Super Robot Chogokin: Dai-Guard
Review by The Enthusiast
Dai-Guard follows the exploits of the titular mecha and its team of support staff as they counter the Heterodynes, inscrutable, abstract alien beings, totally unlike Evangelion’s Angels, who threaten Japan.
Dai Guard is one of the more realistic shows of the genre. Not in the gritty, This is the Price of War sense, but in the Giant Robots Aren’t Sensible Weapons sense. Its plot and characterizations are rote, but the show’s preoccupation with the logistics of giant robot warfare is uniquely compelling. Our heroes aren’t larger than life soldiers, but corporate office drones. Dai Guard spends more time broken or impotently standing around than engaged in combat. Killing the Heterodyne often takes less effort than just getting the damned robot put together and to the site of the threat, and after the confrontation our heroes are left to sort through the legal and economic implications of destroying parts of an occupied city. This may not sound particularly entertaining, but it works. The overall tone is lighthearted, as the well-meaning team of bureaucrats bumble towards competence and heroism.
There was never a proper Dai-Guard toy, not even a model, until now.
Super Robot Chogokin is Bandai’s modern version of Popy’s ST figures, smaller and simpler gokin action figures.
The figure is packed in a compact glossy box, with foil lettering in place of the usual die-cut windows. I prefer the foil.
Inside, a two-tiered clamshell.
First off, the heft. This thing is insane. Many of Bandai’s modern Chogokin toys are criticized, and justly so, for being gokin in name only (GINO? maybe not he best abbreviation), possessing merely token quantities of metal. Not so, here. Those giant lower legs are all metal, giving the figure a rock-solid stance in any position. Thighs, crotch and chest are also metal, as are the shoulder and hip joints.
I need hardly mention that the sculpt, finishes, and materials are all top-notch, befitting an adult collectible. The gloss paint finish is exceptionally attractive. My one criticism would be the doughy head sculpt. The proportions and character design are a little cartoony, but well in keeping with the Super Robot tradition.
Articulation is impressive for such a blocky design. There’s more movement in the legs than you’d think. Chest and waist both rotate on ball joints. lower arms and legs feature Bandai’s now-standard collapsible joints.
Those metal legs give a satisfying solidity to any pose you can think of, or at least any pose you can think of with two feet on the ground. The heavy legs do lend the poses a certain sameness, but the hand-feel more than compensates.
Shoulders rotate out on diecast hinges. These will come in handy later.
A full complement of arm accessories are included. While the SRC sets are typically more spare, this set feels more DeluXe in its comprehensive array of weapons.
Other Drill arm:
And the massive Great Knot Punsher. The Knot Punisher is designed to grab and then pile-drive a giant spike through a Heterodyne’s “Fractal Knot,” the source of the alien’s power. The GKP locks into both arms, somewhat limiting its articulation. But it looks cool and appropriately dramatic.
This set is another slam dunk for Bandai. Dai-Guard is fun and playable and looks beautiful in any position. As the Soul of Chogokin releases become more elaborate, soulless, and ridiculously expensive, the SRC series continues to provide a welcome alternative.
|Posted 18 December, 2011 - 16:40 by The Enthusiast|