Reideen the Brave
|Character Design||Yasuhiko Yoshikazu|
Review by JoshB
Not to retread old ground here, but you may or may not know about my Reideen obsession. While I have reviewed a number of Reideen toys here on CDX, they are only but a fraction of my Reideen collection, which must now number into the hundreds.
It was pretty much a given that I was going to be getting this.
Bandai has made a few different Reideen toys over the years, but very few “action figures” of the character. There’s been vinyls, jumbos, gashapon, models, but only a handful of proper posable figures. So it is with great excitement that I get this latest version to review from HobbyLink Japan
Bandai’s Super Robot Chogokin might as well be called Soul of Chogokin version 2.0. These cost what the first SOC’s cost 10 years ago, and are just a bit smaller. As modern SOC prices continue to increase, SRC takes the place as the affordable diecast robot line. It’s also another opportunity to sell you the characters you have all over again.
One interesting thing I noticed before even getting the figure is that there is no numbering system. Bandai LOVES to number their collector toys, a tradition dating back to the original Popy Chogokin. The numbering system is sadly missed here.
The box is compact in design, loud in color, but simple in execution. The only thing special about it is the die cut bits that allow you to see the figure inside.
Clear plastic trays hold the figure and accessories with no twist-ties in sight.
The figure stands 5.5" tall, and diecast content is not bad, with the lower legs and upper chest being metal. Most of the joints are reasonably tight with a few exceptions.
Raideen’s head has been notoriously hard to capture in action figure form. You’ve got those long blue sideburns that go well onto the chest, those horns, plus there’s a transforming gimmick to contend with. Past toys have met with varying degrees of success. This is one of the better ones.
The head is secured to the body by two ball joints and a connector between the two that makes up the neck. This pops apart rather easily, but it’s actually helpful that it does that. When transforming Reideen into God Bird mode, it’s easier to replace the parts when the head is separated from the body.
Each of the large blue panels is attached to a ball joint that allows for a wide, and sometimes awkward, range of motion. You can turn the head with these but it requires a degree of patience and perfection to get it to look just right. The face is nicely sculpted and is interchangeable with a variant “angry” face.
When I first saw the expandable joints in the torso I was a little put off by them, but now I have warmed up to them. Each of the torso segments can expand a little to provide a greater range of motion. Some dislike the look, but the great thing about it is that you can just keep the segments collapsed and deal with the limited movement.
Each shoulder has the now-standard SRC double joints, which are essential for Raideen to fire his arrow.
Both shoulder armors are moveable. The elbows are double jointed, and the fists are interchangeable with any of the included variants. On each arm is a removable ring for each weapon.
On the right arm you have the God Break, which is just the center portion of the shield. Two blades can be inserted into this part. To create the God Block (shield), you insert the two shield halves into the God Break.
On the left arm you have the bow or “God Gun”. The bow is small and condensed by default, but you can replace this with a larger full size bow. Two of the hands are designed to be used with the setup. One hand grabs the end of the arrow, the other points in the direction of fire. The arrow has a metal shaft.
Getting the whole thing to pose like this is a pain. You really have to experiment with the arm poses to get it just right. Through all these years, Bandai has not included a clip or something in the hand to secure the arrow in place. Maybe next time, right?
The waist features the same pop-out tabs that the SOC does which allows for more leg movement.
The knees bend and swivel and the backs of the legs have the collapsing panels that most recent SOC and SRC have had.
The lower legs are metal, and the feet are on ball joints. The feet are a little loose on mine.
Reideen can transform into a flying bird mode. Did you know that Reideen was one of the first transforming robots ever? It’s true.
Transformation into bird mode is another gimmick that has been done many different ways over the years, but never done really well. The original Popy went the simple route, and just had fold-over panels, but they were back heavy. The HCM had a whole contraption to add on, as did the SOC. Both were unnecessarily complicated in my opinion. The SRC is the best one yet, but still more convoluted than it needs to be.
To transform Reideen into God Bird mode, you have to do a little parts swapping. First you have to remove the fists, and also remove the blue panels from the head.
Make sure that the ball connectors from the head are pushed in towards the face, then hook the new panel over the nose and snap onto the face. This is the part that I said benefited from removing the head. Why they could not have just made the panels collapse is beyond me. The new panel is seamless, and has a hole in it that shows the clear blue cockpit.
The legs need to be clicked into position, and this is aided by a panel molded in the shape of the bottom of the legs. This adheres to the back of the waist. This fit is a little loose, but is locked into place with the next step.
The wing sections are separate pieces that are slid up the arms and then clip both into the back and the leg panel section. The shoulder pads then fold down and fit snugly over the wing panels.
Lastly, remove the red and black leg sections and replace with longer, angled sections.
There you have it. While it does create a sturdy God Bird, the panel supporting the legs is a bit odd. Why not make some kind of firmer joint that will hold the pose? Why not make the leg section just a bit longer? Someday, Bandai will get this right, but this is the closest we’ve gotten.
The bottom of the God Bird has a connector to mount on a Tamashii Stand (not included). Make sure your stand is tight by tightening the screws as the toy is heavier than your standard S.H.Figuarts or Robot Spirits figure.
Overall, I like this toy a lot. I like the proportions, I like the joints, and I like the anime-accurate color scheme. I like how it can hold a neutral pose.
I dislike the omission of key weaponry, like the bird missile, the God Boomerang, or the God Voice. I dislike that there’s no included stand, and I still think Bandai has a ways to go before perfecting what should be a simple transformation mechanism. As a whole, though, I really like this latest version of Reideen.
You can get your Super Robot Chogokin Raideen at HobbyLink Japan
|Posted 6 January, 2011 - 00:29 by JoshB|