[Alen Yen's ToyboxDX]

  July 09, 2002

hy repaints?

Yeah, I know why the companies make them -easy profit!- but why do we (I) buy them? If somebody re-released your favorite movie, with the same actors in different costumes and with different names, would you go see it again? Would you buy the DVD?

You would?!?

Well, maybe I would, too. Especially if it was as breathtaking an alteration as Bandai's SOC, GX-06M Training Getter Robo set!

Like any good crow or raccoon, the minute I saw previews of its hypnotic, beckoning gleam, I pre-ordered this set and, upon receipt, was totally enthralled by its utterly ridiculous shininess.

One of the first things you pick up on is that these things aren't exactly chrome silver. There's a hint of black to them, an almost peripheral, dark cast that lends a slightly smoky mystery to their sheen. Say what you will, this set is an eye catcher.

More than enough has already been written about the merits (or lack thereof) of the first SOC Getter Robo trio but I do think it is worth saying that the training version has the exact opposite effect on me as the first: I DO NOT want to play with it.

These are the first 'toys' I've handled this gingerly, that I've wiped clean with a cloth, that I've considered wearing gloves to touch and shuddered at even the slightest amount of pressure needed to connect a piece or move a joint. In short, this set frightens me. It is too nice.

The extra piece, the one they threw in to goad you into buying the set if the finish wasn't enough (what are you, blind?!?), is the Command Machine, looking as if it was released with the first version of the trio. If any part of this set will remind you that what you just bought is supposed to be a toy, it is this piece. Carefully and lovingly detailed, if gimmickless, the Command Machine awaits your clammy paws, your shooshing breath, your childish eyes.

The Training Getters will look absolutely fabulous on any shelf, or in any case (anybody have an extra bolt of black velvet lying around?). It will draw the eye of even those least capable of understanding this questionable practice we dare to call a hobby, but does it inspire the playful joy of its predecessor? No. Not in this palooka. Its effect is one of awe, not frivolity, and I am not sure if this is what I had in mind when I first started collecting.

Not that I don't like it . . .


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