Gougou Gattai Vehicle #2 - Gougou Shovel
Review by EVA_Unit_4A
The Super Sentai saga - created and produced by Toei Company, Ltd. since 1975 - celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2006! Every year for the past 31 years, a completely new Super Sentai [“special taskforce”] series had aired, with new characters, new villains, new storylines, and new mecha- creating a genre that has become generational in its appeal to of the island nation of Japan. In fact, some of the actors today who perform in a Super Sentai series were fans themselves when they were younger. Rarely does a franchise last for so long and succeed at being able to reinvent itself from year-to-year and continue to please fans of young and old; very few have been able to keep pace with it. It is filled with both drama and humor - with some hero characters actually dying or being replaced. And the villains- ranging from mad human scientists, buried demons, to invading space ninja aliens - are no less varied in personality, motives, and methods; aggressively attacking with carefully planned operations. Super Sentai was so popular that in 1983, “Kagaku Sentai Dynaman” was brought over to the USA Network as a dubbed comedic parody. Unfortunately, American audiences failed to stick with it. Saban Entertainment attempted to reintroduce Super Sentai to America as a children’s series in 1992 with “Choujin Sentai Jetman”, but failed with the younger test audience. Saban tried one more time the following year with a new version of “Kyoryu Sentai ZyuRanger”, and succeeded when the less-intense first season of “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” became an instant hit with children 6-to-10yrs. While “Power Rangers” is based on the previous year’s Super Sentai show, it is a separate entity that will be celebrating its own 15th anniversary in 2007. Here are the Super Sentai that have come before:
|“Himitsu Sentai GoRanger” (1975-1977)
“JAQK Dengeki Tai”................. (1977)
“Battle Fever J”........................ (1979)
“Denshi Sentai Denjiman”.......... (1980)
“Taiyou Sentai Sun Vulcan”....... (1981)
“Dai Sentai Goggle V”............... (1982)
“Kagaku Sentai Dynaman”......... (1983)
“Cho Sentai Bioman”................. (1984)
“Dengeki Sentai Changeman”.... (1985)
“Choushinsei Flashman”............ (1986)
“Hikari Sentai Maskman”........... (1987)
“Choujii Sentai Liveman”............ (1988)
“Kousoku Sentai TurboRanger”.. (1989)
“Chikyuu Sentai Fiveman”.......... (1990)
“Choujin Sentai Jetman”............ (1991)
|“Kyoryu Sentai ZyuRanger”......... (1992)
“Gosei Sentai DaiRanger”........... (1993)
“Ninja Sentai KakuRanger”......... (1994)
“Chouriki Sentai OhRanger”........ (1995)
“Gekisou Sentai CarRanger”....... (1996)
“Denji Sentai MegaRanger”......... (1997)
“Seijuu Sentai Gingaman”........... (1998)
“Kyuukyuu Sentai GoGo-V”........ (1999)
“Mirai Sentai TimeRanger”.......... (2000)
“Hyakujuu Sentai GaoRanger”..... (2001)
“Ninpuu Sentai Hurricanger”........ (2002)
“Bakuryuu Sentai AbaRanger”..... (2003)
“Tokusou Sentai DekaRanger”.... (2004)
“Mahou Sentai MagiRanger”........ (2005)
The 2006 series - “Gougou Sentai Boukenger” [“Thundering Taskforce Adventure-Rangers”] - is a tribute to all that have come before, with old and new styles mixed together. For a more expanded explanation of Super Sentai, be sure to view this Wikipedia entry.
The Search Guard Successor museum organization (also known as SGS, or Sargess) has created a secret team to begin tracking down ancient artifacts that have been disappearing. With skills in treasure hunting/recovery, and their adventurous hearts, the Boukenger use their Accellular henshin devices to scan relics (called Precious) to discover their hazard levels and value. However, the many Negative Syndicates - the ancient stone Gordom Civilization, bio-engineered reptilian Jaryuu Clan, and covert ninja Dark Shadow - are also separately on the lookout for Precious to rule the world... or destroy it. The Precious are many, and they hold unknown power. Who will gain the most from them?
“Number seven - Gougou Shovel!”
Hasshin Shift On:
In Task 05 - “The Pearl of the Empire”, Bouken Pink took on a tank-shaped Dark Shadow monster with the new Gougou Vehicle #7. In addition to swinging its single arm around, Gougou Shovel has enough strength and balance to lift either itself, or an object of equal size off the ground and catapult it into the air. Its four tractor treads and side stabilizers are also strong enough to suspend it temporarily from the side of a building in an emergency. When launched from the Sargess mecha bay, Gougou Shovel appears from out of a forest, lifting fallen timbers out of its way.
Gougou Shovel (back) isn’t nearly as much of a let down like the DX Gougou Gattai DaiBouken was when I first saw it. Details like the pistons and variety of joints make it a favorite so far. The large arm has three points of articulation, not counting the claw section at the end. This allows for a wide range of fixed poses and it won’t tip over even when fully extended. The main body can rotate all the way around in 45º increments independently from the tractor assembly. An interesting little thing they added on was a pair of stabilizers which rotate out from between the tractor treads. And the clawed bucket can open freely too. Ironically, the reach of a backhoe’s arm is supposed to pass bellow ground level; Gougou Shovel’s doesn’t, so you can’t scoop unless you tilt it downwards. Oh, well...
When not in use, Gougou Shovel has [what I call] a storage mode, where the arm and bucket collapse and wrap closely to the front of the Gougou Vehicle. This is actually unique since the other Gougou Vehicles don’t collapse down in such a fashion.
For those of you wondering what the differences are between the Gougou Gattai Vehicle #2- Gougou Shovel from “Gougou Sentai Boukenger”, and it’s English-speaking counterpart - the —
Wait a minute --! What am I saying!? “Power Rangers Mystic Force” only came out a few months ago! We don’t even know what the 15th anniversary “Power Rangers” series will officially be called yet! I’m pretty sure, though, that there will be a few paint alterations on the yet-unnamed accessory Zord. They may release it as a paired set with another Gougou Vehicle, but that is just a guess. However, I suggest you appeal to Bandai America immediately and tell them, “Leave It Alone!”
I have no qualms about Gougou Gattai Vehicle #2 - Gougou Shovel whatsoever. In fact my only qualm with the design team at PLEX would be about how they designed the wheels for the tractor treads; they have two big ones up front, but two little ones underneath. Why not make it four small wheels underneath instead? There may be a hint as to future combinations in one feature that I’m scratching my head over, and that is the little rotating lamp on top of the arm. It serves no purpose right now, and it makes me wonder why it’s there. Otherwise, it’s a great, fun little toy. I like it a lot. It’s not the greatest idea for a limb-swapping arm (I’ve seen real small-scale backhoes with a purple & magenta paint job), but it’s well executed. You should get one if you can.
Sets required for combination: DX Gougou Gattai DaiBouken (sold separately)
Gougou Gattai Vehicle #2- Gougou Shovel
Gattai Shift On:
Shovel- Power On!
After the monster was grown to giant size by Dark Shadow’s leader in Task 05, the Boukenger decided to combine their lead mecha with Gougou Shovel to form DaiBouken Shovel. In this form, the Shovel Defense maneuver can deflect artillery rounds, using the large blue claw. Its strength is also increased, as it can pick up its opponents and twirl them around through the air. DaiBouken Shovel’s finisher is a rapid extending punch with the left arm, known as the Shovel Knuckle.
DaiBouken Shovel (back) is kinda an odd combination. The new left arm is a little strange looking since it reaches below the knees, but it has a large shoulder. (Trying to collapse it down to its storage form looks even weirder, but I’ll leave it up to you.) However, this large shoulder allows the arm to rotate both back-and-fourth and outwards horizontally almost 45°. This, coupled with the DX DaiBouken’s unusual flexibility allows for some interesting poses. One thing about the combination, though, that isn’t explained very well is what happens to Bouken Pink’s Gougou Marine Diver. The instructions say it’s supposed to attach inside DaiBouken Shovel’s right leg, but on the show so far, there’s no mention of it. It does help a little with balance, though, and eliminates extra pieces from lying around all over the place.
|Posted 13 June, 2006 - 08:40 by EVA_Unit_4A|