Aura Battler Dunbine
Review by NekroDave
Aura Battler Dunbine (聖戦士ㅠンバイン)aired for 49 episodes between 1983 and 1984 and Clover would release a Jumbo sized "Big Machine" in 1983. Although Clover did release at least two other Jumbos (Tryder G7 and the elusive Daiozya), Dunbine is the only confirmed release in the Big Machine line (though rumors of a Big Machine Gundam still surface from time to time, however these have never been verified). This is one of the less popular toys among Jumbo collectors on average. The design of the character just doesn't lend itself to a typical looking Jumbo and it's distinctiveness is a turn off for some fans.
Something about the character has always appealed to me though. It's just such a unique looking design, quite unlike the vast majority of other Japanese robots. The Jumbo really stands out among its peers. It's a couple inches shorter than most, standing at approximately 21" tall and had a wider base with the feet spread out at an angle. The feet themselves are quite interesting, with three hooked claws.
The back has an interesting dual set of wings. The main wings for liftoff are a large cumbersome piece of polyethylene which rests on a hinge. These can be lifted up to reveal a thin yellow tinted piece of plastic resembling insect wings. These are attached via stickers and it's been said that these are the most common part of the toy to be found broken/missing. But I must say that among the vast majority of specimens I've seen, it's usually very much intact. So just because it's the most likely part to suffer damage doesn't automatically mean to suggest that it WILL. This piece certainly adds a lot of character to the toy. Certainly, no other Jumbo that I'm aware of has something like it.
One other great feature having to do with the back wings is that you can store the accessory sword on it! Many other Jumbos have swords, but on most if they are not holding it in the hand, there is nowhere to put it. Here, the sword has a small tab that is simply inserted into a hole on the edge of the wing canopy for easy, and cool looking, storage. It can also be held in the right hand only.
Dunbine also has an opening cockpit in the chest into which you can rest it's pilot, Show Zama. A small (approximately 4.5") articulated figure of him is included. You can bend his knees and hips (to put him in a sitting position), as well as raise and lower the arms and turn the head. It's a decent enough little addition, but I would have preferred for it to have a little color detail. As it is, it is cast entirely in green plastic.
Two white claws protrude from both forearms adding a very cool looking touch. But be cautious with these. One time, I'm not even sure how or when, one of mine actually came loose and receded into the hollow arm. I was very lucky to be able to gently shake the toy and get the claws to stick back out where I grabbed it with a pair of tweezers and pulled it back into position.
Like most Jumbos, there's not too much articulation on the toy (wrists, hips, shoulders and neck can all be turned). The head and hands are soft vinyl (with the head being a particularly beautiful sculpt) and the cockpit door is green, translucent hard plastic. All other parts are polyethylene. The stickers inside the cockpit come pre-applied, but the rest are included on a small sticker sheet.
The box for Dunbine is one of the more boring vintage Jumbo boxes. Plain white cardboard with two color artwork, including simple directions on the back, doesn't make for a particularly great display piece.
The Aura Battler Dunbine Big Machine is one of the easier Japanese Jumbos to get, but it appears with much greater regularity on Yahoo!Japan auctions or in toy shops in Japan than it does on eBay. This is definitely not a "must get it because you'll never see it again" -type of toy. Worth having, but not worth breaking the bank over.