I've had my GX-62 Soul of Chogokin Danguard Ace figure for a couple of weeks now and I gotta say this is one excellent figure. I was a little dissapointed in finding out that this was going to be on the smaller scale of Chogokin. Danguard is as far as I know one of the biggest robots in the Super Robot world. However, even though it's smaller than most modern SOC, I found myself playing with this figure a lot. Yes, playing! Not the kind of playing where I fly him around the room making swooshing noises, but where I'm constantly posing him and transforming him. I never came close to doing that with the bigger Yamato Danguard Ace. Highly recommended.
The figure sports some great detail and diecast content.
The back has an alternate piece that mimmicks the folded hidden wings but as you see here it also comes with folding wings...
...that can be unfolded!
Satelizer Mode with included stand and Sky Arrow ship.
Chogokin figures have become so advanced lately that some of us have forgotten where the roots of modern Chogokin lie. It's with the original Mazinger Z GA-01 that was released by Popy back in 70's. Their popular Jumbo Machinder line showed off the size of these massive robots but something was missing. How about some weight? Not only did the idea of using diecast metal come up, they had the ingenious idea of marketing plain old metal as being the same "Super Alloy" or Chogokin that the real robots were made of. Of course kids went nuts. It took off. So this is the first one that kicked off a line that continues to this day. The GA-01 Mazinger Z. While I would be in heaven if this was an original GA-01, this is only a reissue. To make this reissue as authentic as possible, new molds would have to be made from original GA-01's as the original molds were no longer good or gone. Two mint GA-01's lent themselves to this effort.
So in 1999 Banpresto popped out a few of these for the collecting market, they didn't make it an easy purchase. No sir, it was a prize item. If I am not mistaken, you needed to buy 5 Super Robot Wars video games to be able to purchase it. While this makes it difficult to come across one, it doesnt make it impossible. Hence the reason I have one. I was looking to pay $100 maximum, but I had to go over a bit to get this one.
The box is suprisingly small, only slightly bigger than the figure. Notice that although this is made by Banpresto, it sports a Banpresto logo. This is because Popy was absorbed by Bandai and Banpresto is a part of Bandai. The artwork is simple and shows what seems to be the Jumbo Machinder (Shogun Warriors) verison of Mazinger Z.
The back also features some great old school artwork. It most definitely has some charm to it. You have to love a robot that not only has Rocket Punch but also Rocket Titties.
Side panels are pretty much more of the same.
Here are all the contents of the set. Just like the original. While later Chogokin used the popular styrofoam to protect the contents, this just used foam...I guess the styro part din't exist yet. Accessories come in a little baggy. The instruction sheet is also included and looks like it may have been printed in the 70's, but it wasn't.
They didn't have CAD rendered illustrations so they got the next best thing to make the drawings, a 6 year old.
Although ideally I would have preferred a super mint boxed specimen, I was more concerned at having a nice figure and aside from a paint defect right across his ding dong, it's perfect. Some of you might see this and think, "what's the big deal?" I guess I would have to say you "get it" or you don't. The figure is mostly metal save for the head chest fins and arms.
The back is just as simple as the front. The screws are super exposed. No need to hide these, they were going to sell tons to kids regardless. Notice the simple rivets on the knees. Forget ratchets.
Mazinger Z's Rocket Punch was the inspiration for the name of my blog and Youtube Channel. If you love fist firing robots, you may want to thank this guy for starting the trend.
He also shoots titties..I mean Breast Fire. I prefer to say titties.
Oh and he also comes with a pair of Iron Cutters.
This has to be one of my favorite figures...let me explain. Although there are figures WORLDS more complicated and precision crafted, but I absolutely love the raw feel of these figures which were originally made to be given to kids who would play all day with them and not fall apart in their hands. It's a piece of history, even if this is only a reissue.
Some comparison pics with other Mazinger Z figures.
Reissue GA-01 next to THE Chogokin GT-00 (mini reissue of the GA-01)
GA-01 Reissue next to another GA-01 (5th Version replica)
GA-01 Reissue next to Super Robot Chogokin Mazinger Z
GA-01 Reissue next to Super Robot Chogokin Shin Mazinger
For those of you that missed out on the Takara and Hasbro MP-10, you can now rejoice at a cheaper alternative. A KO MP-10. Nk word yet if this will be to the same quality standards as the MP-12/14. Expected in September. For now, check out some prototype parts photos.
While waiting on my Choriko Robo Galatt figure, I read about problems people were having with standing this figure up. When I got mine, I stood it up and its been standing there ever since. It seems the legs do a split. I was looking to see why and it seems there are TEENY and I do mean TEENY little tabs that have been given the job of holding all this diecast weight together. A rather poor design I agree.
So here is my figure. Normally the figure doesn't like to stand at all. It would do a crazy split.
Upon closer inspection, I found that those two bars that run down have teeny hooks at the ends. Those "hooks" snap underneath those openings in the legs. Fiddling around by moving the butt piece away from the figure allowed me to see that there are also hooks on the opposite sides of the leg making a total of four hooks that have to tab in. While I eventually got them to snap in together I felt that eventually this would wear down. What a crappy design to be honest. If the entire hook piece tabbed underneath, it would probably hold better, but it's the very teeny tooth on the hook that tabs in...barely. On top of that they are stressed from the legs wanting to pull out.
I wasn't happy with eventually wearing out the tabs, so I devised a different way of keeping the legs together. You know those clear elastic bands that come with almost every action figure? I used one of those and wrapped it around the top of the thighs. I lifted with skirt flaps so you can see it a little bit better.
Depending on what size elastic band you use, you may need some more tension. I used an elastic from the packaging fo the 6" Stormtrooper which was a little too big, so instead of double it up and making too much tension, I just hooked the elastic around the butt piece for a little more tension.
Once you have it situated how you want it, fold the skirts down.
Once you swing down the crotch wings, its invisible! Enjoy.
This only fixes the legs from splitting apart when not using the built in hooks. If the legs still split, try using a smaller elastic for more tension. If your figure suffers from loose ankle then this fix won't help.
I finally got in the KO MP-12 I ordered. I was keeping my expectations low because I only paid $40 shipped for it. However once I received it, I was pretty much in shock. Somehow even though they sent it in a padded envelope, it wasn't crushed at all.
So many of you are wondering how close it is to the original. Well it's as close as you can friggin' get! Same weight, same plastic feel and overall quality. My piece has tight joints and very hard to distinguish from the original. I actually ended up putting the KO in my display case by mistake for a while! The only thing that really kept it from being 100% is the paint finish. Overall it's well done, but some panels do not shine the same as the rest, some have little bumps etc. Then again, Takara's paint isnt all that great either. So let's take a look at this straight up replica.
Takara left, KO right
Takara left, KO right
Takara gloss detail on figure. Notice the ribbing on the cardboard is pronounced.
KO gloss detail on figures. Notice the cardboard ribbing is more subdued and the reds are darker.
KO side panel. Notice the autobot logo is missing from Sideswipes chest. Probably the easiest way to spot KO
As you can see, vehicle mode is great. Seems to me like even the panels line up better than my Takara! I have huge gaps on the Takara and the panels on this KO aren't so bad.
Even form the back, the car looks clean. Notice how instead of Countach, it says "Cantach". Alo instead of Lamborghini, it says "Lamborgthl"
Weapon mode stores exactly the same.
Takara left, KO right. They look exactly the same. The red on the KO is a tad more vibrant. Also notice that there is a black edge detail surrounding the headlamps on the Takara where on the KO there is none.
Takara has the squinty eyes.
KO has non-squinty eyes which I actually prefer. Notice how nice the Autobot logo is printed, albeit slightly off to the side.
Takara says Countach
KO says "Cantach"
Takara left, KO right
Takara left, KO right
I'm not going to go on and make a discussion about whether or not KO should exist. We all know they are bad and they will probably always exist. It's up to you whether you choose to support it or not and if you choose to use them to scam somebody. I collect them because I find them fascinating. I'm the type of person to buy the original and also the KO, so I'm pretty much supporting the company that invested the time and money to make the original and then buying the KO because it's just amazing how well a copy can be made. Plus customizers may prefer to use a KO over an expensive original. Video comparison below.