This is a toy about 17 years old as of this writing. I guess I never really paid any attention to their existence when I was a kid as I was more interested in the storyline-based Bakugaiden toys. I found it for a not-so-expensive price on Amazon after seeing a video showing its insane rapid-fire ability.
Front and rear of the box. I’m not sure if I’ve seen any other vintage toys with box art this simple. There were several series under this line, starting with the Convert System which was based on Bomberman, OS Gear, then PI and PI-EX. Later series like the R and E-unit toys seemed to focus solely on firing gimmicks rather than customizability. I think the PI/PI-EX series were the most customizable, but the parts for all the Super B-Daman toys are hard to come by now.
Package contents. There are five runners in this kit. Notably, the hold parts (the claws that hold and launch the marble) are also ABS unlike newer B-Daman toys which use polyacetal/POM for those. I think ABS is less flexible and more brittle compared to POM.
Assembly begins with the revolutionary Rotary Drive System. It has four gears mounted on one axle, with one-way ratchets in between each pair of gears.
Each pair of gears is connected to a Reciprocation Trigger. Pressing either trigger rotates the Trident Rotor in the front about one-third of a turn forward which is responsible for firing the marbles. The triggers are spring-loaded and releasing them keeps the rotor in position due to the ratchets between the gears. In other words, if you push the triggers alternately you can keep the rotor spinning, thereby allowing a high rate of fire. The two halves of the case are held together by a screw.
Assembly of the rotary drive system is finished by attaching the springs and trigger pads.
The B-Daman itself doesn’t have anything too special going on. The dark green frame contains the core/hold parts, similar to the Battle B-Daman Zero line of toys, but this one has a notch on the bottom to prevent blocking the Trident Rotor. It’s notable that the front and rear halves of the body are held together by a pair of small screws on the sides of the head, and the arms are also fastened by larger screws. It has no articulation at all, and the arms seem to be prone to breaking if you push the forearms inwards. On the inside of the head you can see a diagonal rib which ostensibly prevents marbles from jamming inside the body. To mount the rotary drive system, you have to remove the feet, slide the thing up from below, replace the feet and lock the whole thing together using the sliding tab between the feet, then install the joint ring on the top.
Here’s how it looks before applying stickers.
Rear view. I guess the toy gets its name from the shape of the rotary drive system.
Here I have applied all the stickers. Interestingly the stickers that go across corners have dotted lines cut into them to help them conform better. They haven’t totally lost their adhesive ability but the ones on the visor and chin tend to come off.
As this toy comes with only one marble out of the box, to experience its rapid-fire ability you need quite a number of them and a magazine to contain them. Also, when the toy is new the trigger mechanism is quite stiff and requires quite a bit of force to fire a marble as you are not directly pushing marbles forward when you press the triggers. Instead the Trident Rotor pushes down and forward on the marble to force it out while feeding the next marble into the belly. I applied some grease on the moving parts and slightly shaved the insides of the hold parts to make it easier to fire marbles at the expense of shot power.
The gimmick of this toy is one of the most unique ones I’ve encountered as this is probably the only B-Daman toy capable of such a high rate of fire without using something like a flywheel system which fires gradually weaker shots as it slows down. Interestingly this toy was from an age before toy safety laws nerfed their power levels. Assembly is also more difficult due to the complexity of the gimmick as well as the use of screws and seemed to target kids from an older age group compared to newer toys which have weaker shot power, simpler gimmicks, or otherwise have their mechanisms pre-assembled.
By the way, here’s the video showing its ability. The insanity starts about 15 seconds in.