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January 3, 2009

Gimmie Some Head: Konami Lagann Impact Model.

Filed under: Erik Sjoen,Toy News — erik sjoen @ 5:08 am

Happy New Year everyone!

I would go ahead and recommend this toy for TOTY but I’m not sure that it actually came out in 2008. I’ve searched the toy and box up and down and can not come up with any discernible information verifying what year this actual piece was released..

Ah well.. I’ll just go ahead and say, for me, it’s the coolest new toy I picked up in 2008 that was NOT vintage.

I’m sure we’ll be seeing a ton of cool stuff come out in 2009, as last year held some of the coolest new school releases thus far. That CMs Gakeen anime colored magnemo gokin came out! Also, there was the Bandai SOC Godmars, which is simply the most incredible modern day diecast toy ever made if you ask me. That was followed by the dominating Yamato Dangard A and the CM’s Baldios.. Man, if those GOKIN weren’t so dang expensive I would no doubt own all of them by now.

On the other hand, the Konami Lagann Impact Model I’m reviewing actually has NO diecast metal at all, but holds its own as a very unique piece if you ask me. You’re probably wondering where the hell it comes from? Well, much like the very popular anime Neon Genesis Evangelion, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is another hit from the anime studio Gainax.

Honestly, I’m not a big fan of anime at all, but due to the interest here on TBDX and the fact that the show was playing on SciFi, I got a chance to check out GL via my DVR. I have to say, I barely made it through the first few episodes without getting incredibly bothered by the VincentZ fanservice bullshit. Well, luckily I stuck with it, as the series did actually have some redeeming qualities most of which being super robot madness. And YES, there was some seriously cool Super Robot shit.

When I finally got my hands on the Konami Lagann Impact Model Series the first thing I noticed is that it is a very sturdy and satisfying toy. No diecast to speak of, but still totally built and designed with care. Its construction reminds me of a vintage plastic Bandai toy from the late 80s, much like a piece from the Tobikage or Gallat series. Comparatively speaking, new toys seem to lack the playability of older toys, as they are designed to be displayed and not actually played with. This piece is clearly not a part of that ideology, as every piece is very interchangeable, solid and locks when put in place. This gives the piece a feeling of solid construction, and leaves the owner a feeling of satisfaction. This is important as the piece isn’t cheap. It’ retailed at 4950Y I believe, but if you’re looking for one you’ll most likely pay up to 10,000Y on YJP for one now.

Anyway, the aesthetic beauty one can achieve with this guy while in action on the supplied stand is incredible.. Luckily, for all the geeks out there that are into “anime accuracy”, there are multiple expressions and weapons that appear in the show included with the figure.

BUMMER.. No waist joint to speak..

As a collector of vintage Japanese toys, I have to say I am overall very impressed with this piece. Unfortunately there are only a few other parallels I have to compare this to within the lineage of our vintage Japanese toy family tree. First off there is the Daltanias Popynica, which is an incredible piece that features missiles and electronic lights. That piece was actually preceded by the Takemi Machine Blaster head/bust displays which are a superb mix of diecast and plastic, but are totally under-appreciated. On a lesser note, there is the Takara Jeag talking necklace that can be displayed with the aforementioned pieces in harmony, but just doesn’t really make the grade.. Also, more recently, Bandai released the PX-01 Soul Of Popyica Mazinger Z head, which in my opinion is extremely well done.

Hopefully we’ll see more “head” in the future, but I’m not holding my breath.

Erik Sjoen

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