Review by Shogundan
The Space Battleship Yamato craze of the late 70's spawned alot of very interesting toys. Aoshima's 1976 release of Gattai Kyokan Yamato has to be one of the most unusual I've ever encountered. Recently, Aoshima's website, Hobby World Japan, sent me a re-issue of the 1976 release to review. Before I get to the review I would quickly like to explain a few things. "Gattai" is the Japanese word for "Combine" and "Kyokan" means "Giant Ship." Hence the name Gattai Kyokan Yamato. Basically in English would translate to Combining Giant Ship Yamato.
Aoshima's Gattai Kyokan Yamato is composed of four smaller vehicles that combine into one Space Battleship Yamato-esque like battleship with a Super robot called Gattai Robot Musashi, in place of a bridge tower. All of these four vehicles has its own name and purpose.
To start off with, the box is freaking huge! Measuring in at 21" x 13" x 4". The box being this large is always a good sign that the end product will be big. Besides being a large box, it is also very well illustrated and is almost a near duplicate to the original 1976 release.
Upon opening the box I found several different colors were used in molding the different plastic parts (red, orange, green, black, light blue, white). Nothing is pre-painted, however, I like the funkiness and toy like qualities of the molded colors. With this in mind, I decided to build this model with limited paint detail so it would give the finished product more playability and make it less likely that I would be afraid to handle upon completion. Taking this course also allowed a novice builder, like myself, ease in the building process.
As you can see in the picture below, the 18" Aoshima Yamato dwarfs the 16" Taito Yamato.
Moving along through the pictures below, please take note: Not only is this toy loaded with turrets and such, this model/toy has actual firing gimmicks! Not just the Gattai separation gimmick. I mean take your eye out rocket launcher goodness!
In this next photo I will point out all the things that launch off this monstrosity. Starting at the bow, the green tip of the bow launches. Midway back above the roman numeral II you will see our second eye impaler. A little further back right behind the smoke stack you will see the white harpoon type gun. Oh, and I am not done! between the rear wings is a launching escape pod!
Check out the stern, It almost looks like car taillights and a bumper! Funky huh? Plus, check out all the wheels and tank treads. Even more Funk-a-delic!
Here is a good view of the bridge which doubles as the Super Robot Gattai Musashi. Shown below are pictures of Robot Musashi combined into it's robot form.
Now lets check out the ship separated into its 4 individual components. Starting from the stern, working our way forward to the bow.
As you can see below the stern has sort of a Formula One motif. This part is aptly named A4 Turbo Machine. You can see the turrets that become Robot Musashi's feet mounted on the front car like portion. You will also get a better view of the launching escape pod above the giant hood scoop, between the rear wings. take note that Robot Musashi's legs just hang off each side when in this mode. I know that's kinda lame but, it really adds to the charm of this toy.
The next vehicle forward is A3 Bridge Machine. You can see how Musashi Robot's torso and head are used as the command bridge. You will also see the harpoon type gun I had mentioned earlier.
Moving along we come to my favorite piece, A2 Tiger Machine. I love this part, there is something about the tank treads and turrets that I love! Again, you will notice the red tipped launching missile and the arms that protrude from the front of it for no apparent reason.
Lastly, we have the very unusual A1 Zero Sen Machine. Now this to me is the strangest piece of the puzzle. Look at the WWII style Zero airplanes that are molded into the bow. They don't mention this in the directions, but you can take those off and make 2 planes from the included parts.
Overall, I would say that Aoshima makes a very fun kit/toy, along with being relatively easy to build. Even though for the most part it's easy, it still can be challenging at sometimes. Taking your time, Using patience, some quality glue and a X-acto knife will definitively make the build go easier!
|Posted 12 October, 2009 - 17:33 by Shogundan|