|Character Design||Takahiro Yamada|
Review by JoshB
God Raijin-Oh (ゴッドライジンオー) comes from the 1991 anime series "Zettai Muteki Raijin-Oh" (絶対無敵ライジンオー}. It was the first in the Eldoran series, sort of a Brave series for the younger set.
This toy was the fourth entry in CM's Brave Gokin line, and as such, the engineering leaves a little bit to be desired. It's a huge set, and it suffers from being overly ambitious. In short - it's kind of a mess.
A pretty mess, but a mess nonetheless.
So much of a mess that I didn't do a video review - I figured I would just get too frustrated.
So here it is.
The box is big, making it a bitch to store. Inside is two beautiful old-school styrofoam trays.
The toy consists of two robots - Raijin-Oh and Bakuryu-Oh.
Raijin-Oh is a combining robot, consisting of three smaller robots:
Ken-Oh is the humanoid robot, the core of Raijin-Oh and God Raijin-Oh. He's a fantastic figure, almost entirely metal. Articulation is great and the figure has swappable hands. Ken-oh's sword is stored in his back (just the hilt) and the blade can be attached. I had difficulty attaching my blade - there was excess plastic in the hole in the hilt that had to be carved out with a hobby knife. Ken-Oh comes with two head crests - a gold chrome one for display and a flexible yellow one for transformation (shown here).
The Eagle is all plastic but has a tremendous wingspan. The quality on this one is so-so, with pieces falling off during handling. The head pops off easily, the tail is just held on by friction, and one of my foot claws won't stay on. On the plus side, the jaw is articulated, the wings are jointed in several places and the legs are articulated.
The Lion is the heaviest out of the three, with the entire torso being diecast metal. The feet are articulated, as well as the tail. The jaw moves, but thats about it. In the show, Ken-Oh can ride Juu-Oh, but I have no pictures of that.
Combining the three units to form Raijin-Oh is almost identical to the anime. Really, if you want to know how it goes together, just watch the clip above.
Essentially, Ken-Oh folds up and becomes the core - Hou-Oh becomes the head, arms and wings, and Juu-Oh become the legs. The thing is massive, and heavy as hell. It retains a great amount of articulation, pretty much everything Ken-Oh had, just bigger.
Some of the flaws are glaring though. For one, once you add the heavy lower legs of Juu-Oh, the upper legs (which are compacted) will not stay locked into place. Pick the thing up and the legs just come sliding down, the left moreso than the right. It is as if there is no mechanism to click them in place.
There are two sword blades included with the toy. The silver blade is for the tail of Hou-Oh. When used as the sword we switch to the gold blade.
Another fatal flaw is the hands. For one, all the hands have this film on them.. maybe an oxidation of the rubber? But either way, they look bad until you wipe them down. And then they are brittle. 3 years later, and while trying to place the shield (which, incidentally is Juu-Oh's head) into the holding hand, the hand broke in half.
It looks pretty, but don't let it fool you.
The second robot in the set is the Bakuryu-Oh
Bakuryu-Oh is a bulkier robot than Raijin-Oh, and is very plain looking (in my opinion) with the only saving grace being the large wings. it's very... white.
The upper body is all plastic, with limited articulation. The head turns, the arms are on ball joints, the upper arms swivel and the elbows bend. It's very plasticky and toy like - fitting of a Brave-type toy. The lower legs are solid metal, but have almost no articulation due to the connection method to the body (pegs). The knees bend, and the feet can move a little.
The hands on Bakuryu-Oh have the same issue with the film on them, and swapping them out sucks. The reason? at the end of each arm there is a peg, and that whole assembly can slide into the arm. To get it out, you push a small peg under the arm. Well, the fit is so tight with the fists that applying force to the wrist peg while holding the small peg underneath results in - you guessed it - peg breakage. I ended up putting a flat-head screwdriver in the space behind the peg to force the wrist peg into the hand.
Bakuryu has a large cannon that can be held in his hand. Unfortunately, it does not shoot anything. It is articulated, but that is for another purpose. Also included is a shield.
Bakuryu-Oh can transform into the Bakuryu-Dragon. It's really just a bunch of parts-swapping. The big gun becomes the tail with articulated segments and the shield unfolds origami-like to form the head. Combined the thing is immense.
Combined, the two form
This is a messy process.
If you already have Raijin-Oh combined it is not so bad. Bakuryu-Oh dissasembles like a puzzle - there are parts everywhere. Each part needs to be folded and arranged just so to fit on or over Raijin-Oh. Once again, the video is spot-on.
Together, God Raijin-Oh is a heavy fiddly clusterfu*k. You can't touch it without something falling off. It's just too much.
Some of the notable flaws - The head looks too small for the crown that it wears. That crown does not snap on at all, and grazing it will send if off across the room as if it were spring-loaded. The same thing goes for the chest panels, shoulder panels, eagle head etc...
The "shoes" on the feet are the solid metal legs from Bakuryu-Oh and they just klink and klank each time you pick the thing up. The connection method is just two clips for each leg, and you really have to jam them in there.
The large blue wings slip over the red wings, giving the combined figure a wingspan of over a foot. They include small blue wing tips to keep the red and blue wings lined up.
It's big, for sure.
Bakuryu-Oh's shield combines with Raijin-Oh's sword to create a giant arm blade. This requires a special hand that has two posts pre-attached to it that connect with the shield.
God Raijin-Oh can now hold the large cannon with two hands. The hands have angled wrists to accommodate the pose.
So there you have it. It's a great concept, and much more anime-accurate than the old Tomy version, but you really sacrifice durability and play value here. Once you get it in the mode you like - put it on the shelf and leave it alone.
CM's included a ton of screw-hole covers, but honestly, I don't have the time or the motivation to put them on. Also included was a small sticker sheet of clear stickers, die-cut into shape. Nowhere in the instructions are these shown, but my guess is these stickers help protect parts that are prone to chipping.
Not cheap. Not durable. Handsome as all get-out. My advice - display it as the two separate robots - Raijin-Oh and Bakuryu-Oh.
PS - in an odd move - CM's is re-releasing JUST the Raijin-Oh.. I wonder if that is an acknowledgment that the design went too far.
|Posted 25 October, 2009 - 22:47 by JoshB|