Daitarn 3 Die-Cast Deluxe Set
|Character Design||Kunio Ohkawara|
Review by chachipower
DUN DUN...1,2,3!.....DUN DUN...DAITARN 3!!
I'm doing this review in celebration of the upcoming Soul of Chogokin release. At the time of this writing, it has yet to be released. So if anyone happens to read this after the fact, then YES there was a time that the Daitarn 3 SOC never existed! Maybe you future readers are here because the SOC version got you interested in the character and you wanna take a shot at the vintage version. Well, you have two options. If you got a chubby wallet, you may want to spring for the Clover version, or if you are like me, you will want to spring for the Taiwan release which is cheaper and more readily available.
The Taiwan release is essentially the same. While I've found no evidence to support this, the story is, Clover in Japan goes under, molds are sold to manufacturers in Taiwan, Taiwan releases the same toy with similar packaging and basically identical toy.
For me, Daitarn 3 was my first "chogokin". My uncle bought two for himself back in the early 80's and when I mentioned that I thought it was cool, he gave me one. I considered it my alternative to the Voltron/Lionbot I really wanted but ultimately couldn't afford. I played with this thing for YEARS. Needless to say, I am anxiously awaiting the new release.
Here's a little background on Daitarn. There is a cool James Bond type guy named Haran Banjo with blue hair that hangs out in a big mansion with an old rich dude named Garrison, an annoying little orphan kid name Toppo and two hot chicks (Reika and Beauty) that want him. He drives a badass car called the Mach Patrol. His car turns into a jet called the Mach attacker to fight the cyborg baddies who are known as Meganoids. These are usually humans that are converted into supposedly "superior beings". The baddy of the week causes havoc in his Death Battle ship. When things get tough, the baddy grows himself to enormous size requiring Daitarn to be called in. Haran Banjo yells out "Daitarn, Come Here!" Daitarn then comes to the rescue in fighter mode at which time Haran flys into the "gooch" of Daitarn. Once Haran moves into place in the ship, Daitarn converts to robot mode to fight. He shoots sun beams (Sun Attack) out of his forehead to weaken the bad guy, then jump kicks THROUGH them to kill them (Daitarn Crash). Awesome.
BEHOLD the mighty Daitarn 3!. There are many variations on this box. Three or four that I know of. There are two non window boxes and maybe two windowed boxes. Since I am reviewing the Taiwan version which is essentially a bootleg, the names will be different than the show.
The box is of the lid-type variety with the tray acting as the bottom. Once removed, you are left with a nice dense Styrofoam tray with everything neatly laid out. This is stuff dreams are made of. Like a kiss from baby Jesus.
Lets start off with showing you all of Daitarn's angles. He measures in at a comfortable 8.25".
Here, I've recreated the version they have on the box with one of my loose guinea pigs. You can literally mix and match parts with the included accessories. I'll show you some examples of that later. Note how the weapons are not "gripped" by his hands. The weapons have tabs that push into his palm.
Some of the stickers on Daitarn are cheap paper stickers which are not anime accurate but are there to give it a toy feel and detail. The rest are durable foil stickers. If you open the chest doors, you will find another foil sticker to simulate Daitarn's internals.
The chest opens so you can hide the head like so. His head hides to make transformation possible.
This bad boy even has rocket punch. What good is an 80's robot without rocket punch? Still has good distance after all these years.
Although no company is named on the box as manufacturer, it appears to be licensed. It states Sunrise Enterprises Corp. 1984 TAIWAN. You can see the outline of the little plaque they fused to the allegedly original mold.
As if he didn't kick enough butt already, this guy actually transforms into stuff. Its a pretty straightforward type of transformation. Very simple yet effective.
Here is the standard robot mode with specs taken right off the box.
Aside from his robot mode, he transforms into "Main Battle Tank" which he uses for ground attack. Treads do not roll but instead have little wheels on the underside. To transform, you open his chest and hide the head. Next swing his arms forward, bend the back and around to his back, attach necessary accessories and bada bing, you're done.
His other mode is "Space Fighter" . This is the mode he makes his entrance in when called by Haran Banjo. This is a rather simple transformation. Again you open the chest and hide his head. Next you swing the legs to the side like some kind of stretching excercise. Attach necessary accessories and bada boom, you're done.
I mentioned that you can mix and match his accessories, but you can also mix and match them on their own to make seperate vehicles. I love this feature.
This is a little tank using the small tank treads and backpack.
This is the same little tank in flight mode.
This is kind of like a Frankenstein type combination I invented. Strange and probably useless, but it just goes to show they worked a lot of play value into this set.
Since this is a review, I must also point out the downsides. I've really only got one I'd like to point out.
No, that is not Daitarn farting, I am just showing you the weak spot on Daitarn 3. His butt. It cracks. His legs are held in with two simple hardened pins, the weight of his legs against the pins and their thin supports equals possible breakage.
Now before I go giving poor Daitarn an undeserved negative, I'd like to point out that my original withstood being dropped, years of transforming, torture and abuse and never broke. However, I have 2 that I broke recently. They both broke in the same spot. Because of the pin swinging legs design, this leave very little room for the leg support casting. It leaves the casting really thin which is never good. Over time the metal weakens and when you least expect it...SNAP. It's not a great feeling. Fortunately it's a somewhat simple fix. I used epoxy to repair mine and it is holding up wonderfully. Patience is key. Let it cure overnight when repairing.
When I got my last one on ebay loose, I received it with the snapped butt/leg support. Snapped during shipping. So I decided to restore it..well more of a repaint because I did away with the corny stickers and I painted his black parts blue to more properly match his anime look. Not exactly a dark enough blue but it works for now and is a great project if you ever crack the leg support. Makes painting much easier. Here he is on the right next to a standard Daitarn 3.
CONSTRUCTION and MATERIALS
Daitarn is made up of some of the best materials around. The plastics are top notch and almost all of this figure is metal.
While the diecast parts are held by machine screws, most of his plastics are held together by pressed in rivets at the joints. Fig.1 shows the front side of the shoulder rivets. Fig.2 Shows the backside of the shoulder rivets. Fig.3 shows the elbow rivet and Fig.4 shows the knee rivet. The downside to that is that if joints get loose, you can't tighten them. The upside is that these are "forever pins". They are built to last.
The knee design is a little different than what you might expect. Since the knees need to swing from the back edge of the knee, there needs to be a way to hold the front side. The way they designed this figure is to have a metal tab molded to the lower leg and a steel catch spring on the upper thigh. Bending the knees is similar to snapping a crab leg, same feel and sound! Just not as tasty with butter.
AQUIRING YOUR OWN
What to look out for when buying loose:
* Broken leg support
* Broken/Missing chrome shoulder pieces, the blue swing arms tend to crack
* Missing fists. Not sure if there are repros. Took a stab at making them on my own and failed miserably.
* Broken chest doors. Sometimes they are broken and/or very loose. If they are just loose, its not too big of a deal.
* Really loose arms. Not a big deal unless you want to pose
* Missing paint. Paint is real thin and prone to coming off easily on some
* Broken head fins. They are made of strong plastic but some people manage to break them.
* Corroded thighs. They are bare metal but finding one with nice clean thighs is not too hard.
Taiwan releases are plentiful. What to look out for when buying boxed figures:
* Same issues as above
* There are 2 missiles. One plain phallic type missile and one with fins. If you see one with 2 of the same, it is either factory error, repro or replaced.
* Styrofoam condition. Many tend to be mutilated with holes because kids love stabbing Styrofoam
* 2 left fists or 2 right fists. It happens, but its annoying
* Make sure all pieces are there obviously. The tank treads are stacked on each other so hard to tell if both are there. Easy way to tell if if they are flush to top with Styrofoam. Or you can just ask seller. Be wary if they say, "it looks complete I guess". There should be the following:
* Missing Booklet, in case you must have it complete
1. Daitarn Figure
2. (2) Fists, make sure they are R and L
3. (2) Large tank treads
4. (2) Small tank treads
5. (2) missiles One plain and one finned
6. Two chrome shafts
7. One Javelin type piece
8. One Spear type piece
9. (2) yellow shaft connectors
10. Two triangular tread connectors
11. Tail Fin
12. Red backpack booster
13. Wing set
14. Instruction Booklet
You can just refer to the tray picture in this review for reference.
Look to spend about $10-50 on a loose figure depending on condition and possibly more with accessories.
Look to spend about $80-150 for a boxed version depending on completeness and box quality. Sometimes more if it is case fresh. These tend to get lots of bids worldwide.
This is one of my favorite parts of reviewing robots. It's the part where I show you guys diecast content! Because this is an older release, they did not skimp on the metal. I am showing him from behind since this is where it is most visible. Notice the bare metal on the thighs.
Something usually not shown in reviews are the instructions, but Ive scanned them for you guys to check out. Very nice line drawings.
Back Side Notice that in this diagram on the right, they really stress the importance of not forcing the legs too much. Sticker placement instructions are useless as they already come with stickers applied.
Just for fun, I have him here next to his little brother Baldios from the CM's Brave Gokin line.
That's a wrap folks, your little "fix" before the SOC version comes out.
|Posted 31 March, 2010 - 12:12 by chachipower|