It’s a bit late but Happy New Year 🙂 I’m actually on vacation at home but I managed to prepare a few posts ahead of time to maintain the usual programming.
Back in the 90s there was anime series called Bomberman B-Daman Bakugaiden which was essentially a B-Daman anime with the characters spun off from the original Bomberman franchise. The toys had numerous gimmicks such as a simple transformation usually to hide the B-Daman piloting the robot, a firing gimmick (rapid fire, burst fire, different projectiles etc.) and often a massive combiner feature as well. Unlike the customisable Super B-Daman toys, shot power was not a gimmick in these toys, and some of them could barely even fire their ammunition.
In the original series, the toys had spherical cockpit capsules around the size of a ping pong ball and you could fit a tiny B-Daman inside. The tiny B-Daman figure could also shoot a 6mm BB pellet from its belly. The later Victory season had toys with interchangeable body parts, and a B-Daman figure that could ride the toy in Ride Mode and transform into the robot head of Armor Mode.
While I collected a few of the toys from the original series as well as some of the toys from the later Victory season, I never managed to get the upgraded versions of the Victory toys until recently when I decided to get them off Yahoo Auction. While there are box sets of all 4 B-Da Armors to complete the final combiner, they are being sold at ridiculous prices. If you want to search for each toy individually, you’ll have to be lucky as some of the toys are harder to find than others.
I got this as part of a bundle but I already had one of the toys from back when I was a kid, so in order to complete the combiner I ended up with a double. Maybe I should have waited patiently to hunt down each toy individually, but hindsight is always 20/20. While the package spells the name as “Chris” I believe there are some English sites on the internet that spell it as “Crys” instead. (to be more accurate to the source material?)
This toy is Shirobon’s upgraded ride. The back of the box reveals a preview of the combiner mode. The later toys get CG renderings for now. You can also see the JAN code which states the retail price of the toy. Over 15 years ago this was sold for 780 yen. Now I guess I’ve paid almost 6 times the original price of all 4 toys just to complete the combiner.
The box is surprisingly densely packed. You get 8 runners, 3 springs and 1 marble. Compare that to the Super B-Daman toys which cost around the same but have half the number of runners. While the assembly of these toys doesn’t differ too much from one another, they mainly differ in their B-Da Unit – the mechanism responsible for doing the marble shooting. Of course, there are exceptions and it’s usually Kurobon (Black Bomberman) that gets a unique, large design for his ride.
Arms. Articulation isn’t these toys’ strong suit and you only get shoulder rotation and an elbow ball joint.
Upper torso. This holds the head and arms together.
The manual calls this whole thing the Upper Unit. The blade things that go between the arms and body are latches for the combiner mode. The predecessor toy also had these and could be used to sling an extra B-Da Unit on the shoulder.
B-Da Unit assembly. Here’s the interesting part as it’s the main gimmick of the toy. This is named the “Hyper B-Da Unit” and fires a marble contained inside a casing. The spent casing is then ejected from the back. It’s not a power shot or anything but the gimmick is brilliant. I guess you could say this was the forefather of the Cartridge System B-Daman toys. Assembly isn’t terribly difficult though the tiny spring and parts around the trigger mechanism could be daunting to a kid.
You fire the marble by chambering the loaded casing from the back and using the hammer to shoot. The gimmick works by using the hammer to release the black plunger inside the casing, launching the marble. The large spring that lines the inside of the B-Da Unit is responsible for ejecting the spent case when you push the hammer back down to release the catch that holds the casing in place. Unlike an actual firearm that does the ejection using recoil energy, you can’t do the same thing easily with a toy so it takes several manual steps.
Almost complete, with the remaining stickers and the head left.
The B-Daman figure is assembled. It doesn’t have any other gimmick other than being able to transform into the Armor Mode head.
Putting on the head.
Assembling the helmet.
B-Daman figure complete. While he’s supposed to be white, it seems that he’s changed colour in this form. The box illustration shows him looking like gold where the clear green parts appear.
Rear view. As you can see from the design of the figure you can rotate the arms and make the figure do splits with unlimited sideways ankle range. You can’t move the legs forward or backward.
Most of the V B-Daman figures transform the same way by pushing the body into the head and rotating the feet to point downwards. As you can see, the top of the head is part of the Armor Mode face.
It says “Head On” on the top of the box.
Apply directly to the forehead.
Armor Mode complete.
Rear view. Sorry for the lack of action shots as this toy isn’t really capable of much articulation. Other than flailing the arms around there isn’t much you can do. Even the head can’t really rotate as the shoulders are in the way.
Ride Mode. Transformation is quite simple, though if you forget to put the blade things on the shoulders down they would tear into the stickers on the clear green bits on the shoulder pauldrons. The arms are rotated and the clear green prongs on the chest are extended. There is also a windshield on the back which you have to use a screwdriver to deploy because there’s just no leverage. The B-Daman figure’s feet peg onto the back of the B-Da Unit so it stays on securely.
In Ride Mode, the toy is unable to fire marbles.
Transformation into the combiner mode. You start from Ride Mode, remove the feet, re-attach the Upper Unit on a separate rail and move the Lower Unit further back. The leg joints on the feet are rotated and will form the side skirts while the B-Daman figure is transformed into the Armor Mode head as it will be used for the combiner mode.