|Character Design||Kunio Okawara|
Review by chachipower
Everybody has a weakness when it comes to collecting. There are literally tons of reasons why we gravitate towards certain things we collect. Sometimes to the point we find ourselves hording a certain figure. For me, nostalgia ranks high on my list of reasons. As a child, my mom would occasionally bring home lots of small, mostly plastic robots. This is how I came to know the Orguss Orgroid, Macross Valkyrie and many others.
Some were Taiwan knockoffs since she worked near Chinatown NYC. So while all the kids had Optimus Primes, Gobots and Voltrons, I had obscure Japanese toys which probably, unbeknownst to me at the time, made me much cooler than them. This specific toy, planted the seed of my Japanese robot curiosity so it is very important to me. Probably one of the most important I own.
The figure in this review has merged my nostalgia with obsession. In my quest to complete the little missing/broken pieces on my loose specimen, I came across a variety of versions and knockoffs which made restoring this rather difficult. Difficult in that I was looking for an "authentic" specimen. In other words, I wanted to keep it authentic to the one in my possession. Sure the knockoff pieces were good enough, but I would not stop until I found the exact same version. End result: I own no less than 20 of these in my quest for completion. Obsessive? Yes.
This review applies to all versions since they are all literally the same. I am using a boxed version and my loose original for illustration.
Please welcome my plastic weakness....Irongear.
Here is the box most come in.
Once you pull the box off, you find the figure neatly laid out in a vacu-formed tray. The figure lays in the middle with his missile accessories to the side. The bottom part has a slot where a collectible cardboard Xabungle card resides. Beneath this card you will find little gun turrets that you attach to Irongear.
Once he is freed from his tray, you will notice he looks like a small brick. Essentially he is a bit of a brick since the only articulation lays in his arms. They only swing around. No side to side head movement, no elbow joints (sort of.. they compress for transformation) and no leg movement whatsoever. The red plastic is sturdy hard plastic, while the yellow is a flexible type. Look at how proudly he stands.
Nothing too exciting to be seen from the side profile. Those tanks on the side can be removed. Turrets are tension fitted and can be rotated. More often than not, the turret barrels will snap off or bend when trying to turn the turrets depending on plastic condition. Care is needed especially if you have huge hands like me.
Here, you can see the back profile. The figure is held together with metal screws. For such a cheap "throw away" toy, this was made to survive. It's remained firm after all these years.
I am very happy that this figure was engineered to transform. Its not much of a transformation really as all you really do is split it in half. More specifically, you pop the hinged upper body off, split the legs apart, push the forearms in, remove the fists, lower the wing, swing the leg turrets around, insert the missiles, pop the neck up and straighten out the "ears".
Although the fists don't shoot, he has missiles that do. They are pretty strong. They shoot much farther than any modern toy can since it was cool to shoot people in the eyes in the 80's til some baby complained about losing an eye. He now uses his eye patch to his advantage. Chicks dig pirates, it's a fact. ARRRGG
What makes mine different from the others? Although made in Taiwan like the others, my figure is stamped with the Sunrise copyright while the others bear no such stamping. Here you can see the stamping I am talking about which is missing on the other 20 versions I own. Otherwise, they are IDENTICAL in every other way except for minor sticker variances and packaging. From my research, it seems that it is made by a no name company but retains a Sunrise Enterprises license not unlike the Taiwan Daitarn 3 release.
Just for fun, here is a size comparison with his SOC big brother.
I felt this little guy needed his time in the spotlight since he was so instrumental in starting my obsession with Japanese robots. Which figure started you on the way to collecting? The answers are probably very varied depending on your age and what toys you came in contact with as a child. Everyone has their own little story.
So will I continue looking for the "elusive" complete Sunrise version? Probably not, I'm exhausted and broke. Besides, mine is pretty much intact aside from a broken antenna and bent/missing turrets, so I've decided to just pull the pieces I need off one of the other identical versions and be happy with that. These can be found rather easily on eBay all day long. So give one a shot, but beware..... BWAHAHAHAHA
|Posted 15 April, 2010 - 17:29 by chachipower|