Review by chachipower
Seems like only yesterday, I was looking at a picture of a silhouette of Daltanious when it was only a rumor- now it's out and about hurting some wallets. I'm not going to beat around the bush. I love it. A lot of people do. The only thing that stings is its price. Oh but it hurts so good. You are looking at 220-300+ before shipping. So is the overall execution of this release good enough to make you forget about the entry fee into the high end Chogokin club? Lets take a look-see.
The first thing that struck me was the size of the box and how beautifully done the box art is.
Opening the box rewards you with a mix of vintage style packaging for the main components and modern style packaging for the accessories. On the vintage-style end, you have a huge block of styrofoam that extends the length and width of the outer box. To make it even more dead sexy, underneath the protective cardboard cover, Bandai gave us a very nice window type cover over the Styrofoam. Each figure is wonderfully surrounded by a classy window bearing their name. They included little indentations where the tabs of the cover can secure themselves and keep the cover lined up. On the downside, the windows have no clear plastic on them. That's basically nitpicking because it does look so beautiful. The accessories come in the usual boring modern plastic trays.
The very first piece I removed was Velarios (or Beralios). I carefully pried off the little styrofoam blocks that hold the figure in and grabbed the figure that was lovingly wrapped in plastic. Then I took out Gunper and immediately went for Atlaus. Each piece was a pleasure to unwrap. For this review, I will start off with Atlaus.
Atlaus looks like he was plucked straight out of the 80's. The figure remains faithful to the old Atlaus I got as a child. Except he looks much cooler and isn't all scratched up. The first thing I thought about was all the paint I was going to chip off during transformation into Velarios. You'll be happy to know Bandai also kept this in mind. More on that later.
Atlaus has a very good amount of diecast as you can see here. Whatever is plastic makes sense in the long run. This figure could be released on his own that's how nice it is.
Mounted on Atlaus' head is the DalFighter. It is removable and allows perfect transformation if having a teeny head on Daltanious doesn't bother you.
Articulation is rather standard fare. There are no ratchets aside from the shoulders swinging up from the side and swinging forward. Everything else is ball joint or friction. Speaking of friction, the knees joints are really stiff. I've transformed him about 10 times and the knees are still as tight as ever.
Atlaus has non-removable fists with opening grasp that allows the use of his Hand Slicer. The hand slicers originate from the gold panels from the side of the leg, but alternate pieces are used. To keep it accurate, you can remove the dummy slicer panels from the side of the leg when in use which I did not do for this photo.
The Hand Slicers can be combined to form the Boomerang Cutter. To make this weapon you need to swap out both handles for a single combining piece.
The silver bars on his forearms deploy blades which is known as the shredder punch. Both arms can achieve this gimmick by removing each little silver bar, four on each arm, and replacing it with alternate bladed pieces.
When Atlaus is ready to combine, you can transform him to combine with Velarios. His transformation is essentially the same as the original with some clever updates. The good news is that there is no fear of scratching his parts together. There is always metal on plastic contact to lessen any wear. Be prepared to fight the knees. They are very stiff.
Probably my favorite out of the three but a close tie with Atlaus is Velarios. It is a great little figure regardless of my love for robot lions. And when I say robot lions, I speak of Golion. He has a decent amount of articulation with satisfying ratchets everywhere and when handling it, it reminds me somewhat of the Toynami Voltron Black lion except with thicker legs. It is very hard to handle this figure and not be reminded of Golion. Velarios has no neck articulation aside from swinging down for transformation purposes. Each paw is mounted on a ball joint and the shoulder splay out a bit for some slightly aggressive posing.
I love the aggressive design update.
Although there is no head articulation, the jaw can be opened and closed as you see fit. It is such an excellent sculpt with superb paint application, namely the mane which is a dusted bronze color.
This design is very similar to the Golion lions. However, most of Velarios is plastic. That is not to say he is light on diecast which is sprinkled in all the right places.
Velarios still has his missile launcher which now tabs in instead of flipping out like the original.
When Velarios is ready to combine, the transformation is again true to the original with a couple of small changes.
Another favorite of mine is Gunper. He is the awkward looking spaceship that tries to be as cool as the other two on the team but it doesn't quite work. It seems his design was modeled after the necessity to make something that when transformed, resembles legs. Color-wise, he looks like a Colombian flag exploded on him, meaning he relies heavily on three basic colors. Yellow, blue and red. Somehow he sort of pulls it off. Well at least in my eyes. Some people still think he's corny.
Legs on chogokins are usually one of the best spots to find diecast. Unfortunately, that is not the case with our friend Gunper.
The cockpit has very nice detail for being so small. Too bad the detail is only apparent in molding detail and not in paint apps.
Gunper has a pair of arms that swing out from underneath his cockpit, each with a huge chrome blade. The chrome is so thick that it feels like they could be made of diecast. The blades however have to be attached after pulling the arms out.
When Gunper gets angry, he can pull out some other arms out back with a pair of claws.
You'll be happy to know that the hidden fist gimmick is alive and well in the GX-59.
When Gunper is ready to combine, he splits in half and forms the legs. Very simple and effective. Not so effective is visual floating effect of the ankles. Don't get me wrong, the ankles are firm and hinged with diecast, but it looks strange. A side-effect of this is also a lack of foot movement. The only movement available is the angling of the foot for spread leg stances.
Attentive readers will realize I've labeled each individual figure a favorite of mine, with a slight nudge ahead from Velarios. That is how much I love this set. Let's move on to the cool part.
For a quick look at what goes into combining into Daltanious, check out this video.
Once you've got everything in order, you are left with this great piece of gokin. Simply stunning in every way.
In this shot, I am not using the normal Atlaus head because it looks silly with a teeny head. Instead I am using the optional alternate head and bigger shoulders which allows better proportions. The sculpt of the face is simple but beautiful.
Like most other robot figures, Daltanious comes with alternate hands. He has the standard fists, and two pairs of semi opened fists for use with his included weapons. Each hand has a great satin metallic finish and is joined to his wrists via a ball joint. Shown here are his open hands.
Articulation is actually pretty good. Worlds more than the original. However, the knees leave something to be desired.
The hips allow a great range of movement.
Here is one accessory I could have done without. The Sigma Beam. It is just a thin plastic cross on a clear stand. If you dig it, cool.
Daltanious has a healthy dose of weapons. Here is his bow and arrow. The bow has a moving mechanism to mimic the shooting action. However, the nicely chromed arrow does not shoot out. To add insult to injury, the finned end of the arrow has to be removed to allow insertion.
If arrows are not your thing, then maybe a sword and shield is more to your liking. For an accurate look, the silver hip pieces should be removed as these weapons are formed from them.
The rings on his forearm can be swapped out for a pair of bladed pieces called the Gyro Spinners.
My personal favorite is the flaming sword.
I love how well articulated the arms are. He can hold the sword handle with both hands. To do this, the handle has to be removed and inserted into the hands. Next you can attach the blade to complete the sword.
Oh yes, he does come with the infamous parts stand which allows you to show off every single removeable piece. Some pieces attach solidly and some are just basically laying there waiting to explode all over your shelf at the slightest touch.
I really have nothing bad to say about this figure. I myself have no complaints on the well executed design although I am well aware of some complaints some collectors have. I have read complaints about the hanging lion legs out back and the lack of overall diecast. In my opinion, the legs don't affect the overall look of the figure. Had Bandai made them removeable, there would be complaints of part swapping. The diecast is enough to give him an overall satisfying feel and balance. While it is possible to achieve a perfect transformation, the proportions will be off. That is why Bandai has provided accurate alternate pieces. He has a bigger head and bigger shoulder pieces. No one one will ever be happy with everything. However, Bandai has the thumbs up from most collectors and fans of Daltanious.
The absolute downside is the price. At the moment he is hitting over $300 on auction sites. That's a lot of money. That being said, there is absolute crap out there that sells for the same or more. This is a well done SOC that has been manhandled by me non-stop for the past week and a half. It's that good. Especially since I usually stick my robots into cases so I can visually admire them. Not this guy, I can transform him with my eyes closed.
And if you were wondering, here you go.
If this review wasn't long enough to satisfy your hunger, then you can munch on this two part video review of mine.
|Posted 10 May, 2011 - 21:36 by chachipower|