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 the crummier Seven or Victora products. The Gundam-like head design and multi-colored plastic limbs have fascinated die-hard (desperate?) robot collectors for years, however. Strangely enough, the minor player Sakura produced a second version of Rainbow Seven, coated in sparkling gold. Sakura's toy is a tad larger than the Apex version -- yet, almost unbelievably, is of even worse quality.