Fire Dagwon (Fire Jumbo)
Review by Shogundan
The late seventies/early eighties, was a fantastic time to be a child. It was, for many, the golden age of Japanese toys. We had Mattel's Shogun Warriors toy line, Bandai's Godaikin, Matchbox's Voltron/Robotech and Takara's original G1 Transformers. Transformers, in the USA, was arguably by far the most popular toy line of the era. Growing up in New England, my mother would shop at chain store called Osco Drug. Osco's is where I saw my first Transformer, before they even were called "Transformers", I think the package actually said Diaclone. I was smitten upon seeing a robot that turned into a car! What a concept for an impressionable young child! I absolutely loved the early G1 Transformers. I had many of them and played with them all til they were worn out. Unfortunately for me, every subsequent line of Transformers has never captured the magic of the original G1 line-up. Fast forward 20 or so years and you have a 30 something year old toy collector that has the means to collect high end Chogokin and such. I love all the modern Gokin that is available. Toy technology has come such a long way. Near perfect transformation, highly articulated and nice diecast content. Sounds great right? You would think so but somewhere along the way, the magic was lost. That was until I saw BigBadToyStore.com had pre-orders for re-issues of the 90's Brave Series toys made by Sonokong/Takara. I contacted BBTS and soon received 2 very large boxes full of the Brave Series re-issues. The very first toy that I opened was a Jumbo Jet transforming toy called Fire Dagwon. Fire Dagwon is pivotal mecha from the anime Brave Command Dagwon. Let me say that the magic I spoke of earlier is back thanks to the Sonokong Brave Series re-issues. I want to share the magic with you, so today I will be reviewing Fire Dagwon DX. Fire Dagwon DX comes to you in a beautifully illustrated, heavy corrugated cardboard box shown below. The box is impressive, measuring 16.5"H x 14.25" W x 4.25"D.
Upon opening the box you are greeted with an equally impressive Jumbo Jet measuring 15.25" and weighing nearly 2lbs!
The Jet is packaged with 3 vehicles, missiles on sprues, and the instructions plus a nifty little catalog showing other must have Brave Series figures. All components Fire Dagwon are made of quality plastics that feel very sturdy and heavy.
The vehicles included are a Fire Engine aka Dag ladder (Right Fist), Ambulance aka Dag rescue (Left Fist), and a familiar looking Lancia Stratos Police Car aka Dag Stratos that transforms into a the robot Dag Fire. The Stratos was made popular in the transformers collectors community by G1 Transformer, WheelJack,
Both the Fire Engine and Ambulance are stored conveniently in the legs in Jet mode The Dag Stratos police car is stored in the fuselage which separates in the middle and has a ramp that deploys for the car to roll down.
Another feature that adds play value is a red lever on each side of the Jet (shown below). When the lever is lifted it will automatically deploy the Ambulance or Fire Engine from the legs.
As I mentioned above, The Police car can transform easily into the 4.25" tall robot (Dag Fire) shown below. The articulation is very limited in Robot mode, only the elbows are poseable.
Dag Fire can fit neatly in Fire Dagwons chest when transformed. Or you can have Dag Fire fight independently alongside Fire Dagwon.
Onto the main Mecha! Fire Dagwon (aka Fire Jumbo), stands a whopping 13" tall from the bottom of its feet to the tip of its wing. Even with articulation being limited to the shoulders and elbows, Fire Dagwon is still a very impressive figure. The toy, when in Robot mode, has undeniable shelve presence!
Some of the features of Fire Dagwon are a sword that is retractable from Dag Ladder (Fire truck) and actual firing missiles that fire from the Jet engines! Fire Dagwon really gives you bang for your buck!
Wait, the fun doesn't stop there. Fire Dagwon is able to combine with Power Dagwon. This combination makes the ultra cool Super Fire Dagwon (shown below). I will be covering that combination as well as Power Dagwon, Gun Kid (Bazooka) and Lian (sword) in a future reviews.
All in all this toy is magical, having the power to bring someone back to their youth. A time when robot toys were not super complicated with crazy articulation, they were just fun. I strongly encourage you to visit BBTS and pick up one of these before they are sold out. Who knows, it may awaken long lost childhood memories for you too.....
Comments24 comments posted
So if i'm not mistaken, the Brave series was a kind of continuation of Transformers (reusing many of the molds) while offering some competition to Bandai's Super Sentai toys?
"Dinobots, destroy Devestator!"-Optimus Prime TFTM
I was under the impression that the Brave Saga was a counter to the then-budding Transformers series.
BTW, I have three original transformable mecha from "Brave of the Sun Fighbird"... even though I've never seen any of it, or know anything about it! So far as I know, they are known as the Fighbird, Grandbird, and the villain Draias.
Any fan sites out there that I could research my mecha on?
Yes, like the Brave Museum.
I must say I'm a complete sucker for the Brave saga toys. They are simply friggin cool and one of my collector dreams is to have a collection of these. Oh well, true I made my first contact through bootlegs of Super J-Decker, Fire Dawgon and Super Goldran, but I made research as soon as Internet become available for me. And now I hunger for these toys, as well as few anime (GaoGaiGar is the pure embodiment of classic, entertaining super robot genre). Good look, amazing transformations, what else would I need for happiness? :)
Thanks so much for the review, Shogundan :)
Wallas, thanks for the link, but I already have the toys. What I want is info on the show about the characters. What is the story about? Who are the major players and their personalities? How is this a super robot genre? What are their weapons called, finishers, special moves, verbal commands for transformation/combination, all the separate components, etc etc etc. I can't find subbed-episodes, otherwise I wouldn't be asking this.
Yes, nice review, Shogundan.
I can figure, it's like with Machine Robo: you know there is a fansub, but it's nowhere to be found.
Oh, sorry, I misunderstood you ^^ I know GaoGaiGar had once a very detailed and complete fansite but other series are probably best covered yet by Wikipedia... If I'll come across something of any Brave value I'll share it with you.
Ironically, "Fighbird" is the only one of the Brave Series that doesn't have a Wikipedia entry!
A couple of the shows have some fansubs for the first few episodes. I think Dagwon had at least 15 done. It was basically a re-do of Transformers Masterforce with a little more Sentai.
animesuki.com has a few of the series in various states of being subbed. gaogaigar was licensed so the guys who subbed it took it down. but i have all of it if you're interested. i can send you the whole thing on dvds. goldran is being subbed at msubsreleases.wordpress.com/
Basically the premise of Brave of the Sun Fighbird is a that an intergalactic emperor Draias hgeads to Earth to gather minus energy. He teams up with Dr Jango and has two henchmen as well. Basically Fighbird and his team arrive on Earth as energy life forms and bonds with vehicles/electric objects to camoflage on earth. Luckily Fighbird bonds with an android (nmed Katori Yutaro) that is created by a nutty professor who has a heart of justice. He also created the Fire Jet and the vehicles that Ace Baron posseses (Ace bonds with the tank but the other vehicles are drones that he commands and shows no sign of individual intellect though in one episode the Sub does put up a fight when Ace Baron was in danger). The Guard Team bonds with rescue theme vehicles and the episodes involve the villains trying to destroy the environment and such nonsense and the heroes fight them.
Later on when Draias expands his reach to america Fighbird realises he needs back up and sends a call sign to Guard Wing who arrives in the nick of time to save the day (and be cocky about it). His first combination with Guardion feels very unexcting and no build up to it.
Later Fire Jet is damaged by Draias and the Fire Shuttle is put into service as Fighbird's mech allowing him to combine into Granbird. After the Fire Jet is fixed Granbird realise he can combine with it to make the Strongest Combination Great Fighbird.
At the end Draias finishes his 'tower of darkness' which is used to gather minus energy and becomes Organic Draias and has a final fight with Great Fighbird and obviously the good guys win and they say goodbye to their earthling friends and leaves.
Well thats the show in a short summary with most of the non important stuff removed. The thing I hated about this showe is that it IS a blatant toy commercial. Draias being the awesomely powerful guy that he is shows up so little to do some ass kicking. The only times he apppears apart from the last few episodes are whenever the good guys have to show off their new arsenal/combination which are able to push him back but then the next time they fight its basically useless again (like Granbird almost kills Draias with his Gran Cannon in 29 but in a few episodes later Draias is trouncing Granbird again until he combines in Great Fighbird to nearly kill him again. Then Great Fighbird is small fry again).
So, is "Fighbird" considered one of the weaker of the Brave Saga? So deplorable that no one posts any info of it on the net?
No, the Brave series was by Takara following Transformers. Basically they wanted to switch from Toei to Sunrise for the cartoons and ditched the Transformers name in the process. This also saved them from dealing with Hasbro. The first Brave series (Exkaiser) was a year following the last original Transformers series.
A few TF toys did get reused (Galaxy Shuttle, Grandus, Sky Garry, Dai-Atlus, White Dragon, Sonic Bomber), but that's only a few. The vast majority were original. There's a funny trend of old Transformers becoming villains for Brave robots to destroy. For instance, in Exkaiser, the enemies are clearly the original Dinobots though there were never remolded toys of them.
"The late seventies/early eighties, was a fantastic time to be a child. It was, for many, the golden age of Japanese toys."
For me it was also the golden age of Japanese anime.
I still 'live' in the seventies!
Fire Dagwon is really a classic design. I'm such a big fan of his design in terms of the toys and the show. Power Dagwon is not even the icing on the cake. He's more like another cake that combines with your awesome cake for an even more awesome super cake. CM's has a Brave Gokin set in the works, let's hope it can capture some of the awesomeness of this guy
Man,I remember buying so many now-iconic toys at Osco Drug. He-Man,Ravage (transformer tape),Leonardo from TMNT are the ones I can actually remember purchasing there,but I know I got a lot more there.
OMG- BigBadToyStore has one of the Brave robos I'm looking for on sale! Please tell me quickly, anyone, what is the difference between the original company that made them (Takara?) and the Sonokong Korean-sold versions?
Yup, the Sonokong and Takara Brave Series figures are pretty much the same thing. matter of fact the Boxes say Takara / Sonokong.
"the other fat bearded guy at CDX"
Epic! Thank you!
I feel some reviews coming... if I could just learn about these toys first-!
Too late Eva,
I bought them all and I am in the process of reviewing them... Sorry Dude
"the other fat bearded guy at CDX"
...all of them? Only two I want- the Super Guardian and the Thunder Baron. I don't care about any of the others. And really, that would end my foray into the Brave Saga.
I have been eyeing up the Sonokong reissues... I don't have anything quotable, but I'm pretty sure they are identical. The Korean TF releases from the late JP Beastwars/Car Robots releases were pretty much identical. :)
Nice review Dan. Thanks for bringing the light on the re-issues. Just as much fun as the originals! I'll have to check out this Fire Dagwon, been eyeballing for a long time.
I love the Japanese Takara 1st issue G-01 GaoGaiGar, and King Exkaiser that I've got.
For anyone contemplating these, Go For It! You simply cannot get biggie size, quality made, clickey joint, gimmick filled robot toys at a better value.
And don't be thrown off by claims by sellers. For the most part, any of the Takara, or Sonokong Brave toys do not have big hunks of die cast in them. But that's not any reason to hold off on these guys. As Dan pointed out , they are heavy, and feel quality, with some of the most satisfying clicky/clacky ratchet joints you'll ever find.
Yup...no difference between Sonokong and Takara, in terms of quality. It just comes down to price, availability, and whether you prefer Japanese writing or Korean writing on your box! ;)
My only beef with this run of reissues is two omissions: Goldymarg/Goldion Hammer, the final upgrade bot (well, not including the space version of the Stealth Gao to form "Star GaoGaiGar") for GGG, and all the robots that make up Great Goldran.
In my opinion, GGG (with the Goldion Hammer) and Great Goldran are the finest Brave toys Takara ever put out.
Great, now there's another line of toys I want to blow money on. Curse you, awesome looking giant robots!!
The toy in itself looks very impressive and it's great Takara were still making G1 looking robots by 1996. :D A pity none of these Brave toys were released by Hasbro. I wouldn't mindcollecting some of these awsome robots if I could. Fire Dagwon looks fantastic, with plenty of play value. You get one giant vehicle, plus three others with one becoming a robot and one a giant robot. That is just awsome. Great review. :)