Review by JoshB
Galatt is one of those names that you might have heard before somewhere buried deep in a memory. As a kid you seem to remember it having to do with Godaikin, but you can’t ever recall a Godaikin by that name. You could have sworn you’ve heard the name in your toy collecting circles. What the hell is Galatt?
Choriki Robo Galatt is a 1984 anime featuring a goofy robot named Jambu, who when faced with an evil threat transforms into Galatt. Apparently it’s a comedy in line with Dr. Slump. Not many people in the west know about it except for fans of mecha designer Kunio Okawara, who coincidentally also designed a little known mecha named Gundam.
But where is the US connection, you ask? Well, when Bandai America was grabbing all sorts of toys for their Godaikin line, they picked up a ton of rubber erasers (keshigomu) and sold them in the US in bags with the Galatt header card. They were the only erasers released under the Godaikin brand. There was a proper diecast transforming toy released at the time, but Bandai America did not bring that over.
Probably more in homage to the cool toy than any fond memories from the show, Megahouse released a modern take on this transforming robot as part of their Variable Action Hi-Spec line. The Hi-Spec denotes more expensive, more involved designs, usually containing metal. This is my first Variable Action figure.
The box is nice and compact, with attractive design and a book-style cover. The outer cardboard is a bit thin, and the inner plastic trays does not make it feel much sturdier.
The package lists the two names as Galatt Jumbow and Galatt Culutt. I have no idea honestly. We’re going to call it Galatt.
The toy comes packaged in the Galatt mode, so that’s where we’ll start. You’ll notice right away the wide spread of the legs. Out of the box mine were spread wider and would split out until I figured out the tabs in the crotch that held the legs into place. There’s no instructions for this part, so it’s up to you to figure it out. Chachipower has a good photo showing what’s up. Once you get the parts clipped in it stands well enough, but that’s as close as the legs are going to get to each other.
Galatt has a good heft, with some good amounts of diecast. The big red backpack is mostly metal, making him quite top heavy. The ankles are not tight due to their transforming nature so expect a few falls if not using the stand.
It’s got a good solid robot mode though, with very good articulation considering the transformation you have to undertake.
Be aware of the white skirt in front as it has a tendency to split in the middle and not stick together. This is necessary for transformation, but it’s still a pain.
In this mode Galatt has several weapons available to him. Two “dummy” weapons are included to replicate storage in the back when the door is open.
The Gun is called the “Heat Gun” and fits in the gun-holding hand.
A nice “Beam Sword” is included.
The Gara Javelin looks like it uses parts from the Beam Sword, but it’s a separate unit entirely. My guess is that in the show they come from a common weapon.
Transformation is a bit challenging, and definitely requires the use of instructions. Be aware of the figure’s propensity to topple backwards while handling.
First off we fold the hands into the arms.
The outer shields flip around and will eventually become the feet of the next mode.
The legs have an interesting transformation that result in them not quite lining up all the time when in Jumbow mode. For this you pull the leg up a little to release the front and back panels. When open, compress the upper leg back down into the lower leg, and then close the panels again.
From there you have to execute a complicated maneuver that involves tucking the head into the chest and unfolding the head assembly.
The actual face is not part of the transformation and instead needs to be swapped out with a panel. It’s kind of a cheat in my opinion, as I bet they could have figured out a way to make it work.
The resulting Culutt form is support to be cute and goofy but still seems a bit too mechanical. It’s squatt proportion would appeal to those who appreciate the SD styling. It’s neat but I don’t know if i’m feeling this mode. Perhaps if I watched the anime?
One benefit of the swappable faceplate is the ability to swap expressions. Four expressions are included.
For Culutt mode, there’s a bladed weapon called the Banzai Sword. It starts as a small dagger and I believe the next step is the full grown blade. Each has a peg that plugs into the claw hands.
There is also a forced-perspective version of the sword, a common trend these days.
The last weapon I thought was a replacement wing for the back of the figure, as the wing that’s there is a little floppy. But instead it’s a boomerang type weapon. This too has a peg to hold in the hand.
So is it good? Yes and no. I like the design in Jumbow mode, but not so much in Culutt mode. The transformation is a bit figety and the result is a looser figure than I would like. But it has presence. The fit and finish is great, the diecast ample, and the weaponry plentiful. There’s a lot to love for someone more familiar with the character.
|Posted 20 March, 2014 - 20:47 by JoshB|