The Apex of Gokin
text: Robert Duban & Matt Alt, graphics: Robert Duban
Warrior of Love: Rainbowman is not the name of a gay
superhero. It is, in fact, the title of a fairly well
known live-action Japanese TV series from 1972.
Not as well known is the animated remake of the same
name that premiered a decade later (airdates -
10/10/82 - 4/9/83). The anime was loosely based on the
original tokusatsu cult classic, but featured one big
addition -- the inclusion of a giant robot.
There seem to be only two toy renditions of the show's
robotic hero, Rainbow Seven. We're not even sure who
made the more commonly seen of these two, but the toy
was sold under the brand name "Apex Gokin." It's not
even clear if "Apex" is the name of the company that
made this toy or simply the distributor. There are no trademarks on
either the toy itself or the box to clue one in. A tiny mystery, to be sure,
but a mystery nonetheless.
In the show, the hero, "Takeshi" uses a suit of
"V-Armor" to split into seven superheroes who can then re-combine into
Rainbow Seven. His antagonists are the legions of the "Die! Die! Army"
from the far-flung, imaginatively named "Die! Die! Empire."
The Rainbow Seven toy ranks among one of the worst
quality Japanese toy outings - on a par with some of
Gundam-like head design and multi-colored plastic
limbs have fascinated die-hard (desperate?) robot
collectors for years, however. Strangely enough, the
produced a second version of
Rainbow Seven, coated in
Sakura's toy is a tad larger than the Apex version --
yet, almost unbelievably, is of even worse quality.