The Big O Kurogane Shiage
Review by Optimal III
Bandai's Soul of Chogokin toy line debuted in 1997. As of February 2018, that's a total of 76 different figures and vehicles. But the actual number is even greater, because they tend to revisit certain ones and release them again repainted, retooled, and/or packaged with extra or different accessories. Or sometimes they sell accessories by themselves. Big O is one of the latest to get this treatment, and he's a product of each method.
Since it's been almost a decade, I'm doing this from the ground up.
In 2009, six years after the TV series ended, Big O got the SOC treatment as the 48th release. In contents, it was very much based on what was seen in season one. Three months later, an accessory set was produced as a web exclusive that added more weapons seen in season two. I gather everything was well received and have been looking to pick both up. Never got around to it, but that worked out.
I was looking at the Tamashii Nations website two months ago and saw Big O was getting another run. Even better, this version had all the accessories and a new anime deco. Mine arrived case fresh, still in the mailer. Upon opening the box, you see immediately the presentation is fancier than usual, which says a lot for SOC.
The bottom is plain, but the front & sides feature great photos and gold foil. The splatter on the front may be a nod to the new "iron finish" or the title screens from the first two episodes.
The back has less opaque product shots.
Everything is stored within one of three plastic trays, except for Big O, who gets Stryofoam.
There's also the manual. Everything except the instructions is in color. If you can read Japanese, I'm guessing it's informative.
First up is the display stand in its default form.
Up top is a spot for two different plates. One's for the car.
Below, besides the catchphrase, there are four removable blocks. They can be swapped for longer supports.
Fully assembled, you get a stand almost twice as long with more than double the storage capacity.
None of my pics do Big O justice, but you'll see an adjustment as we go along. You may say the original figure is black, but compared to this, it's more of a dark metal blue. This new figure is black like dusty coal, which better matches the animation. The website says they started with dark purple and then roughed it into the proper shade of black. They also redid the interior gold as champagne gold plate, the chest as matte gold, and the translucent plastic as salmon pink.
The "Kurogane Shiage" or "Iron Finish" refers to the texture. They burnished most of the surface area (black parts) to simulate the texture of steel. A change of pace from the other SOC toys I've handled.
The default head is small enough for the chest to be raised around it. The second head is a little larger and has a different style to it. I opted for the latter during this review where possible.
Screw holes aside, he's solid.
Articulation is still effective & appropriate. He rotates & hinges everywhere you'd expect. Not so obvious is the ability to extend the legs at the hips, knees, & ankles. That last one helps sell the size and enormity of Big O.
Of the original hands, there are two sets. One pair is fists. The other has joints at the top of each finger & wrist hinges.
The original forearms have workings pistons that can be pulled to lock...
...and release by pressing in the wrists and whatever's attached to them.
The upper chest can be raised to reveal machine cannons...
...and separate pieces can be pegged into them for the firing position.
The abdominal plate can be removed (Carefully! If it looks sharp & jagged, it is!) ...
...and replaced with the exposed missile launchers.
The intercardinal corners of the hip skirt can be removed...
...and replaced with metal chains that connect to one of three different tips, four of each included.
Either foot can be opened...
...to store the Griffon, Roger Smith's answer to the Batmobile & Black Beauty.
There's a third head showing Big O without armor plating...
...But only the smallest/default head will allow you to raise the canopy and expose the cockpit while attached. The instructions note to be careful doing this, because paint wear is possible in such confined space.
With the expansion comes a set of straight hands and alternate forearms. The pistons are static, but...
...they can open to reveal the Gatling guns. The barrels are one piece, so pulling any one slides all four forward. The panels are independent.
And using the fourth/smallest set of hands gives you the clearance to attach all the effects parts.
I don't know if this is "must have" for anyone who already has the original figure & the expansion set. But for those who don't that are Big O or Soul of Chogokin fans, this is as much showpiece as it is fun. I'm a Big O fan & hope they continue the series someday. But if not, maybe we'll get lucky and get Big Duo & Big Fau to complete the trio. Regardless, this is a great buy. I got mine on eBay for $240, but you may have to spend more since it's a webstore special.
|Posted 27 April, 2018 - 09:05 by Optimal III|