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March 25, 2004

The Chronic

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rumble Crew @ 8:59 pm

There’s a new diecast reference in town: the DVD CHOGOKIN CHRONICLE.

Slated to come out on June 23 of this year, the 6,426 yen ($60) interactive DVD will contain everything a budding chogo-phile needs to grow into a full-fledged Mack Diecast Daddy:

In-depth interviews with the people who came up with the ideas and designs behind the scenes, such as Popy designer Katsuji Murakami. Videos of old commercials. A “hall of gimmicks” showing the development of the transforming and combining features chogokin fanatics know and love. And of course, a complete database of every Popy diecast toy, complete with exact release dates.

It’s shaping up to be one of the most detailed references ever created for Popy diecast toys. Alas, it’s all in Japanese. But even if you don’t understand the language, there’ll be plenty of eye-candy to suck on (so to speak.) Stay tuned for more info!

Matt

March 24, 2004

Green Arrow Again

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rumble Crew @ 7:34 am

Good news for those who missed out the first time around: according to Figure King magazine, Japanese toy-maniac Koji Igarashi’s legendary Encyclopedia of Chogokin and Popinika, originally published by the Green Arrow Grafitti corporation in 1997, is getting re-issued!

Due to be released in conjunction with the Chogokin Expo 2004 this spring, the book will feature a redesigned cover. No word yet as to if it will include new content or be available outside of the show.


The Encyclopedia of Chogokin and Popinika continues to reign as the single best guidebook for collectors of vintage Popy diecast toys. For more info, click here for the 1998 ToyboxDX review of the first edition of the book.

Matt

March 21, 2004

Ultra-Medicom!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rumble Crew @ 8:48 pm

Medicom continues its broad foray into the wide, wacky world of Ultra-Hero and Kaiju figures with their popular Kubricks, Be@rbricks, 1:6 RAH figures, and the up-’til-recently dormant Miracle Action Figure (MAF) line.

Among other things recently released are a host of Kubrick Ultraman figures (marketed in those annoying “secret-trading” boxes), Ultraman and Ultra-7 Be@rbricks, and an eye-catching RAH rendition of Baltan-Seijin.


Slated for release in June of this year: an RAH Ultraman A and an MAF King Joe(!).


Both figures may presently be preordered at HLJ but should eventually be available at various outlets.


I now return you to your regularly scheduled robot fetishing.

cae

March 19, 2004

Reflected Darkness

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rumble Crew @ 9:32 pm

Here’s a brief look on the latest SOCs from Bandai the darker-than-night GX-21 Eva-03, and the shinier-than-thou GX-22 Eva-04. Weapons, accessories and articulation… nothing really new here. If you’ve bought any of the previous SOC Evas, you’ll already be very familiar with the remarkable detail and diecast construction that went into these toys. For me, however, it took the release of this deliciously diabolic duo to finally loosen my purse-strings.

Why wait so long? Well, the biggest reason was my dislike of the way the first four Evas were colored. Bandai’s choice of a dark metallic purple for the Eva-01 just didn’t work for me. Eva-02′s dull tomato red was the real deal-killer though, because I had high hopes for a fiery crimson on my favorite Evangelion. So although the blue on Eva-00 kai was quite pleasing, it was too little, too late. It just wasn’t worth buying 3 (or four) semi-pricey toys meant to be shown together when in my heart, I deeply disliked the looks of two of them. Many others weren’t bothered by this issue at all and have happily collected the entire series to date. Don’t forget to check out Tim and Matt’s fantastic Rumble from July ’03!

But enough of my color woes… From the first publicity shots of these two bad boys in the hobby mags, I was moved to reconsider getting into the world of SOC Evas after all. Being essentially tragic enemy proxies in the mind warping Neon Genesis Evangelion show, they exuded a dark appeal quite apart from the first three giant biomecha. The aggressively feral look of Eva-03 will always bring to mind the episode in which the poor pilot was trapped in the ‘possessed’ robot.

More enigmatically, the silvery Eva-04 wasn’t even seen on screen… only as a mushroom cloud from a satellite photo after it self-destructed and took its entire NERV base in the US with it. Few art references exist for this ‘Jibaku’ (as the Japanese call it) Eva, so I don’t know if its hands should really be a blue-gray (as seen on the box photo), or an Eva-01′s purple shade, as the real contents reveal them to be. They seemed strange at first sight, but I’ve already grown used to them.

Some other fans had hoped Bandai would include an extra set of lengthened arms for the black Eva-03, but it was not to be. Nonetheless, I find the subtle metallic finish on this dark Angel to be very well done good enough for me to display it without any other weapons or accessories except the special piece for the ‘Angel-goo’d pilot capsule’. Attitude that’s all this baby needs!

Even better, the more expensive Eva-04 (6500 yen to the usual 5500 yen) is almost entirely finished in high reflective chrome. It wouldn’t look out of place next to the gorgeous ‘Training Colors’ SOC Getter Set (more in the Modern Toy Porn section, courtesy of Tim Brisko!). And although its head sports a less shiny silver tone, it’s not as obvious as Getter-1′s due to its sleeker shape and smaller size. From head to gleaming toe, this is truly a work of toy art! And if you look closely, there’s not even a hint of the occasional ‘split shins‘ problem found on some of the earlier SOC Evas. Kudos, Bandai!

Both are great, great toys. In a day when more and more robot toy collectors actually prefer safe, chip-resistant molded plastic to the beauty of cold hard metal, I am glad Bandai made the effort to produce two such stunningly gorgeous examples of the best that modern diecast can offer… May The Art never die! I leave you with one last image of each toy… to savor, and reflect upon.

drifand

March 17, 2004

Chogokin Expo 2004!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rumble Crew @ 1:38 am

It’s springtime! Time for the birds, the bees… And the CHOGOKIN EXPO 2004! And wouldn’t ya know it? Bandai’s releasing a handful of new toys to commemorate the event.

First up are two new entries in that shrunken-down series of old-school diecast love, the “THE Chogokin.” Check out the miniaturized version of the hella-difficult-to-find black Raideen and first-version GA-01 Mazinger Z. At 1,890 and 1,500 yen, respectively, they’re a good hundredth of what you’d probably have to pay to score originals.

There’ll also be a re-colored version of the GX-13 Dancougar and — somewhat improbably — a reissue of the wacky rocket-punch-firing pen sold by Popy in the 1970s. In four color variations, no less! Use it to sign the second mortgage you’ll be taking out on your house to afford the trip to Tokyo.

Although the items above will only be intially available at the show, they’ll also be available for mail-order in Japan via LaLaBit Market. But fret not if you aren’t Japan-bound in the near future: all but the pen will get a normal, Japan-wide release this summer.

CHOGOKIN EXPO 2004 will be held at LaForet Harajuku in Tokyo from April 2nd until May 5th. Admission’s 700 yen a head. According to Bandai’s Tamashii.jp website, over 400 vintage chogokin toys will be on display.

Matt

The THE

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rumble Crew @ 1:22 am

The CHOGOKIN EXPO 2004 is coming! And wouldn’t ya know it? Bandai’s releasing a handful of new toys to commemorate the event.

First up are two new entries in that shrunken-down series of old-school diecast love, the THE CHOGOKIN line. A black repaint of Raideen and a miniature first-version GA-01 Mazinger Z.

There’ll also be a recolored version of the GX-13 Dancougar and — somewhat improbably — a reissue of the wacky rocket-punch-firing pen sold by Popy in the 1970s. Use it to sign the second mortgage you’ll be taking out on your house to afford the trip to Tokyo!

Although the items above will only be intially available at the show, they’ll get a normal, Japan-wide release this summer.


CHOGOKIN EXPO 2004 will be held at LaForet Harajuku in Tokyo, from April 2nd until May 5th. Admission’s 700 yen a head. According to Bandai’s Tamashii.jp website, over 400 vintage chogokin toys will be on display.

-M

Matt

March 16, 2004

Enter the Zan-man

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rumble Crew @ 11:40 pm

A (somewhat blurry) shot of the upcoming Zanbot III “Soul of Chogokin” toy, submitted to us by a top secret ultra mysterious reader. This is the first time we’ve seen the colored version of the toy — Enjoy!

Matt
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