Beast King GoLion
Review by JoshB
The Super Min-Pla series is an interesting toy line. Lets take a Soul of Chogokin designer, put him in charge of designing a "low cost" candy toy, and then sell it for a high price. It's a weird concept.
First of all, the term "Candy Toy" is bullshit. It used to be you got a cheap toy when you got a box of candy (think the equivalent of a cracker jack toy). Now it's basically a model kit, but they put a chicklet-sized piece of gum in there so they can call it a candy toy, and it can be sold under the Shogukan brand. Licensing is weird.
Anyway, In the normal world, you have a case of these things on the counter, and people can just buy one, or try to collect them all. Kabaya has been using this model for years. Well Bandai will just sell you the whole set in a box, both negating the "buy one or all" and basically ignoring the whole candy thing. So what you really get is a box of smaller boxed model kits. Each is numbered, so there's no surprise to which one you are getting.
And again, the whole Super Mini-Pla line is weird, not just in marketing, but in character choice. It's filled with robots that either had a Soul of Chogokin release (GoLion, Megazord) that now has a more poseable alternative, or characters we're likely NEVER going to see release in SOC form. In that regard, it's a good way to get a more affordable, super poseable robot that may not see another format.
The SOC Voltron was a runaway hit, which I think is funny because Bandai had been planning one for at least 10 years but never thought the character was popular enough to warrant the release. Now, in response of the popularity, Bandai got SOC designer Nonoka back to design Voltron again. But this time the direction was different. This one was designed to do things the SOC could not. First, to be super poseable, and second, to replicate the look without the individual lion legs on the limbs.
The result is the Super Mini-Pla GoLion. Each lion is packaged individually, and each kit is self contained to build a single lion, plus some weapons and extra parts.
It took me about 30 minutes per lion to build. The instructions are easy to follow, and assembly benefits from having a pair of nippers to cut parts off of the sprue. Having a hobby knife for finer clean up and decal application will help also.
Of course there sacrifices to be made when you want to make something at this size or price point. While the higher end versions can come with lots of extra parts, this version often makes due with what is there. For example, take a look at the neck of the Black Lion. It's very thin, and looks a bit odd in lion mode, but it fills in when in robot mode.
The Black Lion comes with two grey cannons, one on each shoulder. They attach to pegs that later become the connection points for the robot arms.
He's super poseable, and the build is fun. There are a LOT of tiny stickers for each lion, so get those tweezers handy.
One of the great parts about these kits is the lions ability to sit properly. It's something a lot of previous toys have been lacking. These do it great.
The red lion comes with two small grey weapons, and of course it's unique bladed weapon. The weapon has a peg so it can be secured to the roof of the mouth.
The Red Lion also includes a larger head for combined mode, and the large sword. Also included with each of the limb lions are the caps to replace the individual lion legs.
The Green Lion is identical in construction to the red lion, but the body and face parts are molded differently. No surprises here as this one comes with two grey weapons, Green blade, a larger head, and the shield for GoLion.
The Blue and Yellow lions are larger, and more involved. The Blue Lion comes with two weapons, a blue blade weapon, and a larger head.
There's a few things with the design of the leg lions that I don't like. First, there's a large protrusion below the necks of each lion that is very out of place. It's for support when it's a leg, but I'm surprised they couldn't find a way to stash this away.
I also don't like the thin-ness of the round section behind the neck. It's this thin again because of the thick silver caps that replace the legs when forming GoLion, but it's a big sacrifice in lion mode.
The yellow lion is the same thing, just with different molded parts. Construction is basically the same, and the faults are the same as well.
Assembling GoLion can technically be done without swapping parts, but it defeats the purpose. Each of the four limb lions need their individual legs and heads removed, and swapped out for the round caps and larger heads. In addition, the green and red lions tails need to be removed. This toy was clearly designed with the combined form in mind first, and then reverse-engineered from that. It shows, because the end result is a beautiful combined form.
Articulation is fantastic, and one of the most poseable combining GoLion toys ever made.
Each lion head opens in this mode as well, and the mouths have little missiles molded into the bottom jaws, and holes for pegs in the roofs of the mouth.
Those holes are for the weapons, in this case the Blazing Sword and Shield. The sword is great, but I find the outer guard to move a bit for my tastes as it's only attached with one peg.
Two hand sword holding is possible, and it looks great.
The shield is very cool, with the inner section having cut out sections. Not sure how that helps defend from things, but it sure looks cool. The handle has two pegs, so the shield can be held out front or to the side.
The fully armed Defender of the Universe is a sight to behold!
A Tamashii stand is not included, nor is there a peg hole for one. If you have one of the angled clip adapters, you can get a good pose out of it.
As a bonus, Nonoka designed a new combination gimmick for the individual weapons. This combined weapon is called the Mega Blaster.
This set was imported to the US and labeled as Voltron. It got a new, single box. There was also a special edition for San Diego Comic-Con which included a Blazing Sword accessory.
|Posted 2 October, 2018 - 14:09 by JoshB|