Review by JoshB
The late 90s saw a resurgence of vintage style chogokin, with Bandai doing reissues of classic toys, and smaller companies like Hobby Project creating all new toys in a vintage style. Perhaps you can consider this the first Chogokin renissance, seeing how the same nostalgic environment fostered the creation of the Soul of Chogokin line.
*Editors note: Most of this background information, and the translation, was obtained by reading Matt Alt's great article on Toybox DX
One such company who jumped on this bandwagon was the Shizuoka based company Nostalgic Heroes. They produced a small run of toys that never had vintage counterparts in the classic Popy Chogokin line. Inexplicably, the characters from Shotaro Ishinomori's Kikaider line never received the classic gokin treatment, at least, not as Popy or Takemi had defined it in the 70s.
Three were released in the series:
- RG-01 Side Machine
- RG-02 Kikaida
- RG-03 Hakaida
All came with vintage-style boxes that perfectly replicated the style of the 70s, despite being modern releases. The RG in each stands for "Retro Gokin". As Matt Alt points out, the "Cho" in Chogokin is replaced with the character for Retro, or Nostalgic (Natsukashii).
Matt also points out that Nostalgic Heroes used the back panel on their box to place a wanted advertisement for vintage toys. It reads:
"We pay high for used toys! Please help us in collecting and preserving old toys. Check your storerooms, your closets, your desks. Give us a call if you find even one piece! If you've got a lot, we'll come buy from you directly!"
If you did not know better, you would swear that this is a vintage toy. Everything about it perfectly captures the feel of a 70s gokin. The materials, the sculpt, the articulation are all spot-on.
Hakaida is essentially a block of diecast metal. Metal-on-metal joints clank when you pick it up, and unless you are gentle you are bound to get paint chips. The only thing not metal on this toy is the head and the gun.
It's got classic articulation. Rotating head and shoulders, hinged elbows, hips and knees. There's no hyper-articulation here, but that's keeping with the spirit intended. It's a simple toy meant to evoke simple times.
The chrome gun is well executed and fits snugly into the hand molded for it.
The clear dome on the head is amazing and shows the exposed brain on display beneath.
Even the makers mark on the feet has a nostalgic feel to it.
Surprisingly, these pieces are not very expensive even 15 years after their release.
|Posted 28 March, 2015 - 11:05 by JoshB|