Friday, July 15, 2011

GX-56 Zerokage and Bakuryu: The triad complete


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Okay, time put the lid on these Ninja Senshi Tobikage SOCs. The of the three Ninja Machines is Bakuryu, this mech has the most raw physical power, but is also slower. He comes with Zerokage, who is the rival to Tobikage, at least to begin with.

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Here's the two figures freed from their prison of cardboard and plastic. Their colors are oddly coordinated, considering the fact the they're on opposite sides.

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At first glance, Zerokage seems to be the same size as the Tobikage figure from GX-55, but placing them side by side reveals that Zerokage is actually significantly larger. I have mixed feelings about Zerokage's design, I like the overall look, but there are things that bug me about him, like his head seems too small, and his neck too long. He has a gimmick where pieces flip out from his arms and legs, which I'll show you later, which makes his arms and legs move a little oddly.


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On the other hand, I really enjoy his arsenal of weapons, first up is a trident. For some reason I just really like it, the paint details on it are really well done.


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Similar to Tobikage, Zerokage has a Saber type of sword, along with two daggers of similar design, it seems like maybe on of the daggers can grow to the full sword length.


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The two daggers can be sheathed in an oddly shaped scabbard, which can be plugged into a hole on his back.
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He also has a shuriken, which is actually made out of seven separate pieces, you have to clip each blade into place. This is another one of those situations that seem so common with these figures, where they have the weapon, but there doesn't seem to be a good way to fit into a hand.

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The shuriken can be attached to the back using the same plug as the knife scabbard.

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Zerokage also has a weighted chain weapon hidden in his arm, but his are stored on the inside of his forearms, where as Tobikage's come out of the back of his hands. This is accomplished by removing a plug in one of his arms, and inserting the mounting point of the chain.

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It's a neat effect, and I like that you can do it with either hand if you want, whereas Tobikage is limited to just the right hand.

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And here's the gimmick I mentioned earlier, the side pieces of his armor skirt, and his shoulder pads all have some sort of weapon built into them, looking at them, they almost seem more like vents or thrusters, but since I can't find anything about it on wikipedia, I guess I'll never know.

Actually, based on a youtube clip I found from a Super Robot Wars game, I'm guessing that they are actually thrusters, hooray for the internet!

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So that's all of Zerokage's tricks, overall I like him, he's a little funky, but he looks great when he's fighting his equivalent Tobikage figure.

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Once again the star of the set is the Ninja Machine, this time it's Bakuryu, piloted by Mike Coil, (that's not an allusion). Of the three it's the most "busy" with lots of little elements and details sticking off all over the place.

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Here's a size comparison with all three, he's clearly the tallest, although he's not as broad as Kurojishi, the lion.


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Like Houraioh before him, he doesn't come with much of an arsenal, but the axe/mace/spear that he comes with is the most brutal seeming of all the Ninja Machine weapons.

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It has two points that can be plugged into the top, one longer than the other.

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With the longer spear tip, it's substantially longer than Bakuryu is tall. It actually breaks apart into two pieces making getting it into his hand much easier than it might be otherwise.

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Looking at the back of the box, you'd think that Bakuryu's transformation would be pretty simple, since he stays in pretty much the same orientation, it's a little deceptive though, his torso broadens out to the sides via a very touchy multi-point hinge system, and he's legs go through a clever shift where the knee joint lowers, and the calves slim down and the thighs bulk up. This is a picture after most of the transformation is complete.


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There's an option piece that you can add in, which just cleans up the back a little bit.

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And makes it more seamless.

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This is Bakuryu's solution to not coming with a combining Tobikage figure, it's simply a plate that looks like Tobikage's torso, which can be placed into the chest in order to close up the hole.

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And there you have the "Sea Demon" or dragon as I like to think of it.

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He has an alternate dragon head which can be swapped out, the smaller one on the right is actually the alternate head, with the larger one being the one that's required to properly form Bakuryu's chest.

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Personally, I don't see that it makes that much of a difference, but Bandai is always focused on making things as anime accurate as possible.


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Other than it's claws, head, and tail, the Sea Demon has two weapons, a pair of shoulder mounted cannons.

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And missile batteries that are exposed by folding up the shoulder pads, this is a great detail that unfortunately just looks really cheap, they really should have painted the missiles to make them standout. As it is, it just looks unfinished.

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Now, of course he has the option of combining with the actual GX54 Tobikage instead of the plate.

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He fits in like so.

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And there he is all closed up. Unfortunately, Tobikage just seems to do an inferior job of filling up that gap, than the plate does.

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And here's the crew all together.

So, that's it, all of the Ninja Senshi Tobikage figures from the Soul of Chogokin line. I really enjoy the line, but I don't think that many people would be willing to snag all three unless they were fans of the show. Of the three, I think my favorite has to be the GX 55 set with Houraioh. Houraioh's transformation is just very clever, and the most engaging, and that particular Tobikage figure is the most detailed, and wins out just a little over Zerokage in my opinion.

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