Review by JoshB
Do you like Tokusatsu? If so, you owe a huge debt to Shotaro Ishinomori who created some of the most iconic shows of the genre. Kamen Rider, Gorenger, and Robocon all launched genres that still thrive today.
If he were still alive, Ishinomori would have been 75 in 2013. To commemorate the occasion, Fewture Models produced a diecast version of one of Japan's most beloved icons - Robocon, as part of their EX Gokin line.
If you have never seen Robocon, it's a real treat. It's a silly kids show about a robot that has been sent to school on earth. He lives with a human family, and despite screwing up constantly, always seems to do the right thing in the end.
As this is an EX Gokin release, Robocon got the royal treatment. This is an amazing representation of the character done in the highest quality.
The box consists of an outer slipcover, which when removed, reveals some beautiful box art on the inside lid.
Yes, the box is MUCH larger than the figure, but there are lots of parts inside.
Upon opening the figure, the only assembly required is Robocon's antenna and legs.
The sheen on the heavy metal body is breathtaking. The entire body is diecast metal. Holding Robocon in your hand feels like holding a hand grenade.
All of the details are included to make Robocon look just like he jumped off the screen. This version of robocon is modeled after the on-screen appearance, rather than an idealized toy version. Look at the comparison with the 1999 Chogokin version. Note that the chogokin has these precise ribbed metal arms, while the Fewture looks like the limbs are made out of flexible dryer vent.
Each limb features an endoskeleton covered with a detailed, rubber coating that replicates the low-budget costume from 1974. The inner jointwork is sturdy and can hold most any pose. The only restricted movement is in the shoulders.
The hands look like foam-rubber gloves, and they even have seam lines molded in. Each hand has an articulated thumb.
The feet are a mixture of plastic and diecast, with enough weight to keep Robocon from being top-heavy. The texture in the boots give them a realistic prop appearance.
Robocon's head is diecast and on a balljoint with a full range of motion. Even the small holes on the side of the head are reproduced. the eyes also have the screen texture on them to replicate the holes the actor would use to see outside.
Robocon's chest plate opens up to reveal a detailed mechanical panel. This is where Robocon could check his fuel level and other diagnostics. If I understand correctly, the one with the gas nozzle is the one most commonly seen in the show:
However the second panel is the one shown in the opening credits of the TV show:
The two panels are held in place by a simple magnet.
The legs are attached with a strong magnet, and are swappable with two different sets of wheels. You can make either Robocon in cycle mode:
and car mode:
Both feature real rubber wheels and metal parts.
When Robocon wanted to take to the air, the door on his back would open and a propeller would pop out. While the door does open, you have to add the propeller that connects with a magnet. The propeller spins.
A stand is included that can hold Robocon up in the air. Unfortunately, this is the only way the stand holds Robocon, and there is no connection for him if you just want him standing.
In order to replicate the wide range of eye expressions, they included twelve different sets of eyes. Each eye is held in place with a magnet. You can also mix and match the eyes if you want.
In order to demonstrate their emotions I will describe them with internet meme captions.
SON, AM DISAPPOINT
I AM 12 YEARS OLD AND WHAT IS THIS?
I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE
ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD
WHAT IS THIS I DON'T EVEN?
IS THIS REAL LIFE?
Finally Robocon comes with tiny plastic cockroaches (he's afraid of them), score card, and hearts. He gets points from Gantsu Sensei when he does good deeds, and I think the hearts get awarded for various levels of points.
If you have a soft spot for this goofy guy you can't go wrong with this EX Gokin release. I'm not so sure I will get the subsequent releases such as Robin-Chan and Gantsu Sensei. It's really all about Robocon for me.
Comments1 comment posted
I don't know how well the rubber arms will hold up but this release is wonderful. There should be a robocon of some sort in every collection. If the price of vintage originals, or this one here is out of your budget, you should buy the GA-14R reissue version.
Although it doesn't replicate the on-screen appearance as this toy does, the GA-14R is an inexpensive piece and a chunk of heavy metal. You can pick it up any time, they are always available. Use Japanese secondary market pricing for mint or unused MIB examples as your guide. This equates to about half (or in some cases even less) of what eBay sellers are asking for it. Don't be fooled into paying too much an all gold 14R came out also, that one is a bit more $.
You can see Josh's review of the GA-14R here: http://www.collectiondx.com/toy_review/1999/robocon_reissue