Dana O' Shee
Review by The Enthusiast
I am still waiting for a proper Dunbine revival*. Dunbine was just nuts. For those unfamiliar with the cartoon: you know how the Japanese have a penchant for grafting giant robots onto half-understood western mythology? Aura Battler Dunbine is essentially the pop-culture idea of medieval Britain, but with robots. Big, insectoid bio-machines. Miyatake’s organic mecha designs are groundbreaking, and presage everything from Guyver to Evangelion.
I really enjoy the anime, but maybe it was a tad too exotic for the early eighties. It will be back; mark my words. Someone’s probably working on it right now. But until then, we have a bunch of classic Clover gokin still kicking around. Well into Clover’s decline, the legendary diecast purveyor bought the license to manufacture Dunbine toys. The show was not successful.
The toys were not popular, but they were successful in their own way. Clover released Dunbine figures in several scales, but the 1/58’s were the work-horses, ST-sized bricks with a couple of accessories and basic articulation. By today’s standards, they are pretty clunky, but by the standards of the mid-eighties, they were right up there with contemporary Popy or Takatoku fare. Dana O’Shee is great right out of the gate. Look at this box. A hell of a box.
Clover’s Dunbine boxes all featured exceptional box art. I dearly wish someone would put paintings on the fronts of boxes again. Back and sides feature illustrations and photos.
Inside the Styrofoam cocoon, Dana O’ Shee rests with a decal sheet and two accessories: a chromed scythe and a projectile-firing gun-thing.
Dana is a sturdy, heavy piece. The torso and feet are diecast, but the rest is made of a remarkably solid plastic.
Paint apps are handsome, if a little fuzzy around the edges. My favorite detail is the clear vinyl wings!
The arms, legs, and backpack all rotate, but to little practical effect. Those bizarre buggy arms look weird in any position, and just getting them in front of the legs takes some doing. You can move the legs, but…
The accessories aren’t much better. The gun is solid enough, if a little plain, and it does fire little missiles. The scythe, however, cannot properly be held by either of Dana’s two claws. I really had to work to get it placed for this photo.
Small matters, though. It’s funky, it’s metal, it’s cool. And anatomically correct!
*I am aware of the SIC style Bandai figures released a few years ago, but those seemed a little half-hearted and ill-timed. Or maybe nobody really wants a revival.
|Posted 15 March, 2010 - 19:17 by The Enthusiast|