Sun Vulcan Robo
Review by NekroDave
Sometimes Sun Vulcan seems almost like a forgotten Machinder. It's liked well enough, but very few people openly long for it. Nor does anyone hate it though. It's rare enough that you don't see it too often, but not so rare that rarity alone creates intense competition when trying to acquire it. It doesn't come up in jumbo conversation too often. It sort of just "is", if you know what I mean.
Sun Vulcan Robo comes from the show Solar Squadron Sun Vulcan (太陽戦隊サンバルカン) which aired from 1981-1982. The show was a sequel to another sentai show, Electro Squadron Denjiman, apparently the only sentai show to act as a direct follow up to it's predecessor. Also the first sentai show to feature a combining robot and only 3 team members (Vul Eagle, Vul Panther and Vul Shark).
Though the Sun Vulcan jumbo naturally features no combining gimmick, I think this works in it's favor as that allows the toy to remain sleek and compact in it's proportions. With no complicated combination to worry about, the designers were able to just stick to worrying about making the toy look good.
Unfortunately, though the design of the toy is fantastic, the execution was surprisingly sloppy, especially by Popy's usually high standard. There is a very unattractive seal on the leg mold right on the front of the legs. I was quite surprised to see this when I received my toy, but in looking back at other reference photos, it is clear that it is not specific to mine. It can be overlooked from a few feet away, but we've come to expect better.
Despite this flaw, Sun Vulcan is still a fantastic jumbo. Fans of shooting mechanisms will be glad to know that it, like the New Tetsujin 28 before it, comes with a missile launcher and an adapter to shoot one of the fists. Both fists can be launched, but only one at a time.
The upper arms are hollowed out to allow the peg for the fist to go into it when not using the launcher.
Standing at 23 inches tall, the body is molded entirely in blue polyethylene and enhanced with pre-applied stickers. Although it looks very good right out of the box, there are also additional stickers included if you prefer to add more details to the toy. The head is made of vinyl.
One thing that I like a lot about this entry in the line is the box. While early Jumbo Machinder boxes often featured images either directly from the television show or from the toys themselves, Popy switched to using artwork on the boxes for many of the later releases. However Sun Vulcan is a return to form, as it seems to feature an image of the robot from the show.
I really like the Sun Vulcan Machinder. It may be a little plain looking for some tastes, but most fans will tell you that simplicity is part of the charm of jumbos. This toy is much easier to find loose than it is with a box and how much you'll pay for it will depend a lot on condition and LOCATION. With the show not being broadcast in the US, there just doesn't seem to be nearly as much interest in the toy or character as there may be in Japan.
This is the opening sequence to the show.