DX Yatter Wan
|Character Design||Kunio Ohkawara|
Review by JoshB
Yatterman is a classic cartoon from the 70s that has been re-imagined twice in recent years. First, there was the re-launched animated series in 2008 and then the live action movie in 2009. While the live action move is a radical shift from the classic designs, the 2008 animated series retains the look of the original. It is from this remake that the subject of today’s review originates.
The mecha designs in Yatterman are childlike and fun, each a mechanical mish-mash between zoo animal and mecha. The vintage gokin of these toys are instant fun classics, but their cute design makes them not for everyone’s tastes.
Yatter Wan (Wan-Wan being an Onomatopoeia for a dog “bark”) is a large, sentient, dog-shaped mecha originally designed as a rescue device. It now battles the Dorombo gang in their quest to obtain the Skull Rings. The two main characters of Yatterman – Gan-chan and Ai-chan, hang onto the side of Yatter-Wan when in transit.
If this all seems kind of silly – it is. It’s a modern-day Wacky Races, combined with Pokemon. Due to the child-like nature of the show, the merchandise related to the 2008 remake is very much targeted to kids, which is a very good thing.
TakaraTomy’s DX Yatter-Wan is the first in a series of DX toys that are compatible with other toys from the Yatterman series. The common gimmick that binds all these toys together are these small figures called Bikkuri-Dokkiri Mecha. The small figures can be bought in sets and used with any of the vehicles and playsets in the line.
Yatter-Wan is big, about 10 inches tall and is made out of sturdy durable plastic. Very little assembly is required out of the box, and the toy needs no batteries or decals.
So what does it DO?
The main gimmick here is the interaction with the Bikkuri-Dokkiri Mecha. To use this play feature, first the mecha must be loaded into the back of the Yatter-Wan by an opening door on its back.
The Mecha are small rubber figures that attach to a base with a metal ball in the middle. The ball enables the base to roll across the floor, and provide some weight. In this case three rubber Mecha and bases are provided but others can be purchased separately.
One the Mecha is loaded, you then turn the center section forward about 90 degrees and then open the mouth and extend the launch ramp. The attached ramp is kind of small, so a larger ramp is included that just snaps on to the existing one.
With a firm grip, pull the tail down and you will hear a cranking noise. Pull a few more times and eventually the Bikkuri-Dokkiri Mecha will launch down the ramp and zoom across the floor, one after another.
It’s pretty fun and ingenious, but on its own, that’s all it does. Kids will launch them over and over, but adult collectors will want more.
To get more, of course, you have to buy more. TakaraTomy released PVC figures of Gan-chan and Ai-chan pre-posed to hang off of the sides of Yatter-Wan – of course these are sold separately. In addition, the Yatter-Wan can combine with the DX Yatter Pelican to create an even bigger mech. Unfortunately I don’t have the Yatter Pelican but I will soon change that.
The TakaraTomy DX Yatter-Wan is a fun toy, and it looks great. As a display piece it’s a great tribute to the classic design and as a toy its fun to play with. What more could you ask for?
Bonus vid: an actual japanese kid playing with the DX Yatter-Wan
|Posted 29 June, 2009 - 21:00 by JoshB|