Dino Getter 2
Review by RobotBastard
Getter Robo first appeared in the pages of "Weekly Shonen Sunday”, in the dark year of 1974 when the world was menaced by an energy crisis, international tensions, and alien dinosaurs from the Earth's core. With Getter Robo, Ken Ishikawa and Go Nagai brought their counter cultural notions to the genre of super robots. In contrast to the naive but good-hearted student heroes of previous series, Getter Robo featured a hothead street fighter, a vicious psychopath, and a gluttonous buffoon. And, no doubt to the delight of toy manufacturers, Ishikawa's three heroes piloted flying machines that combined to form different robots of wildly varying appearance and characteristics.
Despite (or maybe because of) these confusing new ideas, Getter Robo caught on. The manga was followed by a TV series and toy lines, and while the Japanese toy scene is littered with properties that had a big launch and went nowhere, Getter Robo took off and has been bringing Getter Beams to humanity's aid ever since. Sure, occasionally Getter Robo destroys the world in order to save it, but his heart is in the right place.
SEN-TI-NEL's second entry in the Metamor-Force line is "Dino Getter 2", the T-Rex to Dino Getter 1's Pteranodon. This dino-styled re-imagining of the classic Getter 2 design keeps the original's signature drill-arm, but adds a few new surprises.
Dino Getter 2 stands about 5.5" tall, slightly shorter than Dino Getter 1. Dino Getter 2 keeps the classic lanky, fencing-master proportions of the character design. The dino-details are a little more subtle, beyond the obvious giant dinosaur head for a hand; in fact, the whole design is a bit subdued for Getter 2 (especially when compared to something like Shin Getter 2, which is so spiky that it causes actual injury when you play with it!)
Dino Getter 2 is packed in painted cardboard, with an illustration on the front and some photos of the toy on the back. Inside is a clamshell plastic tray, with bubble-wrap and plastic protecting Dino Getter 2. The toy comes with a pair of guns but no other accessories. As with Dino Getter 1, there is no stand included.
Dino Getter 2 has many points of articulation, most of which play a role in the various transformations. He has ball joints in the hips and ankles, hinges in the knees, and several hinges and swivels in the arms. His head is on a ball joint, and there's another ball joint in the waist. The waist hasn't got much flexibility, but Dino Getter 2 is capable of pulling off a reasonable crotch thrust.
Dino Getter 2's diecast is almost entirely in the lower legs, so he's quite stable when posing. Also, the heels have small segments that swing outward as part of the transformation; these can be deployed slightly to provide better stability. The dinosaur jaw can open and close if you're feeling bitey.
A new addition for Dino Getter 2 is a pair of submachinegun-style weapons. Two sub-arms provide mounting points for these; they swing about on ball joints of their own, and the guns plug into posts at the tips.
I got yer Muv-Luv right here, baby.
The first transformation starts by opening panels on the back of each shoulder and the underside of each forearm. Unplug the sub-arm shoulders from the center of the main shoulder, and swing the gun-arm/sub-arm panels out and away from Dino Getter 2's back.
Dino Getter 2's main shoulders are on rotating panels; there are three separate swivel joints in these panels, and you can use these to work the main shoulders to Dino Getter 2's flanks. Then fold the sub-arm panels forward against Dino Getter 2's chest, and plug the sub-arm shoulder into the panel.
With the sub-arms deployed, Dino Getter 2 has an interesting new look. The sub-arms have ball-jointed shoulders with a good range of motion, hinged elbows that can swing through 180 degrees, and ball-jointed hands. The thumb of the three-fingered hands is on its own ball joint, but has limited range of motion; the fingers are fixed in place.
Stability is not greatly affected by the sub-arm transformation. Dino Getter 2 is capable of pulling off a decent Mecha-Shiva posture with his guns mounted.
Dino Getter 2 can hold the guns in the sub-arm hands. There is a peg on the gun that fits into a slot in the hands; the fingers are positioned to make it seem like they're holding the guns.
Hmm, that last picture needs something...Ah! I know!
"Reviewer! What are you doing! You're supposed to show them my dino-mode!" Oh, all right. First, flip the sub-arm panels up and away from the body. Then, split the center torso into a forward part and a rear part, and rotate the dino-head and drill-arm shoulder panels to line up with the body. (This sounds pretty complicated, but it's easy to see what to do when you have the toy in your hands.)
Rotate Dino Getter 2's head down into the chest, and then fold the sub-arm panels back down (they have a joint that lets them rotate 180 degrees around to put the sub-arms in the proper position.) Rotate the "neck" block around and fold it down behind the dino-head.
Now push the upper legs forward and down to create a digitigrade stance (there are folding panels on the knees that help you do this.) Flip the heel bars around to form three-toed feet.
Last but not least, get some RAWR going.
Dino Getter 2's dino-mode is described as a T-Rex, but to my eye he looks more like an Allosaur; a lean, mean, eatin' machine. This mode is reasonably poseable, particularly in the legs, but the design of the joints in the dinosaur head and drill-arm "tail" means that they have trouble bending upward very far. This limits Dino Getter 2's ability to do a proper roaring-at-the-sky pose, unless you cheat with stands or clever camera angles.
Dino Getter 2 can do a "running" pose pretty well, though; again, the ability to splay the toes outward helps to balance him on one leg. And the head swings from side to side through a pretty wide range.
The dino-mode looks impressive (and the fact that they got such a different look from the robot mode is also impressive) but, when studied, it gets a little less so. The dino-mode doesn't have many parts that lock together; no tabs or peg-in-hole connections, the whole thing mostly relies on joint friction to stay put. This makes for a very floppy dinosaur at times, without guiding pegs it's sometimes difficult to tell where you're supposed to move a limb or panel. (There's enough slop in the joints that you can usually just move something to where it looks good.) Also, there are many angles at which you can see right through the thing. Some of the moving panels try to hide this, but they don't do much. And not much effort is made to hide Dino Getter 2's head; it's just sitting there inside his chest.
Despite these annoyances, I think that Dino Getter 2 is a good-looking toy; expressive and fun to pose, pretty stable when posed, and an interesting riff on the basic Getter 2 character. While Dino Getter 2 has even fewer accessories than Dino Getter 1, the play value that poseability brings to this toy more than makes up for it.
Just make sure that you keep a box of dino-snacks on hand.
|Posted 3 December, 2014 - 19:05 by RobotBastard|