Review by JoshB
Laserion comes from the 1984 Japanese animated series "Video Warrior Laserion", which most people have never seen, at least, most people in the US. What we DO know is the toy's appearance in the Godaikin toy line. Laserion was always sort of an odd duck in the Godaikin line. It was this weird chrome and clear robot that collapsed into a squished version of the same robot. For most kids, it probably was the most disappointing of the Godaikins, but I was always fascinated by the design. You can check out the anime on YouTube, but it's not that great. The toy however is one of my favorite DX chogokin toys, namely just because of how odd it is.
There never was a modern version of Laserion until now. It got passed over in the SOC line. Aoshima didn't care about it. Nor did Yamato, Takara, CM's or a host of others. Nope it wasn't until this year that Evolution Toy added it to their Dynamite Action line of toys. My first reaction was "Yay! New Laserion!" then I was all like "oh, its Evolution Toy, now I don't know what to think.".
We've reviewed a bunch of these magnemo Dynamite Action toys, and i've come to decide that I have a love / hate relationship with them. I love the fact that they are doing obscure characters in the line, but I feel that the magnet joint gimmick is possibly wearing a bit thin. They just seem to lack that toy like stability. Yes, the magnets are firm, but the lack of detented clicky joints makes me wish it were a more proper action figure. I still like it because I like the character, but it has issues.
So lets get into it...
The box is pretty standard for Evolution Toy. Thin cardboard, plastic trays. Parts are spread out over two trays. There are a lot of parts in this set.
Laserion's core body is entirely shiny chrome and has a very henshin-cyborg type vibe. All the parts are exquisitely plated, with few paint details. The natural chrome of the metal connection balls just sort of vanish into the design. The character is never seen this way in the anime, this is just the core of the robot without it's initial armor. The Godaikin toy had some clear green inserts inside instead of chrome, and I kind of miss that look.
Adding the armor pieces requires you to disassemble the toy as you put each piece on. Starting with the foot, I noticed the first problem with this toy. The toy is missing opening panels on the bottom of the feet. I so happened to have two of these (don't ask) and the other has the panels, so I am going to say it was an omission on my sample and not across the line. I haven't heard of any other specimens with this issue.
The head ship comes with a set of arms and legs that plug into the bottom. I never even knew this was supposed to have arms and legs. You just need to pull them off to plug the ship into the head.
And there is the second problem. The head ship does not stay in the head. There's no peg or clip, and there's not enough friction to keep it in place. Prepare for the ship to fall out EVERY TIME YOU TOUCH IT.
That being said, a fully poseable version of Laserion looks awesome!
While there was no translucence used in the robot, some of the weapons are translucent. First you have the laser cutters. There are two, and can be on each hand.
The Beam Bazooka looks great, and can be held in both hands. Unlike the Godaikin version, this version does not fire.
The Laser Sword is one of two swords included. The hilt is long enough so it can be weilded in both hands as well.
I'm not so sure about the Laser Rod. This long, translucent blade has a curve to it, but i'm not sure it's supposed to. Promo pictures has it straight, but in the tray, it's curved. I have no idea.
In the show, Laserion can power up with the Laser Battle Gear. Neither Godaikin releases came with this extra set of armor - you could only get it with the Japanese box set. This armor goes over the existing armor, to bulk up the original armor. He's like a futuristic football armor superhero. The great thing is that the additional armor does not restrict movement any more than the basic coating. The only issue with the armor is the chest piece has a small part with a hinge that can pop off when handling it.
Apparently, in the show, Laserion can re-form into a tank or fighter mode. I don't think it happens often, but it happens. As such, Evolution Toy takes advantage of the modular nature of the magnemo joint system to make these modes, with the addition of several connector parts. To be honest, these two modes are un-necessary and rather poorly done.
Laser Fighter is the better of the two modes. It's rickety and imprecise, and relies too heavily on random connector parts.
I'd say the fighter is 70% Laserion parts, and 30% connector crap.
As weak as Laser Fighter is, Laser Tank just sucks. It's an abomination. Nothing fits, nothing stays together. I mean, what the hell is this?
The instructions tell you to turn the leg parts on the front a certain way, but that makes the connections look skewed. Rotating them sideways looks and works better, for what its worth.
And then there's this part. See the bottom? those two holes? Looks like there's supposed to be a panel there, but there isn't. It's not missing, they just decided not to include it in production. Well because there's no door to lock in the head ship, it just falls out when you move it.
F*@k this mode.
So lets see where that leaves us. I love that we have a modern, fully poseable Laserion toy. If left alone on a shelf, it will look awesome. But let's be honest, there are issues. Missing pieces, parts that fall off, and crappy alternate modes. All of this can be yours for 30,000 yen (273.00 USD) That's way too much for this toy even IF it was well engineered. I can't recommend it. If you can find it for a hundred bucks on clearance, go for it, if you want a nice expression of the character on your shelf. But for that money, you can buy a mint vintage version, which is a much better toy in every way.
|Posted 21 April, 2016 - 21:57 by JoshB|