Tobikage & Kurojishi
Review by chachipower
Welcome to my first Soul of Chogokin review for CDX. After the awesome GX-53 Daitarn, will the GX-54 leave us wanting more or is it a solid release? Read on my friends.
After enduring a torturous 10 hours at work before I could open the box, I was finally let go and rushed home to tear open my carefully packaged box from HLJ. What I found was a brand new minty fresh box full of happiness. The GX-54 package has a nice dark feel to it which I tried to capture in the photography for this review.
This review sample came from non other than the always great Hobbylink Japan a.k.a. HLJ.com
Here is the front of the box.
The back is packed with exciting pictures of what's in store.
There's some great artwork to be found on the box flaps.
The next step was to pull out the awesome styrofoam tray which houses this treasure. But wait... there is no styro to be found! I searched the box but found nothing. What we get instead is the usual clear plastic trays usually used to house accessories, only here it also houses the main figure. Notice the generous helping of cardboard for support. I hope this doesn't not continue to be a trend with SOCs.
So after carefully slicing through the sealing tape, I opened the top cover of the tray and sent my grubby fingers to grab hold of my favorite yellow robot. I'd like to take this moment and pray to the Chogokin gods. " Dear Chogokin gods, thank you for making this figure look like it could have been made back in the day with it's awesome blockiness and heft, while still using modern technology and precision to make him extra cool. Amen" I was so engaged by this figure that I forgot about Tobikage for a while. So here is Kurojishi.
Here is the back. Notice anything? Well I'll make it easy for you. There is a noticeable lack of screws.
First impression after I collected myself was that it gave off a rather plasticky look although the weight was proof that some diecast was lurking in the figure. When I say "plasticky" I don't mean it in a negative way. There is high quality plastic being used here. Made more evident when you reflect light off his yellow surfaces and realize the plastic has metallic flakes!
There is some decent articulation for a robot of such blocky proportions. He has all the typical movements. Neck, shoulders, elbow, wrist, hips knees etc. He's even able to kneel.
Before we get into diecast and accessories. I'll point out the parts where the screws are hidden and how some joints are constructed.
Here is a screw found on the shoulders.
There is also a screw on the knee area. If there are any more screws, you'd probably have to go digging for them. Bandai has done a great job at keeping Kurojishi clean of holes and screws.
The elbow area is rather small so Bandai has elected to use a spring pin instead of using nasty big screws.
So how about some diecast? Kurojishi has quite a bit. The main section of his body is made out of this wonderous material. I've highlighted the portion of his body to show how much is used.
The forearms also carry a good solid bit.
As we move down to his feet, we find that the entire foot is diecast along with the lower half of the inner leg.
Here is what his feet bottoms look like. The silver part is not plastic like most releases have when there is detail molded in. Bandai decided to just make the entire foot metal.
Here is the foot section and it's mechanical design used in transformation.
The shoulder carries diecast ratchets which should survive years of use. Here we see the hip joints that are also diecast, and for good reason. The joints are TIGHT. I mean really tight. If you get flop, it's a dud. This figure has some of the tightest hip joints I've come across!
The shoulders have a shifting mechanism which allows shoulders to move forward and back.
Even up close, the paint apps are tight.
Let's check out some accessories.
Here is this blaster with spinning turrets and flip up crosshair viewer.
He also gets a beam saber that may remind some folks of Gundam sabers.
There is also a basic sword which I will show later on.
OK OK OK, so where is Tobikage? Well I didn't forget about him, I was just busy playing with Kurojishi all this time. Don't go thinking Tobikage is some basic fiddly action figure. No my friend, this was designed to be as cool as any small figure could be. I was under the impression that he was going to be some cheesy PVC figure, but I was most sadly mistaken. Introducing one of the coolest Ninjas ever, Tobikage.
He looks like what? a 6-7" figure judging by his detail? Nope, this incredibly detailed figure is about 3 3/4" and it is darn sweet. Molding is precise, paint is flawless and it stands on his own very easily. There are so many moving parts that it's bound to make you dizzy. He is constructed of sturdy ABS. Oh and diecast. Yes Diecast. His chestplate is made of the hard stuff.
Here is the chest piece highlighted. Crotch Thrust!
He's also solid. He maintained this pose without tape, glue, gorilla snot etc. I pose him and he obliges by staying very still.
Here he is with one of his swords.
How about a back view? Notice the lack of screws. The are somewhat hidden from plain view when posed normally.
He comes with a generous assortment of weapons that actually stay on his hands. He comes with an assortment of variant hands to accommodate the poses and weapons of your choosing.
He can store his weapon on his back using an alternate weapon piece.
This is not technically a weapon, well it is, but not an add-on. It's a missile launcher that is conveniently stored in his thighs. It actually pulls out. And see the fin? yeah, it folds back. Very impressive for a figure of this size.
Now we come to the cool part. Alternate modes of this set. It's actually very cool and the engineering is very impressive. Everything fits where it's supposed. I normally don't transform robots much,Voltron being the exception, but I've done it about 10 times with this set. I have a thing for robot lions I guess. Here is Kurojishi in Lion form.
Flying robot lions are always cool.
The lion head has no neck movement due to its design, but the jaw is articulated. So is the silver bar below it.
This allows him to hold the sword I mentioned earlier, in his mouth. It's made even more stable by use of a tab on the roof of his mouth.
He's cool and all, but there's something missing right? Let's not forget about good ol' Tobikage. He basically rolls up into a ball. You pull his shoulders back, bend his legs against his back and you get this.
Although I'll be covering most of the transformation in my video review, I'd like you guys to check out how cool he fits into Kurojishi. As freestyle and seemingly imprecise as Tobikage's transformation is, it fits like a glove inside of Kurojishi. Tobikage's feet slide into tabs on Kurojishi's back, the tabs fold down to hold Tobikage securely. Next two panels swing up to clean it up visually. Finally a panel is flipped up to cover his lower half and another to cover his head.
From the bottom, you can see how snug everything fits together.
That's pretty much it guys. So what's the bad news? Aside from lack of styrofoam which is not directly associated with figure quality, there is really nothing bad I could say about this. It's kind of hard to find something bad to say about a well finished and executed release that also easy on the wallet compared to other SOC releases. You get two cool robots for the price of less than one typical release. There is no flop and no annoying bits to take away from the experience. If you like older stuff, you may like this because it captures what we love about older style figures like the simplicity, sturdiness, blockiness and overall vibe while still managing to capture the precision of today's manufacturing technologies. I would have preferred a vintage style packaging but I feel overall it was well executed. While I love screw holes on the backs of my robots, It was refreshing to handle a solid figure without seeing any signs of construction.
I hope you guys enjoyed the review and if you have plans on picking this guy up, don't delay and hit up HLJ.com to claim your own. As of this writing, HLJ is offering 20% EMS shipping so you can save a few bux and have your very own GX-54 in your hands in a few short days!
Stay tuned for my video review of this GX-54.
|Posted 10 August, 2010 - 23:32 by chachipower|