Super Electromagnetic Robo Combattler V
Review by NekroDave
Tadao Nagahama's Robot Romance Trilogy began with Super Electromagnetic Robo Combattler V (超電磁ロボ コンバトラーＶ) in 1976. It ran for 54 episodes from April 17 until May 28 of the following year and was followed by Voltes V and Daimos. All three robots were released by Popy as Jumbo Machinders with Combattler being the easiest of the three to acquire. I got mine at Magic Box in Kokubunji, along with New Tetsujin 28. These would be the only two Jumbos I'd actually buy in Japan as two subsequent trips would be fruitless, at least in terms of Machinder-hunting.
I think Combattler V is a Jumbo that I should like more than I do. I'm not really sure why, but for some reason it's never really excited me too much. I'm perfectly happy to have it and wouldn't ever consider selling it, but whenever I am looking at my jumbos, this is one that I tend not to focus on. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that when I got back from Japan with it, I had no more money left to try for the Spartan K5 and Taihou Buffalo Jumbos that were on auction at the time. Maybe when I look at Combattler, I just see the two villains I could have gotten instead (and still don't have).
This must be the reason because the Combattler toy itself is great. It's very colorful and has the best sculpt of any vintage toy of the character (in my humble opinion, of course). It features a launching fist, gimmicks, accessories, rolling feet... really everything that a Jumbo fan is usually into. For this reason, Combattler was among the first in the line to be designated as a "Deluxe Jumbo Machinder" (along with Gaiking and Daiku Maryu.). While only the right fist shoots, you can replace the left with an included "claw" hand, which is articulated at the "thumb".
The back features an opening compartment in which you can store a set of wheels. This can be insterted into a hole in the stomach of the robot when he is transformed into vehicle mode. Transformation consists of simply folding the robot down at the ankles and lying him on the ground.
Ok, yeah, the transformation is lame. But I suspect kids in 1976 weren't complaining too much. They had a Combattler toy you could ride on, as the catalog suggests. Note also that they show the prototype toy, as well as a drawing depicting several fists that unfortunately were not included.
While I may not be as enthusiastic about this toy as I should be, I will say that the box it comes in is probably my favorite from my collection. The artwork on the front is fantastic and really stands out. I think perhaps the Voltes V and Daiku Maryu boxes might be the only ones I like more.
Popy's Combattler V Jumbo Machinder is probably about middle of the pack in terms of rarity. It shows up about once a year on average. Sometimes it even shows up where you would least expect it. :)
A far less pricey alternative was once in the works as Unifive had planned to re-issue this in their line of "Jumbo Machine" toys. A prototype was created but sadly, the line was discontinued before it was ever produced.
|Posted 17 March, 2007 - 22:00 by NekroDave