Review by Modcineaste
Review By Leonardo Flores
A close second behind Bandai’s Tetsujin 28 DX as one of the most sought after Godaikin release is Combattra from the anime Choudenji Robo Combattler V. Released in Japan as part of the Popy line in both a deluxe set and individual vehicles, it was released in the United States in 1982 and was one of the largest sets in the Godaikin line.
To many kids at the time these were considered Transformers and Go-Bots generic knock offs since American kids were never exposed to the anime and tokusatsu shows the Godaikin line was derived from. But there were some kids who sensed there was greatest associated with the Godaikin line even though they had no tangible evidence to support their hunch.
I do not remember any other kids owing Godaikin toys or bringing them to school but years later I was able to acquire a Dynaman in Junior High from a kid who really did not understand what he had.
My collection of Godaikin was very small, owning just Combattra, Dynaman, Laserion ST, Laserion DX, GoggleV and Gardian. Because of their lack of popularity and original high price tag, Godaikin were usually blown out at places like Playco and Kaybee Toy and Hobby for next to nothing. My Gardian for instance I bought at JC Penny at the Montclair Plaza for $10.00. In was in a master carton of ten other Gardians for the same price.
My Combattra was bought under similar circumstances. I was at the Toys R Us in Montclair with my Dad. This Toys R Us, which since has been demolished, always had that row where all the generic toys were stocked and that is where I saw the stack of Godaikins at clearance prices. Combattra had been marked down from $59.99 to $49.99 to $39.99 and to finally $14.99. The real crime of the day was leaving the Godaikin God Mars behind that was only $9.99! I went back a few days later to purchase it but it was already gone. One of the biggest regrets of my life!
I was just blown away with the beauty of the toy, both as a kid in the 1980’s and an adult in the 2010’s. The Combattra box is HUGE, and was released with a ton of parts for the five vehicles and Combattra itself.
Upon sliding the tray out the box you are a treated to a Styrofoam tray with an orgy of colorful parts, hefty die-cast vehicles and numerous accessories and missiles and a colorful Godaikin users guide.
Combattra is a combiner and in this case it has five main vehicles with their associate interesting names: Battle Jet, Battle Clasher, Battle Tank, Battle Marine, and Battle Kulaft. When pulled out of the box the vehicles are not complete but one has to add the included parts to make the vehicle whole.
The head vehicle is the Battle Jet, which one has to add the rear part of the Jet to make complete. Battle Jet even includes a tiny figure which looks like it scales out to be somewhere between 1/144 and 1/100 scale. When the Battle Jet turns into the Combattra head, an ingenious weight in the face tilts the head forward.
The Battle Clasher is the weirdest part of Combattra which I cannot seem to figure out if it's a tank or a jet or a little of both. First it has these huge arms that do not seem to hide anywhere and are very awkward and somewhat silly looking especially when the fists are on. But the piece is heavy die cast, probably the most rugged die-cast I have ever seen on any toy.
Battle Tank is a great looking vehicle with huge red claws that attach with magnets to the body. I also love the cool moveable treads and double turrets on the top of the tank with missiles that can launch. Together with the chrome radar in the back it is an appealing and colorful vehicle.
Many of these early Chogokins included legs that were submarines and Combattra is not any different with The Battle Marine being the leg portion of Combattra. Battle Marine is another excellent vehicle with funky, rolling wheels, four placements to launch missiles, and tons of die cast.
The Battle Kulaft make up the feet and this was my favorite vehicle of Combattra. The two halves fit together snug with magnets and two powerful jets fit above Battle Kulaft which attached to the two black hoses that attach to guns hidden within two doors. Heavy die-cast all around, it even includes two sliding magnets to “capture” other die-cast toys. I always thought the name sounded funny and Russian like.
To combine Combattra you have to take off the extra parts off each vehicle. Most of the parts slide into each other firmly with magnets holding the parts together. The only parts you need to add are the fists and if desired rubber suspenders are included to hold the entire Combattra together.
Fully combined, Combattra is a sight to behold. First this figure weights a ton, besides the forearms and upper legs its fully die-cast. It is the heaviest Gokin I have ever picked up. Second, there is practically no articulation, with some arm movement and some slight leg movement. Otherwise it is practically a statue but you know I still had a bunch of fun playing with Combattra when I was kid.
The proportions are a bit off with the legs being slender, but again the art design works great and comes off as a great charming 1970’s Japanese robot. Combattra has issues standing by itself since it weighs so much and very top heavy.
The details are excellent and contain all those touches that I love in vintage Japanese robots. I love the Japanese Kana on a chrome sticker stick across the belly, and clear yellow plastic gems are beautiful, especially the huge dome on the body. This is one attractive figure. All the Japanese labels throughout look great and gives a nice hint of the toys origins.
The only real issue is the scraping of die-cast of the vehicles when parts are put together to form Combattra. Although the paint is thick and of great quality, the metal wear out the paint where parts combine. Also the chrome on the legs have worn away on my example. Keep in mind I rarely played with it and after I was through I put it away neatly in the box. If you ever come across a NOS Combattra be leery of combining the figure least paint might wear out when assembled.
Last but not least is that Combattra also transforms into a huge tank. Yes, it is awkward but cool nonetheless.
Combattra is one of the finest and much sought after releases in the Godaikin line and another example of an excellent Japanese toy that was available to kids in the USA.
©2011 article and pictures by Leonardo Flores and CollectionDX.
|Posted 16 May, 2011 - 19:43 by Modcineaste|