Review by StarSaber
Aura Battler Dunbine is Yoshiyuki Tomino’s (Mobile Suit Gundam, Daitarn 3, a dozen others) 1983 fantasy mecha series. Japanese motorcyclist Shou Zama is one day spirited away to the mystical land of Byston Well to pilot Aura Battler machines for the army of Drake Luft, before defecting to rebel forces. Shou spends the first half of the series in the titular Dunbine, whose appearance in the Robot Spirits line is likely the best plastic incarnation of this mecha yet.
Dunbine comes in a bigger box than you’d expect to accommodate its backpack and wings.
After attaching the wings and sheath, the Dunbine also includes six hands, two missile launchers, an effect part, and parts to attach the Dunbine to the Billbine’s alt mode.
Like the Billbine, the Dunbine has plenty of articulation. It has good balance, a superb range of movement with both arms and legs, and double-jointed toes. The wings and sheath are also movable on ball joints, and the back booster can also be moved up and down, but since it’s a bit heavy, it might not stay up.
The head is a perfect likeness of the Dunbine’s distinctive design.
Like the other Aura Battler Robot Spirits figures before and since, the Dunbine’s chest cockpit can be opened. I’m still not sure why, there isn’t even a pilot figure that can be put in there. Regardless, it’s a neat feature.
Not a speck of detail is missing from this figure. I thought the wires connecting the shoulders to the bicep would interfere with how the arms moved, or the wires would pop out a lot, but I was happy to discover that neither of these issues occur.
Not only can the back boosters be moved up as mentioned before, but they can also open slightly in the middle.
Unlike Aura Battlers that would show up later in the series, the Dunbine lacks any built-in weaponry. But it looks plenty neat just standing around.
The Dunbine’s long range weapon is the Aura Shot missile launcher. It quite literally hooks onto the front of the arm and secures itself on the forearm. It might look incredibly loose but the launcher stays on the arm just fine.
Like with every other Dunbine toy ever made, the Robot Spirits figure comes with two launchers to replicate the whole half second in the opening where it’s shown with them.
I’m a big fan of any toy with enough articulation to draw its weapons, and the Dunbine doesn’t disappoint in that regard.
Nothing says “fantasy mecha” like robots with physical blades, and I had a blast posing the Dunbine with its trademark Aura Sword.
And having a Tamashii Stand to work with never hurt anyone either.
Like the Billbine, the Dunbine also comes with an effect part that goes over the sword for a dramatic slash at its foes. I loved it for the Billbine, and it really enhances posing the Dunbine too.
Attaching the alternate pieces for the Billbine’s backpack so the Dunbine can ride its alt mode is simple. Actually getting them to cooperate when one is on top of the other is a little more difficult.
This is another spectacular toy from the Robot Spirits line for one of my favorite 80s robots. This is actually a reissue, to go alongside the release of one of the grunt units from Dunbine, the Drumlo. I’m definitely looking forward to future Aura Battler releases, with the Leprechaun being released this October, it’s a good time to be a Dunbine fan. If you haven’t already gotten yourself one of these I highly recommend it!
Comments5 comments posted
Great review did you have any color difference between the body and limbs? The first release had a pretty significant color variation with the purple.
No, I don't think so. If that was the case though I'm glad I got the reissue.
WHOO, man that thing is awesome! I've always liked the look of it (though I've never seen the show). I skipped out on the old one that was like an MSiA figure, and haven't really looked into it since. Would you say this is a definitive version? I mean, without going super expensive, like Chogokin or something.
The only other Dunbine toy I've owned is the HGAB model kit, but I can say for certain that this is a hundred times better than that. The High Grade Aura Battler kits had wings that would break if you looked at them wrong. But the Robot Spirits Dunbine is not only a great and stable figure but also very affordable so I would say that it's a definitive version of the design. Also if you ever have the opportunity you should watch the series, it's a personal favorite.
The show is great, but that opening theme is awesome, it gets stuck in my head all the time!