thanks to humanity’s mistreatment of the world. One by one, an Orgu left their domain known as the Matrix, and ascended to the surface to conquer and destroy, gaining power all the more in the name of their grand stone-encased Orgu Master. They usually took on the form of inanimate, non-living objects, such as streetlights, magnets, barbed wire, etc, and were recognizable by the long horn on their heads. On the mystical, turtle-shaped Sky-Island Animalium- "the highest paradise for animals"- the virginal Gao shrine priestess Tetomu and the surviving Power Animals have been searching for new modern warriors to counter the Orgu threat. Over the course of one year, five special people were plucked from their daily lives and chosen to secretly defend humanity from the darkness of its own heart- as the Hundred-Beast Taskforce GaoRanger!
“Hyakujuu Sentai GaoRanger” celebrated the 25th-series Anniversary of Super Sentai in 2001!
Power Animals are no different from those found in the wild today. They have only lived far longer, and can regenerate themselves much faster thanks to the power of the Earth which has been absorbed into them over the centuries. This has increased their defense, intelligence, and size as well. They are also capable of merging their bodies together to form incredible humanoid-shaped warriors which stand several stories tall, and have weapons & special powers granted to each. After the Orgu were defeated a thousand years ago, the Orgu general Ura opened a hidden tomb, hoping to steal a dark power from within for himself. Instead, he freed another creature- a strong and skilled Duke Orgu called Loki, who possessed a powerful hatred for the Gao warriors who had betrayed him, and sought to destroy them. When Loki first confronted the GaoRanger, he was unaware of how much time had passed, nor that these warriors were not the same as those who had defeated him generations ago. But neither were the GaoRanger aware of any of this; and Tetomu only knew the first part of the story told to her by the original Gao priestess who was her grandmother...
There are three Majuu [Demon-beasts] slaved to the will of Duke Orgu Loki:
- Gao Wolf (back)- The totem Majuu from which Loki draws his power, this giant gray wolf is dressed in silver, black, blue, & gold, with eyes glowing red. He is both fast and strong with small paws and sharp teeth, and knows well what is going on around him. Gao Wolf is a left arm component Majuu, and forms the left arm and part of the chest of Gao Hunter Evil.
- Gao Hammerhead (back)- Another Majuu which Loki controls, the hammerhead shark is dressed in purple, silver, and gold with glowing yellow eyes. This predator travels quietly through water until it can strike first without being noticed, the thin hammer-like separation of its eyes from its head giving it excellent depth perception for long-range stalking. Gao Hammerhead is a right arm component Majuu, and forms the right arm of Gao Hunter Evil, and a smaller section of the Ligator Blade.
- Gao Alligator (back)- Another Majuu which Loki controls, the huge alligator is dressed in sickly green, black, silver, blue, & gold, with glowing red eyes. While he is also a predator, he is too large to hide himself, and so he simply propels himself through anything that gets in his way with his strong legs, or tears it to pieces with his powerful jaws and long, sharp teeth. Gao Alligator is a central body/legs/head component Majuu, and he forms the head, body, and legs of Gao Hunter Evil, and the long thick blade of the Ligator Blade.
Gao Alligator (sometimes alternately referred to as ‘Gaoligator’, which is closer to the original Japanese pronunciation) is by far the largest, with a length of 15¾” from snout to tail- which makes the toy slightly longer than a real alligator’s offspring shortly after being hatched.. His two larger back legs are cropped up close to his long body, as are his much smaller forelegs; each toe has a claw which is carefully painted silver. His mouth is impressive, with two large lower teeth and 20 smaller teeth on the top and bottom. (Rest assured parents- they’re all softer, silver-painted PVC.) Detail is also impressive. In addition to the dozens of silver- & gold-highlighted scales along his tail and body, he also has detailed patterns along the bottom of his feet and side of his head. And to fit in better with the “GaoRanger” line of DX toys, Gao Alligator’s tail is jointed in three different areas which allow it to snap side-to-side a bit.
The purple Gao Hammerhead, as the next poseable, is nearly identical in many ways to the blue Gao Shark from the DX Hyakujuu Gattai Gao King set (aka Blue Shark Wild Zord in the Deluxe Wild Force Megazord, from “Power Rangers Wild Force”). They have nearly identical bodies except when it comes to, well - the heads. Gao Hammerhead can also twist side-to-side a little at mid-body like Gao Shark does too. Molds on the hammerhead shark Majuu are very well detailed.
Gao Wolf, like Gao Hammerhead, is a near-copy of the Gao Tiger from the DX Gao King. And I say ‘near-copy’ because, even though they have similar body shapes and go through identical transformations, Gao Wolf has different mold patterns to eliminate the tiger stripes, and has an alternate tail and head design. (Hey- we’re talkin’ cats and dogs here, ya know?) The lower legs and paws are pretty much the only parts that were not changed between the two giant animals.
Together, the three Majuu are hunters which make life for the Power Animals very difficult, and stunned the GaoRanger when they first appeared behind Loki- each with its own Gao Jewel! How could an Orgu- let alone a Duke Orgu!- obtain and use Power Animals? They did not have much time to dwell before Loki instructed the three Majuu to combine with one another into the powerful Gao Hunter. Armed with a broad double-edged Ligator Blade, Gao Hunter was easily a worthy opponent to the rangers’ own Gao King. Certainly, Gao Hunter’s Beast Hurricane blast rivaled Gao King’s own Super Animal Heart in intensity and scope.
Gao Hunter Evil (back) is a contrast to both Gao King and Gao Muscle. A more slimmed down figure, it has only three components to it instead of five, yet it is a real challenge to both. Gao Hammerhead and Gao Wolf, which are nearly identical to Gao Shark and Gao Tiger, operate exactly the same way on Gao Hunter Evil; they can bend just under 45° at the elbows, and the right arm can snap side-to-side a bit as well. However, unlike Gao King, the shoulder joints are not converted on Gao Alligator like they do on Gao Lion, so you cannot ‘cheat’ and pivot them backwards in any form. (The same goes with Gao Muscle.) The legs, like those of Gao King/Gao Muscle, are designed to spread apart a little when standing. Also of interest on its stance is how the feet tilt inwards a very tiny bit so that they are truly flat on the ground. The head is stylized in the shape of a wolf’s head, with one nasty addition- a single yellow PVC Orgu horn, which designates Gao Hunter as under the control of a Duke Orgu.
(grins) I should point out that all three Majuu must have their tails removed for the transformation process.
(For clarification, Highness Duke Orgu and Duke Orgu have one horn on their heads to indicate their status as leaders, and two horns indicate a regular Minor Orgu. Orguette foot soldiers also have a single horn, but they are much smaller, and they are at the lowest level of the chain of command.)
The Beast Hurricane attack- though not listed in the instructions- can be set up through a clever repositioning of Gao Alligator’s head and lower jaw, through you can’t reposition Gao Alligator’s head in any way without making Gao Hunter’s head point skywards a bit due to how it transforms. The Crescent Boomerang- which is Gao Wolf’s tail- is a soft PVC crescent which slips over two pegs on Gao Hunter’s chest. It can be removed, and the left hand can grip it. The Ligator Blade isn’t really a sword, but rather a long, thick, spiked club with Gao Hammerhead’s tail on one end and Gao Alligator’s on the other. There is a soft ABS handle which Gao Hammerhead’s tail snaps into. Over time, and if posed without care, the handle will begin to bow out of shape. With the Ligator Blade spinning is its hands like a drill bit, Gao Hunter can perform the Revolver Phantom finisher. (The toy cannot spin the Ligator Blade in its hands.)
A question raised about how DX Gao King grips its Fin Blade weapon is answered with Gao Hunter. Gao Hammerhead also has a clip located inside its mouth, but the clip is different from the one inside Gao Shark’s mouth. This is so that Gao Hunter can grip the Ligator Blade. “But what about gripping just Gao Hammerhead’s tail?” Well- it can grip the tail (which is the same as Gao Shark’s, but not used as a separate weapon), but only if it holds it backwards; the design of how the tail separates from the body prevents Gao Hammerhead (and Gao Shark, for that matter) from gripping it correctly.
Whatever was driving Gao Hunter Evil on was the source of Loki’s power as well. This was proven several nights later on a full moon, when Gao Hunter’s power became unstoppable. But suddenly, the spirit of the deceased God of the Power Animals came to the aid of the GaoRanger and created a lunar eclipse to weaken the three Majuu. In that moment, Loki unexpectedly lost control of himself, and began to transform into a human shape! As the artificial eclipse held for a few minutes, Loki was revealed to be an ancient Gao warrior, Shirogane!
After the destruction of the God of the Power Animals, Shirogane had desperately sacrificed his life in order to overcome the great Orgu general, Hyakukimaru. Unfortunately, this was accomplished by his donning a cursed wolf mask which would grant to him and his Power Animals incredible power. Very shortly after the Orgu were defeated, Shirogane was unable to control himself, and the mask quickly began to take over, merging with his soul and corrupting him; turning him against the others. This also corrupted and enhanced his three Power Animals- Gao Wolf, Gao Hammerhead, and Gao Alligator- uncontrollably to his new more violent persona. They became Majuu, foreign creatures to the Power Animals. Before he lost complete control over himself, he begged the five other Gao warriors to kill him. Not willing to sacrifice him just yet despite the curse’s growing power, the five warriors sealed him alive in a tomb. As a thousand years passed by, Shirogane forgot who he was, and became Loki. His long-lost colleagues became his enemies, and the curse corrupted friendship into hatred and revenge.
The lunar eclipse could not be extended any longer, and Shirogane changes back into Loki. Shortly afterwards, the GaoRanger and Tetomu realize that the strength of Loki’s power lies in Gao Hunter. Using a powerful attack from the newly-formed Gao King Striker combination, they disassemble Gao Hunter Evil, and break the curse on Shirogane. After accepting him and forgiving him for what has happened, Gao Wolf, Gao Hammerhead, & Gao Alligator- now also freed from the curse’s influence- return to freely support Shirogane (now as the new Gao Silver)! He thanks them deeply, and commands them to form Gao Hunter. But when the three revived Power Animals combine, Gao Silver renames it Hyakujuu Gattai Gao Hunter Justice.
Gao Hunter Evil
Gao Hunter Justice
Gao Hunter Justice is different from Gao Hunter Evil in only one way- the head. Like Gao King and Gao Muscle before it, Gao Hunter Justice’s face is surrounded by a wolf’s head. When it was Evil, the wolf head closed up around Justice’s face, concealing it from view. But when the curse was lifted, the single Orgu horn disappeared, and its original face appeared. All of Gao Hunter’s attacks and weapons are the same after it changed into Gao Hunter Justice. Oh, one other thing- when Shirogane became good again, Gao Wolf was able to shrink himself down and transform into the Wolf Roader motorcycle several times for Gao Silver. (No, the toy does not do this...)
For those of you wondering what the differences are between the DX Majuu Gattai Gao Hunter Evil from “Hyakujuu Sentai GaoRanger”, and it’s English-speaking counterpart, the Deluxe Predazord from “Power Rangers Wild Force”, it actually isn’t that bad of a transition:
- Like the DX Gao King, Gao Hunter had a few decals on its shoulders. In bringing it over here, the Predazord lost these decals (this also happened to the equivalent Deluxe Wild Force Megazord). The decals on the die-cast metal on the shoulders were removed and blue paint applied instead. The decal on the Silver Wolf Wild Zord’s back was removed and left the plain silver plastic coloring.
Surprisingly, all of the [few] original die-cast parts were left intact during the import process. (Finally-! Way to go, Bandai America!) And, all of the original molds are the same as well. There were actually- get this- four releases of the DX Gao Hunter:
- DX Majuu Gattai Gao Hunter Evil
- DX Hyakujuu Gattai Gao Hunter Justice
- DX Hyakujuu Gattai Gao Hunter Blue Moon
- PA-12 Gao Alligator, PA-13 Gao Hammerhead, PA-14 Gao Wolf
DX Gao Hunter Evil and DX Gao Hunter Justice are the exact same toy; the only difference is the packaging, and there was no change in price either. This was done to reflect Gao Silver’s (and thus Gao Hunter’s) change in allegiance. DX Gao Hunter Blue Moon is also the same toy, but with one variation... During one of the later episodes, the GaoRanger were unable to access their Power Animals, leaving only Gao Silver and Gao Hunter Justice to fight a giant Orgu. So, the GaoRanger temporarily powered-up Gao Hunter into Blue Moon for a short time. When this happened, every area that was green on Gao Hunter’s body turned blue. So, for practical purposes of the DX toy, only Gao Alligator was affected by this- all of the green ABS and paint apps switched for blue equivalents. (Strangely enough, Gao Hammerhead was unaffected...) PA-12 through -14 is a special limited release found only in Korea. In this case, all three Power Animals (each sold separately) were changed to have no paint apps whatsoever. All ABS and PVC was also changed to either a mirror-bright silver or very light gray, respectively. They could still combine, but all of the color was the same- like looking at a silver trophy on your shelf. (Needless to say, this many repaints for one Super Sentai toy has not happened before or since.)
Did Bandai America do any of this....? (snorts) NO--!
“PRWF” fans just got one standard Gao Hunter set. And during the show, no distinction between Gao Hunter Evil and Justice were made; throughout the series, it was simply called the Predazord.
There are only three low points that I can find:
- The handle on the Ligator Blade is too bendable; you just can’t do anything with it lest it permanently warp.
- Gao Hunter has the ability to store the Ligator Blade on its back, but the odd thing is there’s no way to clip it on. It just sits on top of Gao Alligator's folded front legs, and is so heavy on one side that it almost falls over.
- Why doesn’t the head turn side-to-side? It easily could have.
To get a DX Gao Hunter was a highlight in my Super Sentai collection that has finally been fulfilled. The movement of the arms, the paint apps, how it changes- all of that makes it a highly favored piece in my collection. I didn’t really care whether it was a Gao Hunter Evil or Gao Hunter Justice since they were the same toy. If someday a DX Gao Hunter Blue Moon comes along my way, I might grab it, but I won’t mind if I don’t get one. This is a well designed toy. It looks like some kind of ninja- with the covered mouth and thin body compared to the others. Since Gao Hunter are hard to find [five years later], I would say that a Deluxe Predazord would be an appropriate, cheaper fill-in which is nearly indistinguishable from the original. (I waited to get a DX Gao Hunter, but that was just me.)
|Posted 30 May, 2010 - 01:17 by EVA_Unit_4A|