Tuesday, June 28, 2011

GX 54 Tobikage And Kurojishi: The Beginning Of Something Wonderful


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Wow, we are rapidly catching up on my SOC backlog here. Up today, we have the Tobikage and Kurojishi set. This is the first of three sets that were released in the SOC line one after another, all based on mechs from the Ninja Senshi Tobikage anime. That in itself is not unheard of, but all three sets also have interactive functions with this first set.

Ninja Senshi Tobikage takes place on 23rd century Mars, which has been setup as a penal colony by Earth, and is run by a power mad dictator. Oddly, Tobikage (the smaller figure in this set) is not really the main robot, at least to begin with. Kurojishi, the "Black Lion" is piloted by the series' main character, Joe Maya. Along with his two friends, piloting similar mechs, are the protagonists for most of the series, with Tobikage initially only showing up when the three are overwhelmed or low on power. Tobikage has the ability to combined with anyone out of the three, and make a new mech with heightened abilities.

Getting the figures out, not too many surprises, Tobikage is surprisingly small, whereas Kurojishi is about the standard SOC size.

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Starting with Tobikage, he's a little smaller than a GI Joe, but loaded with detail and articulation.

The first weapon in his arsenal are missile batteries hidden in his thighs, which simply extend out when you pull on the fins.

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What ninja would be complete without a sword? Oddly, his swords seems more like a European saber than a traditional Japanese blade.

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He also comes with a second sword, which has a secondary blade sticking out of the pommel, I'm sure this is to simulate a retractable blade in the sword.

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We've also got a sort of hand blaster. I don't know what it is about this gun, but I really like it. Maybe it's just that it's so atypical, yeah still pretty simple.

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We've also got a bow of some sort, this has a clip that fits onto his forearm for a really solid grip.

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The gun can be inserted into the crossbow for some sort of super weapon, which I think looks a lot better than you'd think it would.

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Surprisingly, he's also got a cool scabbard for his sword.

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The scabbard has a grip that can fold down to create a rifle, this is accomplished with a part swap.

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Also, the sword can be clipped into the scabbard backwards, in order to make an extension, while Tobikage technically can grip the scabbard like that, it does seem like it might put a large amount of strain on the hand, eventually stretching it out of shape.

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And that's the last of the little guy's impressive arsenal.

Kurojishi's up next, I really like the design/colors of this figure, something about the simple color scheme matched with the ay it's designed just really makes the whole thing pop. His arsenal may not be as extensive as Tobikage's, but he makes up for it with style.

First up is a beam sword.

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And then a ridiculously long katana, I'm not sure if these are supposed to be the same sword or not, it seems like maybe not, since the energy version is significantly smaller.

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And then he has a gatling gun! Totally Ninja! Seriously though, the barrels rorate, which is about all you can ask from a gat. The sight also folds down. This is another accessory that worries me though, getting Kurojishi's hands onto the grips for this gun is quite the ordeal, and I'm sure that if you do it a few times that you'll end up scraping paint off his fingers.

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That's all for Kurojishi's bag of tricks. Now for the transformation/combination:

First up, you fold Tobikage into this painful looking configuration.

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Then there's a surprising amount of folding and flipping before you get Kuroishi to this state.

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I really like the fact that his rear legs aren't simply his robot legs, they're actually contained within his robot legs, with the outer leg folding up over the rear hip for the lion mode.

Here's the not fun part, you're left with this hole in the bottom of Kurojishi, that's supposed to be Tobikage shaped.

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Getting his ass crammed in there is a pretty frustrating experience, with lots of turns of pulling him back out, and shifting his legs around a little bit. Once you eventually get him in place, you can fold down some levers that hold in securely, and then there are panels to cover up his head and knees.

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I was eventually victorious, although whenever I moved him, I heard one of Tobikage's knee caps rattling around in side, since it had been popped off.

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And there you have it, the Jyuuma Kurojishi. Supposedly this is a very fast and agile robot, and the most commonly used combination in the series. I think it looks fabulous, although in the future, I might just pretend that Tobikage's in there, since it's such a pain, and you can only see it from the bottom.

Aside from being able to open his mouth and move his ear/cannons, the lion has an articulate tail with guns on it.

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And he's able to carry the large katan in his mouth, so he can cut off all the other robots at the knees.

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Overally, I really like this figure, and I was excited to get the rest of the series when I first got it (I have them all now, mwahahaha) we'll get to those in the next couple of reviews though.

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