Super B-Daman Combat Phoenix

Protagonist B-Daman tends to be power-type and in the Super B-Daman series, power is a whole different level without the constraints of child safety laws. This particular toy is the fourth iteration of the protagonist’s B-Daman and uses the improved Plug In Extend (PI-EX) System.

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This time, parts are mounted onto a standard EX Frame, and the core can also be swapped. The PI-EX line of toys were also something like a prototype of the game DLC shenanigans going on today, where you had to buy additional separate parts in order to complete the toy or in this case, turn it into “Perfect Mode”.

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You get four plastic runners, a fifth rubber runner and a box containing a bunch of screws and springs.

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Assembly starts off with the EX Frame which is similar to the rear half of previous PI System B-Daman toys except with an extra rail for mounting the core. It’s just two halves secured by a screw.

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There’s also a foot section of the EX Frame but it’s assembled at a later step.

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The head is mounted with two screws just like the previous PI System toys.

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The screws go on the back.

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Next are the arms, which are held by larger screws.

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They are not articulated.

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The core is assembled next.

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This toy has an Astral System comprising five prongs to hold the marble. The only other B-Daman that has the same gimmick is the Justice Ifrit from Crash B-Daman. Takara claims that with more prongs, shot power is increased, and the bottom prong holds a rubber drive strip to provide forward spin.

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The core is held together with a screw as well as a triangular locking plate in front.

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The trigger has a circular end which supposedly centres the force acting on the marble to increase accuracy. There are guides on the inside of the back section (the white piece) to keep the trigger centred and reduce side-to-side play as you push the trigger. A wide rubber pad serves to improve handling and allows you to shoot using both thumbs which is a necessity due to the strength needed to shoot.

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Other than the wide trigger pad there’s nothing special going on here.

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The feet are assembled to the EX Frame with screws. The cross-shaped plate locks everything together after mounting everything to the frame. IMG_5778 - Copy

Finishing off the assembly with a pair of springs which push against the lower pair of prongs.

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They are attached to the insides of the forearms.

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After everything is assembled the only parts which are easily swappable are the core, feet and trigger. However on this particular toy it’s a bit more troublesome to remove the core due to the springs in the forearms.

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Here’s how the toy looks like before applying stickers.

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Rear view.

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Front.

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With stickers applied.

Straight out the box this toy already has an insane amount of power in its shots. You have to press really hard on the trigger to get it to fire, and due to the forces involved as you pull back on the shoulders for leverage, there is a risk of breaking the EX Frame. This problem is remedied if you can find the EX Heavy Frame which is a diecast replacement. However I’ve heard that even back in the past it was pretty expensive.

Getting this toy into Perfect Mode requires purchasing the Mega Cannon Wing, which is pretty much non-existent these days. It’s a set of springs that mount on the shoulders, pushing against the upper pair of prongs to further increase shot power. Without it, you can still sort of boost the power level by pressing against the exposed upper prongs as you fire the marble.

This and the other iterations of the protagonist B-Daman (Fighting, Battle, Guardian, Vanguard Phoenix etc.)  fetch pretty hefty prices online. I managed to find one at a slightly better price, though it was still several times the original retail price before considering inflation. It would be nice if I could complete it, but past auctions for the Mega Cannon Wing ended at hundreds of dollars. I think it’s better to just get the special edition chrome Combat Phoenix which comes with a chrome Mega Cannon Wing off some place like Mandarake for about 120 USD rather than buy both of them separately. PI-EX parts are really hard to find for reasonable prices at this point in time.

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