Review by Modcineaste
What Japanese anime toys were available to the kids in America back in the 1980s? One notion that gets passed around is that the 1980’s kids had no options in buying Japanese toys and they were deprived of great toys and had to settle for just Transformers, Gobots or American produced toys. One did not have to go to specialty anime shops like Pony Toy Go Round to get some classic Japanese boxed and produced toys at reasonable prices.
Take this Takatoku produced 1/40 scale Orguss Orgroid from Super Dimensional Century Orguss. The Orguss Orgroid was the flagship vehicle from the Orguss series. Orguss is piloted by Kei Katsuragi, a fighter jock and cad, who is transported to another dimensional after a dimensional Time Oscillation Bomb he sets triggers during the heat of battle. Of what I watched of the program it is a great series but odd to watch because everything looks so familiar but unrecognizable at the same time and the Macross in-jokes do not help things along either!
Orguss is actually made up of two vehicles in the series, Kei’s Valkyrie style Bronco fighter that he is transported into the alternate dimension with and which he later crashes and an Emann’s M.Lover jet which had also crashed. They are redesigned and rebuild together by the Kei’s allied gypsy friends the Emann into Orguss for Kei.
My dad bought this for me at the local Montclair Mission Drive In swap meet for $10.00 around 1987. The sad part is what I left behind, which included many of the other vehicles from Orguss that were even less expensive, Orguss being the most expensive of the lot. If I could only go back to the 1980’s for the weekend…
The boxed and Styrofoam tray Orguss comes with: 1x Orguss Orgroid, 1x instructions, 1x sticker sheet, 1x gun, 3x missiles, 1x Takatoku catalog. There are no options. Most construction is made of good quality plastic, with minor rubber throughout and die cast in the feet nozzles and other important point areas. The box art is first rate and wonderfully illustrated.
Orguss is beautifully packed in foam and besides having to apply the stickers, it is ready to go straight from the box. I have always loved the Orguss design as it is creatively designed and organic and not based off of any real vehicles.
Unlike the Valkyrie, Orguss has four distinct variation modes: Orgroid, Gerwalk, Flyer and Tank. Takatoku, as with their Valkyrie series, did a brilliant job making this anime fantasy vehicle into a toy reality. Transformation is very straightforward and considering this toy is around 30 years old it is still very solid and everything clicks into place, as it should. I would still be careful with the elbow joints when transforming into the Gerwalk mode, not because it is weak but it is easy to twist into the wrong direction.
I like many of the minor details like the wheels for the Tank and the brown clear plastic for the canopy and the Kei pilot figure and how he fits snugly into the cockpit. There is a lot of great detail in this area.
Lets overview the four different modes:
Flyer: I have always loved the flea inspired Flyer mode of Orguss, a nice compact futuristic fighter jet with soft lines. The Flyer mode looks great but unfortunately no landing gear or stand to display it in Flyer mode is included and appears awkward when displayed on the shelf. This is the only feature that I feel that is a let down about the entire toy, but with so many aftermarket action stands available these days I am sure it will not be difficult to purchase a stand to help display Orguss in Flyer mode if you wish to do so.
Gerwalk: Very similar to the Valkyrie Gerwalk mode, the Orguss Gerwalk mode is a classic and familiar mode. This is the mode that one had to be careful with when transforming as it could break if you are not careful when you are bending the arms, although you would have to work at breaking it. One other issue I have with Orguss is that the wings droop down in both Flyer and Gerwalk mode and is my biggest and only real issue with the toy.
Tank: This is actually one of my favorite modes because it is so odd and unique compared to any other Macross designs or anything else in the entire Super Dimension series. It takes up a lot of shelf real estate but it is a subtle but commanding presence in the Macross display.
Orgroid: This is the classic mode in the Orguss universe. Again I like its familiarity with the Valkyrie battroid but projecting its own identity as well. The Orgroid is fairly poseable and I love the eagle looking design of Orguss’ head. The gun pod attaches to the side of the arm and is spring-loaded and can launch any one of three missiles provided.
Like most all of Takatoku’ s releases Orguss is one of their finest releases and a must own if you are a Macross fan to display next to your Valkyries. More importantly this is just one great example of what high quality, name brand, Japanese boxed toys that could easily be bought by American kids in the 1980’s at a more than reasonable price.
©2009 Article & Pictures Leonardo Flores and CollectionDX.
|Posted 18 December, 2009 - 14:57 by Modcineaste|