Review by VF5SS
Machine Robo: Revenge of Cronos is one of the more offbeat toy tie-in shows. While the Machine Robo toy-line had been running strong since 1982, there was no official animated series to go with it. In America, Tonka would re-imagine Machine Robo as the kid friendly Gobots. Back in Japan, Bandai went for a decidedly different route. Thanks to those unappreciated geniuses as Ashi Productions, Machine Robo: Revenge of Cronos set the transforming robots on the titular world of Cronos where an epic tale of swords and kung-fu would unfold.
Using the power of Computer-Aided Design, Yamato Toys conceived a new line of action figures called GN-U Dou. This toy-line would employ a single shared body frame as the basis for multiple robot characters. This highly articulated inner-frame was going to simplify manufacturing and construction of new figures. Also the customizable nature of the inner-frame meant it could be adapted to a various designs through the addition or omission of parts. Unfortunately, GN-U Dou died a quick death as the majority of licenses in the line were C-list robot characters who lacked the appeal to convince buyers to pay about thirty dollars for a small action figure.
But wherever there is free shipping, there is interest. Whenever there is a sale, there is a buyer!
The emissary from the bargain bin, KENRYU! has arrived!
Kenryu is the eleventh figure in the GN-U Dou line and represents the intermediary hero in Machine Robo: Revenge of Cronos. As Rom Stol, young successor to the school of Tenku Chushin Ken, would battled his foes he would invariably call forth and merge with Kenryu to increase his strength tens of times! Kenryu would summarily get overwhelmed by the enemy's power (this even happens in the opening) and as such, Rom would call forth Baikanfu to strike the killing blow.
Kenryu is an all plastic figure that stands around 14 centimeters tall. All of the outer-panels that make up the Kenryu figure are cast in a bright, matte plastic. The small number of paint applications are crisp and well done. The figure is designed to resemble most basic rendition of Kenryu. This is unlike the Soul of Chogokin Kenryu, which is closer to how it was often drawn by the animators during the show. The few exposed inner-frame parts are unobtrusive and do not detract from the overall design.
Kenryu has a complete GN-U Dou inner-frame. As you can see, the figure has numerous ball-joints, swivels, and hinges incorporated into the frame. Note the white block which serves as an extension piece for the legs. Even though parts are designed to be disassembled, the figure feels fairly solid.
Even with all the outer parts in place, Kenryu retains much of his articulation. The joints on the figure move very smoothly with a good amount of stiffness for poses.
For what it's worth, I think this Kenryu has an impeccable head sculpt.
Kenryu comes with the signature Wolf Sword (Kenrou). It is permanently attached to an optional hand and is well painted.
Kenryu also has his signature shield.
The shield has a simple handle for Kenryu to grasp with an specific hand part.
Honestly my enjoyment of this toy is based a lot on how much I like Kenryu. It's the eternal second banana to Baikanfu that is dutifully trotted out each episode with nary a question about its effectiveness. Plus the toy really captures the simple yet sharp styling of Kenryu's design. And the toy is flat-out a quality figure. But in the end, who really cares about Kenryu? The line died and now these guys are getting cleared out all over the place.
In the end, Kenryu will still raise his sword to the sky and shout, "Heaven and earth! Fire and water! Lend me your powers now!" but there will be no answer. For Baikanfu is never coming.
|Posted 19 June, 2010 - 06:59 by VF5SS|