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Masterpiece Dragon Kizer: Most Expensive Upgrade Ever?


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That's right! I've got toys, and I like to take pictures of them and put them on my blog!


You don't have to go far back on my blog to find my review of the Masterpiece King Exkizer.


I bought Exkizer on a whim, because he looked slick, and the price was right, and I ended up liking him quite a bit. Many months later, I found out that they released another toy in the line, which interacts with the one I already had. Unfortunately, I missed the boat on that one, Dragon Kizer seems to have been released in much smaller numbers that Exkizer, and once I started looking, there just weren't any on the market for less than stupid prices.


Eventually, I did manage to find someone gracious enough to part with there's for a reasonable price, and here we are.


When I first started buying and reviewing Soul of Chogokin toys, I followed the traditions of the reviews I'd been reading, and always mentioned the box. I've found that I really just don't care about the packaging all that much though, except for two things:

1. Styrofoam trays

2. Window boxes with flaps


Both of those things evoke such a strong sense of nostalgia, the styrofoam trays, because when I was a kid, you knew it was going to be an awesome toy if it came packed in styrofoam. The window box and flap, just because it was a cool way for you to see both the art for the toy, as well as the toy itself, and when you were in the store and saw it on the shelf, the more pictures you could see of what that toy would do, the more you wanted it.


I mention this, because Dragon Kizer has neither of these things. Exkizer had the flapped window box, but they decided to go with just a plain box for the second item in the line. I wonder if it wasn't just a way to cut costs on what they'd already decided was going to be a small run, with a limited return on their investment (Exkizer doesn't seem to have been universally well received). Inside the box is just a simple plastic tray.


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One thing I will say about plastic tray technology, you wouldn't think there would be much of a difference, but the trays that come with Soul of Chogokin toys seems a lot more functional than these. They have notches and pegs in them that let the whole works be securely fastened in the box. With both of these Brave Masterpieces, the little bits are held in with tape, and once you've opened it, if you return it to the box, the smaller pieces fall out as soon as you reopen it.


Not pictured in the box is the friggin huge Great Exkizer sword, which comes disassembled, but since I bought this used, it was already assembled, and I have no idea how to take it apart to fit it in the box.



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Some assembly is required to make Dragon Kizer out of the box. The head/nosecone assembly is a separate piece that has to be snapped onto the body, and then there is a double cannon that needs to be attached to each arm. Once you're done, you have Dragon Kizer, who, despite having a great deal of joints and modern engineering, is still a pretty damn boxy robot. He has a decent range of motion in his hip, knee, and ankle joints, but his lower legs are such huge boxes that you really won't be able to accomplish much in the way of dynamic posing. The arms are much better, but the white flanges on the shoulders aren't on there very securely, and come off pretty easily.


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The obligatory GI Joe size comparison shot shows that he's not a particularly large bot.


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Dragon Kizer's face is really much cleaner than Exkizer's, probably because he doesn't have a removable face plate.


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One of the gimmicks that I don't understand the purpose of is the transforming crest on his chest. There are two configurations, one with the crest slid down, and the ends folded under, and then one where it's slid up, and the tips extended, it seems to reveal an almost facial design on this chest.
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There's an alternative crest that can be used that is slightly larger, but lacks the articulated tips.


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The crest can also be removed, and functions as a bow. Represented by a yet larger, and lopsided crest piece, that can expand to reveal the hand grip.


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I didn't take a picture of it, but this piece can also be attached to the same slot on the chest, but it looks pretty ridiculous, due to the large size and asymetrical design.


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What good is a bow without an arrow? There's an alternate left hand that's designed specifically to fit the tail of the arrow, and it's probably one of the best implementations of a figure using a bow and arrow that I've ever seen. Also for alternate hands he comes with the standard splayed finger hands, and the karate chop hands.


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Finding information on the fiction for this series isn't particularly easy, but from what I've found, Dragon Kizer can operate as a barely sentient drone bot, or, like the King Loader, he can be piloted by Exkizer

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Exkizer doesn't fit inside him as elegantly as he does the King Loader, and it almost seems like he'll be crushed once you closed him up, but he does fit inside without harm.


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The last weapon in Dragon Kizer's arsenal is formed by retracting the barrels of his guns, folding the fins down, and then doing a farely clever flip, where he ends up holding a handle for what seems like some sort of tonfa type weapon.
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I assume they function similar to stun guns or cattle prods.



Now, being that he's from a Brave Series cartoon, of course he transforms, into a jet of sorts. the transformation is pretty simple, with the nose cone flipping over his head from his back, he's legs locking together, and unfolding the wings. The only transformation done to his arms for this mode is to retract his fists.


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The resulting jet form is less than stunning, but it gets the job done.


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It doesn't have some heavy duty metal landing gear, which is a nice touch.


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Also shown in the booklet, King Exkizer can stand on the rear of the jet, while wielding his sword, because that's, like, a thing, I guess.


Almost as impractical, the Exkizer police car can tow the Dragon Kizer jet, just as it tows the King Loader around.


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And just for a comparison, here's Dragon Kizer and King Exkizer side by side.Photobucket

Now if you were just to look at this figure up to this point, he seems like a bit of a waste, he doesn't really have a lot going for him, and he certainly doesn't command his premium price over that of Exkizer.


The true benefit of having both is that King Exkizer can combine with Dragon Kizer to create Great Exkizer. It's going to take awhile to get there though.


First up, you take the nose cone off of Dragon Kizer, I thought it was a nice touch that both Dragon Kizer's and Great Exkizer's heads are stored within.

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It does seem a little lazy though, that you have to pop off King Exkizer's head in order to replace it with the Great Exkizer head.
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Once you've completely drawn and quartered Dragon Kizer, with a little bit of transforming, you're left with this pile of parts:


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Which all snap pretty snug and secure onto King Exkizer's body, and you get Great Exkizer:


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Combined, this is probably one of the most massive bots in my collection, he does suffer more than a little from basically having extensions tacked onto his legs, his knees are awfully high up, but the arms doesn't suffer that same problem, since they're tacked on by broadening the shoulders.


Also, Dragon Kizer's arms are pretty much just folded around to his back.

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Fortunately, they can be removed, and leave you with a much cleaner looking bot.


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Just like King Exkizer, Great Exkizer has a removable face plate, that exposes a more human mouth and nose.


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Remember that sword that I mentioned earlier? This is who gets to use it. It's really stupidly big, I'm pretty sure it's the longest sword of any of my collection.

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And here's the whole thing, with your GI Joe scale comparison. Over all, I'm glad that I managed to track one of these down, since it really compliments King Exkizer, but between the price and rarity of it, and the obvious flaws and shortcomings, I think only those truly dedicated to the character should bother to seek one out.



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