Soul of Chogokin GaoGaiGar – Part 4: Final

This is the final part of the review where I cover the complete GaoGaiGar toy.

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Overall views. The bulky appearance of the robot is captured very well in toy form.

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One minor quibble I have is that GaiGar’s face doesn’t sit too well in its head and it looks like the helmet is too high, making part of the eyes blocked. You can see the tiny G mark inside the forehead G-Stone. The forehead sensor is also done in clear orange. It would have been nice if the mouthpiece was panel lined to bring out the details better.

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I forgot to take a picture of the arm holding the helmet but it has a ball-shaped peg on the back which is attached to a rail on the arm allowing the head to look left and right just slightly. You can remove the entire arm to free the head, but it’s still not capable of looking around too much.

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I don’t know if it’s just me, but I think the upper arms are too short. Or rather, the elbow joints are located too high up. They can only bend around 90 degrees. Also, when you pull the shoulders outwards the die-cast joint sags. It feels annoying especially when you are trying to keep the shoulders raised.

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One smaller pair of hands with the index finger separate from the last 3 fingers is provided. They are really only useful for watching them spin out of the forearms during transformation.

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You can swap them out for some bigger hands which are individually jointed. The joints are clips so you can simply re-attach the fingers if you pop them off by bending them too much.

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You can see GaiGar’s feet peeking out from inside the ankles. The feet joints are contained in the arches (?) of the feet and function effectively like a ball joint, even allowing a fairly wide range of sideways tilt despite the bulk. The knees are reduced to single joints and can bend about 80 degrees. Not great but decent enough with all this bulk. The drill knees don’t move in tandem though.

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Part of the mane on the chest can be folded inwards to get out of the way of the arms during certain poses. Also it’s unfortunate but the waist has very limited articulation in this mode. It only rotates slightly and in this picture it’s already at its limit.

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The vents on the back can be opened. They are linked so all the flaps on each side move in unison.

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Broken Magnum!

Neither stand nor effect parts are provided; you’ll have to detach the arm and improvise.

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Protect Shade!

Also no effect parts. The fully-articulated hands have a wrist peg-hole which can swing outwards allowing the “talk to the hand” pose.

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Dividing Driver!

Despite its appearance it’s light and has a spring near the front so you can push the front half a little. The tip and pistons are chromed plastic.

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The gauge thingy on the side is in clear yellow.

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Hell and Heaven!

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[mumbling intensifies]

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No Zonder core to hold, so we’ll just end here. The interlocked hands are a single piece made from slightly soft plastic.

This release takes advantage of modern toy technology to deliver possibly the most accurate completely transforming toy of GaoGaiGar so far. Marketed as a die-cast toy this guy has most of it in its joints, and due to its massive size it also weighs a lot. Inevitably some articulation range is compromised, but this is as good as it gets. Any more and Bandai has you covered with the smaller Super Robot Chogokin line which is complete as far as I know. As a high-end toy the paint job is flawless as far as I can tell, with glossy colours and finish on most parts, a matte finish for Stealth Gao and gold paint, though on certain less-visible areas you can see bare yellow unpainted plastic. If this toy came with its panel lines painted and all its screw holes covered, it would have been absolutely perfect. I think effect parts would have been nice too but such things seem to be left for smaller sized figures instead.

There’s some speculation on whether Bandai would make more SOC toys from the series. So far it seems like the Goldion Hammer might see a possible release. I’m sure Bandai can churn out other things like the Stealth Gao II or even Repli-Galeon and they are probably all Tamashii exclusives. I’m not sure if I’m willing to spend all the money for all the add-ons. For me I really like Choryujin so it’d be nice to see him get modernized. But if Bandai goes all out and spits a Genesic GaoGaiGar, I might have to find a way to pawn this guy off.

★★★★★

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