Engine Gattai Series #9- Engine Jumbwhale
Review by EVA_Unit_4A
In one of the eleven dimensions, Machine World is a planet populated by Engines- giant sentient living machines with individual personalities and capabilities. They succeed in driving the destructive Ban KiZoku Gaiarc clan off their world during one of their largest planet-wide races. Unfortunately, the Gaiarc decide to move on into the dimension where Earth is since it seems to be an easier target for them to conquer in order to turn it into the ideal world of unchecked pollution and waste which they favor. Several Engines cross the dimensional barrier to pursue them, but they will begin to suffer fatal rusting if they exist in the atmosphere of the Human World for more than ten minutes at a time! To protect against this, they separate themselves into two halves- inanimate Engine Casts which are smaller versions of their physical bodies, and Engine Souls which contain their life energy and personality. Therefore, they and their smaller rust-resistant assistant Bomper chose a team of young humans to fight the Gaiarc in their place, and restore them to their larger forms whenever they are needed. Together with the arrogant & expertly-trained Go-On Wings, they form the Engine Sentai Go-Onger! So far, the Go-Onger have had it rather easy in their fight to prevent the Gaiarc from taking over Earth. But now, the mighty Engines are all cowering before the evil genius of the Land-Pollution Vice-Minister & Gaiarc’s tactician Hirame-- ummm... Hiramesusukidesu- Hirakimekimedesu-- (Hang on- I’ll get it...) Hiramekideathme- Hiramekiss- Hira-Hi-- rrrrgh! Wait- it’s Hiramekimedes! (Yeah- that’s it.) He is the only Gaiarc whom the Engines have never been able to defeat, and they fear him greatly for all the devastation he caused on Machine World. Unfortunately, Hiramekimedes suddenly disappeared just before the three Gaiarc ministers were defeated on Machine World, and no one’s heard from him since... until now. So his sudden arrival on Earth has shaken the Engines badly and sent them running for cover, leaving the Go-Onger near-powerless! And even when they manage to outwit him just one time, Hiramekimedes is still able to keep the upper hand! But then, suddenly, two new Engines appear from out of the clouds...
. . .
A few episodes earlier, the Suto siblings learned that their mentor from Engine World, Jumbwhale has arrived on Earth to help them as they fight against the Gaiarc. Then, in Grand Prix 20 – “Sibling Battle!?”, Mia is disheartened when she finds out that her brother Hiroto has been courting other girls in order to find another career, and that he was staying as part of the Go-On Wings team because of her. So Mia tries to strike out on her own against Chainsaw Banki, determined to show that he need not stay for her sake if that is his wish. Feeling that his kohai are conflicted, Instructor Jumbwhale launches from his giant secret hangar in a commercial airport, and extinguishes the flames surrounding the Go-Onger and Go-On Wings. Making sure that they are okay, he then engages Banki fighters alone with his fiery Jet Mode! With Hiramekimedes retreating to leave the grown Chainsaw Banki to finish them off, Jumbwhale instructs Jettoras and Toripter to join with him in the sky.... Engine Number 9 – Jumbwhale (back) As the leader of the Wing Clan back on Machine World, he doesn’t need a human partner. However, Hiroto Suto (Go-On Gold) keeps his Engine Soul cartridge safe. He is represented as a combination of a commercial airliner and a blue whale. Jumbwhale is both wise and just- able to anticipate problems that may arise, but is modest about is position and intelligence. In addition to firing the Bowhale Beam- which fires multiple energy shots from his engines and undercarriage cannons- he is also big (easily dwarfing even a 70.6m-long Boeing 747-400) and his armor is thick enough that he can simply plow straight through any attack or even swallow Bandou Moth fighters whole! Though he casually cruises through the clouds, when needed most, Jumbwhale can split his tail apart and merge the two halves with his wings to for a large flying wing-like Jet Mode with much faster rocket-powered speeds and cornering abilities. As a life form from Machine World, he ends most of his sentences with the second syllable of his name- “Bwaaae!” Jumbwhale , as leader of the Wing Clan, can initiate powerful combinations on his own, and so he serves as the head, torso, and legs of the Engine Gattai Seiku-Oh. Blue whales- Balaenoptera musculus- are still the largest animals to ever inhabit the Earth, with an average length of 32.9m (108’) and weighing up to 172 metric tones (190t)! By contrast, the largest aircraft ever made in the world is the Antonov An-124 Ruslan Russian military transport which is 68.96m (226’ 3”)-long and has a max-take-off weight of 405,000 kg (893,000 lbs). However, because of the seven turquoise windows above the main wings and considering his name, perhaps Jumbwhale is meant to resemble a jumbo jet like the four-engine Boeing 747 passenger airliner because of its trademarked hump just behind the cockpit. While Jumbwhale does have that extended-cabin hump, it is not immediately noticeable amongst the other dorsal surface details, which makes determining this tricky. Additionally, because of their hollow design, Jumbwhale’s angular engine nacelles and T-tail design may give him connections to cargo planes as well. Undoubtedly, though, he’s a wide-body Engine... Jumbwhale is the biggest Engine toy released yet as far as his dimensions- 43.5cm (17”) wingspan, 32cm (12½”) length, and 13.5cm (4¾”) tall; though Engine Gattai Series #6- Engine Carrigator may be slightly heavier. He has 12 small black ABS wheels along the undercarriage between his wings, on each of the cargo containers/engines on his wings, and beneath his tail which all freely spin. Along the top of each main wing is the profile of a blue whale’s ventral fins (where the silver Go-On Wings logo is also located), and each wing also features a raked wingtip. In addition to the horizontal stabilizers looking like a whale’s main flukes, the T-tail extends below the fuselage, ending in another set of wheels. This extended vertical stabilizer serves the combined Seiku-Oh as much as providing additional balance for Jumbwhale alone. While the blue whale has a single very small dorsal fin along the back-third of its tail, Jumbwhale has four multi-layered silver fins along his tail (these more for decoration at the Seiku-Oh’s knees than anything else). His head is rounded and features pre-applied yellow-&-orange eye decals along with the red-painted cockpit windows, silver-painted baleen (what looks like ‘teeth’ but are not such), and a large white jaw that can open up (which exposes part of Seiku-Oh’s head in the process). The undercarriage feature six of his wheels, but because it is the housing for the Engine Soul (see below), it cannot be retracted. However, two of the barrels that he uses for his Bowale Beam attack are set on pivot points and can flip up & down (though this is more due to how they’re used later on).
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Jumbwhale has two special features that go beyond just his vehicle mode… The first involves the two engine nacelles. These can separate from his wings, and each opens up to reveal a hollow interior. By itself, this is a pointless feature as far as the other DX-sized Engine sets (and truthfully I find no need to use it). However, Bandai created a short line of die-cast Hot Wheels®-sized (1½”) Chogokin Engine vehicles of Speedor, Buson, Bear RV, Birca, & Gunpherd that can fit one at a time into the compartment engine pods. (I don’t have-or-want any of the mini-Engines, so I can’t demonstrate this.) The other is more relevant, and that is Jumbwhale’s Jet Mode. The back-half of the fuselage splits apart just behind his main wings, and swing apart. The two fuselage parts each connect to the inner edge of the main wings, and then each tail fluke & the wheels beneath it twist around independently to keep pointing forward. And finally, his head pops-off, is twisted around 180°, and put back on in this new inverted position. Twisting Jumbwhale’s head around for his Jet Mode (back) has the effect of covering up his eyes, so to make sure he can still see where he’s going, he now has a green-painted cockpit canopy on the bottom of his white mouth rather than the red airliner windscreens. (Does it make a convincing jet fighter cockpit? I don’t think so.) Because of the shift in weight for this flying-wing form, the landing gear are wider spaced to help keep his balance when resting on a flat surface. The point of splitting apart the fuselage, though, is to expose the multiple rocket engines along each half.
In addition to future accessory DX Engine sets, the common ‘collecting’ gimmick is the battery-powered Engine Soul cartridge. These serve as a replacement in all of the toys for a dedicated light-and-sound effect. Each Engine Soul shares an identical shape (2 ½” x 1 ¾” x 9/16”, or 2.57cm x 4.5cm x 1.5cm), has a single bright red LED light (which can project over 6ft / 2m in a dark room!), a large decal which identifies it, and they all have some generic sounds. Because of this, any Engine Soul (or Change Soul, which I won’t get into here) can be fitted into any properly-fitted toy that can accept one. But, the gimmick is that each Engine Soul has a unique set of sound effects... The Engine Gattai Series #9 set comes with Jumbwhale’s Engine Soul. It is uniquely identified by its dark navy blue ABS casing, the stylized “9”, and the phrases “ES” & “09” on the front decal. While each of the Engines in the “Go-Onger” line can accept an Engine Soul, only Jumbwhale’s is provided; however, it will work equally in all of them since, again, all Engine Soul cartridges are the same size. The storage compartment is located in in the undercarriage beneath his main wings. To access it, you pull back on a small lever, flip the door down, and stick it in. (Care must be taken when inserting his Engine Soul as this is the first Engine to have the cartridge compartment on the bottom of the toy!) The bright red LED light from the Engine Soul shines through a hole in the right side of the fuselage, just above the left wing. (The sound hole is on the opposite side.) Jumbwhale’s Engine Soul- unlike most previous Engine Souls- now has five unique effects- all performed by the same seiyu from the series, Tomomichi Nishimura. (He makes his Super Sentai debut here, but is best known for more-numerous anime and video game performances). He says:
- ???: take-off!
- Attention please!
- Mission Start!
The phrases will always play in that order, each preceded by the same sound of a jet plane flying past. Now, if you place Jumbwhale’ Engine Soul into any other DX Engine set, it’ll say the same things, but it’ll obviously be inaccurate since that’s not the right Engine for it to go with. Also, since English is the primary language used in the commercial aviation industry world-wide, it is not much of a surprise that Jumbwhale speaks a lot of it rather than Japanese for all these phrases. Like most of the DX Engines before him, access to Jumbwhale’ alternate/generic sound effects can be accessed in both his regular mode and transformed mode:
This time, however, instead of a jet p[lane flying overhead, you hear a power-up sound followed closely by energy blasts (presumably from his Bowale Beam attack). But it is still Jumbwhale speaking. As with all other earlier Engine Souls, if you press both of Jumbwhale’s sound-activating buttons at the same time, most of these phrases will be repeated (though now preceded by the crackle of a radio), but now two new phrases will also sound which can only be found in this way:
- ???: Go-On!
- Bon Voyage! (French, "Good Voyage")
One final addition is made here, which Engine Gattai Series #7- Engine Toripter and #8- Engine Jettoras also shares. And that is that when you hold down either of the buttons for any length of extra time, you will hear the respective sound effect (jet flying or weapon firing), and then regardless of which sound effect you stopped on earlier, you will hear Jumbwhale proclaim in Japanese:
- ???: take-off!
So, that makes three new effects piled into this new Engine Soul which are each triggered in different ways from each other! The activation buttons for Jumbwhale are the small dark navy blue squares on top of the fuselage behind his head.
For those of you wondering the differences are between the Engine Gattai Series #9- Engine Jumbwhale from “Engine Sentai Go-Onger”, and its English-speaking counterpart- the Whale Carrier included in the [Deluxe] Mach Megazord from “Power Rangers RPM”- well, let’s just say that 2008 was a very good year to be importing… In addition to being sold in a set with two other Zord Attack Vehicles (the Chicken Copter and Tiger Fighter), they are two completely different toys. Bandai America scaled down all of the DX-class Engines to make them more affordable to sell during the 2009 world financial crisis. However, this came at the cost of removing all electronic features (an Engine Cell chip is still provided), and shrinking down the toy by about a third. Materials were relatively un-changed (there was no die-cast metal in Jumbwhale), but the Whale Carrier is a complete redesign.
I have to say that this is one of my favored Engines. Though covered from nose-to-tail in connection points to be used later on, as a stand-alone it does well. Both the wings and flukes can separate if too much pressure is applied, and I found that to save space when stored on the shelf without combining it, the wings can be conveniently folded back. Perhaps his biggest weakness is those rather boxy engine pods that separate- if you don’t have Chogokin Engines, then they only prove their worth when used in combinations. While cross-breeding toy lines is not unheard-of in Super Sentai (*cough*Boukenger*cough*), I didn’t think it really did any good here. As for the jet Mode, I thought that if both the tail and flukes could have turned rather than just the flukes, it would have helped a lot, though I was impressed that the tail landing gear could also turn. But why turn the head around for that!? Oh well... Anyways, the Engine Soul is good, and I just like the overall size of this thing, and that’s it’s not just another lump of plastic. Like most of the other Engines, this one looks best when not combined in any way, though I think the Jet Mode is a little awkward even if a good idea, and throws that off a little. It’s a very reasonable design and is one of my favorites from the Engine line, so I recommend getting the Engine Gattai Series #9 – Engine Jumbwhale!
…but wait-! The story’s not over yet! With Hiramekimedes on the run, Jumbwhale calls Toripter and Jettoras aloft to help him finish off Chainsaw Banki. Go-On Gold and Go-On Silver are honored to be with their powerful and wise Instructor once more after their training on Machine World months ago. Attention please! Engine gattai! Engine Gattai Series #9- Engine Jumbwhale is the final component required to make a new combination which also utilized both Engine Toripter and Engine Jettoras. And so, please proceed to the next page to read the review on the Engine Gattai Seiku-Oh!
|Posted 10 June, 2009 - 23:13 by EVA_Unit_4A