Groizer X Limited Manga Color
Review by JoshB
Do you like repaints? For some collectors, their collection is not complete until they have each and every version of a figure. For others, they may just get the one they think looks best. More often than not, however, repaints become the bastard children of toy collecting. I know in my collection, if I have the original and a repaint, the repaint is the first to go. That is, unless I am madly in love with the character (ie – Raideen, Dairugger, Abegas…)
In the world of toy making, repaints are common for several reasons. For one, these molds are expensive, and manufacturers want to get as much life and profit out of them as they can. Thus, you see companies putting out different color variations of the same figure. They are basically recouping their investment in the molds, and trying to turn a profit.
Another case for a repaint is the retailer exclusive. Some store makes an arrangement to produce a special color run for their unique use, whether it be for sale in their shop, or at an event. Retailers have to commit to a certain amount of items to justify the new production run, and they are then responsible for promoting and selling them, a win-win for the manufacturer. I can imagine the sense of pride a retailer has for having their EXCLUSIVE version of a toy. I felt the same with my Onell Design Wraith Pheyden. However, that excitement quickly fades when they don’t sell as well as expected, as with my Nor’Easter Vegetius.
HobbyLink Japan commissioned their own unique run of Yamato’s G-NU Grozier X for sale through their website (and I assume through their wholesalers), and it didn’t sell as well as expected. Perhaps it was the economy, perhaps there wasn’t enough love for Grozier-X, but they just didn’t move as they should have. In response to the poor sales, HLJ did something really creative: they slashed the price by about 70%, and then held a contest for people to show off their HLJ Grozier. Lots were sold, and the winner happened to be CollectionDX’s own Chachipower!
Chachi (and others) likely got the Groizer because it was a big hunk of gokin at a cheap price, but came to find out that it is a very cool toy as well.
Personally, I have no love for Groizer. I actually think the robot is kind of ugly. Some think he has a certain charm, but he just does not do a lot for me. At a SRP of 15,800 yen, Groizer was never bound to become part of my collection. HOWEVER, on sale at HLJ, you can now grab one for 70% off, at 4,740 yen. For that, I decided to check one out.
Groizer X comes in a much larger box than necessary. The graphics are kind of cool, but the only difference between this and the regular release is a sticker on the front noting the different paint scheme. Like the original, the box becomes part of a larger papercraft display base, and, like the original, it looked like too much trouble to put together. Still, it's a nice thought, and provides a little value to the packaging.
Inside, the toy rests in two clear plastic trays. Groizer is packaged in vehicle mode, so we'll start there.
Groizer X has a vehicle mode that looks something like a bomber. In this mode, only the torso of Groizer is diecast, the rest is all plastic.
Groizer can be displayed either on a stand, or on landing gear.
The landing gear are separate pieces and must be attached. The rear gear snaps into spring loaded panels, the front into a section that needs a panel removed. Each gear has an articulated plate with rotating wheels.
The display stand is in the shape of a giant "X". Groizer attaches to it, and in this mode you can position Groizer in flight.
In this mode, a door on the chest opens and you can place a missile inside. While the missile does not launch, Yamato provides several missiles in various stages of launching. It is an interesting effect, but I would have much rather had one that actually launches.
When not in use, the missile can be held in a cart.
With DX gokin toys, firing gimmicks should be mandatory.
The back features two rotating cannons.
In the Transformers world, Groizer X would be called a "Partsformer", meaning it changes form by adding and removing parts, rather than rearrangement of existing parts. While not very toy-like, it is the only way to achieve both modes that can only happen through "anime magic".
Transformation is simple. Remove the lower half of the bomber mode, remove the wings. Turn the upper part of the torso up. Attach the arms.
The torso mechanism is a bit imprecise, the back needs to lock in just so, and then becomes separated easily. The front panel leaves an unsightly gap near the neck, but it's not too bad. Fortunately, the completed robot mode more than makes up for it.
The robot mode is very cool. It's full of metal, the polar opposite of bomber mode. It's insanely articulated. The leg movement is phenomenal.
The legs are almost entirely all metal. Upper legs, lower legs, feet: metal. The waist is metal, but the skirts are plastic. Each joint clicks firmly and loudly. The feet are on ball joints, with engine nozzle detail on the bottom.
The chest is metal, as mentioned before. The combination provides for a waist joint. Mine had a molding imperfection on the blue part of the chest.
Each shoulder is solid metal. The upper arms are metal. The elbows and forearms are plastic, and do not click, but are firm. The hands are on ball joints. Groizer comes with two hands: open and closed.
The head is plastic, with two flexible antennas on top. The head is on a ball joint. Take care that you extend the neck up through the chest during transformation, or the head is too close to the chest.
The color scheme that HLJ chose is meant to represent the color of Grozier X as depicted in the Manga by Go Nagai. This color scheme is Green and Red, as opposed to the Red and Blue of the original. Not being a fan of the original Groizer, I kind of like this color scheme better. It seems more like a Kikaiju than a hero robot.
Groizer comes with a few additional miniature vehicles. From the show: G-Jet, G-Shark, G-Tank, and, seen only in the manga, the Red Dragonfly.
Ok, so it's kind of cool. I doubt I would have paid full retail for one, but at 70% off it’s a no-brainer. It's got loads of metal, great articulation, and is just a joy to hold.
|Posted 13 April, 2010 - 08:13 by JoshB|