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August 28, 2004

Washboard ABS!!

Filed under: Toy News — Rumble Crew @ 7:59 am


When it comes to Clover, I think of unappreciated, “anime inaccurate” masterpieces. Go figure.

Clover toys are all about what’s great in Japanese die-cast toys from the 1970’s and 80’s. When you’re comparing a Zanbot DX Combination Program set to anything other than another Clover toy, you’re just acting idiotic. Why? Well, let me tell you: Stand and deliver, Clover RULES!

Let me introduce ABS Gundam… ABS plastic, my friends. Clover’s ABS Gundam is the answer to Popy’s “Pura Dera” (“Plastic Deluxe”) series. Compared to the DX Clover Gokin toy, the ABS lives up to its 80’s potential in a BIG way, beating Popy’s out plastic toys by a long shot. The ABS stands about 10 inches tall and is packed full of accessories. Even a full-on “ball and chain” included — even Mike Ness would be impressed.

Cause nobody makes em’ like Clover.

With Clover’s Gundam toys, things can get confusing. They DO all look the same sometimes, but not when it comes to ABS.

There are many different types of Clover Gundams. Luckily, the ABS Gundam will not be mistaken for any of his counterparts. How could you miss a 10+ inch chrome-dome, suited with a shield, ball and chain, missile loaded fists and a shoulder cannon?

ABS just screams “LOOK AT ME!!”

We’re talking a plastic toy here, so think “good times.” You have to keep in mind how much you get, as compared to a Popy “pura-dera” toy. A full styro box and cover, a ton of accessories and some straight up chrome.

The “Core Fighter”

Hell yeah! Cock rockin’! Even this “pla” incarnation of Gundam has a core fighter. Just another way of saying that Clover kicked absolute ass in the early 80’s toy game. In all honesty, it might just be the coolest core fighter next to its bretheren, the Clover diecast CoreFighter!

The Nose

I’m a known sucker for the Chokinzoku Tetsujin 28 SG-01…. Funny, this ABS Gundam and T28 share the same “nose that knows”. Who would have thought?

This toy is a shout out to the Gundam purist. MSIA collectors need not apply. Seek it out…

“These are my ABS!!”

We (Duban and I) fought over the ABS forever… Who’s going to score some ABS? I eventually won. It took years, and I still don’t have washboard abs.

Erik Sjoen

August 27, 2004

Gimmix DX 2.0

Filed under: Toy News — Rumble Crew @ 6:04 pm

After 5 years, I’ve updated my collection site. Now with animations! Come take a look!


August 22, 2004


Filed under: Toy News — Rumble Crew @ 1:03 pm


Believe it or not, Tomy only did a couple of things right. When I say a couple, I really mean it.

So, there was a “couple” great diecasts that they made. They really didn’t do shit for us gokin lovers aside from their highly unappreciated Dunbine and Ideon toys.

Zoids? What the hell are Zoids?

Ideon is Tomy’s way of letting us know that diecast truly does matter. I own all of the Ideon toys produced by Tomy and I have to say the “DX Ideon” is by all means the heavyweight contender. It weighs at least a pound and packs a hell of a punch. Opposed to the electronic Ideon, which provides noise and light, the DX Ideon provides heft, possibility and a whirlwind of peripheral effects.

The DX Ideon about 8 inches tall. The torso and legs are solid diecast meshed with a red medley of ABS plastic. Unlike most “ST” style diecast toys, the DX Ideon has joints at the elbows as well as the knees. Solid… It’s very Takatoku-esque.

A very LARGE gun is included to shoot very LARGE missiles from. Other than that, the toy is pretty “uniform” in terms of functionality. Nothing too cool is included aside from a beautiful cutaway picture on the back of the box. I’ll let the pics speak for themselves.

Long live vintage gokin!! When I’m not busy buying MSiAs, there’s nothing like picking up some vintage diecast.

Erik Sjoen

August 21, 2004

Chogo-King For a Day

Filed under: Toy News — Rumble Crew @ 7:05 am

Bandai unveiled full-color prototypes of the upcoming Garada K7 and Doublas M2 Soul of Chogokin toys and — something of a surprise — the next Metal Material Model Chogokin, Impulse Gundam, at the International Character and Hobby Collection Convention 2004, held this Saturday and Sunday in Makuhari, Japan.

I’d say “words fail me,” but the above run-on sentence more than proves otherwise. Also on display were the respective prices: 5,750 yen for Garada and Doublas, with Gundam tipping the scales at 5,775 yen. Enjoy the photos… And look for a mini-gallery of more pics in the BBS!


August 4, 2004

Oh, oh…. BANSO!

Filed under: Toy News — Rumble Crew @ 3:12 am

Never heard of Banso? Join the club. This almost painfully obscure toymaker happened to produce some of the funkiest (albeit all-plastic) renditions of the Gatchaman vehicles ever seen. But don’t take my word for it… check out Robert Duban’s newest DATAFILE on the subject!


August 3, 2004

Review: Chogokin Mechagodzilla 1974

Filed under: Toy News — Rumble Crew @ 10:23 pm

Yep, I’m stupid. It took me over eight months to discover that Bandai’s GD-56 Mechagodzilla 1974 was cool, but now I bear witness to His Rivet-Covered Glory.

Why? For starters, they absolutely nailed the likeness. Every angle, every armor segment and every rivet is right where it should be. I can imagine the sculptor sitting in front of the suit for days, whittling away and scrutinizing every detail to make sure that kaiju freaks everywhere would be satisfied.

Then there are the features. The knee missiles pop off. The hands swap out to make it look like the finger missiles have been fired. The mouth and chest hatch open. Swap out the head and fold back the arms, and you can put him in flying mode. Push on the spikes on his back and make his head spin.

There are a couple of minuses. Metal parts are limited to the chest and legs, a little disappointing for a toy that bears the Chogokin moniker. It would also have been nice if it came with a little plastic stand for when you pose him in flying mode. All of these things just amount to the difference between an A and an A- in my book, though.

Like any other toy company, Bandai can’t resist squeezing as much as they can out of tooling costs by issuing color variations. A few months after the regular one came out, a GD-56M chrome version was released. Many collectors, myself included, rolled their eyes at this, but here’s a little secret: the chrome one is better.

Even if you don’t have the normal one to compare to, once you take the chrome one out of the box you are completely dazzled. Instead of just dipping the whole thing in chrome, selected parts are left with a matte finish, and the remaining surfaces are gloss. This contrast only brings out the beauty of the sculpt even more.

Again, there are some minor downsides. The chrome one costs a bit more (7500 yen as opposed to 6800 yen), has grayscale package art, and lacks the neat clamshell presentation of the original. Also, the finish on the metal parts isn’t as glossy as the plastic ones, so in a strange way the low die-cast content works in the toy’s favor.

Relatively speaking, not too many of these were made. Less than 10,000 of the normally colored version were cranked out by Bandai, and perhaps even less of the chrome ones were produced. From what I’m told, demand for these in Japan has been steady and strong, to the point where some dealers are asking American sellers if they could re-import the toys back.

Should you get one? If you have a special place in your artificial heart for Mechagodzilla and you feel like paying for it, definitely, but if you must pick one, go for the chrome. If my words haven’t convinced you, then squint at this picture. Yep, same tan wood and tile coffee table, same perspective, same schmuck taking the picture. My apologies.


A Myth Reborn

Filed under: Toy News — Rumble Crew @ 1:06 pm

I remember having the Aquarius Camus saint action figure back in the 80’s, when the series was on TV. At that time, the figure and the armor didn’t have as much detail. The armor was still a shiny gold color and made mostly of metal. And plastic in certain areas

In 2003, Bandai introduces their new series reviving the Saint Seiya figure line called the Saint Myth Cloth series. This Aquarius is the second one in the gold saint series to be released. I ordered one from a shop in hawaii. I was actually excited to get when it came in the mail. I just ripped the package open like a kid opening a christmas present. The box itself folded in a book like manner. Which opens to reveal two sides containing the pieces. One side contains a tray insert with the main body of the figure and some armor pieces. The other side with the second tray insert containing the an extra head of Cygnus Hyoga, some armor pieces and parts for the Aquarius object. And, a cape. This is a first for me, still. I have the Leo saint. And it too came with a cape.

Taking out the figure first. I noticed it was about 5 inches tall a little larger than its predecessor. It did have a lot more detail. The face detail on both heads is close to the original on the show. The armor to has more detail and is more accurately designed to look almost exactly like the original. The armor is a gold color and made of a heavier metal. And better quality. Than its predecessor. Still a very nice piece. Unlike the 80’s version, this one has a set of different hands that are interchangeable. For a different variety of poses. Like the Camus head, the mask fits the Hyoga head too. Like on the show, when Hyoga wears the Aquarius armor. I couldn’t get over how nicely designed and detaliled the figure is. Bandai also did it in such a way that every myth cloth series figure was designed in a similar manner, making it possible for the saints in the bronze series to be able to wear the gold armor too.

I played with the figure a little. Seeing what it can do. Having to do a variety of poses. The articulation in the joints are really good. There was a good amount of it. The double hands for Camus’ Aurora Execution attack. I thought it was pretty neat to actually recreate that. Then the two open hands for Hyoga’s Hakucho-no-tsubasa pose. Like he does in the show before attacking. One thing I thought was pretty tricky was to actually have the figure posed standing and holding its head piece. It takes some patience to get it right. Like how Camus or Hyoga does it in the show, cradleing the head piece in their arm on either side. The hands have to grip the bottom of the head piece, depending on which side the figure will hold it. Visible on both Camus and the Hyoga rear view, the cape is on. This cape is part of the set. On the show, when Hyoga wears the Aquarius armor, it has no cape. I just decided to put it on. It looks better with the cape on. This new figure is a very welcome addition to my collection. ANd the best one. I have it on my shelf displayed as Hyoga. Actually, becomes he the next Aquarius saint. Its not in the story, but an original idea I thought of. The style of the figure is very good. Even the armor in the form of the Aquarius object looks really good. This is not the last gold saint in my collection.

Dominic Handl
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