GaoRanger combination - Hyakujuu Gattai Gao Muscle
Review by EVA_Unit_4A
Over 1000 years ago, the demonic Orgu- soulless creatures created from the despair and hatred of humanity- fought a terrible war against humans. Side-by-side with the mighty Power Animals, the ancient Gao warriors were just able to defeat the Orgu generals, and drive them back into the deepest places on Earth. By 2001, the Orgu had slowly gathered their strength once more, thanks to humanity’s mistreatment of the world. One by one, an Orgu left their domain known as the Matrix, and ascended to the surface to conquer and destroy, gaining power all the more in the name of their grand stone-encased Orgu Master. They usually took on the form of inanimate, non-living objects, such as streetlights, magnets, barbed wire, etc, and were recognizable by the long horn on their heads. On the mystical, turtle-shaped Sky-Island Animalium- "the highest paradise for animals"- the virginal Gao shrine priestess Tetomu and the surviving Power Animals have been searching for new modern warriors to counter the Orgu threat. Over the course of one year, five special people were plucked from their daily lives and chosen to secretly defend humanity from the darkness of its own heart- as the Hundred-Beast Taskforce GaoRanger!
“Hyakujuu Sentai GaoRanger” celebrated the 25th-series Anniversary of Super Sentai in 2001!
Power Animals are no different from those found in the wild today. They have only lived far longer, and can regenerate themselves much faster thanks to the power of the Earth which has been absorbed into them over the centuries. This has increased their defense, intelligence, and size as well. They are also capable of merging their bodies together to form incredible humanoid-shaped warriors which stand several stories tall, and have weapons & special powers granted to each.
Sets required for combination:
After Gao Gorilla blasted Bulldozer Orgu to the forest floor with his Banana Bombs, Gao Polar, Gao Bear, Gao Bison, and Gao Eagle join with him, wanting to finish this while they have the advantage. The GaoRanger put their Jūōken together, and command the five Power Animals to combine into Hyakujuu Gattai Gao Muscle! Flexing its big powerful arms, and displaying its strong physique, Gao Muscle engages Bulldozer Orgu with more brute strength than the Orgu was expecting.
Gao Muscle (back) is a near completely different creature from Gao King. Gao Bison remains as the lower torso and legs, but Gao Eagle has been demoted to waist joint/skirt; its wings now wrapped around Gao Bison’s head instead. And Gao King’s head now rests upside-down at Gao Muscle’s lower back. Gao Eagle is surrounded by a silver die-cast metal framework which hung tightly on Gao Gorilla’s back. This makes it impossible to form both Gao Muscle and Gao King at the same time since they must share Gao Bison and Gao Eagle. Gao Polar and Gao Bear are no longer just accessories/add-ons (aka Double Knuckle), but give Gao Muscle a very strong appearance, and seem more natural looking. This also makes the Bear Strike attack look more normal- Gao King is multi-purpose, while Gao Muscle focuses on brute strength on the battlefield. Same goes for Gao Gorilla, who takes center stage as the upper torso and head of the combination, with Gao Eagle’s head positioned below like a belt buckle. The head is similar to Gao King’s- in that a gorilla-like face subtly surrounds Gao Muscle’s face. But it is also different. Instead of an elegant, exotic-looking, flowing design, Gao Muscle uses the shape of a Roman gladiator’s helmet to continue the power and strength motif of the combination; using gold-plated plastic as a highlight. Gao Gorilla’s feet and legs, oddly, swing backwards and act as a pair of fixed-position multi-barrel cannons sitting behind Gao Muscle’s shoulders. Gao Muscle is also much broader at the shoulders since the two bears attach at Gao Gorilla’s own elbows.
Gao Muscle holds one more surprise- a secret compartment located in its chest. Within the tiny two-part compartment is a golden mace and chain-like weapon called the Muscle Anchor. Unlike most other Super Sentai weapons, this DX toy has a real metal chain to match the one seen on the show instead of a thick gold cord. Both arms help in holding the Muscle Anchor. The handle part can lock into the cannon barrel in Gao Bear’s mouth just like its fireball projectile can. This frees Gao Polar up to hold the other end.
For those of you wondering what the differences are between the DX Hyakujuu Gattai Gao Muscle from “Hyakujuu Sentai GaoRanger”, and its English-speaking counterpart, the Deluxe Kongazord from “Power Rangers Wild Force”, there is both good and bad:
- In order for kids to play with both the Deluxe Kongazord and Deluxe Wild Force Megazord at the same time, Bandai America substituted the regular Black Bison Wild Zord for a non-transforming motorized equivalent. Using his motorized version- which had the same head and horns as Gao Bison- Kongazord could walk all by itself! The Yellow Eagle was still provided. The motorized Bison was not seen in Japanese toy stores, and could only be acquired from a Deluxe Kongazord set.
- The Muscle Anchor was not included in the Kongazord set- leading to many asking what the purpose of the swinging chest doors were for, other than when rotating the heads in and out.
Surprisingly, all of the original die-cast parts were left intact during the import process. (Finally-! Way to go, Bandai America!) And, all of the original molds are the same as well. The Green Gorilla, Polar Bear, Black Bear, Yellow Eagle, and Black Bison Wild Zords were not released individually, but grouped as five components in the Deluxe Kongazord set. The Gao Gorilla, Gao Polar, Gao Bear, Gao Eagle, and Gao Bison Power Animals, also, were released as part of a special release DX Hyakujuu Gattai Gao Muscle set, but could alternately be obtained individually (which is how I got and displayed them), which they weren’t for the “PR” release. Gao Eagle and Gao Bison could not be obtained separately, and the purchase of the DX Hyakujuu Gattai Gao King was required as well [when going the route that I did].
Really, I can only find two small things wrong with the DX Gao Muscle (my reviews of the individual components notwithstanding)
- There is just enough room there for the Muscle Anchor in the chest compartment; you really have to get creative in order to be able to store it in there and still have the compartments close correctly without it falling out. But it’s small enough that it can only fit in one side; which begs the question as to why the opposite side door has a slot in it as well.
- Why couldn’t the head rotate? There was enough room for it to twist a little!
Wrapping Gao Eagle around Gao Muscle’s lower torso was an interesting idea, and it doesn’t look too bad either. Gao Eagle & Gao Bison do not look out of place in the combo. Gao Polar & Gao Bear really, really look good as the arms as opposed to using something else which might have been smaller. The gladiator/Spartan helmet was an interesting way to go instead of using a completely original design. And then to throw something crazy in, the feet of Gao Gorilla form the shoulder cannons! I give high marks here, and recommend going for it. All of the Power Animals are fun in their own ways individually, but put them together and you get a great Super Sentai combo!
|Posted 24 May, 2010 - 02:16 by EVA_Unit_4A|