Review by SentaiSeiya
Tokumei Sentai Go-busters is the Super Sentai series that began airing in 2012. After watching a couple of episodes of Go-busters, I skipped over it because it did not click with me . Recently, I picked up some of the toys from the series on the cheap and decided to give the show a second shot. Boy, am I glad I did. I am really taking a liking to the show.
One of the Go-busters toys that I bought recently is the Morphin Brace. Yes, that is right; this device is called the Morphin Brace. It is one of a couple of nods in the show to the Power Rangers series.
The Morphin Brace comes in a nice box with photos of the Morphin Brace and the Go-busters.
There is also some art on the top of the box depicting the Go-busters as iPod commercial characters.
On the body of the Morphin Brace are the various dials, knobs, and switches of the device. Only four of them serve as more than mere decoration.
There is switch on the bottom of the toy marked with an “X” and an “O” . This is the on and off switch, with “X” being off and “O” being on.
There is a button at the end of the device marked with the Go-busters logo.
There is also a dial at the top right side of the Morphin Brace and a button at the center of the dial. Now, it is worth noting that in the show, the button on the center of the dial also serves as a display; it usually counts down the time the Go-Busters have left until the giant mecha is transported to their dimension. The toy does not have a countdown display. The center button is merely decorated with a nice shiny sticker.
The Morphin Brace comes packaged in three separate parts: the main device, the lenses on the small rod, and the strap.
Needless to say, the assembly that is required is very simple. The straps on Super Sentai toys are usually very small, as they are meant for children. Luckily for me, I have a medium frame and my wrists are just small enough where I can snugly wear the Morphin Brace.
My wrists are about seven inches around, and that appears to be the maximum size for the straps. If you have larger wrists, you can always resort to making your own straps or extending the existing ones, as some people in the Power Rangers/ Super Sentai fandom do. One slight issue with the strap is that it goes directly over the battery cover, so it needs to be removed every time the batteries (AAA) on the device need changing.
It is great that the Morphin Brace marks the return of the wrist-mounted henshin device for the main cast of a Super Sentai show. Recently we have seen a string of phone-henshin devices, as well as a couple unique non-phone devices. The last time the main cast of a Super Sentai series have used a wrist-mounted device was in Abaranger. While there have been a couple of wrist-mounted devices since then, those were used for the extra characters such as Geki Violet and Bouken Silver.
Speaking of Bouken Silver, let’s talk about the aesthetics of this device. The Morphin Brace borrows a lot of its design and color scheme from Bouken Silver’s Gougou changer, with the Morphin Brace having a similar gimmick going for it with the dial on the right side of the device. The Morphin Brace also borrows from the English–language adaptation of Gekiranger, which used sunglasses as the Morphers. Tucked into the left side of the Morphin Brace are lenses in the shape of sunglasses.
Underneath the lenses is an LED light, which flashes in sync with the sound effects and speech of the toy. Since the lenses are a clear orange color, you get a light piping effect from the light.
The Morphin Brace serves many purposes, including being the transformation device for the three main Go-busters. The button on the right, stamped with the Go-busters logo, is the transformation button. When pressed for the first time, it raises the column on the left side, releasing the glasses that are tucked into the recess of the Morphin Brace.
Then the male announcer of the Morphin Brace announces “It’s morphin’ time!” and an electronic jingle plays in wait for the user to press the button a second time or the jingle will terminate in fifteen seconds. Once pressed a second time, the Morphin Brace plays the sound effects for the completion of the transformation.
In the show, the first press of the button makes the Go-busters’ suits materialize, sans the sweet reflective visor. The subsequent press of the button makes that visor appear.
One thing worth noting is that in the show, the Go-busters always turn the dial on the face of the brace before pressing the transformation button for the first time, This is not a requirement for activating the sound effects and actions for the transformation sequence on the toy. You can still do it, of course, in order to maintain accuracy to the show.
The third and most rich point of interaction for the Morphin Brace is the dial on the top of the device and its accompanying button at the center. The dial/button combo has seven different modes and eight different points on the dial. Yes, that is one more point on the dial than modes. Since only six of the modes can be activated by a simple turn of the dial, it actually means that there are two more points on the dial than modes. Bandai got around this issue by not having any of those six modes assigned to a specific point on thevdial. Instead, the dial is set to a default mode when it is turned on. The other modes have fixed location relative to the default mode. This hurts the toy's cred as a role-play toy, as you may end up fumbling to find the mode you are looking for. That is unless you can memorize the location of each mode relative to the default mode when it is turned on. So I will list and explain the modes, beginning with the default one. Each consecutive mode is the next one on the dial, when turned counter-clockwise.
1. The male voice says “Go-busters!” and an attack noise plays. This one seems to be a filler mode.
2. Call Mode: This mode will randomly play one of fifteen phrases from the Buddyroids. The random phrase selected appears to follow some order. It will go through the Buddyroids in a cyclical fashion. Fer example, from Rabbit to Gorilla to Cheetah to Rabbit to Gorilla to Cheetah, etc.
3. Let’s Driving Mode: This is the button that the Go-busters press in order to pilot their mecha, the Buster Machines. The male voice says “Let's driving” followed by the animal type of one of the three main Buddyroids. The Morphin Brace will then play the sounds for the corresponding Buddyroid and Buster Machine. The first time you activate this mode, it will be a random Buddyroid that is selected. Afterwards, the next two times will be the other two Buddyroids. This is because the sounds of this mode are done in sets of three. Meaning that if you press the button a fourth time, it will be random once more. So you can get the exact same Buddyroid on the third and fourth press of the button, because the fourth press is the beginning of a new set of the three different sounds.
4. Analyze Mode: You hear the male voice say “Analyze Mode” and then the sounds of the scanner plays. This is the mode used by the Go-busters to analyze their environment and they can even create a map using the data.
5. Hissatsu Mode: The same male voice says “It’s time for Buster” and then some attack noises play. This is the mode used when the Go-busters are performing their finishing attack on the Metaroid or Megazord (that is another one of the nods to Power Rangers).
6. Game Mode: The last setting counter-clock is, as the announcer lets us know, “Game Mode!” This amounts to a game of memory. The announcer will give a set of directions in English. Then user then has to input the directions by turning the dial in the correct directions and pressing the button in the center once the sequence is completed.
If you fail, the announcer will tell you “Practice, practice” or “Let’s try again” in English and in Japanese just for good measures.
If you pass some of the rounds, but fail others, the announcer will tell you that you did great, to do your best and try again, or good job in both Japanese and English.
Now if you do get all of the instructions in each round correct, the announcer will praise your for innate ability to master a game that was designed for small, Japanese kids who do not speak English. The announcer will say:
“Great. Subarashi. Cool na super Sentai Soul wo kanjiruzo”. So it basically told me what I have suspected all along: that I have a cool Super Sentai soul.
There is an issue with the Morphin Brace that becomes the most apparent when playing Game Mode. The device will sometimes read half-turns of the dial as complete ones if you don’t turn the dial all the way quickly enough. This can result in the device reading one turn of the dial as two turns in the same direction, which may cause you to fail a round of the game and that means nobody is going to tell you that you have a cool Super Sentai soul. Quite sad, I know.
7. Special Mode: This mode is accessed by turning the dial repeatedly in one direction. Once you do it enough times, the light on the Morphin Brace will flash, accompanied by some sounds. Then, the male voice will tell you to turn it more: “motto mawase. Turn, turn.” Then you have to turn the dial some more in the same direction. If you decide to do it in the opposite direction, it will reset the counter for Special Mode and the next message you receive will be the same half-point message telling you to turn the dial some more.
Once you have turned the dial enough in the same direction, the male voice of the Morphin Brace will yell “SPECIAL MODE!!” This will be followed by one of a few different messages (in a mix of Japanese and English):
• Good morning
• Good night
• Happy Birthday
• Happy New Year
• Super Hero Time (with explosions at the end)
• Thank you very much( followed by what I believe is " I will not forget you" in Japanese)
• The male voice asking if you can count from one, then proceeding to count from one to ten in English. This is followed by some explosions. So let that be a warning to you kids out there. Never, ever, ever count past nine! No matter what your teacher tells you, explosions are sure to follow.
So that is pretty much the Morphin Brace in nutshell. It is a toy that is somewhat uninspired aesthetically, that turns out to be kind of fun to play with. One of the reasons the Morphin Brace is great is that it is all you need in order get the full experience of the transformation device. Unlike the transformation devices for the previous two Super Sentai Series, there is no need to buy into cards or keys in order to get extra sounds from the Morphin Brace. This does result, however, in a rather simple henshin device. Now, I am aware of the fact that I sometimes tell the readers to check out my video review. This is one of those cases where you are really doing yourself a favor by checking it out. As a toy with lots of sounds, some motion, and light effects, this toy lends itself better to a video review. So check that out if you want to get the full experience.
|Posted 25 February, 2013 - 13:02 by SentaiSeiya|