|Character Design||Ken Ishikawa|
|Toy Design||Katsushi Murakami|
Review by JoshB
Even though we have had a ton of Getter robots reviewed here on CDX, we've really not talked much about the relevance of Getter Robo. Getter Robo is one of the Super Robot Icons.
Alongside Mazinger Z and Great Mazinger, Getter Robo fought on the airwaves of Japanese television in the early 70s. It had the fortune of being part of the massive merchandising wave that accompanied the shows of those days. It was like Toei had a direct link to what every 5 year old boy in 1974 wanted.
Getter Robo is important for many reasons, but largely because it was the first series to feature a combining robot. Getter Robo is a robot made by the combination of three ships - Getter Jaguar, Getter Bear and Getter Eagle. Depending on which order they combined, you got a different Getter Robo - Getter 1, 2, and 3. All three Getters got toys, but Getter 1 was by far the most popular, and the one who always finished the bad guy in the end.
Getter Robo never aired in the US, but its direct sequel, Getter Robo G, was aired in the US as part of Jim Terry's Force Five, renamed Starvengers. In fact, the first scene from the first episode of Getter Robo G shows Getter 1 burning up in flames. Toys from Getter Robo G would also reach the states in Mattel's Shogun Warriors line of toys.
The Chogokin line of toys was launched with the GA-01, Mazinger Z. The figure was a runaway success, so naturally, other toys in the line would follow, and the next up was GA-02, Getter 1. The toy was a full on chogokin - die cast metal and full of firing gimmicks.
Instead of firing fists, Getter 1 got fists that were simply removable. However one fist featured an axe-launching action.
Another gimmick was the spring loaded head. Push the head down and then press the button on the back and the head launches up, just like in the show.
The toy had a very folk-art feel. The metal was rough, the decals never wrapped quite right, and the sculpt was far from anime accurate. But it was Getter 1, and that was enough to inspire generations to come.
Being the Second chogokin, one would assume that obtaining this piece would set you back a tidy sum. Well, yeah, it will. But here's the thing. In the late 90s (early 2000's maybe?), an unscrupulous toy dealer in Hong Kong began making near-perfect reproductions of the GA-02. The reproduction is almost identical, right down to the box and packaging foam, making differentiating a bootleg from an original an arduous task. But this HK bootleg company did not stop there. In a surprising move, they also bootlegged the second version Getter 1 (with blue shoulders), and even released a training colors version - shown in the TV show but never made into a toy. Below is a handy guide to the differences between the two. (there aren't many).
Special thanks again to Joshua Fraser for allowing me to shoot this piece for CollectionDX.
|Posted 18 September, 2008 - 06:08 by JoshB|