Super Robot Chogokin: GokaiOh
Review by EVA_Unit_4A
This toy appears here courtesy of HobbyLink Japan.
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!
. . .
The Gokai Galleon is a starship under the command of Captain Marvelous. Though shaped like the wooden sailing ships of old, it is the mobile base of operations and home-away-from-home for the five Gokaiger as they each seek out their fortune amongst the stars. A robot parrot called Navi serves as the navigation brain for the Gokai Galleon, but she also uses her- umm… ‘fortune-telling ability’ to help the Gokaiger find “The Greatest Treasure in the Universe” (though her clues are often cryptic, even if eventually proven true through the Gokaiger’s experiences). When the Gokai Galleon’s multiple Galleon Cannons cannot defeat an enemy, the top of the ship opens up, and four other Gokai Machines unfold from within- Gokai Trailer, Gokai Marine, Gokai Formula, and Gokai Jet!
Though independently-operated, and each armed with laser blasters, the five Gokai Machines work best together when they combine into the Kaizoku Gattai Gokai-Oh! The Gokai-Oh is a fast and agile giant robot that can de-orbit without damage after normally transforming in space, and can make high acrobatic jumps during combat. It is armed with dual Gokai Ken cutlasses, blasters on the back of each hand, and has a Gokai Cannon built into its chest that can unfold for the Gokai Star Burst finisher- numerous cannonballs firing rapidly at an opponent!
The Gokai-Oh is composed primarily of ABS, supplemented by a little PVC, and a healthy dose of solid die-cast metal in the lower legs-only.
This is a high-quality 5 ¾” display figure, designed for dynamic posing. As a result, all joints have a minimum of two axis of movement, and some joints- the neck, elbows, hips, knees, and ankles- can extend for expanded range of motion. The front and side of the hips are covered by jointed ABS skirt armor. The fins on top of the head, kibble on top of the shoulders, and front of the feet also all have friction joints for more dynamic posing options. And though it has no function here, the black ship’s steering wheel along the back of the torso can rotate 360-degrees along a friction joint just like it does in the series!
This figure cannot transform or separate like it does in the series.
Three sets of non-poseable hands are provided- solid fists, fists with holes to hold the weapons, and splayed fingers.
The cutlass-like Gokai Ken swords can slip into hooks on both hips for storage. The clips themselves can be removed as well for a cleaner look.
[NOTE: an accessory clip is provided that allows this figure to be attached to a display stand sold separately by Bandai. However, since I do not have a stand for it, I cannot demonstrate that here.]
The special feature of the Gokai-Oh is that it can deploy the Gokai Cannon from its torso to fire its finishing Gokai Star Burst finisher. When this happens in the series, large doors along the arms and legs open up to reveal giant cannonballs chugging along inside them like a four-way ammunition feed system!
To recreate this, six doors along the limbs of the SRC Gokai-Oh can be pried open, and corresponding accessory pieces resembling cannonballs with the Gokaiger logo on them can be clipped inside. (Unlike its larger DX-sized counterpart, none of the doors can be closed again while the accessory pieces are inside, and you will have to remove them to close the doors again.) To remove the accessory pieces from the legs, there are small buttons along the back of the legs that can be pressed and will easily pop them out.
The Gokai Cannon itself replaces a seventh removable door along the entire front of the torso, and it more screen accurate in its size than the DX-sized toy’s was. As an additional bonus to emphasize the Gokai Star Burst finisher in-progress, a blast cloud effect piece can be pegged onto the front of the Gokai Cannon.
For many years now, Bandai has offered 6-7” Candy Toy versions of the various mecha appearing in the associated year’s Super Sentai Series. However, while far more poseable than their larger DX toy equivalents, they were in essence models that had to be cut from spruce, assembled, and paint and decals all added by you. And occasionally, keychain characters would appear, but these were neither poseable nor actual figures to be played with. Beyond these three options, a pre-assembled and poseable action figure of a giant transforming robo from a Super Sentai Series has never been seen until now.
Bandai America was actually the first to attempt this, with a wide selection of vaguely-poseable 4.5” action figures for their Power Rangers line. Then in 2009, they introduced the Retrofire Megazords, which were truly-poseable stylistic interpretations of several Megazords. While not as poseable as typical Ranger action figures, Retrofire provided the first poseable versions of the robos appearing in a Super Sentai-or-Power Rangers series. So, in a way, Retrofire (which proved to be popular among older collectors) could arguably be considered a direct foreshadowing of the figure reviewed here (even though the Super Robot Chogokin line had been out years earlier in Japan).
As many of you on CollectionDX already know, I do not buy action figures at any scale. However, I was impressed and pleased by the first-steps that the Retrofire line made because I had always wanted poseable versions of the Megazords (and later their Super Sentai counterparts) which the DX-sized toys I regularly buy could never accomplish. The figure here provides the same kind of relief and satisfaction for one of the more exotic combining robos to appear in Super Sentai. You can pose it, and it’s pre-assembled!
All of the friction joints are nice and tight; only the knees lightly ratchet. However, because I do not collect action figures, let alone ones targeted at collectors like this, my inexperience makes me nervous about all the thin shafts used for joints like the neck, shoulders, wrists, and ankles. Keeping all of the die-cast metal in the lower legs means this thing will hold its balance very well in any number of poses, but I do wish some other body parts had metal in them as well, just for consistency.
About the only problem I have with the whole figure (aside from my mild disappointment that the doors on the limbs cannot close while the cannonball pieces are in place) is the rather bone-breaking angle that both fists hang at. It’s like the sculpt was designed to emphasize the regularly-neglected and -forgotten forearm cannons instead of the hands (which, by the way, are not as accessible in its DX-sized counterpart either).
Why do the two halves of the prow kibble of the Gokai Galleon sub-mecha rotate on their own? Why not make them a solid part of the upper arms? I see no need for there to be articulation there.
On the DX Gokai-Oh set, the doors are there so that separately-sold accessory sets can be fitted inside the limbs and torso as part of the series-wide unifying gimmick. The problem there, particularly in the arms, is that all four limbs were required to be hollow, making the individual sub-mecha that comprise them (Gokai Jet, Gokai Racer, Gokai Trailer, and Gokai Marine) quite blocky and functionless on their own. To get the gimmick to work properly and still maintain elbow joints would have been- understandably- a very expensive proposition. (Plus- ya know- there’s that whole thing about DX Super Sentai mecha toys not putting any significant focus on poseability beyond ratcheting shoulders…) So not only do we get extendable(!) poseable elbows here, but they recreated the door-opening ability (even if it isn’t spring-powered) and then included pieces to represent the cycling cannonballs; a detail noticeably omitted from the DX version.
This is a pretty significant feature to include in such a small and expensive collectable display figure. I wonder why they went though the effort at all…
A display stand would have been nice to have to go along with that accessory display stand clip. I suppose it’s cheaper to manufacture a universal stand usable across multiple lines, and then adapt a clip for each set (a la competing company Kaiyodo’s well-established Revoltech line).
The Super Robot Chogokin Gokai-Oh is a very nice second release for a Super Sentai robo (the first being the SRC Shinken-Oh from 2009’s “Samurai Sentai Shinkenger”). Even if you don’t like this particular robo, even though it is from the 35th Anniversary Series, it maintains the exact same level of quality as its Super Sentai predecessor in the Super Robot Chogokin line. Just remember that this is not a toy. It is a poseable display piece, so don’t go giving it to kids!
|Posted 5 January, 2012 - 00:38 by EVA_Unit_4A|