Super Robot Chogokin: MagiKing
Review by EVA_Unit_4A
In 2005, the Underground Hades Empire Infershia, led by the fearsome Emperor N. Ma, rose up from the depths of Hell to exact their revenge and conquer the world. Fifteen years earlier, they had been defeated by the magical inhabitants of the mythical sky kingdom of Magitopia. Now, the five Oz siblings suddenly discover their magical legacy, in that their father was Magitopia's greatest warrior, Bragel, who had secretly married their human mother and sacrificed himself in the war years earlier. With the surprise return of the Infershia, and resulting loss of their warrior mother in front of their eyes, Kai, Makito, Tsubasa, Urara, and Houka Oz must work together to harness their magical inheritance to protect the Earth from the Infershia and its mysterious new general Madou Kishi Wolzard, learning along the way that magic is the proof of courage. Fight earnestly, Magical Taskforce MagiRanger!
When one of Infershia's Hades Beast monsters uses magic to grow itself to gigantic size, the five MagiRanger counter this by using a spell to grow and transform their own bodies into giant mythological armored warriors called the MagiMajin. As individuals, MagiPhoenix, MagiTaurus, MagiGaruda, MagiMermaid, and MagiFairy can wield individual weapons and attacks based on their natural elemental powers. If the Hades Beast proves too resilient, four of the MagiMajin can merge their bodies into a single flying form called the MaRyuu Gattai MagiDragon (with MagiPhoenix riding atop), or all five can merge together to form the Majin Gattai MagiKing!
The MagiKing is composed primarily of ABS, is the first SRC Super Sentai robo to be devoid entirely of PVC, and features a healthy dose of solid diecast metal for the hip and ankle joints, lower legs, and black part of the feet. (Well, kinda... It’s more like ‘panels’ of die-cast wrapped around plastic in the lower legs and feet rather than the entire segment being nothing but metal.)
This is a high-quality 7 ¾” (18cm) tall (to the top of the wings) display figure designed for dynamic posing. As a result, all joints have a minimum of two axes of movement, and some joints- the neck, shoulders, elbows, waist, and knees - can extend for expanded range of motion. The knees and waist also lightly ratchet. The front and sides of the hips are covered by flexible skirt armor.
This figure cannot transform or separate like it does in the series. The winged backpack must be attached in order to complete the figure.
Two pairs of hands and three specialized individual hands are provided:
- 1x pair of closed fists
- 1x pair of sword wielding
- Left hand only, splayed fingers
- Right sword wielding hand, bent downwards at wrist
- Right hand, with only two fingers raised
That last hand in the list above is used for a signature move by the MagiKing. In the very last part of its transformation, the Majin Gattai will use its right hand to dramatically push the brim of its pointed wizard hat up to reveal its face and eyes. The figure is capable of recreating this move because the hat can actually pivot down over the eyes!
The only weapon that the MagiKing wielded was its magical sword, King Calibur. In addition to being used for melee combat, the King Calibur could be used as an over-sized wand for directing magical spells at-and-around opponents. While several low-level attacks are used, the individually named high power finishing attacks are collectively known as Magical Climax. The most frequently used Magical Climax is the Mahou Kiri (“Magic Slash”).
(The King Calibur itself is actually a combination of the smaller Phoenix Sword, Mermaid Trident, and Taurus Axe wielded by some of the individual MagiMajin. Obviously on this figure it cannot break into the individual weapons.)
The MagiKing could deploy a pair of large wings for extended-range jumping and gliding. When it deploys its wings, its Magical Climax is the Tenkuu Mahou Kiri (“Heavenly Magic Slash”), which is a flying dashing version of the ground-based Mahou Kiri. Typically the wings are shown folded up on its back when not in use, but this figure cannot collapse them down. (As an alternative, the wings can simply be unsnapped at their rotating bases, though obviously this will not be entirely screen-accurate.)
In addition to the dual-axis joints at their base, each wing has an additional two pop-out ball joints inside the metallic blue segments, allowing for a wider range of articulation.
The total wingspan is 12” (31cm) with the wings collapsed down as far as possible.
As part of the Mahou Kiri and Tenkuu Mahou Kiri, a large and elaborate version of the MagiRanger’s emblem/seal appears in the air in front of MagiKing, through which the King Calibur is swung. To recreate this, a 12 7/8” (15cm) clear plastic disc of the MagiRanger seal is provided, which can lightly clip into a small clear base and then sit in front of the figure (or in back as an alternate display for the figure).
When used in conjunction with the separately-sold Tamashii Stage Act.5 display stand (not shown), MagiKing can be displayed with the seal below its feet!
I cannot tell you how ecstatic I am about this figure…
While I am pleased as punch that after 35 years Super Sentai robos are finally getting their due in the professional collecting world as high-quality display figures, let’s face it, there are some that simply look better than others whether they’re 5” or 12” tall. The vast majority of Super Sentai robos are boxy affairs of near-impenetrable armor. That in itself is a style, and it certainly works when selling toy robots, but sometimes it pays to think outside the box. I have no idea what the designers at PLEX were thinking before “Mahou Sentai MagiRanger” aired in 2005, but they took a tremendous risk in altering the traditional look and function of many elements of the team’s arsenal. Movie versions of the two unrelated fantasy book series “The Lord of the Rings” and “Harry Potter”, as well as the final installment of the “Star Wars” film series, all had big performances that year, and there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that “MagiRanger” was heavily influenced by all three.
So, like the living Power Animal mecha from the 25th-anniversary series “Hyakujuu Sentai GaoRanger” (2001), a dramatically different visual style was used for the creation of the combined robos and sub-mecha. I don’t know how well the MagiMajin were received in Japan, but they absolutely blew the hell out of my mind! Even seven years after the series it came from aired, the Majin Gattai MagiKing remains one of my favorite robos from across the entire Super Sentai Series.
About that visual style… you may want to wear a pair of gloves when handling it. Not from leaving smudges on the highly-painted surfaces (including that absolutely gorgeous metallic blue), but rather from all of the hard ABS points across the figure! I’m not kidding when I say it has a pointed wizard hat. The wings, hat, boots, and skirt all have quite sharp edges to them, so be very careful when handling the figure.
As is the norm by now for these SRC Super Sentai robos, surface details are high-quality, particularly in the head, chest, hands, legs, and King Calibur sword. (Though intentionally understated, even MagiTaurus’ hands are present along the back of the forearms. Nice!) Just like its larger 12” transforming counterpart from 2005, it is covered from head to foot in little hidden “M”s, so make a game of trying to find all of them!
Again, the lower legs are diecast metal to maintain balance, but I’ve noticed they added some to the hip and ankle joints this time around to make it extra weighty. As the fourth Super Sentai robo released in the SRC line, it is the heaviest one so far.
Once more, the shoulders are triple jointed, so a hand can reach across the chest and touch the opposing shoulder! Articulation is no problem, except perhaps for in the hips and knees. The knees do not flip backwards beyond 90 degrees (the previous three robo figures' did) even with double joints, and the hips don’t seem to like flipping forward 90 degrees for a reason I can’t determine (certainly nothing is blocking them). I suppose that shouldn’t be a problem since the robo wasn’t meant to be super athletic in the series. so,I have no real issue with it.
Heh heh- you can do the whole “MagiKing: Number One!” pose with the hat. It’s small, but classic. (Downright epic, in my opinion.)
I am only mildly disappointed that the wings could not collapse down on the back, or that an alternative pair of already-collapsed wings weren’t provided, but I suppose that’s the sacrifice we must accept for a more dramatic appearance and new ball jointed articulation. (It doesn’t specify in the instructions or box that the wings can separate at their base; it’s just something I stumbled across. So I’m guessing it’s a safety feature in case too much pressure is applied, not really for regularly removing the wings altogether. Proceed at your own risk.)
While I was taking pictures, I found that while the slight inward curve of the forearms helps the arms get around the chest and makes the figure look more stylish, they can at times be difficult in attaining certain poses where you want the arms bent straight. The curve was not needed, obviously, but it does have a slight downside. It's certainly not a deal-breaker, but on a figure this size it is noticeable.
The front two green skirt armor segments are small and don’t really hide anything like I thought they should. Because they’re on ball joints (why???), they can sometimes get sucked into the gaps of said hip joints, and are tricky to pry back out. It’s nothing really difficult, just more of an inconvenience.
Because of the weight (*cough*diecast metal*cough*) and despite the light ratcheting of the knees, the lower legs may increasingly flop over time, but the figure will still easily keep itself upright. (For example, if a leg is lifted off the ground, it may droop over time.) I'm not sure if that warrants removing the diecast metal, a mere novelty nowadays-, or tightening the knees, but it is (again) something to look out for.
The inclusion of the MagiRanger seal is also appreciated. Here’s something interesting about that, though. Included in the box is an extra clear-plastic shaft (not pictured) that is to be used in conjuncture with the Tamashii Stage Act.5 display stand. Clearly, the basic stand as you buy it would not accept the MagiRanger seal, so this shaft was included to solve that problem.
Again, this is a wonderful, and, for me, lovingly nostalgic, representation of one of the more dynamic looking mecha from the Super Sentai Series. The Super Robot Chogokin MagiKing is an unquestionable must-have and will not disappoint on any level!
|Posted 18 July, 2012 - 22:54 by EVA_Unit_4A|