Review by Shogundan
Chodenji Robo Combattler V is the first part of the Robot Romance Trilogy of Super Robot series created by "Saburo Yatsude" and directed by Tadao Nagahama. The robot's name is a portmanteau of Combine, Combat and Battle, and the V is intended both as an abbreviation for "victory" and in reference to the five component machines that form the robot, as well as its five pilots. The V is pronounced as the letter V, whereas in the follow-up series, Voltes V, it is prounounced "5".
The series (along with the later two shows) was created by Saburo Yatsude, who would later go on to create Golion (best familiar to American viewers as the "Lion Force" half of Voltron). "Saburo Yatsude" is not a real person, but a pseudonym which refers to the collective staff at Toei (the main office, rather than the animation studio; the series was animated by Nippon Sunrise and produced by Toei Co. Ltd).
The first appearance of Combattler V in the United States was in the late 1970s as a part of Mattel's Shogun Warriors line of imported Super Robot toys under the name of 'Combattra', and as such was one of the three Super Robots in the Marvel Comics companion series.
Its hard for me to believe that it has been 10 years since the Soul Of Chogokin GX-03 Combattler V was first introduced to the world. Let the truth be known, I remember all the hoopla about the GX-03 being released like it was yesterday. Man, I'm getting old!
I pose a question... Do we actually need another version of Combattler V? Some may say, why the heck not? We already have almost a dozen different SOC versions of Go Nagai's famous Mazinga Z. Others may ask... What's so different about this newer version. For those that ask this, I bring you my review of the Soul Of Chogokin GX-50 Combattler V!
First up, we have the box. The outside carton looks similar to the original GX-03 because of the way Combattler is posed, but, with a few additions. Its hard not to notice the Gold anniversary label and bright yellow stripe with, the orange/yellow Com-Battler V logo that adorn the box. Enough with the outside, the inside of the box is were it really shines! Check out the retro look. everything is nicely labeled and packed in glorious Styrofoam. I love that Bandai is doing these retro inserts in the combining robot releases.
I'm going to proceed with the individual components that make up Combattler V first. But before that I wanted to mention that all component are made of quality plastics and heavy die-cast metal. Also the paint on each component is flawless and the colors are more vibrant than the original release.
Moving along, we have The Battlejet which makes up Combattler V's head. This piece is very different than the original. Note the clear opening cockpit with pilots seat. Also check out the detailed landing gear. But wait! There is more... Check out the laser that is concealed in the middle of the ship and the new dual retractable guns. Very cool, indeed! Still, the spinning blade mounting holes are present, but no blades?
Next up we have the Battlecrasher which is the upper chest and the arms of Combattler V. This really hasn't changed much other than the clear blue cockpit canopy, and the fact that you no longer have to remove the thrusters during transformation. Oh, almost forgot that the tiny wings are a little longer and now they actually fold up during transformation. This folding concept is cool but they tend to fall off rather easy.
Moving forward, we have the Battletank that makes up Combattlers V's torso. This is actually my favorite component. The new additions to this piece is again, the clear canopy and some actually grasping claws. My favorite thing however, is the addition of the top mounted cannon. I say this because, what is a tank without a cannon? A bulldozer maybe?
Onto Battlemarine that makes up Combattlers legs. This is my least favorite component as its quite floppy. This is due to the addition of the new swiveling mechanism and the newer knee joint. The only other improvement is it actually now has rear landing gear that can be deployed by simply revolving Combattlers front knee pad. As the original, The Battlemarine can hold the Battletank, However its unbalanced and without the aid of the Styrfoam in the photo, it would have easily fallen backwards.
Lastly, we have Combattlers feet, the Battlecraft. This component is the least changed of all. The only improvements are the new magnetic attaching point as shown in the picture below and the fact that the attaching point on the top of the feet is able to slide forward in the transformation to Grand Dasher mode.
Speaking of the Gard Dasher mode, Combattler V is able to achieve this move successfully with the addition of center wheels and the ability for the feet to slide forward on their mounts. This mode just looks odd to me.
OK, we have covered all the components, time to combine!
In this mode Combattler V is really not much different that the original. Albiet, Combattler now has some very small additional movement in the hips, a swivel in the knee and some more movement is the upper shoulders. Thats IT! The figure still suffers from instability. Even with the additional movement available, its hard to do any real dynamic poses and you still have to worry about this figure doing a shelf dive.
COMBINED ROBOT MODE
Combattler V once again has a stand that is equipt with an impressive array of weaponry that I will attempt to correctly name and show in the next series of photos
Super Electro Magnetic Yo-yo
Yeah, I know, its a lame name but a very formidable weapon, note the additional lightning effect parts.
Yo-Yo Double Cutter
A larger, singular Yo Yo
Super Electro Magnetic Spin
This is sort of a giant Combattler V drill bit.
Basically a super flame thrower.
Giant claw used for grabbing opponents.
Not sure about this one, looks like is may hurt?
Again, self explanatory as well as being a little phallic.
Saw blades on ankles, why not?
So is it worth it? Is it better? Well, yes and no. I feel that the GX-50 does have some improvements over the original release, and its definitely a cool combiner. I just wish they had fixed the instability of the combined form.
|Posted 23 February, 2010 - 16:01 by Shogundan|