Review by The Enthusiast
Acrobunch: Legend of the Demon Lands, was Japanese animation studio TMS’ lame effort to inject super robots into the then-popular archeology genre of the early eighties. By most accounts it wasn’t very good, but the intro looks cool enough.
Poplar’s Arcrobunch DX toy, the “Wondrous Combination” set, is one of the great forgotten masterpieces of the super robot era. Poplar, an offshoot of the legendary Clover, produced only a handful of Acrobunch toys before folding, but those toys are amazing.
Taiwanese outfit Royal Condor snapped up the US rights to a handful of classic gokin, most notably the Acrobunch and Xabungle DX toys. As far as I can tell, the Royal Condor pieces are identical to the originals except for manufacturing marks.
Pentabot comes in a large window box obviously derivative of TFG1.
Deluxe styrofoam tray within.
Acrobunch is, above all, a funky, funky robot. There’s something unmistakably disco about his styling. His head looks like no other super robot head before or since, with that weird mask and white face. And this is, I believe, the only super robot with electric blue and hot pink details, anticipating the fluorescent colors fad of the late eighties.
The proportions are exquisite. The materials are top notch. There’s not a ton of diecast (lower legs, structural bars inside the torso), but the figure is solid. The fit and finish is right up there with the best Popy DX toys. This mold wouldn’t have been out of place in the Godaikin lineup.
Articulation is par, which is to say, woeful, with only the arms offering any sort of movement.
Accessories are minimal, consisting of a gun and sword.
The robot breaks down into five smaller vehicles, two identical motorcycles, two identical cars, and a ship.
I really dig all of the vehicles. They all have an angular futurism that really appeals to me.
The cars require a couple of additions, but certainly look sharp. The sides are all diecast. And looks at those crazy decals at the front!
The motorcycles have a separate diecast chassis which plugs into the arm components. Again, sharp.
The torso folds into a ship, the weakest of the vehicles. It’s still fine, but a little awkward with that huge wing.
The team assembled:
I dearly love my Pentabot. I can’t recommend it enough. This is one of the rare vintage toys whose quality and presence far exceeds its modest station. Pentabot still pops up on ebay with some frequency at reasonable prices, though the supply is rapidly dwindling.
|Posted 19 June, 2011 - 14:44 by The Enthusiast|