Apologies for the lack of updates. I planned to take a few days’ rest and get my hands on the 1/100 O Raiser but I have been encountering difficulties finding one. The shop that I frequent for buying Gundam models does not have it in stock despite other newer models being otherwise. I shall check the shop out again tomorrow.
On the other hand I went to buy this “Minipla” Phone Braver 7 from the live-action sci-fi tokusatsu drama Keitai Sousakan 7. It’s still airing and in the show he’s supposed to be a robot disguised as a handphone and along with his human buddy agent, they go around solving cyber-crimes. Episodes are available on Youtube thanks to a kind user who uploaded them online.
Being a candy toy aimed at kids, there wasn’t much to expect in terms of quality. This is a look at the opened package. There was also a little piece of gum that I snapped up right away. That makes this a candy toy. What’s interesting about the parts is that they are directly joined to the runner without any gap and are meant to be twisted off. There is no way to avoid leaving gate marks behind even if side-flush cutters are used as there is no clearance between runner and part. There were 4 ABS silver plastic runners in total and a sticker sheet.
Being a candy toy, assembly merely took around half an hour. Parts were generally halves joined together with joints. Here’s a look at the assembled toy. There was a sticker provided for the keypad. I did not stick it as sticking it would make it hard to paint should I decide to do so in future.
The face was done using stickers which were pasted on both sides of a thin plastic board which fits inside the upper half. It can be pulled out and turned around for Seven to display his face when equipped with the Boost Phone Seeker. More on that later.
Here’s Seven standing up. He has double joints on his elbows and knees for the sake of transformation. With so many joints he can be put in a variety of poses but balancing on his tiny feet is a delicate task.
Rear view. Look at the hideous faults all over. I’m not exactly sure what they are named but I know how they come about. During the injection molding process, the raw material for the product (ie. plastic) comes in tiny pellets that are fed into a hopper and melted into liquid. The liquid plastic is pumped at a high pressure into the injection mold and it fills up the mold from multiple locations. Now imagine two pools of water coagulating into one. When the plastic cools, lines form where the “puddles” join. This is an unavoidable issue in injection-molded things.
Seven in Retract Form. In the show, transformation is achieved when Keita presses 5, 0, 7 and Action for Seven to transform into Active Form. To change back, Keita simply orders, “Retract Form”.
The coin slot-like hole is where the face plate slides into. It is noted that the high-end version of this toy (DX Phone Braver 7) has the blocks sticking out the sides but they are not as big. The latter also has electronic effects on its screen and voice clips too. All this at an exorbitant price of 5000 yen. Also the DX line is more established and has more robot characters than this minipla version.
The leftover stickers. The small black sticker is for the small screen on the top cover of the phone. The keypad sticker is way more detailed than the molded keypad and the other face is used when Seven is combined with Boost Phone Seeker. The Boost Phone Seeker is a red camera phone that transforms into a hopping bipedal robot. When given permission by his buddy Amishima Keita, Seeker breaks into pieces for Seven to pick them up and wear them himself. It’s an interesting detraction from the fancy souchaku transformation scenes in other tokusatsu shows.
As far as I know from the box, the line currently has Seven, Phone Braver 3 (Third), Boost Phone Seeker and Boost Phone Speaker. It’s pretty hard to find out from Google if any of the later phones were turned into candy toys. Also where I bought this, only Seven and Third were available.
All in all it’s been quite a few years since I last bought any candy toys. I used to buy them more frequently as a kid and back then candy toys even had rubber band powered toy guns that erm dropped BBs.