Dino Getter 1
Review by RobotBastard
Getter Robo first appeared in the pages of "Weekly Shonen Sunday”, in the dark year of 1974 when the world was menaced by an energy crisis, international tensions, and alien dinosaurs from the Earth's core. With Getter Robo, Ken Ishikawa and Go Nagai brought their countercultural notions to the genre of super robots. In contrast to the naive but good-hearted student heroes of previous series, Getter Robo featured a hothead street fighter, a vicious psychopath, and a gluttonous buffoon. And, no doubt to the delight of toy manufacturers, Ishikawa's three heroes piloted flying machines that combined to form different robots of wildly varying appearance and characteristics.
Despite (or maybe because of) these confusing new ideas, Getter Robo caught on. The manga was followed by a TV series and toy lines, and while the Japanese toy scene is littered with properties that had a big launch and went nowhere, Getter Robo took off and has been bringing Getter Beams to humanity's aid ever since. Sure, occasionally Getter Robo destroys the world in order to save it, but his heart is in the right place.
Getter Robo has seen something of a renaissance in toys lately, with excellent high-end figures of the series protagonists coming from Fewture and SEN-TI-NEL. Dino Getter is a new character design, with a toy line and manga for 2014 (with, presumably, appearances in other media to follow). Sen-Ti-Nel's planned "Metamor-Force" line, intended to focus on transformation, debuts with this dino-styled re-imagining of the original beam-blasting brawler.
Dino Getter arrives in painted cardboard, with a clamshell vacu-form tray inside. Plastic film and bubble wrap protect painted details inside the package.
Dino Getter 1 stands about eight inches tall, about the same size as a typical SOC toy. He has a fair amount of diecast; the forearms, lower legs, waist, and upper torso (along with some internal joints and connections.) Dino Getter 1 is fairly stable, although his limited poseability makes that less of a concern than with other figures. Most of Dino Getter 1 is molded or cast in color, with only a few painted highlights.
Dino Getter 1 is rendered in the character's standard red and white, with highlights of metal and Getter Ray green. The white is slightly beige, to give it a bone-like look to follow the "dinosaur" theme. His design being based on the more modern Shin Getter look, Dino Getter 1's proportions are tall and skinny, in comparison to the more stocky Getter 1. I guess the kid still has his youthful figure, as opposed to the old guy who's put on a few pounds.
The build quality is very good; I didn’t notice any scratches or scuffed paint, and the paint applications are precise.
Dino Getter 1 has shoulders that swivel to the front and to the rear, hinge up and down, and rotate forward and back. The shoulder pads can tip slightly to provide clearance through the full range of motion. However, that range is surprisingly small; the arms aren't able to hinge far enough to lift above the shoulders, and the front/back swivel is very minor. There is a small panel on the outside of the shoulders that folds up to allow for more range.
Dino Getter 1's hands are fixed-pose, attached by ball joints. The hand is made with a section that grips the rounded handles of Dino Getter 1's weapons; the other fingers are crooked out slightly. There are no alternate hands included.
The chest has a slight forward/back tilt, with a nice clicky joint. It also swivels from side to side. The head is on a double ball joint and holds poses sturdily enough. The "ears" of the head can fold up, but this is part of the transformation and not a poseability feature.
Dino Getter 1's hips are a conventional double hinge (up/down and in/out swivels) with a good range of motion. What at first seems like a pull-out joint, though, is actually another part of the transformation. While a small degree of pull can assist in posing, there is no lock or stop to keep you pulling the hip all the way out. (A bar keeps it connected, but it looks goofy.) The knees are single-hinge joints and can bend far enough for Dino Getter 1 to kick his own butt.
Dino Getter 1's feet are also on ball joints. The ankle armor greatly restricts the range of motion; no double-joints or sliding panels here, unfortunately. The heel has a hinge, and the side toes can rotate, which allows for slightly more leg angle.
Dino Getter 1 comes with two Getter Tomahawks, two Getter Scythes, and an enormous pair of Ptero Wings. The tomahawks, Dino Getter 1's interpretation of Getter Robo's classic hand weapon, are enormous blocky polygons that are 100% plastic. They are shapeless chunks that look more like box cutters than something appropriate for a super robot hero.
The blade slides in and out, but this is used for the transformation gimmick and isn't something useful for display or play.
The Getter Scythes, on the other hand, are much more like what you'd expect for a violent fellow like this. The blades are stored in the outside of the Ptero Wings; pull them out of the sockets and plug them into the back of each scythe.
The handles are long enough that Dino Getter 1 can really make these big boys work. Like the tomahawks, the scythes are all plastic.
The Ptero wings are plastic, with an interior metal structure. A thick tab at the center fits into a slot on DINO GETTER 1's lower back.
A small accessory piece connects a hole below Dino Getter 1's neck to the center of the Ptero wings. (The part where this accessory plugs into Dino Getter 1's neck is made of a very thin piece of plastic that takes a lot of stress; I don't predict a long life for this one.) this piece gets moved around as part of the transformation.
The Ptero wings don't really do anything; they can fold back slightly but that's it as far as posing them. As mentioned earlier, the blades of the Getter Scythes can be docked to the outside of the wings (the toy ships in this configuration). One thing to note is that when one wing is pushed all the way back, the other is held in place; they are either "one up and one down", both mid-way, or both flat forward.
And, um, that’s it, as far as accessories go. No extra hands and only four weapons (in two pairs). While Getter Robo never really did have that much of an arsenal, relying on tomahawks and Getter Beams and simply punching foes into submission, it still feels a bit disappointing. (Sen-Ti-Nel is bringing out a dual Getter Machine Gun accessory as a bonus item for Japanese retailers, but that is not yet available.)
Dino Getter 1’s primary feature is that he can turn into a dinosaur; specifically, a techno-Pteronadon. The included instructions illuminate the process. First, make sure the Ptero Wing is installed. Then open the forearms and flip the hands around to reveal talons:
After you’ve done this, fold up Dino Getter 1’s ears, rotate the head around, bring the chest piece up, and unfold that backpack accessory we attached earlier; clamp the lot together to form the Pteronadon’s beak.
Now move on to the legs. The upper legs swing all the way up and lock into place against Dino Getter 1’s middle; the lower legs split into three pieces, with two of the pieces swinging forward to lock into place on the Ptero Wing. Several tabs help to locate and secure all of the components during this reconfiguration. Unfortuantely, it’s not really clear what to do with Dino Getter 1’s feet at this time; two small talons are present, and the instructions imply that the feet fold into the opened lower legs, but I couldn’t get this to look right and it wasn’t clear what I was doing wrong.
Join the two tomahawks and snap them onto the back of the Ptero Wing (again, slots and tabs are provided to lock everything together.) And there it is, a robot dinosaur.
From the top or the front, Dino Getter 1’s Pteronadon mode looks quite good.
From the bottom, however, we see that not much effort to hide robot kibble was made; Dino Getter’s chest and arms just sort of hang there.
The Ptero Mode is a good-size toy and hangs together quite well due to the use of tabs and slots. Poseability is non-existent; you can twiddle the forearms around a bit, but that’s it.
Hi Yo God Damn Silver.
DEEP CROW!! OH NOOO!! DEEP CROOOOOWW!!
To sum up, I’d say that Dino Getter 1 is a bit of a disappointment. While the character design is interesting and the quality of build is excellent, the limited articulation and haphazard transformation gimmick give the impression of a toy designed by committee with each section assigned to a different artist. While Getter Robo fans will appreciate the new direction for the series and collectors will appreciate the construction quality, people looking for the best Getter Robo toy they can get should probably stick with the Sen-Ti-Nel x T-Rex version.
Dino Getter 1 joins my collection of the character:
Dino Getter 1 battles the dino-menace:
|Posted 28 June, 2014 - 17:29 by RobotBastard|