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October 14, 2003

Riding in Sidecars with Toys

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rumble Crew @ 6:44 am

I laughed at the bug-eyed designs when the designs for Masked Rider Faiz were revealed last year… but when Bandai started shipping the TOYS, oh my!

Seriously, I really thought Faiz looked more like a motorbike headlamp than any “light bug” it’s supposed to be based on. But the design grew on me, mostly aided by the very cool transforming bike “Autovajin”. This design was nicely realized in the first of the SUPER RHF series and eventually overcame my dislike of the larger size of the Rider figure. So when number two was announced, I eagerly awaited its release and eventually got my hands on the Masked Rider Kaixa & Side Basshar set.

Out of the box, it’s fairly obvious there’s going to be no diecast involved. However the plastics are sturdy, with a gloss finish and nicely printed matte decals. Despite having the extra burden of a sidecar, Kaixa’s ride still manages to exude a racy coolness. The sleek menacing lines and black/yellow color scheme brought back memories of a similar bike from the hair raising Lotus Esprit car chase in 007′s The Spy Who Loved Me. :-)

Kaixa’s helmet design features a prominent ‘X’, and this detail is followed through on the bike’s headlamp fairings – 4 silver molded lamps are clearly seen under the X-shaped purple plastic. From the rear, the 6 humongous tailpipes speak of outrageous amounts of revving power. Even the sidecar has 2 pairs of smaller exhausts!

But of course there’s more to the sidecar than just extra room for a passenger. Attached to the main bike via a pair of retracting connectors, the sidecar separates, splits down the middle AND elevates to form the bottom half of a mechanical beast. The main bike’s front and rear wheels extend, then swing round 90-degrees. The rear light fairings fold down to become Kaixa’s battle-mode peddles. The two sections come together and the Side Basshar’s Battle Mode is completed! Blades fold out from the right “hand” while the 6 tailpipes on the other fan-out to become laser blasters.

ROAWRRR! Who’s got the cooler ride now? Excellent, excellent fun, these two Rider sets. I hope the rest of the series continues to live up to expectations.

Oh, by the way – you can’t actually seat another Rider in the sidecar. Unfortunately, there isn’t any legroom at all. What I did was to pop-off the legs from Faiz and simply plop him into place for the title shot. Cheers!

drifand

October 12, 2003

The camera adds a few centimeters

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rumble Crew @ 6:11 pm

“The Chogokin” figures have managed to charm their way into the hearts of collectors. I just had to buy the Getta One for myself. After I first freed the tiny titan from his Styrofoam tomb I was surprised at just how small this rendition of the Getta One is. However, this palm-sized Popy paperweight has enough Gokin content to play with the big boys.


The Chogkin Getta One blows just away the competition. It is heavier than rubber figure, cuter than the Kaiyodo figure, more soulful than the SoC figure, and more manageable than the Marmit figure.


I know you PVC action figure freaks out there are more concerned about gimmicks and articulation and let me tell you that this Getta One has plenty! Check out this action pose. Getta One’s forearms can also be removed for simulated damage from this week’s Mechazaurus. Gimmick wise, this figure surpasses all of Getta Ones. He can launch his shiny chromed Tomahawk at any unsuspecting Kaiju and finish them off with the rarely seen Getta Headobutto!


If I had any complaint about this marvelous toy, it has to be his yellow chest because it clashes with the other toys. All Getta Ones must match! Ah well despite that one failing, this super robot of small stature is fit to be a champion.

VF5SS

Gashapon Gladiators

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rumble Crew @ 5:35 pm

(Ladies?) and Gentlemen, JLP proudly presents to you an epic battle of pint-sized titans, engaged in mortal combat!


These are both SD Leos from Gundam Wing.


In the Blue Corner, molded in green, hailing from a vending machine in Nagoya, Japan, weighing in at a price of 100 yen the Japanese release Leo.


In the Red Corner, molded in Brownish Grey(?) with grey accents, hailing from Toys ‘R US in The US of A, weighing in at an individual price of about USD 1.37 is the American Release Leo from the Superior Defender line.


The Leo is about the only thing from Gundam Wing that I liked. Its a wink and a nod to the Zaku II, but with more “Make the Good Guys look cool when they get blown up” appeal. Leos are possible the biggest mooks in the Gundam Universe with Balls being the only real contender. When I got the JPN SD Leo, I was so happy that I nearly lost control of my bowels.


When SD was released officially in the states, I has no interest in getting the SD Leos, as I was happy with the one I had, I did however want the SD Aries that came in the same 5 pack as one of the Leos. Now that i have them both, I figured I’d compare them. Which one is better?


Construction-wise there is no difference–these are “toy crack” it its most base. While the US Version looks slightly bigger because of the way it was molded, its actually the same size as the JPN release. Ver. US comes with a molded on shield as well as a dober gun, while the JPN release comes with the canister machine gun and a removable shield.


The biggest difference however is articulation. SD Gashapon by their very nature have little articulation, but both of these have arms that move at the shoulders.


Ver. US has a neck joint. Very cool!


BUT, BUT, BUT…


Ver. JPN has a waist joint. I know that’s a big deal to some of you all.


these are both great little “toys” though. I highly reccomend assembling a batallion of Leos today


JLP


JLP

October 11, 2003

The camera adds a few centimeters

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rumble Crew @ 8:45 pm

“The Chogokin” figures have managed to charm their way into the hearts of collectors. With all the praise that they have been getting, I just had to buy one for myself. When I first freed the tiny titan from his Styrofoam tomb I was surprised at just how small this rendition of the Getta One is. However, this palm-sized paperweight has enough Gokin content to play with the big boys. The Chogkin Getta One blows just away the competition. It is heavier than rubber figure, cuter than the Kaiyodo figure, more soulful than the SoC figure, and more manageable than the Marmit figure. I know you PVC action figure freaks out there are more concerned about gimmicks and articulation. This Getta One has plenty! Check out this action pose. Getta One’s arms can also be removed for simulated damage from this week’s Mechazaurus. Gimmick wise, this figure surpasses all of Getta Ones. He can launch his shiny chromed Tomahawk at any unsuspecting Kaiju and finish them off with the rarely seen Getta Headobutto! As perfect as this figure may seem, its yellow chest makes it stand out among its contemporaries. In closing, this super robot of small stature is fit to be a champion.

VF5SS

October 6, 2003

Big Fight! Transformers vs. Galvion!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rumble Crew @ 2:30 pm

Transformers suck. Don’t believe me? Watch as I do a comparison review between a Galvion toy and a Beast Machine.


Pedigree


Beast Machine Burnout is from an overhyped, overwatched 30-minute toy commercial. He’s a transforming racecar with (get this) a personality, feelings, and everything. Goofy, huh? Hasbro made jillions of these and sold them everywhere. He was purchased at a Target store for $7.49 plus tax.


Circus One is from the anime classic Road Chaser Galvion. Like Burnout, he’s a robot, but here’s the catch: he, uh, I mean, it, is a machine that’s piloted by a human. What a well thought out science fiction concept, huh? Galvion was so incredibly popular in Japan that they never dared release toys there. Why? They feared a repeat of what happened during the Gundam model craze, with Japanese children trampling each other in department stores for a chance to get their hands on the merchandise. Instead, they were sold in America as Super Defender Convertors. Circus One, the main character’s mecha, was renamed Indy. It was purchased through eBay for $15 plus shipping.


Winner: Circus One


Vehicle Mode (picture)


Burnout is a futuristic racecar. He has two pipe missiles that launch with finger-popping action. He rolls. If you flip him over, you can see his soul. It’s located under the front wheels, unlike his pal Muddober, whose soul is in his ass.


Circus One is a futuristic racecar. It rolls. The mecha’s rifle doesn’t have a place to clip on, so it just lies there, which I think is a pretty neat feature.


Winner: Circus One


Transformation


Burnout’s transformation is fairly complex for such a small toy, with numerous swivels, pegs, and hinges coming into play. Everything locks together firmly, and once you’re done, the robot mode stands tall and proud.


Circus One’s transformation is a somewhat harrowing experience. There’s an especially cringe-inducing part when you rotate the fists around and the two halves of the arm almost separate completely. Afterwards, you will find some blue dust on your hands. It’s the scraped off plastic from the lower legs grinding against the main body. Eventually you get to the point where you assume it’s finally in robot mode. Once transformation is complete, it may list to one side a little bit.


Winner: Circus One


Robot Mode (picture)


Burnout’s head, surprisingly, looks a little bit like the line art for Circus One’s head. A translucent eyepiece lights up when it catches the sun just so. He has articulation at the neck, shoulders, elbows, waist, hips, knees, and ankles. He can take an action pose, or a more relaxed one.


Circus One, as I noted, lists to one side a little bit. Its head looks nothing like the line art for Circus One’s head.


Winner: Circus One


So there you have it. The overall winner, by a large margin, is Circus One. I’ll buy twenty of those awesome Galvion toys before you catch me buying any cruddy Transformers. Except for the Transmetal Depth Charge that I won on eBay last month. And that Tripredacus I bought off of Ken. That’s it. Maybe the Tankor/Obsidian 2-pack if I see it at Wal-Mart. But nothing else. I mean it.


(If anyone sees that grey Fox Kids repaint of Transmetal Tarantulas for sale, could you please let me know? Thanks.)

Roger

October 4, 2003

I Wood Like to Be Your Friend

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rumble Crew @ 10:11 am

Gokin elitists beware! This little toy (or “collectible”, if you prefer) is made entirely out of WOOD. Not a hint of diecast in sight – not even a screw or metallic paint! But this 3-inch tall robot has plenty of personality and even a cool built-in gimmick to boot. :-)

This toy (yes, I play with it) is one in a series of wooden miniatures made by the candy company KABAYA. Among his friends you’ll find a a toaster, a rotary-dial telephone, a fridge, a blender, a TV… and more – all done up in the same retro-kawaii style. Each little toy also comes with its own gimmick or special function. For example, Mr. Robot here is a actually an “accessories stand”, according to the box. You can hang rings on his hands, or… TA-DA!
Open his chest compartment to hide that 10-carat sparkler away.

That’s how simple it is. I like to keep him on my desk as a cheerful little daily companion. Oh yes.Each box comes with a little pack of chocolates, Yum! This is one toy you can’t keep MIB. Except maybe in the freezer ;-)

Disclaimer: Any inherent “soul” or “value” in these little toys is directly proportionate to how much you actually like them. Cheers!

drifand
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