UFO Robo Grendizer
Review by Sanjeev
UFO Robo Grendizer (UFOロボ·グレンダイザー), based on a Go Nagai manga, first aired in Japan in 1975, and wrapped up in '77 after 74 episodes.
According to Saito, the venerable Jumbo Machinder came out in 1975 as well, and if you check out Nekrodave's review of Raideen, Getter Dragun, Getter Liger, and Getter Poseidon, you'll quickly see the stylistic similarities not only among the toys themselves, but also the packaging design, inserts, etc.
It really seems like the popularity of this guy's through the roof these days. Then again, if you look at the Jumbo Machinder market, it looks like prices are up all across the board. Thing is, Grendizer's not even that rare! Sure, complete/boxed examples aren't falling out of the sky, but they do show up on Y!J several times a year. The version I'm reviewing today is the more common Japanese version with the unfilled-in "UFO" on his belly sticker. There's a much more rare version with these letters filled in blue. That little variation will add at least $500 to the pricetag!
Of course, if you're looking for a cheaper 2-foot vintage Grendizer fix, you could always go with the Mattel Shogun Warriors version. I don't have one to compare in this review, but stay tuned. You may just see full coverage of the Shogun very soon from Nekrodave. Either way, I'm guessing the Mattel version is far easier to track down.
Grendizer comes in the typical colorful two-part cardboard box from Popy. He also has the early Jumbo Machinder catalog, 14 standard Jumbo missiles, and the two Shoulder Boomerangs, that can combine into his signature Double Hariken (Hurricane) weapon. Also, though this is more of a feature than an accessory, his right fist launches off in classic super robot fashion...though the red blades on the forearms obviously don't swing forward into a proper Screw Crusher Punch! This gimmick was replaced in the Shogun version with the three-missile-launching fist. I prefer the cartoon-accurate look of the Popy right fist, but at least you still get a sweet shooty gimmick with the Shogun.
Yup, he's got wheels on the bottom of his feet and he boasts a whopping four points of articulation! You certainly have the shoulders, but you can also rotate the forearms at the elbow. Anyway, one thing that honestly annoys me a little about this toy is the missiles. I mean, sure, they're classic and they give it that iconic "Jumbo Machinder" look...but there's no way to fire them! At least the Shogun version comes with the missile hand that can make use of these things! Eh well.
My favorite gimmick, however, is the Double Hariken (or "Double Sickle" in the Force Five English dub). The Shoulder Boomerangs slide up, out of the chest, and have matching prongs at the ends that slot together to form the continuous staff. It's sorta hard to tell from these pics, but the plastic handles have actually yellowed a little over the years. From what I've heard from others who have this toy, it's not from sunlight as much as just time and...air...messing with that type of material.
That's just a badass melee weapon for a super robot. I was never all that fond of super robots carrying swords. Always seems sorta unimaginative. The Double Hariken, on the other hand, was so much cooler in the cartoon, and the way Popy reproduced it so faithfully blows my mind.
As for the rest of the figure, it's a colorful, blow-molded polyethylene, 2-foot tower of awesome. The lines are slick. The colors pop. The proportions are killer. The heft is just right. But you don't really need me to tell you all that...
Oh, one last thing of note: I lied earlier. There are actually five points of articulation...
More on that later...
Now, folks, I kept the review above very academic in keeping with the format Nekrodave has established with his beastly coverage of these giants of the toy world. I normally throw in a lot more personal stuff about why I, personally, have an attachment to the character or toy.
Well, those who know me are fully aware that I'm a huge Grendizer fan. In fact, check out my Daigokin Grendizer review for more about me and Grendizer, as well as more Grendy toy fun.
I'll leave it at that for now, but stay tuned. There's more Grendizer stuff brewing. Big stuff...
|Posted 22 January, 2010 - 18:45 by Sanjeev|