Review by animelover24
The following review is an excerpt from a work in progress. The larger project details the rather odd circumstances
that led to the authors fascination with Japanese toys. The article is written from the perspective, and with the limited knowledge he had in 1978 when he was building the collection. Therefore, much of the information on the toys
will be inaccurate, the toy stores listed non existent, and the prices ridiculously low.
I found this little guy at Toy City. He is another soldier in what I predict will become a major invasion of Japanese robot toys. The character hails from a Japanese animated serial that melds the unlikely combination of UFO's, giant robots, and (American) Football. Meet UFO Diapolon from the Japanese toy manufacturer, Bullmark.
Diapolon, and other Bullmark toys are packaged with the same care as similar-sized figures from the Popy and Ark companies, but the Bullmark issues lack the sophisticated engineering and quality control. Diapolon doesn't transform. His arm joints are loose, and the leg joints are rather pointless, as they do not contribute to the ability to pose the figure. The spring-loaded fists are a common feature on Japanese robots, and the wind-up spinner in the chest is hardly an original gimmick. It doesn't even work very well to boot. The set includes three spinners, a spare set of fists and two ring-shaped weapons of chrome-plated plastic. There is no way to place the weapons in the hands, or mount them in a shooter. Compared to his more sophisticated cousins from the Popy line, Diapolon is downright primitive.
Nonetheless, this is a neat little toy. While UFO Diapolon lacks sophistication he fairly radiates soul. The reason can be summed up in one word- metal. Like the old toy cars in my grandmother's attic Diapolon is solid, heavy die-cast metal. Indeed, in both engineering and appearance the toy seems a throwback to the 1930's or 1940's. UFO Diapolon isn't good at doing much except sitting on a shelf looking cool. But he does it exceedingly well. UFO Diapolon is imported by the Marukai Trading Company in Los Angeles, CA.
You can find the toy at Toy City, Toys International, or Kunimatsuya toy stores*.
*The stores (as well as Bullmark) are no longer in business.
|Posted 10 March, 2005 - 20:43 by animelover24|