Super Robot Chogokin: ShinkenOh
Review by EVA_Unit_4A
This toy appears here courtesy of HobbyLink Japan.
Eighteen generations ago, special ancient samurai warriors called the Shinkenger were authorized by the Japanese Emperor to defend their country against the Gedoushuu monsters from the mythical Sanzu River. The Shinkenger succeeded, and the Gedoushuu were defeated. Hundreds of years later in 2009, the Gedoushuu have slowly rebuilt themselves, and they are slipping through all dark crevasses once more to collect human screams to flood the Sanzu River into the world for their return. Takeru Shiba, the current samurai lord of the Shiba Clan, now summons four vassal samurai from different clans, and arms them with the magical scripture power known as mojikara to become the new Samurai Sentai Shinkenger!
Each Shinkenger posses a small “folding-spirit” known as an Origami, which have been passed down from generation to generation. Each Origami is an embodiment of its owner and will follow only his or her command. Their small size allows them to spy on Gedoushuu activity or act as distractions. Through the use of both mojikara and specifically-designed Hiden Discs, a Shinkenger can command their Origami to perform special maneuvers or even grow to giant size to combat the second lives of Ayakashi monstesr!
The Shinken-Oh is composed primarily of ABS, supplemented by a little PVC, and a healthy dose of solid die-cast metal in the lower legs.
This is a high-quality 5 ¾” display figure designed for dynamic posing. As a result, all joints have a minimum of two axes of movement, and some joints- the neck, elbows, hips, knees, and ankles- can extend for expanded range of motion. The fronts of the hips are covered by flexible skirt armor. (Though it is open on the figure, the Shishi Origami’s jaw on the chest cannot move.)
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 DaiShinken katana sword can slip into a hook in the left hip for storage.
The Hiden Shield can be pegged into either the left shoulder or onto the back. A fold-out handle allows it to be gripped in the holed fist.
In “Shinkenger”, when the heroes execute the DaiShinken Samurai Giri finishing attack, a kanji for the word “slash” (斬, zan) appears on the screen as the Shinken-Oh is slashing downwards. To recreate this, a display has been provided that needs to be assembled. It is two thin asymmetrical pieces of plastic with the “slash” kanji printed onto it, and these are attached to a base.
This display can be positioned in two ways- with the kanji ‘cut open’ (as if immediately after the DaiShinken has descended), or spread apart in a more animated way. The figure does not have to touch the display in any way to use this feature.
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. While far more poseable than their larger DX toy equivalents, they were in essence models that had to be cut from sprues, assembled, and paint and decals all added by you. 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 grown-up 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. 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. Because I do not collect action figures, let alone targeted-at-collector ones 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.
The sculpt is very clean and sharp. Perhaps nowhere is this better illustrated- literally- than on the DaiShinken! Paint applications, numerous as they are, are also well done. The range of motion is excellent. The slash display was a nice touch, which adds some of the flavor of the series. (There’s even a little Shiba Clan symbol molded in on both sides of the base!) The pop-out joints are greatly appreciated because it allows some of those joints to extend to full-and-proper 90-degrees.
Considering all the hype about the Power Rangers brand returning to Saban for production in 2011 in time for the "Shinkenger" adaptation, "Power Rangers: Samurai", I found that even though I still like my far-larger DX Samurai Gattai Shinken-Oh, I got caught up in the anticipation as well, and found the timing for the release of the Super Robot Chogokin Shinken-Oh to be quite appropriate for me as an American collector. More than that, it’s a small, detailed, and poseable figure of a Super Sentai robo I really like! Highly recommended.
|Posted 6 March, 2011 - 16:58 by EVA_Unit_4A|