|Character Design||Hajime Kamegaki|
Review by JoshB
The latest big Soul of Chogokin has arrived ! Godmars is here, and he is fantastic.
The program "Rokushin Gattai God Marz" (aka Six Gods Combination God Mars or 六神合体ゴッドマーズ) debuted on the NTV network on October 2nd, 1981 and ran for 64 episodes until December 24, 1982. The Titular Robot was named Godmars – a giant robot made up of six smaller robots. Other than that, I got ‘nuthin.
Godmars was never broadcast in the west, so American audiences wouldn’t know of this character’s existence if it weren’t for it being part of the Godaikin line of toys in the 80s. Godaikin toys were repackaged Bandai toys that were assembled from a wide variety of sources. The GB-68 Popy DX Chogokin Godmars was sold under the line in mainstream outlets such as Child World and Toys R Us without any frame of reference.
The series wasn’t hugely popular and it is remembered more for the fantastic toys spawned from the show than the actual show itself. As Bandai’s Soul of Chogokin line progresses, it has to dig into the second tier characters. But this allows the designers to do a little more I think, because people are less concerned about the character and the accuracy than they are about if it is a cool, well-engineered toy.
I’m happy to say that Godmars is a great toy on many levels. Where the original Chogokin had a great transformation there was a lot to be said about what happened to the extra bits, or “kibble” that hung off the back. Bandai took this opportunity to right the wrongs made so long ago. This toy is a great homage to the classic Chogokin and is available at BetaToys.com
The box is very different from your average SOC. The big, bold title of the robot is spelled out in giant chrome letters, with all the characters flying in from space. Open the box and you get a styrofoam tray with an old-school insert, identifying each of the robots. Even more, lift off that tray to find that the Styrofoam has been embossed with the name and logo of the toy. That is awesome.
Each part of Godmars comes wrapped in plastic, and each unit is self-contained. No assembly is needed, and Godmars is ready to go right out of the box.
Godmars is made up of six robots.
Gaia is the core of the robot, and it hides inside the chest of Sphinx. It is microman sized, and is fantastically poseable. He comes with no accessories other than a set of variant hands. The lower legs and feet are metal.
Sphinx makes up the torso of Godmars. As a stand-alone robot, he is blocky and inarticulate. The head can turn, the arms have a decent range of motion, and the legs can swivel at the calf. The front and rear panels are metal. Sphinx also has a set of variant hands.
Uranus is the white arm of Godmars. This robot is really nicely done, with good articulation and metal content. Bandai did some great things with this toy in regards to hiding the arms so that it looked smooth from all sides.
Titan is the green arm of Godmars, and although he looks different, he transforms exactly the same as Uranus.
Shin is the black robot and makes up the right foot of Godmars. This is one heavy bot, with feet of solid metal. In robot mode his articulation is limited, but he is light years ahead of what was done with the old Chogokin version.
Ra is the blue robot and becomes the left foot of Godmars. This toy has the same transformation as Shin.
Assembling Godmars is as easy as it gets. Each robot folds up neatly with little fuss and no parts swapping. The arms of the smaller robots are hidden in a mechanism similar to Gold Lightan – each arm is collapsed and folded in to the torso, hidden inside. Once assembled, you’ve got a solid, fun toy that feels like it could have been made in 1982. The only thing that spoils the sense of nostalgia is the lack of firing fists.
Godmars has one weapon – the gigantic “Mars Flash” sword. The sword can be held in the existing articulated hands, or in the variant “sword holding” hand. Also included are two larger closed fists. Honestly, the hands that come stored inside the arms are good enough – the other fists are just clutter to be lost.
But wait, there is more. What SOC toy would be complete without all kinds of other accessories that are easily lost?
First off there are three small jets that can combine into one larger jet.
Cosmo Crusher 1 is a long slim gray jet.
Cosmo Crusher 2 is a stubby jet
Cosmo Crusher 3 is a microscopic ship that hides in the underside of Cosmo Crusher 1.
The two larger ships can combine to form the Cosmo Crusher. The toy is all plastic and has a cool transformation mechanism, but it doesn’t feel like it goes with the toy, and will probably remain in the box.
Godmars also comes with what looks like a large stone sarcophagus. You can place part of the display stand inside to pose the Gaia robot. Each of the Godmars robots rests in a hidden place, such as inside a statue or under the sea. It would have been cool if a container for each robot was provided as was shown at Tamashii Nation.
Lastly, A small stand is included, with pegs on the base for holding the hands. The stand has two parts that can be used for various displays. You can attach both parts to create a cradle for the sword, or you can attach the stand to the back of Gaia to replicate a flying mode.
As far as quality control goes, Godmars is mostly perfect. The door on top of Uranus (the white robot) does not like to stay flush with the body, and there are a few small paint issues in the inside of the arms of Shin (the black robot). Design-wise, the toy is great, although I find the legs a little long.
I would recommend Godmars, and you can get him at Betatoys.com. I think he is worth the money, and I feel that you get what you paid for with this one, bucking the trend with similarly priced “gokin” toys.
|Posted 24 April, 2008 - 18:23 by JoshB|