DX Kaizoku Gattai Gokai-Oh & MagiDragon
Review by EVA_Unit_4A
In the past, the thirty-four Legend Sentai teams fought a great battle against a large alien invasion force called the Space Empire Zangyack. The Legend War ended in one great blast when the Legend Sentai sacrificed all their powers to successfully drive Zangyack away.
Many years later, Captain Marvelous and his small crew of space pirates approach Earth aboard the Gokai Galleon starship in the hopes of taking “The Greatest Treasure in the Universe” for themselves. Unfortunately, at this same moment, the son of the Zangyack Emperor, Commandant Toiles Gils, launches a renewed attack on Earth, and the five space pirates suddenly find themselves begrudgingly forced into the role of defenders of this backward planet. The Pirate Taskforce Heroic-rangers have a special and unique power that will give the rekindled Space Empire Zangyack pause: the mysterious ability to use Ranger Keys to transform themselves into- and harness all the powers of- any of the 199 members of the disappeared 34 Legend Sentai!
“Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger” celebrates the 35th Anniversary of the Super Sentai Series in 2011!
The Gokai Galleon is a starship under the command of Captain Marvelous. Though shaped like the wooden sailing ships of old, it is the mobile base of operations and home-away-from-home for the five Gokaiger as they each seek out their fortune amongst the stars. A robot parrot called Navi serves as the navigation brain for the Gokai Galleon, but she also uses her- umm… ‘fortune-telling ability’ to help the Gokaiger find “The Greatest Treasure in the Universe” (though her clues are often cryptic, even if eventually proven true through the Gokaiger’s experiences). When the Gokai Galleon’s multiple Galleon Cannons cannot defeat an enemy, the top of the ship opens up, and four other Gokai Machines unfold from within- Gokai Trailer, Gokai Marine, Gokai Formula, and Gokai Jet!
Though independently-operated, and each armed with laser blasters, the five Gokai Machines work best together when they combine into the Kaizoku Gattai Gokai-Oh! The Gokai-Oh is a fast and agile giant robot that can de-orbit without damage after normally transforming in space, and can make high acrobatic jumps during combat. It is armed with dual Gokai Ken cutlasses, blasters on the back of each hand, and has a Gokai Cannon built into its chest that can unfold for the Gokai Star Burst finisher- numerous cannonballs firing rapidly at an opponent!
Piloted by Gokai Red (Captain Marvelous)
Piloted by Gokai Blue (Joe Gibken)
Piloted by Gokai Yellow (Luka Milffy)
Piloted by Gokai Green (Don “Doc” Dogier)
Piloted by Gokai Pink (Ahim De Famille)
All five Gokai Machines have free-turning wheels beneath them. This is the only thing they can do individually- roll about on a hard flat surface.
Kaizoku Gattai Gokai-Oh
The only articulation is the standard 45-degree increments forward and backwards in the shoulders. Because of the shoulder armor, the arms can never raise above 90-degrees horizontal to the ground! The lower legs can ratchet side-to-side at the knees, but only because of how they connect together.
The Gokai Ken swords can be clipped onto each hip for storage. The cutlass with the red guard can only be attached to the right hand, while the other one without the guard can be fit into either hand.
On the back of the Gokai-Oh’s torso is a black, stylized ship’s wheel. When the gold-painted arrow is pointed upwards, the combo’s gimmick is not active or has been fully deployed. (I call this “neutral position” for convenience.) When the wheel is rotated clockwise, doors on the front of the arms, lower legs, and torso will pop open one at a time! If turned counter-clockwise by one position, all five doors will spring open at the same time instead! Either way you turn the wheel, when the torso door specifically opens the Galleon Cannon will spring-deploy from inside and snap into position! With all five doors open, the Gokai-Oh is ready for its Gokai Star Burst finisher!
(The moving/reloading cannonballs seen in the series are not present here, and the Galleon Cannon does not move any more than in order to deploy it.)
Now, ordinarily I would berate and blast this toy for its simplistic design in favor of a gimmick. This has been happening more frequently in Super Sentai, and the unfortunate trend continues here. It is a brick, whether the Gokai Machines are separated or combined with each other. I’m not even going to bother commenting on the individual Gokai Machines since they completely lack any kind of unique feature to them other than surface details. (I will say only that Gokai Trailer’s extra-simplified, one-step, parts-swapping transformation royally pissed me off.) I do not like spending $80-100 plus shipping and handling on a brick!!! Regardless of what other reviews I make involving DX transforming sets from “Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger” from this point on, this will be a standing protest and nuisance.
(For those of you who don’t like how I complain about this type of feature: 1- you don’t have to read the review in the first place; and 2- I will choose when I have had enough, thankyouverymuch. It is, after all, my opinion, and I always look forward to interacting with CDXers in the comments section below the review.)
The simplicity of the transformation and movable features in favor of a hollow interior in the components of a combining giant robo is- surprisingly- not without precedent in Super Sentai. The DX Renketsu Gattai Grand Liner from 1999’s “Kyuukyuu Sentai GoGo-V” (Deluxe Supertrain Megazord from 2000’s “Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue”) may not have been a first-line hero mecha, but it was hollow to allow other component mecha to be carried within each of its segments. Thus it too had a necessarily-simplified transformation, with most of its own limbs going through 1-to-2-step transformation processes before combining. [As will be demonstrated below]. This is also the case here. Additionally, the internal system needed to open all of these doors, including the arms, is complex enough to warrant a simplified toy design for cheaper production. Therefore, it is completely understandable why the individual components lack unique features and more complicated transformations.
It is nice, though, to see the return of dual-wielded swords to a Super Sentai robo, since this is usually reserved for second-wave releases. I also thought it a rather awesome touch to attach the cutlasses to the hips, though I do fear those hip clips may be vulnerable to unconscious breakage. I also thought the long black hair and red bandana were an appropriate decoration for a pirate-themed giant robo, though I wish the hat had covered the back of the head as well! The shape of the front of the torso into a long coat with over-sized collar pieces above the shoulders was also a nice touch
In some ways I wish that, instead of a rotating ship’s wheel, the combination had been able to directly interact with Ranger Keys; at least in popping open all those doors if nothing else.
As a stand-alone set and not taking into account future separately-sold accessory mecha (see below), I cannot believe that this hollow-yet-stylish brick is supposed to represent the 35th-Anniversary Super Sentai Series. By contrast, consider that just five years ago we had the DX Gougou Gattai DaiBouken from 2006’s “Gougou Sentai Boukenger” (and, as a result, that thing in the US the following year) which was smaller, but had a lot more function to it. The DX toys have never really recovered since then. While the DX Kaizoku Gattai Gokai-Oh is a step on a road to possible recovery from brick-formers in Super Sentai, I’m not holding my breath considering how long it took to get here. So I’m begrudgingly recommending this set only because of how it will interact with future accessory mecha, and not how it stands on its own.
In Episode 02, Navi makes a prediction that in order to find The Greatest Treasure in the Universe, they Gokaiger will have to seek out ‘a man dressed in black’…
In Episode 03- “Changing Courage into Magic- Maagi Magi Go Gokai”, the Gokaiger come across a Zangyack Action Commander, who uses a powerful Earth-splitting attack to separate them. As Gokai Blue, Yellow, and Pink engage the enemy alone again, Marvelous and Doc come across a mysterious man dressed in a black robe. He challenges the two space pirates to catch him without using their Gokaiger powers, and then he will reveal a clue for them about The Treasure. After passing through several magically-conjured booby-traps and a final test of courage, the man reveals himself to be Kai Oz- formerly MagiRed from “Mahou Sentai MagiRanger” (2005)! He explains that courage was the source of power for the MagiRanger. He also tells them that if the Gokaiger can acquire the great power of each of the previous 34 Super Sentai teams, then they will learn of The Greatest Treasure in the Universe. Kai departs as the other three Gokaiger catch up with Doc and Marvelous, and the Action Commander returns for another fight. Using the power of their MagiRanger Keys, the Gokaiger defeat the Action Commander, but then he is grown to giant size. As Gokai-Oh engages the Action Commander, the MagiRanger Keys begin to glow, and the Gokaiger place them into their steering columns. Then, from within the body of Gokai-Oh appears the MagiDragon, thus forming Magi Gokai-Oh!
Magi Gokai-Oh allows true flight for the combination, and an additional flame-thrower from MagiDragon’s head within the torso. MagiDragon can also separate from Gokai-Oh and attack opponents on its own, using a special finishing attack called Gokai Magic Bind- MagiDragon shoots out of Gokai-Oh, and wraps an enemy in three magical rings of light, which then makes the enemy explode.
Gokai Machine 01 – Magi Dragon
The jaw can open, and the forearms can pivot up and down a little. (The antlers on the head move more for the transformation process.) However, because of how MagiDragon transforms, there are two spring-tensioned joints in each wing, and one in both the neck and upper torso. The tail and lower legs cannot move.
Sets required for this combination:
Deploying MagiDragon is done in the same way as the Gokai-Oh’s standard Gokai Star Burst finisher- spin the ship’s wheel along the back of the torso, and not only will the five compartment doors pop open, but the MagiDragon components will spring into position! (A small hitch, unfortunately: MagiDragon’s antlers and forearms must be repositioned by you, so it is not a perfect automated transformation).
While the arms can still rotate at the shoulders only, they are hampered now my MagiDragon’s wings as they bump into the shoulder armor. Fortunately, the springing-tensioned nature of the wings allows them to fold a little to accommodate this, which easily restores full movement to the arms.
To remove MagiDragon, each of the Gokai Machines has a specially-designated tab that is pushed and this will release the five components of the accessory mecha.
Oh my god… Now THIS is a Super Sentai accessory system I can sink my teeth into-! Despite the “Gokai Machine” labeling on the box and instructions, this is undeniably NOT a weapon usually deployed by the Gokaiger, but a definite add-on and/or cobbled-together form that was not thought of during their initial construction. Is this to be the standard for “Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger”- to use previous teams’ own mecha as upgrades? That is simply brilliant and unheard of! Not only does this accessory system involve a previous mecha acting as the upgrade, but it integrates directly into Gokai-Oh, rather than action as additional armor or a specialized weapon (read: limb-swapping) which just makes it all the juicier for those of us who have had to contend with such almost non-stop since 2003!
Unfortunately, that’s also kind of the problem with it- MagiDragon is way too small a representation in toy form, considering that in “MagiRanger” it was composed of [four] component mecha itself. The other thing that bugs me is the awkward angle that the wings emerge from inside the arms- I wish that the doors on the arms had appeared on the outer side rather than the front, so that the wings could have been bigger and not interfered with posability. Perhaps my biggest issue,or rather, the thing that surprised me most, is that it’s primarily red, which, again is not screen-accurate. The MagiMajin that formed MagiDragon were all black with metallic-blue and silver highlights, followed then by their individual colors (green, yellow, blue, and pink), but the only hint we get of this is the small stripes across the decals along the ends of the wings. By dousing it all in red, you make this feel like an accessory that only GokaiRed can control when in the show it clearly requires all five Gokaiger acting together to summon MagiDragon.
By the way, MagiDragon is an alt mode of the first combining robo, the Majin Gattai MagiKing. So does this also mean that future Sentai mecha that appear are going to be combined forms rather than individual components? If not, then why not use just MagiPhoenix- or infamous MagiFirebird- as the representative for the “MagiRanger” series since they were MagiRed’s mecha specifically? I suppose that a full dragon made more sense than a humanoid representation of a mythological bird…
Seeing this MagiDragon toy with different proportions and colors than the original 2005 version is a bit jarring considering how bad-ass it was back then, but considering what this first accessory mecha represents as far as interacting with the lead robo, I’d say it’s an acceptable adaptation. For Magi Gokai-Oh, however, I find it difficult to accept that it can fly with such thin and frail wings coming out the front of the arms.
|Posted 27 May, 2011 - 02:57 by EVA_Unit_4A|