|Character Design||Dan Kobayashi|
Review by Shogundan
Seems like everything old is new again these days. Nostalgia is in high demand, from the cars we drive to the clothes we wear. With that being said, its only natural for this nostalgia to trickle down into niche markets like high end chogokin. I know, when I use the words "high-end chogokin", you may immediately think of Bandai's highly successful Soul Of Chogokin line. Well think again! Yamato's G-NU Hagane line is right on par with Bandai and in some ways may be even better!
Today I will be reviewing Planet Robot Danguard-A aka Danguard Ace from Yamato's G-NU Hagane line of high end chogokin.
Growing up in the US You may remember Danguard Ace from Jim Terry productions Force Five cartoon series or Marvel comics Shogun Warriors comic book and Mattel toy line. Both of these forms of Danguard Ace are unrelated and only the Jim Terry/Force Five Danguard Ace, albeit watered down, follows the Japanese Planet Robot Danguard-A storyline.
Enough of the background info and on to the review!
The first thing you will notice about this toy is that the box is huge, measuring is at 5"x14"x19". Not only is the box imposing but it is also nicely illustrated with Danguard in both Robot mode and Satellizer mode.
Danguard comes packaged neatly in glorious retro styrofoam. What is it with toys packaged in styrofoam? It's a combination that most chogokin collectors love and I am no exception. Just gaze upon the styrofoam goodness! You can almost smell one's youth on Christmas morning, ahhh.
Going into the photos of the actual toy I started off with a close up of the head to show the great paint detail on the face and the sharp edges of Danguard's helmet. Truly the sculptors at Yamato are masters at such details.
Detail on the face is one thing, but what about the rest of the 11" tall body? Oh, and lets not forget the quality of the materials. I can assure you that details on this figure are both anime accurate and well executed, as shown in the next few photo's. As for the building material quality? Only high end plastics and 2 lbs of die-cast metal are used. Yes, you read correct! 2 lbs. of metal and the rest is plastics making up his 2.4 lb total weight.
Danguard features nice "clicky" ratcheting joints allowing it some cool poseability.
Onto some of the weapons. The first weapon shown in the next 2 photos is the "Pulsar Cannon" which is revealed when you open up Danguards chest. You simply open the chest and attach the detailed PVC lights beam. Notice the alternative open hands that add more drama to the pose. Danguard includes 1 set of closed, 1 set of open, and 1 set of weapon holding hands.
Nicely detailed "Teleportion Missiles" can be mounted to either shoulder in robot or Satellizer mode. Shown launching in Robot mode.
Danguard' signature weapon is the "Cosmo Arrow" or "Double Shaft" shown in the next 3 pictures. I must apologize, when taking the photos I forgot to remove the "Cosmo Arrow" pieces from Danguard shins, my bad. This also reminds me to mention that one of Danguard's flaws is that the Cosmo Arrows do not stay on his shins very securely.
Moving forward...What Super Robot is complete without a Rocket Punch? In Danguard's case its called the "Teleportion Punch" but it will always be a Rocket Punch to me. The snap in PVC smoke trail can be used on either left or right arms.
The last cool feature of Danguard in robot mode is that the wings from the Satellizer mode can be attached to the back of Danguard. Note the unsightly screw holes easily seen in the next photo. Don't worry, Yamato has you covered, they graciously included a full set of screw hole covers in the appropriate colors for you to kill time with.
Danguard's alternative spaceship mode, known as the Satellizer, will be the subject of the remainder of this review. Starting off with the landing gear attached. The landing gear simply snaps on and off and is made of die-cast metal with rubber tires. Notice the fourth photo down. You can see that the Satellizer can actually balance on its rear wheels for takeoff.
The next photo is a Danguard's helmet known as the Gard Rancher I believe. As you can see its a far cry from the gimmick laden Popy original.
The last six photos show the Satellizer mounted on its optional base. The base is adjustable to the angle you desire with the twist of a screw. I want to take this opportunity to mention the another minor flaw with Danguard. The wings in Satellizer mode want to fall off with the slightest of motion. You can check this out in our video review above.
Comparison shot with the other Force Five Super Robots.
Marvel Comic's Shogun Warriors lineup.
In conclusion, I feel that Yamato did a fantastic job on this toy even with its minor flaws. My opinion is that if you like the character, go out and purchase this piece, you wont be disappointed.
I apologize for the delay in this review. We were waiting for Danguard's US release. Unfortunately there may be some licensing issues that need to be resolved before its US release. Don't let this concern you - you can still find Danguard at reasonable prices on Ebay as well as most of your favorite import toy retailers.
|Posted 13 May, 2009 - 12:01 by Shogundan|