Review by JoshB
Max Factory does not do gokin often, but when they do, it’s usually something spectacular. In this case I think they have made their best gokin yet.
Like any luxury item, it is expensive, not very functional, and extremely beautiful.
First we must gush about the box. This is one of those cases where as much care was put into the packaging as was the toy. The box is enormous, and it’s heavy.
The outer slipcase is in full color with metallic gold printing.
Lift off the cover and the inner box is revealed. The heavy cardboard box features a glossy black image superimposed upon a matte black background with gold lettering.
There is a silk tab on the right side used to open the lid on the box. Inside the front cover is a full list of credits from the production of Big O.
On the right is a card signed by Max Factory’s owner Max Watanabe, and Big O creator Keiichi Sato.
Lift off this cover to reveal the top layer of foam padding. In that is a baggie with the manual and a set of white gloves for handling. This is high-end.
Below this cover is the Big O. It rests in a deep space in the thick black foam padding. Also in this layer are two extra fists.
On the final layer are the remainder of the accessories. Included in this tray are six sets of three different kinds of anchors, screw hole covers, two watch batteries, and Roger Smith’s car Griffon.
Taking Big O out of its tray for this first time is akin to lifting a baby out of a crib. You can feel the weight and significance of what you are holding. I found myself cradling it the same way. It weighs 2.3 pounds and stands just shy of 12 inches tall.
The toy is massive. It has such presence. It feels fully-realized. It makes the SOC and Anime Collection versions look positively inferior.
To give this a more realistic look, the outer finish has a textured surface. These rough parts are plastic, where the smooth parts are cast in metal. The end result is that the plastic plates look like metal, and the metal parts look like plastic. The metal, however, is thorough, and cool to the touch.
The head of Big O is all plastic, and features a transparent lid and a light up gimmick. The head can rotate and tilt, but cannot easily look down. The head is also exceptionally tight and the lid can pop off if handled wrong. This is the only flaw with the entire toy, and it is minor.
To activate the lights, you must first insert the included batteries. With a Phillips screwdriver, remove the small panel on the back and insert the batteries according to the instructions. Once installed, press the button on the back of his neck to activate the lights. The eyes, head visor, and chest window all light up.
The entire upper chest assembly can lift up to replicate Big O’s “Cannon Party” attack. As you lift the top, two cannon banks pop out. In this mode you can also see some inner detailed mechanisms of Big O.
Note that this toy does not have the ability to show the “Missile Party” attack from the abdomen, as it is a solid chunk of diecast metal. At the bottom of the abdomen there is a swivel joint.
Each shoulder has a clicky ball joint that clicks both when rotated and extended.
The elbow joints also click when moved and feature a thick rubber covering over the joint.
Each forearm features the “Sudden Impact” attack where you pull the pistons back until they click then activate by pushing in the fist. It works exactly like the SOC version.
Two sets of hands are included. The articulated hands are amazing, with individually jointed fingers and a rubber-coated wrist joint. You can swap these out for the sharp closed fist hands for more anime-accuracy.
The waist is plastic. It features six removable tips that create places for the chain anchors to plug in. There are six real metal chains that plug in with plastic blocks. Each chain ends with a spring-loaded clasp (like found on a necklace). You can attach one of three styles of anchor to the end of each chain.
The upper legs are diecast metal and have rubber coated tight joints that click with each movement, both forward and back as well as side-to-side.
The knees also bend and rotate with a click, and are also rubber coated. The knees are surrounded by a solid metal cowl that connects to the plastic lower legs.
Each foot is connected to the leg by a spring loaded ball joint. There are a few covers here so when you move the ankles several parts slide together. The bottom of each foot is diecast metal.
The left foot has a gimmick where you press the button on the back to launch the Griffon car. The first press opens the door while the second press launches the car.
This is an amazing piece, but at $500 US it is going to be out of a lot of peoples' price range. For most, the SOC version will do just fine. Max Factory's figure is a piece for conniseurs for those who want something more, be it high end finish or exclusivity. This toy is a labor of love. Max Watanabe, founder of Max Factory (who also make the cash-cows Figma and Nenderoid), must really love this design. There’s no way he’s making money on these, and he’s able to do vanity projects like these because his other ventures are successful and can float it.
No expense was spared making this toy, and it shows. The fit and finish are impeccable. One might ask where are the rest of the gimmicks? The spinning arm cannons, the chest missiles, the opening cockpit? The simple answer is Max Watanabe had a vision, and that vision did not include those items. On the surface this is a very simple toy, but in that simplicity lies its greatness. This toy will stay on my desk and I will not be afraid to pick it up and handle it. I don’t have to worry about remembering how to transform it. I don’t have to worry about losing parts.
This toy is a fine wine in a sea of over-caffinated energy drinks. This is a Bugatti in a world of souped-up Nissans. This is a refined toy for a refined collector. This is quite possibly my toy of the year.
|Posted 16 September, 2011 - 14:20 by JoshB|