|Character Design||Leiji Matsumoto|
Review by JoshB
After a long wait, one of the obvious omissions to the Soul of Chogokin line finally becomes a reality. This is not only great news for Chogokin collectors, but it also completes cycle for those who grew up on Force Five and Shogun Warriors.
Danguard A (or Danguard Ace) is the creation of Leiji Matsumoto, who up until recently did not approve of the show or the changes he was forced to make. I don’t know if time healed that wound or if something else changed, but over the past few years a few new toys of Danguard A have been released.
The GX-62 comes in the familiar, comforting box. Inside the core robot rests in a styrofoam tray while the accessories are packed in two plastic trays.
Straight out of the box Danguard A is almost ready to go. Just add hands, helmet, and your choice of back panels. To start with we will add the wingless panel.
Danguard has a nice profile. The proportions are spot-on and the likeness is great.
Articulation is great considering it’s a transforming mecha. Each shoulder is on a ball joint that has an extending inner section to allow for arms-in-front poses. The arms can pop out rather easily, but they pop back in just as easy.
The elbows are double jointed and can also swivel. Each arm has a ball jointed wrist that also has a hinge function that while included for transformation purposes adds a little extra range of motion. Hands can be swapped easily. Articulated hands are always the best choice, but also included are closed hands, open hands and hands for holding weapons.
There is a waist joint, but it hardly moves due to the raised front belt area.
The legs are awesome. The hips are metal, the knees are double jointed, and the ankles have both ball and hinge joints.
It can even stand on one leg, unsupported.
The Cosmo Arrow weapons emerge from the red arrows on the shins of Danguard ace. Each arrow features a fold-out handle and can combine at the ends into the “Double Shaft” weapon.
An additional set of non-transformable Cosmo Arrows are also included for a more anime-accurate look. These also combine.
Danguard can be displayed with or without wings. For the without wings look, you add the red back panel. This panel requires a fair amount of force to sit flush on the back. Take care when removing the panel as the fit is tight and you could bend or break the pegs that hold it in place.
The wings plug into the same holes. Be sure to place the wings so that they fold properly.
One of the great things about Danguard A is that it nicely blends both anime-accurate and toy-friendly versions. Finally, both breed of fans are satiated in a single package.
The first evidence of this is in Danguard’s helmet, a vehicle called the Gard Rancher. Two helmets are included - one that is anime accurate, and one that transforms. Both helmets have the flip up cockpit, but only one unfolds to be part of the transformation.
You can tell the difference by looking at the bottom of the helmet. The transforming one has hinges that extend at the base
With the helmet removed Danguard looks micro-cephalic.
The anime-accurate helmet is slightly more streamlined.
To form the Gard Rancher, the helmet opens up and a small insert gets placed inside.
Tiny little landing gear can be extended from the bottom of the vehicle.
In addition to the Gard Rancher, you get another support vehicle called the Sky Arrow.
Sky Arrow separates into two ships and even has a feature where a second cockpit swings down to replace the separated one.
I mentioned earlier that Danguard A came with parts to create both an anime accurate and a perfect transformation version. This is most evident in the transformation to Danguard’s spaceship mode, Sattelizer.
To begin the transformation to the “Perfect Transformation” version, remove the helmet and chest plate and replace with the chest plate with the small landing gear.
Separate the top half from the bottom by pressing the button on the back of the figure. The fold each arm in towards the body, and then fold in the articulated hands into the bottom of the chest cavity.
Extend the nosecone out from the torso and snap the legs together at the pegs. There’s a clear insert that’s included to keep the legs evenly spaced, but it’s not necessary.
Fold the feet back and then use the included tool to push the engine inserts out through the back.
Insert the unfolded Gard Rancher into the nose section and then attach the torso section to the leg section with the black clips on the back.
The Satelizer mode is awkward but cool in it’s 70’s-s ness. It makes no sense that a super robot would have to do this but who cares?
In this mode, the Satellizer is too back heavy to be supported by the front wheels alone, so two back wheels fold out from the rear section, just like the old Popy DX did. While these legs can support the weight, Bandai has included an additional stand for holding up the rear in this mode.
To make a more anime-accurate mode, you have to make a few modifications from this mode. Remove the arms, remove the small landing gear from the chest, and replace with a filler panel and a new set of landing gear. This new gear holds the legs without the need of the small rear wheels or extra stand. This mode looks much sleeker.
Just look at this glorious bird in flight
A display stand is included that can hold the ship in Satellizer mode
Or robot mode.
The great thing about this stand is that every single part that comes with Danguard can be stored in it. Even the stick tool can be stowed in it’s own special spot underneath.
Danguard A is fantastic. In fact the only thing I am disappointed a little bit by is the size. Part of me welcomes the return to a smaller, more affordable Soul of Chogokin, but the other part of me was spoiled by the enormous Yamato release a few years back.
See how small Danguard looks next to his Marvel Shogun Warriors brethren? It just looks wrong. I tried to replicate the poses from the cover of issue #1 as best as I could.
Invincible Guardians of world freedom!
|Posted 8 October, 2013 - 09:13 by JoshB|