Henshin Keitai Shodou Phone
Review by EVA_Unit_4A
This toy appears courtesy from HobbyLink Japan.
In Act 1- “The Gallant Appearance of the Five Samurai”, Takeru gives his four vassals a Shodou Phone on the condition that they fight to the end, or leave immediately. With it, they can use the Phone Mode to keep in touch with each other, or fold it length-wise to transform it into Brush Mode. In this second form is where the Shinkenger control their power of mojikara- allowing them to create calligraphy (the art of East Asian writing) in the air, and then make it real. As with any language- particularly-so with mojikara- the correct length and sequence of the brush strokes is just as essential as what word to use to get the results they want. While the Shodou Phone is a powerful tool and henshin device, it can also work in concert with the Secret Discs under the right circumstances, such as activating an Origami’s attack power and initiating a samurai gattai (combination).
The clock along the outside, set to 24-hr format, reads 20:09 (aka 8:09pm), with the joke being repeating inside above the ‘battery status’ icon in the decal display, implies the year that “Shinkenger” aired: 2009.
The clock along the outside, set to 24-hr format, reads 20:09 (aka 8:09pm), with the joke being repeating inside above the ‘battery status’ icon in the decal display, implies the year that “Shinkenger” aired: 2009. On the keypad, only the Connect, Power, 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 0, and * keys are functional. The Disconnect, 3, 6, 9, and # keys are molded in as part of the plastic and cannot move (having been painted white with the black lettering printed on). These are the keys’ individual sound effects when pressed:
- green Connect - ringtone (x3) in Phone Mode, activates henshin sequence in Brush Mode
- white 1, 4, 7, * - generic keypad tones (all the same)
- red PWR - Shishi Origami grows big and roars
- red 2 - Ryuu Origami grows big and roars
- red 5 - Kuma Origami grows big and roars
- red 8 - Saru Origami grows big and roars
- red 0 - Kame Origami grows big and roars
The Shodou Phone folds down the center of the Phone Mode. When this happens, an ABS brush tip will spring out of the top end. Once Brush Mode is completely formed, the henshin sequence effects will automatically activate. The green Connect button can be pushed to end this early, or it will finish off on its own after 12 seconds of waiting. After the toy is quiet once more, the Connect button can restart the henshin sequence again, though it is shorter that when it is first changed to Brush Mode. However, while holding down the Connect Button will keep the brush-stroke sound going, when released it will not continue the henshin sequence again.
For convenience, the five colors above the red keys remind you which sound belongs to which Origami.
The brush tip can be pushed back in this mode, but will not lock back in place until the toy returns to Phone Mode.
I am going to be honest here: I did not care much for this toy even before I got it. So then why did I get it? Why, only so that I could demonstrate for you on CollectionDX how mojikara is used when I cover the DX-sized Origami sets, of course! (In other words, I took one for the team… You’re welcome.) Aside from how it folds, there is no great or inspiring gimmick here. I was stunned when I found that not only did four of the keys have the exact same sound, but five out of the 15 keys weren’t even functional! One of the bigger problems, really, is that this is now the fifth regular-use cell phone changer we’ve had since they came out with the Henshin Keitai G-Phone in 2001’s “Hyakujuu Sentai GaoRanger”! Bandai, Toei, PLEX- it’s getting really old now. I mean- the arm bracelet used to be the standard Super Sentai Series henshin device, and those are being used sparingly at best now! (The earliest changers were simply LCD watches with a sound effect-or-two and a decal!) A cell phone can be an interesting henshin device because you can use the multiple keys to create variable codes and unique sound effects- which was done to amazing effect with both the Mahou Keitai MagiPhone from 2005’s “Mahou Sentai MagiRanger”, and Bouken Keitai Accellular from 2006’s 30th-Anniversary series “Gougou Sentai Boukenger”; and they both also had an extra physical feature in addition to all those codes ‘n such. (I have both of those toys, by the way, and I love 'em to death!) But here, it’s just… dead. I think of the cell phone changers as extra soundboards to be used with the purchase of other toys. Bandai could easily have incorporated a few more sounds into the four white keys rather than have them all spout the same crap. What also irks me is the continuity- if the Shinkenger were around hundreds of years ago, would they have had cell phones back then as well…? I don’t think so either. Calligraphy has been used before [as a weapon] with the Wing Pentact from 2003’s “Bakuryuu Sentai AbaRanger”, but it looked more like a feathered quill pen. While clearly an effort is being put forward here to have a stronger influence of Japanese culture and history involved in “Shinkenger” (so much so that for the first time in 18 years, there will not be a new Power Rangers adaptation in 2010), the Henshin Keitai Shodou Phone just doesn’t do it for me. Recommended for no more than the youngest crowd and completists-only.
The Shodou Phone can be stored inside of the Shodou Phone Holder (sold separately), which is a fabric & Velcro fold-over pouch that can attach to a real belt or the Hidden Disc Buckle set (sold separately).
(I will not be covering either of those toys, so I cannot demonstrate this.)
|Posted 29 October, 2009 - 11:53 by EVA_Unit_4A|