DX Great Mazinger
Review by JoshB
When the DX SOC Mazinger came out we loved the concept but there were a few flaws with the execution. It seems Bandai took the criticism to heart and made a bunch of changes to the engineering for their follow-up, Great Mazinger.
Great Mazinger needs no introduction. As the big brother to Great Mazinger, he was the next-gen super robot, and fittingly, it's now the next-gen DX Soul of Chogokin.
The figure comes in a huge box that measures 27in x 17in x 14in and weighs in at 11kg. Included with first editions are a limited edition set of art prints from Go Nagai. Watch the video to check out the box and art prints.
Inside are a series of black boxes, each containing various parts to the figure. All of this is similar to the Mazinger.
Spoiler alert - Great Mazinger is awesome.
An complaints from the Mazinger have been completely rectified - this means the arms no longer fall off, armor plates are more secure, and this time the wing is included.
Great Mazinger comes with the parts for him to be fully armored, fully naked, or half and half. Lets start with the bare bones figure.
The figure stands XX tall and the inner details are completely different from Mazinger. Various bits are gold metal but mostly the inner details are molded plastic. The armor on the outside is where most of the metal lies.
The feet feature working pistons. The pistons are a nice touch, but we never really see the ankles and the anime. It's one of the few parts that I think could have also used a cover.
The red Nerbal Missile can be seen in the waist but it does not launch. I wonder why they didn't add this feature? It would not be hard to implement, but I think Bandai has an aversion to spring loaded gimmicks in their large size figures.
The chest includes the removable sound and light box that controls all those gimmicks. It requires 2 AAA batteries (not included) and the compartment must be opened with a phillips screwdriver.
The closed hands have a removable panel to reveal the inner mechanism. While detailed, the springs do not move.
As mentioned before, the elbow connection issue has been completely resolved. You no longer need to apply pressure to the back of the elbow to make the connection. You just need to make sure the small notches are lined up correctly and the joint is secure.
There are spaces on either side of the leg to store a miniature Mazinger Blade sword. Each sword is of course just for show, as the real sword uses some anime magic to grow to full size.
While most pieces have a cover to hide the mechanical innards, the head actually needs to swap out with a "naked" head. This piece is another improvement in that it doesn't fall off every time you look at it.
To armor up the figure, i've found it best to start at the feet and work your way up. Do the feet first, then the thighs, and then the legs. All snap into place easily with plastic clips.
From there I would do the shoulders, then the upper arms. The upper arm panels need to be inserted tab first then they sort of slide up. From there you can click on both forearm panels.
Before the chest goes on, replace the neck cover and the faceplate.
Place the silver plastic torso piece first, then the metal waist piece, then finally the metal chest piece. The chest piece has two black spacers that fill in the void when the transparent chest piece is not in use.
To attach the chest V, fold up the connecting clip and attach to the chest. This piece can be tricky to attach, it helps to use the chest indentations as a guide.
The Brain Condor is a nicely detailed little ship, and to mimic the insertion into the head of Great Mazinger, you fold back the nose of the ship. The cockpit also can rotate to change position when docked.
In the anime, Great Mazinger's Jet Scrander could magically sprout out of his back. As we can't replicate this action in toy form, Bandai has provided a Scrander that clips onto the back. With Mazinger, the wings were sold separately, and included variant arm parts and a Scrander stand. With Great Mazinger, this is all included.
Another thing that is greatly improved is the articulation. The joint system is the same, but this new version is so much tighter and less prone to falling down. It's a joy to pose.
The toy is no slouch in the weapons and accessories department either. There are several trays in the box devoted to just the extra parts.
First off are the Mazinger Blades. These giant chrome swords are the large versions of the miniature swords that stow in the legs. Special hands are included to hold the blades. To make it easer to insert, the balls at the end of the hilts are removable.
The panels on the arms can be removed and replaced with Drill Pressure Punch arms. When you remove the regular panels you will also need to remove the fin at the back. When putting the new panels on, be aware that one "vein" on each arm is removable to allow for the elbow to bend, should you want to. Sadly, although the arms are removable, they still don't shoot.
The knees can be replaced with Knee Impulse Kick attachments. The shiny caps just click on once the regular knee armor is removed.
With the aid of an additional knee armor piece you can add the large blades which form the Back Spin Kick
When Great Mazinger takes to the skies, in addition to the Jet Scrander, small fins can extend from the back of the legs.
Then, there is the electronics. The box in the chest houses all of the lights and sound, which are activated when you press the red button. This of course requires the chest plate to be removed.
To replicate the "Breast Burn" attack, remove the chest spacers and apply the translucent chest V. Pressing a certain combination on the included remote launches the audio and the light up effect. The mirrors in the chest carry the light through the translucent plastic.
A different button press lights up the eyes with a corresponding sound effect. There are many more sounds, including attack sounds and theme songs, but please watch the video to hear them all.
Can you believe we are only half way through the review at this point?
Included in the set are various half-armor parts, to display Great Mazinger in his "cutaway" form. While never appearing in the anime itself, seeing a robot in cutaway form was frequently seen in end-credits as well as on toy packaging and in kids magazines.
How about some variant hands? In addition to the previously seen closed fists and sword-holding fists, you get two pointy fingers from the Thunder Break attack. That, or he can shush you in the giant robot library.
You also get fully-articulated hands:
And a set of handshake hands so he can congratulate Mazinger Z with a hearty manly handshake.
A small stand is included that can store the Scramble Dash and Brain Condor. It's essentially the same stand that came with the Jet Scrander set. My only complaint here is that there is no peg to hold the Brain Condor in place.
Also you get the other stand for the figure that was again, included with the separate Jet Scrander set previously. The rectangular base has a stand that inserts behind the chest piece to lock it into place. The Scramble Dash clips in over that.
Now, for the reason this box is so large - the hangar base. This thing is monsterous, taking up half of the space in the box. It comes fully assembled, and requires three AAA batteries (not included).
This version does not come with the cool little support vehicles that Mazinger did. While I do miss them, keep in mind you get the Scramble Dash with all the additional stand units without having to purchase a separate set. There is a small support arm that attaches to the back of Great Mazinger and the wall of the hangar for stability.
The lights on the floor are activated by a switch on the back. Each rotates and tilts up and down.
There are spaces for SOME of the armor parts on the walls. There are notches for certain parts to fit, but there are still a LOT of parts that have no place in the base. The base has several walls that could have been used to store these extra parts, so I see this as a wasted opportunity.
I mean, look at this pile.
While there is no official connection for the separate bases, the stand for the Scramble Dash looks great perched on top of the hangar.
So, after all of this, how does Great Mazinger compare to Mazinger Z? Well, the Great Mazinger improves on almost every aspect of the original.
Thats not to say that the original Mazinger isn't a great piece - it certainly is an engineering achievement, but it's not without it's flaws. The big flaw was of course the elbow connection, but it also suffered from loose leg joints and armor that didn't like to stay on. Great Mazinger addresses all of those issues to make a solid, well engineered display piece. When the biggest criticism is that it doesn't include two little yellow trucks, you know that it's probably a great toy.
|Posted 28 February, 2016 - 22:36 by JoshB|