|Character Design||Kunio Okawara|
Review by The Enthusiast
The King of Braves GaoGaiGar FInal, Sunrise’s OVA sequal to the original GGG series, treated fans to dense plotting, florid mysticism (spoiler alert: courage is very important), finely crafted robot-on-robot action, and the ultimate form of our hero mech, the Genesic GaoGaiGar.
The Genesic final fusion uses five GaoMachines.
It’s perplexing that Banda waited so long to render its version of the character. GGG in all its iterations remains popular (arguably more popular than previous SRC releases such as Gear Fighter Dendoh or Dai Guard), and the Genesic is the biggest, baddest GGG of all. I’m guessing licensing issues maybe complicated matters.
Bandai has a high bar to clear. Max Factory’s 2007 Genesic, a huge, beautiful slab of diecast metal (memorably packaged with a pair of white gloves for handling), was once considered the pinnacle of modern Gokin. It hasn’t aged particularly well, but its legend looms large. Fortunately, Bandai is more than up for the task. This is the most ambitious SRC to date, and it’s a home run.
The SRC comes in a conventional glossy cardboard box, illustrated with handsome product photos.
Inside, a two-tiered plastic clamshell. It looks like Bandai’s finally getting the hang of these things. The plastic is more substantial and the pieces lock together more easily, minimizing the possibility of accidentally flinging parts across the room.
Lets start by examining the base figure. Once he’s accessorized some of these features will be obscured.
Even stripped down, this figure has a formidable presence. The character design just oozes charisma and strength. If I had to quibble with something, it would be the proportions. The arms and legs seem a little too stubby. The lower legs in particular don’t seem entirely resolved. Getting them to plant just right takes some work, though there’s a feature which mitigates this (read on). But the heft of the lower legs are nicely balanced when we add the wings.
Diecast parts are used in the lower legs and joints. There’s not a ton of metal, but you won’t be disappointed in the heft. This is a substantial, heavy, piece.
Finishes are exquisite. The satin chrome on the legs and torso is velvety and rich. The metallic blues and reds and golds have a real depth. The shiny black parts are lovely, but fingerprints are a problem. Maybe a pair of white gloves would help?
As we’ve come to expect with SRC, each joint is a marvel of engineering.
The head ball mount is part of a compound joint which raises and lowers while pivoting forward and back. This allows for some unexpectedly expressive head posing.
The diecast shoulder posts swing forward from a plate which pivots out from the torso.
The arms allow for all the movement you could want, with collapsible forearms, bicep swivels, and shoulder ball joints.
Knee joints allow for deep bends with collapsible rear panels. The front knee blocks rotate slightly as well when you bend the knee.
While those knees are bent, let’s take a look at the feet. Bandai still makes the best feet, IMHO. Beautifully detailed.
Is it wrong to admire a robot’s derriere? Well, there it is, with solid metal construction (even the satin chrome ball bits) and sturdy, fluid articulation.
The Galeon mouth on the chest can open and close.
The waist is nothing special. It twists, but is limited by the sculpt. This is as far as it rotates.
The chest features a strange bit of articulation. There’s a complex double-jointed assembly inside allowing you to bend his chest backward 90 degrees. The lion head also folds out in conjunction with this. I couldn’t figure out how to use this in posing, though.
The lion’s mane folds apart slightly to allow for greater forward shoulder movement. The upper mane panel rotates up and inward, while the bottom panel slides down a little, opening up extra room.
Blue is the typical position, the colored parts have been adjusted.
When you also fold up a panel on the shoulder armor, the arms can pivot forward a little more than usual, which will be necessary for the critical Hell and Heaven attack.
This extra bit of engineering to accommodate a specific play feature is something special. Bandai is not messing around.
As hinted at above, the lower leg panels extend for added stability in wide stance posing or to add a bit of height to the figure. They work well, and function intuitively when posing. Another thoughtful, well-realized feature which many manufactures might overlook.
Let’s dress him up, shall we? There are three rubber hair pieces included. The ‘hair’ is actually a backup power source, with strings of interconnected batteries forming individual strands. I like the subtle gold paint on these pieces. While technically articulated, they don’t have a huge range of motion, and the two sides fall off easily. I just left the hair alone.
Genesic’s main accessory is Gadget Feather, the bird mech which will form his wings.
In the OVA, each segment of the tail is a weapon (or gadget), which you will see with the Bolting Driver and Mind Knife accessories.
Gadget Feather is a pretty great toy on its own. the wings fold out semi-automatically when you move the tips, using interconnected armature pieces and gears. Unfurled, the wings reveal nice red paint applications as well. The wings can rotate forwards and back as well.
All dressed up, GGGG cuts quite a figure. Look at this magnificent bastard! As I said when I reviewed Gear Fighter Dendoh, it’s a real pleasure to photograph a super model. I spend so much time photographing ugly forgotten mutants that I forget how effortlessly beautiful something like this can be. It takes weeks to beat pictures of Spy Fly into something presentable, but Genesic just pops out of the camera looking perfect.
Fully loaded, articulation is largely academic. Can he move? Sure, but it’s hard to realize a large range of poses. He feels encumbered. But even within a limited range of movement, everything looks dramatic.
Accessories include all the major attacks from the OVA.
Of course, we have the two knee drills. Straight (his left) and Spiral (right). These can be swapped out for spinning drills (that is, they are smooth to approximate the appearance of spinning drills). All drill attachments can spin freely.
The right fist can be detached (with the included tool) to re-create the Broken Magnum attack.
Bolting Driver with three bolt attachments
And of course, the Hell and Heaven attack.
In addition to the open and closed hands, the first release of this set includes a set of arms and hands to re-create the charging of the attack. They are awesome. I suspect everyone will be displaying the figure with these parts. I know I will.
Bandai really killed it with the Genesic. This is everything you could want, executed with precision and style. At about a hundred bucks, this is a no brainer. Essential for any fan of GGG or modern mecha.
|Posted 18 May, 2014 - 17:38 by The Enthusiast|