Caramel Man 1 Gou
Review by chachipower
Before we get started, Here is a little background on this character. It comes from a manga called "Dr. Slump. Dr. Slump is basically a silly manga filled with puns and bathroom jokes. It takes place in Penguin Village where humans co-exist with many anthropomorphic animals and objects. There, we find inventor Senbei Norimaki who is nicknamed Dr. Slump. He builds what he hopes will be a perfect little girl robot with super strength named Arale Norimaki. In this series, villains show up to cause trouble... Eeeevil Dr. Mashirito and Caramel Man 1!!
There are times in our lives when we come across something so out there and strange that we can't help to be reeled into its tractor beams. One personal example is this Perfect Piece Metal Caramel Man 001 Diecast by Mega House. I came across this and was intrigued by its box graphics. I'm a sucker for "look at me graphics". It came across as very "Japanese" which is always a plus. Upon examination, I realized it is a figure from a manga called Dr. Slump, so immediately I made a mental checklist before my purchase to see if it would be a worthwhile purchase.
On sale? Check. Very "Japanese"? Check. Die cast robot? Check. Silly names? Check. Has angry-little-deformed-evil-mad-scientist-dude-figure? Check. Comes with pink poop?.. um...CHECK!
The figure comes in a rectangular box with a nice hefty solid feel, always a good sign when diecast robots are involved. It's got your fancy-schmancy colorful graphics printed on glossy cardboard. Unfortunately there is no artwork aside from your typical modern toy photography although the background effects lend a playful yet menacing feel to its overall design.
Upon opening we are greeted with a most pleasant of human created scents... sweet smell of extruded polystyrene foam. Inside is a huge solid brick of high quality Styrofoam goodness. It has your standard flat cover. Removing the cover reveals all the contents. The sides house all the accessories and eeeevil Dr. Mashirito. In the middle you have what we came here for.. the robot. Lovingly Named Caramel Man 1.
Looking at the figure on the box graphics is one thing, but holding this guy in your hands makes you feel manly because he is just a really nice heavy piece of metal. I’ll admit I was fooled into thinking this would be a cheaply done figure due to the cutesy-ness of it all, but I was wrong. This is after all brought to us by the same people who made the Panda-Z chogokin which is an awesome piece overlooked because of its cuteness.
The die cast content is plentiful. His whole upper half and joints are die cast, his lower body half is all die cast and so are his feet. These all lend to the heaviness of the figure. Everything else is either PVC or thick high quality ABS. He's not very tall, In fact he's much shorter than most robots out there, but what he lacks in height, he makes up in width...and weight! (see size comparison with GX-01R and Panda-Z chogokin)
Paint application is superb, it has a great sparkle which needs to be seen with the naked eye to be appreciated. Unfortunately my camera cannot capture the crispness of the awesome paintjob.
The gimmick here is that Dr. can get inside of this robot to control him and cause all sorts of mayhem. I love that this is reminiscent of Votoms mech, except Caramel Man opens up exactly in the middle instead of up top. Once Inside you will find a simple seat with no bolstering whatsoever to keep the Dr. secure.
By the looks of the Dr. Mashirito, I don’t think he cares about comfy seats because he is on a mission of destruction! Just look at that mug!
The Dr. Mashirito figure is nicely detailed PVC. It has no apparent articulation...unless you consider a removable head to be a point of articulation!
The figure as-is will not fit into the cockpit. In order to get the Dr. into the cockpit, you will need to remove the head from the main body and attach it to a massively compressed version of his body which is designed to fit snuggly in the cockpit. All you need to do is pop the head onto the tab of the alternate "Body. Notice the shoes under his chin, not very comfortable looking.
As far as accessories go, he comes with 2 sets of PVC hands that can be interchanged. He has a set of closed fists and a set of open hands. They pop right onto these massive ball ends on his wrist. The ball ends are made of a very hard plastic so no need to worry about breakage.
His only other accessories is a pair of batteries, 2 noses and an "Unchi" will I will get into later. The batteries are not real batteries, just replicas of what Caramel Man uses in the world of Dr. Slump manga to provide him with power. The batteries neatly pop into the backpack compartment. Just lift the hatch marked "Caramel Man" There are 2 spring-loaded nubs inside that hold the batteries in place.
He also comes with 2 noses. One normal and one damaged nose to replicate a painful encounter with Arale Norimaki. Neat addition.
His remaining accessory is a pink "Unchi" which is basically Japanese for poop. I wish I had an explanation for the reasoning behind the included poop, but sadly I do not. What would have made this more awesome is if the poop was made of metal. If you need to understand more about "unchi", Google images of that word. You will be amazed.
Caramel Man 1 has limited articulation due to his design, but its not necessarily a brick either. He has ratcheting arms and overall solid joints. No floppiness here folks. I will get into the articulation in my video review.
So finally we get to what was lurking on the bottom side of the brick Styrofoam...
...The base for the figure. This is such a welcome addition to this set because it just brings out the figure more if you are displaying it. It's not terribly fancy, but it is made out of that type of plastic that they make certain toys out of that you just can't break at all. It's a satisfying high quality plastic base. Simple but effective. It essentially holds him by the crotch area and his rear. The floor of the base is recessed in the shape of the feet to secure him not unlike the stands you find in Soul of Chogokin sets.
The only “downside” of this set (and this is nitpicking really) is the instruction booklet. It comes in the mandatory plastic sleeve but is not even worth opening since it is very basic and black and white. Mostly just directions on how to assemble the base.
This is definitely a fine piece of diecast. Maybe not everyone's cup of tea, but enjoyable and different. A refreshing departure from all the other "serious" gokin out there.. even rivaling the weight of other gokin of greater size. Pricey, but can be found at great discounts. Patience is key.
This concludes the review as I have to go and release an "Unchi" of my own.
|Posted 9 December, 2009 - 13:59 by chachipower|