Bandai joins the slew of Gurren Lagann merchandise with its SRC rendition. Apparently there was a brouhaha going on about the stylized sculpt of this particular toy, especially against the popular Riobot version. Despite the higher price and lack of any diecast the Riobot indeed has some brilliant engineering. The SRC has taken some liberty with the sculpt that attempts to give it a Revoltech flavour – dynamic shapes that don’t look so good in a static pose, and all the goodness without the clicky Revolver joints that people are getting tired of. However I didn’t have the guts to cancel my order with Amiami so here’s a review.
This is the usual SRC packaging with no window. The use of universal joints has become a gimmick and Bandai has decided to name it the Crossover Joint. Basically you can mix and match certain parts on other SRC figures like the Shin Mazinger Z and Gunbuster.
Package contents. Inside the fairly densely packed tray you get the Gurren Lagann, the Gurren Wing flight pack, a pair of Gurren Boomerangs, 2 extra faces, 3 pairs of hands, 2 pairs of drills, a replacement chest piece and a stand adapter.
Overall views. As you can see this toy has a fairly interesting sculpt. Due to the animation style there is not exact, fixed lineart for reference. However Bandai has given it a slim waist with slightly thin arms, and the huge legs with oversized kneecaps and an S-shaped line down the legs that reminds me of a Revoltech figure. To be honest the proportions do look a bit strange from certain angles. The huge kneecaps were also one of the factors that made people give up on this toy. Another problem was the emblems on the shoulder shields. They are different from the early prototype images and some people argue that they aren’t show-accurate but I don’t have issues with them. It’s still a fairly nice graphic in my opinion.
As expected of the SRC line, paint applications are detailed and nearly flawless. The complicated paint job you see here on the forehead and face is a testament to this. Faces are swapped by first removing the forehead crest and pulling out the face. I find it easier to detach the head off the figure as it gives more leverage when trying to pull the face out. The cheeks are made of flexible plastic. The “shouting” face looks more like a “huh” face, but the inside of the mouth is really recessed and not just painted black.
The contentious waist. The gunmetal bit inside the mouth is movable and hides the multiple waist joints.
The jaw can be moved but closing the mouth reveals the joints and makes the already skinny waist look worse. While the shades on the chest are translucent you can’t really see the eyes beneath until you use the replacement chest piece. The eyes seem to be transparent but the yellow paint isn’t clear enough.
The arms are mostly bare molded plastic but you probably won’t be bothered by them as the paint job doesn’t make the bare plastic stand out.
Those controversial legs. I also prefer the sculpt of the Riobot version.
The back has a cover piece that is removed to reveal the backpack joint which is also compatible with the Jet Scrander backpack for the Mazinger Z.
The Gurren Wing backpack has 4 drills which are made of hard plastic and are sharp. The joints on the wing roots can extend to improve the range of motion.
Here it is plugged into the back of the figure.
Articulation is impressive as always. My pictures don’t really do justice to the multiple joints all over the figure. The head is on a more conventional double joint. The waist has an extendable triple joint and can rotate all the way around.
The diecast shoulder ball joints can extend forward. The shoulder pads are on diecast double joints. The shoulder shields also have ball joints. The elbows have 2 swivels at the top and bottom. The elbows themselves are double joints, with the upper joint being a ratchet joint, while the lower one is part of the lower arm. The wrists are on the usual double joints. Unlike Revolver joints these ratchet joints offer finer control over the angle you can get them in.
The hips are diecast but on my figure they are a little loose for my taste. The gold pieces on the sides of the waists are on double joints that pop off easily when they get in the way of the thighs. While the thighs can rotate at the top, like the arms they have a second joint near the knee. The knees are also double joints similar to the elbows – an upper ratchet joint and a lower knee joint that is part of the lower leg. The huge kneecaps are on diecast arms and can move slightly. The lower leg is diecast. The diecast ankles can extend with a satisfying click and have a double joint below a ball joint making them triple joints. The insides of the feet are diecast as they are part of the ankle joints. While the heel can move out of the way for certain poses there isn’t any toe articulation.
The included drills are mounted on the forearms by simply plugging them in. They are made of slightly flexible plastic but I wouldn’t want to test their limits.
The Gurren Boomerangs simply sit in the hands.
“Who do you think we are?!”
This is a fairly decent figure from Bandai’s awesome SRC line. Some people may have issues with the stylized sculpt but it still looks good when you put it in a nice dynamic pose. Sure it doesn’t look as great as the Riobot does, and people who are willing to pay more for the superior sculpt should go ahead and skip this offering. But even with the somewhat generous amount of diecast in this figure you don’t really get your money’s worth as you still need to shell out more money to get the drill set. I guess it’s to be expected of the line and at least the add-on set isn’t a Tamashii Web exclusive.