DX Kaizoku Gattai Gōjūjin
Review by EVA_Unit_4A
This toy appears here courtesy of Big Bad Toy Store.
In the past, the thirty-four Legend Sentai teams fought a great battle against a large alien invasion force called the Space Empire Zangyack. The Legend War ended in one great blast when the Legend Sentai sacrificed all their powers to successfully drive Zangyack away.
Many years later, Captain Marvelous and his small crew of space pirates approach Earth aboard the Gokai Galleon starship in the hopes of taking “The Greatest Treasure in the Universe” for themselves. Unfortunately, at this same moment, the son of the Zangyack Emperor, Commandant Toiles Gils, launches a renewed attack on Earth, and the five space pirates suddenly find themselves begrudgingly forced into the role of defenders of this backward planet. The Pirate Taskforce Heroic-rangers have a special and unique power that will give the rekindled Space Empire Zangyack pause: the mysterious ability to use Ranger Keys to transform themselves into- and harness all the powers of- any of the 199 members of the disappeared 34 Legend Sentai!
“Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger” celebrates the 35th Anniversary of the Super Sentai Series in 2011!
In Episode 18- “The Big Abare with the Dinosaur Robot Drill”, newcomer Gai Ikari explains that he was visited by three Legend Sentai in a vision during a coma after he saved a careless little girl from being hit by a delivery truck. The Legend Sentai heroes, DragonRanger from “Kyoryu Sentai ZyuRanger” (1992), TimeFire from “Mirai Sentai TimeRanger” (2000), and in particular Mikoto Nakadai/AbareKiller from “Bakuryuu Sentai AbaRanger” (2003), gave him both his Gokai Cellular henshin device and Gokai Silver Ranger Key. In doing this, they brought Gai’s greatest otaku dream to life: to become a member of a Super Sentai team! After proving his abilities and dedication, and realizing that his extensive knowledge of the Legend Sentai will be an asset to them in their search for the various Great Powers, Marvelous gives Gai back the Gokai Cellular and the three extra Ranger Keys given to him earlier by the Legend Sentai. When a Zangyack Action Commander is grown to giant size, Gokai Silver uses the TimeRanger’s Great Power to summon a large flying tank vehicle from the future, which transforms into a humanoid robot known as Goujyujin!
As a triple-changing mecha, Goujyujin has unique properties and abilities in each of its three modes…
As Goujyu Drill, it can fire Goujyu Cannon laser blasts, and use the drill nose to trip up enemies. Goujyu Drill can fly through time from its repair facility at the Time Protection Department in the 31st Century, as well as hover and drive across the ground.
As Goujyu Rex, it can fire the Goujyu Laser blast from its mouth like a dragon! It is physically strong and can use its drill-bit tail for whip-like actions, as well as its clawed hands and feet and pointed teeth for melee combat.
As Goujyujin, the right arm can be deployed as either Trident Mode for energy blasts, or the rotor-like Shield Mode for protection. Additionally, both the right and left arms can spin quickly for additional twirling attacks. It can also redeploy the Goujyu Rex’s head back over the left hand for additional grabbing power.
The Goujyujin’s finishing attack is the Goujyu Triple Drill Dream- all three modes appear at the same time, and their collective drills power up and run the enemy through.
[Note: the drill feature is accessible and meant to be played with in all three forms. The Trident and Shield Modes are reserved strictly for Goujyujin.]
(Mirai Sentai TimeRanger’s Great Power)
It can roll about on six independent ABS wheels, though only the front two can be retracted for storage.
(Kyoryu Sentai ZyuRanger’s Great Power)
This mode is amazingly posable for a DX-sized Super Sentai toy! Though restricted to single-axis joints, limited-position ratcheting articulation is available in the jaw, neck, shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and ankles. Additionally, the PVC fingers are individually articulated with friction joints as well, and can all pivot over 90-degrees!
(Bakuryuu Sentai AbaRanger’s Great Power)
This mode retains most of the posability from the Goujyu Rex, but loses movement in the neck and elbows. While the only hand (left) cannot move, the Goujyu Rex’s head can be re-formed to act as a large, nonfunctional claw. The right arm retains use of the drill, but does not have a fist to reveal.
In addition to its triple-changing ability, the DX Goujyujin has a special feature built into both of its arms. Both the drill arm and Goujyu Rex’s head have built-in spring-powered wind-up motors. When wound up the correct number of times, they will each spin continuously for about 21 seconds until they run out of energy. (When the drill arm is in Shield Mode, it will spin slower, for a longer 28 second runtime.)
While the drill arm has an independent trigger for use in all three modes, the left arm (Goujyu Rex’s head) can only be activated by the dial switch on Goujyujin’s back. This dial, when moved to the correct position, can activate both arms at the same time independent of the drill arm’s own trigger.
Turning the dial on the back clockwise to-
- The first position will start the left arm turning first
- The second position will activate both arms at the same time
Turning the dial counter-clockwise to the only position will simply trigger both arms at the same time. It should be noted that the dial control and left arm only work when in Goujyujin mode, and not in the Goujyu Rex and Goujyu Drill modes. Also, the left arm will not spin unless Goujyu Rex’s head is collapsed down into its animal form.
To ensure that both arms face the correct direction after spinning them, the motors are capable of disengaging themselves when forced; this is recognized by a loud click from each one. They are also specifically designed to not be over-wound, and will disengage- but not unwind- when they are tightened as far as they can go.
(From experience with wind-up spring-powered motors over the years, and as a piece of personal advice, I suggest that you always wind-down the motors when you are done playing with the toy.)
Sets required for this combination:
- DX Kaizoku Gattai Gokai-Oh (sold separately)
- DX Kaizoku Gattai Goujyujin
In Episode 29- "The Abare Quick-Changing New Combination", a new Zangyack Action Commander poses quite a problem for the Gokaiger with his size-changing ability. First he sneaks into the Goujyujin and uses it to attack the Gokai-Oh, and then he switches to the Gokai-Oh and battles the Gokaiger there, causing damage to the cockpit. After learning that the Action Commander is stealing the happiness out of women (in order to cure a common cold which Zangyack Lord Toils has contracted), Ahim (Gokai Pink) demonstrates for the first time her instant outfit-changing ability that many Legend Sentai females have possessed over the years and beats the Action Commander senseless. Then having observed the Gokaiger for a while, Yukito Sanjō (Abare Blue from "Bakuryuu Sentai AbaRanger") approaches them and says that when the deceased Mikoto Nakadai (AbareKiller) gave the Great Power of the AbaRanger to Gokai Silver earlier, he neglected to mention that all of the Gokaiger could use it as well. Resuming the giant-scaled battle, the six Gokaiger (including Gokai Pink with a false 'Abare Pink' Ranger Key) activate the Great Power, which merges the Goujyujin and Gokai-Oh into a new form: Goujyu Gokai-Oh!
Goujyu Gokai-Oh can deflect energy blasts when it spins, and it has access to two drill-themed attacks: Gokai Dengeki Drill Spin (based on the Bakuryuu Gattai Abaren-Oh's own Bakuryuu Dengeki Drill Spin finisher), and Gokai Rex Drill finishing attack.
As with Goujyujin, both arms of this combo need to be wound up, and then when the ship’s wheel on the back of Gokai-Oh is turned clockwise two positions, the arms will start spinning. The instructions, however, suggest that you turn the ship’s wheel counter-clockwise to activate all three of Gokai-Oh’s doors and the arms all at the same time.
(Though not shown in the instructions, I can confirm that one of Gokai-Oh’s Gokai Swords can be placed into Goujyujin’s left hand if you like.)
You may want to grab a chair and some popcorn, folks: I get a little talkative in this one…
I cannot tell you how anxious I was to get this toy. It was a positive anxiety that I have not felt since at least 2006 when the last anniversary series, “Gougou Sentai Boukenger”, came on the air. This was a DX mecha that not only reflected a beautiful modern design aesthetic, but- in my opinion- has embraced many of the attributes of past Super Sentai mecha in a way that hasn’t been successfully accomplished since the Shinobi Machine line from 2002’s “Ninpuu Sentai Hurricanger” (which is considered by many to be the last of the “classic”-looking mecha systems in Super Sentai).
First-off, this is a beautifully sculpted and painted toy. Broad areas of armor contain subtle-yet-detailed panel lines, and there are just enough hints of metallic light blue and gold to keep things interesting without being distracting. The medium gray is also moderately used compared to the primary navy blue of the toy. Good highlights and examples of these details are in both heads, the drill bit, and the chest.
While the transformation is definitely of the limb-swap era (2003-present), I honestly couldn’t claim this as a parts-former. There’s enough going on that the transformation is truly engaging. There’s panels that have to be opened, parts that go from Point A to Point B without detaching them, sections that twist and fold rather than detaching entirely or not moving at all, and all detachable connection points are carefully screened out and masked so that nothing awkwardly sticks out.
Goujyu Drill is perhaps the least solid of the three modes, and I’ve heard from others that it comes off more as an afterthought than a genuine mode. While I can see that, I think it has enough of a classic drill-tank aura that most mecha toy lines always seem to have at least one of to feel like a genuine mode. I thought the subtle cannons in the toe knuckles and knee guards were a nice touch, though I’m not wholly convinced by that rather awkward-looking dragon head on the back.
The mounting point for the drill arm isn’t very solid and it has a tendency to wiggle a bit. Likewise, the left arm/Goujyu Rex head is difficult to plug into the back because the connection joint it’s supposed to plug into is itself unstable.
There is, however, one big thing that I am really confused about with this particular mode. How in god’s name is a flying drill tank related in any way whatsoever to “Mirai Sentai TimeRanger”!? All of the Emergency System mecha from that show were futuristic jet fighters (with the sole exception of the V-Rex) or changed into giant robos. So, I ask this: Other than traveling through space-time, how exactly is the Goujyu Drill supposed to be a tribute the Great Power of the TimeRanger for “Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger”???
For me, Goujyu Rex is where things start getting really exciting. Whether it is supposed to be a tyrannosaurus rex, a dragon, or a second tribute to Godzilla (the first being Dragon Caesar from “ZyuRanger”), I don’t really care, but it looks damn awesome! It’s big and bulky, and above all it has realistic posability, which just sells it without question.
Posable fingers. Let me say that again, because I still can’t quite believe I actually can say that in a Sentai review. “Posable fingers.” For the first time ever, there are now posable fingers on a DX-sized Super Sentai toy! That has never happened before in the franchise’s entire 36-year existence. There have been a few occasions where fingers were molded together as a single piece and could move at a single knuckle, but never all of the fingers individually. Yyou know what the best part about this is? It’s completely unnecessary! The Goujyu Rex is not designed to hang on to anything at all, and yet the hands open and close with individually-articulated fingers. I usually consider posable fingers on an action figure to be an advanced form of articulation along with waist and ankle joints, double-jointed shoulders, elbows, and knees, and the ability to look upwards. Unbelievable.
Oh, and it also totally has posable elbows, hips, knees, and ankles. While most of those have happened before in some combination thereof, never was it possible all in one mode, let alone in one toy! While the joints in the legs are obviously for transformation purposes, and only click to two positions (umm- competing company Hasbro has had multi-angle ratcheting joints for decades on their Transformers toys…), it just makes the ‘Rex much more convincing than ramrod-straight legs would. The elbows, too, are a deliciously-unnecessary level of articulation that could easily have justifiably been left out in the name of saving money, but they were included and I love every 45-degree angle click of it! The neck can also articulate upwards, but it’s tricky because it only wants to lock into two positions, so you have to play with the gray area there; the same applies to the jaw and all three joints in the legs.
How the tail mounts to the butt is really the only low-point I can find in this mode. There’s a tiny-ass lever in there that has to be unhooked for the tail to angle upwards properly. The problem is that it doesn’t lock in the raised position! What ends up happening is both the lever resets itself when you try to attach the tail, or once attached and you pick the toy up it resets itself, and you have to go digging for the damn thing all over again. What’s particularly annoying for me is: A- the lever’s release button is in a hard-to-reach place, and B- that “hard-to-reach place” is between its legs. (You do the math.) Unfortunately, much like the DX Dragon Caesar back in 1992 (aka Deluxe Dragonzord from “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” season 1), the ‘Rex’s tail only barely lifts up the minimum amount to get the toy to stand up correctly, but not enough to be truly satisfying when you play with it. The important difference between the Dragon Caesar and this toy is that the drill on the end of the tail on this one can actually spin on its own. (*evil maniacal laughter*) Because the tail doesn’t lift up high enough, however, the tip is always dragging on the ground and can’t spin unless you lift up the whole toy.
One of the things I really like about this toy is how it handles its proportions and body shape, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the Goujyujin mode. Everything tucks away very nicely (the sole exception being perhaps how the Goujyu Rex’s head is stored to either side of the left arm, but that’s a minor quibble). It has quite a shapely figure despite the fact that it has bold solid armor, and it will still freaking destroy you. While the ‘Rex legs are really unchanged, with them extended like this they take on a different persona and I don’t seem to mind it that much. The Goujyu Rex’s arms are quietly and conveniently stored on the back and don’t get in the way, even when you reach for the golden dial on the back.
That’s one of the very few things that puzzles me about this toy- why do the Goujyu Rex’s arms disconnect at all? Why are they not permanently attached to swinging levers/panels that cover up the Goujyujin’s shoulder connection joints? Something similar was done with the Gao Alligator’s forelimbs in the DX Majuu Gattai Gao Hunter Evil set, and I think they could easily have recreated that here without the whole detachable-for-safety-reasons-but-still-uses-a-tiny-ass-cord-to-not-get-detached excuse thingy that they concocted when it was made back in 2001. What you end up with now, oddly, is an extra set of rotating connection points on its back when in Goujyu Rex mode. Why do those back joints turn anyways??? Unless these extra connection points are used for a later combination (a likely possibility, I must admit), I see no reason why Bandai did this other than because they were being cheap.
While “ZyuRanger” had dinosaurs in it but was more about wild creatures (lest you forget, it had a few mammals and a giant reptile in the mecha fleet), “AbaRanger” was straight-on nothing but dinosaurs. So it seems odd that the humanoid form would be the tribute for the latter, but having a large drill arm is unmistakably an homage to the Bakuryuu Gattai Abaren-Oh (Thundersaurus Megazord from “Power Rangers Dino Thunder”) and evil-repaint Bakuryuu Gattai Bakuren-Oh (Blizzard Force Megazord) which both had drill arms on the left side instead, big three-toed dinosaur feet in their combined forms, and disproportionately-large dinosaur predator heads on their chests. The "AbaRanger" homage can perhaps be carried a little further into the wind-up motors in this toy. Both the Abaren-Oh and Bakuren-Oh had battery-powered motors in their torsos which would then activate whatever arm feature it had on at the time.
Speaking of motors, I thought it was very old school of Bandai to include them. It’s completely understandable why we didn’t get a repeat of the electric motors, though, because there wouldn’t have been enough room in the chest for them without compromising how the Goujyu Rex and Goujyujin’s heads were dealt with, and the shoulders would have been even larger and unwieldy if they had been installed there. Having little hand-cranks could have been cumbersome too. I should also point out that spring-driven wind-up motors have never appeared in any DX-sized toy until now, so while kids today may be spoiled by said electric drives, it’s nice to bring back an oldie-but-goodie. What works for me, though, is that these motors don’t seem capable of being broken Whether wound-up or –down, the motors automatically disengage whenever either Goujyu Rex’s head of the drill arm are turned beyond tolerances- meaning that, while they can still turn as you see fit, it won’t impact the performances of the motors over time. (Just make sure you keep those motors wound-down when it sits on the shelf for long periods, or the springs will lose their bite over time!) Good work once more, Bandai!
Truly posable-legs have almost never happened before in a DX-sized toy. While they’ve gotten really close on a few times to have forward-moving hips and backward-moving knees- and then be able to stand it up on its own in that pose- has been a difficult hurtle to overcome. On the following occasions, these would be considered “close calls” because they had joints in the right places but something always got in the way, be it design or inconvenience-
- DX Kyoryu Gattai Daizyujin (Deluxe Megazord, MMPR-1)
- DX Bakuryuu Gattai Abaren-Oh (Deluxe Thundersaurus Megazord)
- DX Bakuryuu Gattai Bakuren-Oh (Deluxe Blizzard Force Megazord))
- DX Jyuken Gattai Geki Touja (Deluxe Jungle Pride Megazord)
- DX Soukou Sharin Go-Roader GT (Road-Attack Zord)
-and the next list is where the joints moved in the right way, but were strictly for transformation and didn’t really allow for independent standing in said poses-
- DX Shugojyu Dragon Caesar (Deluxe Dragonzord)
- DX Goshin Gattai Kakure DaiShogun (Deluxe Ninja Megazord)
- DX Majin Gattai MagiKing (Deluxe Titan Megazord)
- DX Gougou Gattai DaiBouken (Deluxe Drive-Max Megazord)
With the Goujyujin, since the spacing between the two points where each joint locks up is so far apart, this actually allows for quite a bit of gray area in which to play, but at the understandable sacrifice of stability since only very light friction is holding anything. Hot-damn- posable legs on a Super Sentai mecha right next to articulated fingers. Who would’ve thought it, ehh? Answer: me.
Finally (yeah it’s an unusually- long conclusion, what about it?), I want to talk about the drill arm specifically for a moment. In a mook released by Bandai in 2002 called “Super Sentai Robot Art Collection”, among the many official drawings of all the mecha and combinations seen from 1975 to early 2002 was a small section dedicated to something called “Zyu 2”. You have to go back to the production of the first season of “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” (1993) to know what this references.
As PR was rocketing into an unexpected world-wide phenomenon, Saban Entertainment began having trouble coming up with new fighting footage to fit a second season, mainly because they wanted to retain the use of the now-familiar ZyuRanger costumes. “Gosei Sentai DaiRanger” (1993) was being aired and many of the concepts would be difficult for the newcomer franchise to pick-up on. So, Saban appealed to Toei Co., Ltd (who produces each Super Sentai TV series in Japan), and they initiated a project nicknamed “Zyu-2”. Toei would shoot brand new footage of their ZyuRanger hero costumes fighting brand new monsters that never appeared in the original Japanese show a year earlier, and then ship this footage to Saban for them to integrate into Season 2 of MMPR.
At the same time, concept artists in Japan began developing artwork for heavily-modified versions of all the mecha from ZyuRanger. While the animals would be the same (T-rex, triceratops, saber-tooth tiger, etc.), their appearances and even how they transformed would be completely redesigned. For the sake of brevity, only the Daizyujin (MMPR-1 Megazord) was re-designed, though prototype toys were never produced. (A modified Won Tiger from “DaiRanger”, aka White Tigerzord, was also considered, which could interact with the in-development Zyu-2 Megazord.)
All of this was explained in the “Super Sentai Robot Art Collection” mook, and several of the concept images were provided as proof!
One of the concepts for the “Zyu-2” Megazord included removing the T-rex’s tail and using it as a multi-purpose weapon. In one mode it could attach to the right arm as a large drill bit, and in the other it would split down the center to form a longbow that could shoot energy bolts! While the mecha side of “Zyu-2” was never carried out (instead we got the Thunderzords adapted from “DaiRanger”), the concept of having a T-rex’s tail form a large drill bit arm was used many years later for the Abaren-Oh in “AbaRanger”.
It is very clear that even though the longbow concept was (still) not carried over, the drill arm for the Goujyujin was taken from the “Zyu-2” Megazord concept! It forms a large drill arm (though it cannot be removed), and it can split open (Shield Mode) to form a blaster of some kind (Trident Mode).
(Now see, this is the kind of behind-the-scenes stuff I love sinking my teeth into!)
From front to back, top to bottom, and left to right, this thing is just joy! It does not hit any bad marks, and it is wrapped up in one hell of a neat little package. (The box it came in wasn’t too bad either, by the way.) For its price it may be a little steep for American collectors, but I would say that if you wait too much longer to get one of these, it’s gonna become astronomically-priced on the after-market. Though it doesn’t have things like diecast metal, electronics, or super-posability compared to its contemporaries in other toy lines, I think this one is going to be something really special for any collector. I think that this is going to be one of those rare cases where a toy from Super Sentai is going to transcend beyond the typical boundaries of the fandom and reach into the public at-large. Something similar happened in 2002 to the DX Ikazuchi Gattai Gouraijin from “Ninpuu Sentai Hurricanger” (Deluxe Thunder Power Megazord, “Power Rangers Ninja Storm”), where it had a lot of appeal to fans of Chogokin, die-cast metal toys, and insect-shaped mecha, and has made it a valuable collector’s piece both inside and outside of Japan. I think that the DX Kaizoku Gattai Goujyujin can and is going to have much of the same influence- a triple changing toy with wind-up motors and a posable dinosaur mode. So, I am putting my highest and loudest recommendations into this absolute beast of a toy, this navy blue titan of unbreakable armor and radiating presence!
Part 1- Modes Details
Part 2- Commentary-only
|Posted 19 September, 2011 - 03:56 by EVA_Unit_4A|