Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Let it snow...and rain with a drizzle of robots

Today was the late shift for me at work so I went in thinking it was going to be a normal day. Apart from the shoveling and ice scraping needed to get my car going, it was a normal day. About an hour into my work day, we get the call that we will be closing 2 hours early. Awesome! That is until I realize I had a few customers waiting to get their business done. I pretty much stayed the normal hours since they had been waiting long before we closed. All in the name of great customer service!

Toynami Shogun Warriors Golion Jumbo (A.K.A. Lion Force Voltron)
Well since there were no new goodies coming in today, I've decided to show you guys a couple of new items of mine that I've received recently. I touched on the Toynami Shogun Warriors Golion Jumbo figure in a previous post. You may know this character by his more famous name- Voltron. Well I had this bad boy on preorder a long time ago and recently received it. I opened the box and pulled out the huge box that was done in the style of the 80's Shogun Warriors. If you are not familiar with Shogun Warriors, they are basically repackaged robot toys made by Popy of Japan. They stand about two feet tall and are made out of the same material as shampoo bottles. The similarities end with the box. The actual figure is MUCH more detailed than you would find in the early Shogun Warriors releases. 

This is by no means a toy you give a kid unless you like letting kids play with $250 toys. It's actually labeled an adult collectible. There has been 500 of these made. If you go to buy one, make sure they send you the outer shipping box as this is the only way to know what number your figure is. Unfortunately for me, the place I got mine from decided that the outer shipping box was garbage and threw it out. I have no clue what mine is. It stings a bit but there is nothing they can do aside from taking it back. NO WAY am I giving this back! Is it a must buy? Casual Voltron fans may be turned off by a HUGE expensive vinyl toy that lacks the overall finish you would expect from a high end toy, but super hardcore collectors like me just see a HUGE VOLTRON! Can't wait to see what kind of new toys come out in anticipation of the new series on TV and the motion picture (if it ever gets done) but PLEASE don't use the design I've seen in the artist renditions... THEY ARE AWFUL! Maybe I'll post another blog/rant about how Hollywood mangles cool stuff in the future.

Super Robot Chogokin Reideen

You guys may know him as Reideen Raideen or whatever, but it's still the same guy no matter how its spelled. My only other newer release Reideen is from Bandai's Soul of Chogokin (SOC) figure. Chogokin meaning "Super Alloy" in Japanese because of their metal content. "Soul of " meaning that these are made with the intention of keeping the spirit alive for those who collected these toys back in the 80's. While the SOC was highly detailed, it was also highly fiddly and annoying to pose. Bandai's new Super Robot Chogokin (SRC) line aims at making these highly collectible and wonderful robots available to a wider range of collectors albeit in a smaller package. While they may be cheaper and slightly smaller, they still demonstrate the amazing quality found in their more expensive releases. I own the Mazinger Z and the Great Mazinger which were the first two releases and this Reideen marks the third. I'll be honest, I like this one better than the standard SOC. Highly recommended!

Iron Gear/Iron Car/Robot Spaceship
If you know me, then you know I got a "thing" for the Xabungle Iron Gear. My mom got me the tiny plastic figure back in the day (pictured loose on the right of the picture) and as small as it is, it managed to remain intact all these years. So what did I decide to do? I decided to restore it. I bought a couple of Iron Gears similar to my original only to find out most were knock offs. I realized they were not legit due to the lack of licensing marking. So In my search I ran across several variations in packaging, coloring, name etc. Turns out this was a popular piece due to the amount of times it's been copied. Well, just recently I found another in box that I still had yet to own. So I bought it and realized that this was an original due to the fact that this one HAS the markings! Imagine my dismay when I noticed that the markings were not identical! I have come to the conclusion that there are WAY too many variations. I've MAYBE almost given up on collecting all the variations. I've yet to see if a full blown Japanese release has been made. I'm sure there is as these figures I have are Made in Taiwan and that usually means there is a Japanese version somewhere. If anybody knows where I can get one, please let me know!

Check out my review for this figure here: http://collectiondx.com/toy_review/1983/irongear_mini

Clover Iron Gear

You don't think that would be the only Iron Gear to come my way recently do you? Well, I got me one of the coolest ones in existence. This particular version is made by a now gone company called Clover of Japan. They made some amazing figures back in the day and this one is no exception. 

While I love diecast robots, this one is lacking in that department, but it is so awesome that I can forgive that shortcoming. That is not to say it has none, just a very teeny amount in the waist. If you want one of these with tons of metal, I suggest picking up the Bandai Soul of Chogokin Irongear. I've longed for this in my collection for a while and now it is in my possession. I couldnt ask for a better example of this piece except for non-applied stickers. Other than that it is PERFECT.

It comes in an amazing bed of styrofoam. Isn't styrofoam just grand? OK I know it's bad for the environment, but these types of packaging aren't exactly meant to be thrown away anyways. They are meant to be savored each and every time you open the box to take the figure out to examine all the engineering and sculpting that went into every nook and cranny of the figure. Keep in mind that this figure is almost 30 years old and it blows most modern toys out of the water. I just don't feel that modern toys have soul. It's almost as if manufacturers in the past LOVED making toys, cost no object. This toy was about 6000 yen back in the day which meant it was very pricey! Now it seems manufacturers are out to make a quick buck. You will never find toys that are meant to be treasured. They come in cheap blister packs and are meant to be thrown away and recycled. The only toys you find that are meant to be kept are really high end toys that are more than likely too fragile to even play with.

I can't say enough good things about this toy. It is indeed a classic. There is no crazy articulation since the legs don't move, the knees don't bend etc. but it has an unmistakable charm to it. Did I mention it is a transformable robot? Oh yes, it turns into a long land ship. It may not be your cup of tea, but it is an awe inspiring experience every time I take him out to look at him. He is about 12" tall! I almost feel relieved to own this as I was always worried I would never get to enjoy owning this toy. Most vintage toys are VERY expensive and way out of reach. As if that fear wasn't enough, I thought I'd end up with a broken tortured mess of a toy. But no, I actually found this specimen which according to the original owner, was never transformed. He applied the decals and displayed him before putting him away. I believe him because the box is immaculate and the figures joints and articulated pieces are so darn stiff, I though I would break him trying to move pieces around. Every swivel creaked and groaned from movement. 

You may want to check out my video review of this guy if it strikes your interest!

I'm expecting some new Transformers from Japan probably tomorrow so stay tuned! One is a long awaited release and the other release is a repaint of a stateside favorite.

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