DX Mazinger Z
Review by JoshB
I feel like I have been reviewing this toy for the past three days. Since it arrived on my doorstop I've shot three video reviews, shot numerous pictures, and now sat down to write this review. It's odd because I sort of feel like I covered it best in the videos, but I know not everyone has the time to watch them all. So if it seems like I am going through the motions here please forgive me.
What we are looking at here is the crown jewel of the Tamashii brand line. Tamashii is already Bandai's high-end collectors' line, but this release really is the crowning achievement. The DX Soul of Chogokin Mazinger Z is really something special, the next evolution of the Chogokin brand.
The DX Mazinger Z arrives courtesy of Bluefin Distribution and is available wherever Bandai Tamashii products are sold.
This is not a purchase one decides on lightly. At about $400 it's Bandai's most expensive Soul of Chogokin to date. It's impressive, but is it worth the price? Read on...
First of all - the box is huge. It's got a carrying handle but honestly it should come with a shoulder harness.
The outer cover is a slipcase with the typical Bandai glamour shots on the back. Slide the cover off and you get a bit more creative with the graphics. Inside, several trays hold all the accessories. Watch the unboxing video for all the details.
There are a lot of parts.
Mazinger Z Figure
Shoulder Armor (Left/ Right)
Bicep Armor (Left/Right)
Thigh Armor (Left/Right)
Lower Leg Armor (Left/Right)
Foot Armor (Left/Right)
Breast Fire Plates
Breast Fire Plates (Translucent)
Head Armor (Cutaway)
Head Armor (Mechanical)
Throat Armor (Cutaway)
Throat Armor (Mechanical)
Chest Armor (Left/Right)
Bicep Armor for Drill Missile (Left/Right)
Stomach Armor (Left/Right)
Waist Armor (Left/Right)
Hand Armor (Left/Right)
Posable Hand (Left/Right)
Fist (Mechanical Left/Right)
Infrared Remote Control Unit
Crane(Rail Attached Type)
Lets look at the completed figure first.
Mazinger stands 11.8 inches tall. The figure without the armor plating seems light. 90% of the internal mechanisms is plastic. The joint work is metal, as are some of the back body panels. All of the armor clips on with plastic clips and they adhere to the inner mechanism, not to the other panels. This allows for greater stability.
Articulation is good, but nowhere near as articulated as the SOC or SRC versions. The size is such that I don't seem to mind. If you look at the original Mazinger Z anime he's sort of stiff and robotic anyway. Still, it's respectable.
When you add the panels the weight adds up. The panels on the legs, waist, and chest are thick, solid metal. All panels are secure. Some other parts fall off sort of easily.
Thing is, this is more of a collector's display piece than a toy. Keep this in mind as you swap out parts and you'll be fine.
The ankles are really nice. Look at the pistons. Those work, and move in all directions.
The elbows are an issue of contention. Prior to looking at the instructions, I thought they were broken. Enough people complained that Bandai released this helpful graphic to ensure that the arms stay attached properly.
The key is to bend the elbow, push in on the red part so that the peg pushes out, and then align with the tabs in the arm.
I talk about this in more detail in the video.
The real treat is Mazinger Z with all the panels off. The idea of the cutaway drawing is as old as the anime it comes from. In the closing credits of Mazinger Z you see a cutaway drawing of the robot, and the inner skeleton is directly inspired from its appearance in those credits. Later series and toys would find inspiration in this by including cutaway drawings on toy packaging and magazine ads.
The level of detail is stunning. Separate panels are provided for the face and neck instead of having removable outer armor. The closed fists have removable covers to see the mechanism inside. The opening hands do not have this feature.
That section in the middle is where the electronic lights and sounds are. It takes 2 AAA batteries and is activated by pressing the red button. More on those features as we activate them.
Well what if you want to display your Mazinger Z only half-armored? Bandai has you covered. Included are ½ panels for the waist, torso and chest, as well as a half armored neck and face.
This is the look for me.
While Mazinger does not come with rocket punch fists, it does come with a panel that enables you to bend the arms back so that it can replicate the Drill Missile attack.
Lights and sounds are controlled by a multi function remote control. This also takes 2 AAA batteries. On their own, the buttons don't do much. A long press to any of the bottom three starts theme music, while combination presses of a top and a bottom button activate various sound and light effects. Play around, there's some cool sounds, even a few surprises.
The lights are restricted to the head and chest plates. The head is illuminated through a light at the top of the box that transfers up through the neck. The chest plates are held on with magnets and the translucent ones light up.
The sound effects will time out after a period of inactivity, so even if you have the button pressed, you may need to turn it off and then on again to re-activate.
The Storage Hangar is monstrous, and makes up the bulk of space in the package. It's pre-assembled, so all you have to do is insert batteries and add Mazinger.
A special brace is included that can attach Mazinger to the back wall for added stability.
On each door there are attachment points for specific armor pieces. Not all pieces can fit on these points. It can display all the solid armor parts if you display Mazinger with no armor on at all – the half -parts need to be stored elsewhere. As I wanted to display mine with half the armor on, I had some empty slots.
The gantries in the front open in the middle and you can slide one of the cranes onto it. Each door also has a support gantry that act as feet when you display the set with the door open.
The light up feature is activated when you flip the switch on the back.
Two movable floodlights on the base illuminate the figure. The switch placement is unfortunate and will be difficult to get to if this is set up in a display.
Turn the lights out for maximum effect.
Also included in the set is an instruction booklet, a booklet about the history of Mazinger Z toys, a Mazinger origin manga by Go Nagai, a metal nameplate and adhesive tape.
This is a great piece, and quite possibly the toy of the year. The fact that Bandai released this in this economic climate takes balls and flies against every trend and common sense. I think that's one of the reasons I love it so much. Not to mention that its a great representation of the most iconic of Giant robots.
The toy does have a few design flaws though. There is the aforementioned elbow issue that is just not really thought out. The magnets in the chest crests are a bit weak, and there are some noticeable seams where the armor parts meet. Lack of diecast in the skeleton is a little disappointing, and also the fact that there is no rocket punch or launching abdomen missile.
And while I am nitpicking, I would have rathered the Scrander and iron cutter fists come included as opposed to a Tamashii Web exclusive set and instead made the hangar the web exclusive. All these things are minor though compared to the sheer audacity of the piece.
Now, where the hell am I going to put this?
|Posted 23 December, 2012 - 01:10 by JoshB|