More transforming robot ninja coolness...
Bandai's Soul of Chogokin GX-54 TOBIKAGE & KUROJISHI are currently in-stock at HobbyLinkJapan.com.
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Soul of Chogokin translates to ďSoul of Super-alloyĒ and is one of Bandaiís signature toy lines in Japan - one that focuses on robots from various anime series. Today, the show this particular toy is from is the short lived cartoon series NINJA SENSHI TOBIKAGE (Ninja Robot Tobikage). Tobikage is a mysterious robotic ninja that can form with the robots in time of need. Kurojishi is the ďBlack Lion,Ē the first ninja machine to be activated. When merged with Tobikage, they form the Jyuuma or ďBeast DemonĒ Kurojishi, which is basically a lion formation. The opening can be seen below:
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLgumE3Kq8o"]NINJA SENSHI TOBIKAGE[/ame]
Having grown up on American toys, Iím pretty flabbergasted at the quality of the Japanese toys and in particular, the ones by Bandai. You donít have to understand the cartoon to appreciate the craftsmanship and the amount of detail put into these toys. THIS is how itís meant to be done. Both robot ninja and robot beast come with a slew of weaponry, and weíre not talking about simple soft plastic guns, weíre talking the stronger materials that can actually do some damage to softer hands. But weíre getting way ahead of ourselves here so letís start at the beginning.
The colorful packaging for Soul of Chogokin is for the lack of better words, Awesome. The photography gracing all sides are FANTASTIC and better than my efforts. Of course itís all in Japanese so I canít translate any of it for you guys but Iím pretty sure that itís telling you what an amazing toy this is.
When opening the box, youíll find two plastic trays: one for the figures and another for weapons. A handy instruction manual will help you distinguish what accessories belong to whom, and how to transform your ninja machine. It is a bit difficult though since itís all in Japanese so I did the best I could from the diagrams.
NOTE: Figures above are not shown to true scale with each other.
The sculpting on both Tobikage and of Kurojishi are fantastic and each are solid enough toys in their own right. The amount of detail and parts to both figures are sure to astound, and much like Sideshow or Hot Toys 12Ē figures, these small scale figures each come with a handful of various hands to swap out.
Kurojishi stands about 6 inches tall so these arenít large, while Tobikage stands less than 4 inches tall. Articulation-wise, theyíre fully decked out. Iíve never seen so many points in a figure this size before. Tobikage has, I kid you not, at least 38 moving parts, allowing you to do practically anything youíve ever wanted an action figure to do Ė and in the scale of your standard Star Wars figure! Kurojishi on the other hand is more limited but thatís because itís a transforming beast! And limited doesnít at all mean ďlimitedĒ as he sports over 24 points of articulation in bot-mode making him quite comparable to most 6 inch figures around. But being a transforming robot makes him that much cooler.
The paint for both 'bots is stellar, solid, and completely clean. Many parts were pre-painted before assembly but the details that were applied after the fact are still done with the most care. These are sharp looking toys.
Itís time now to cover the vast amount of accessories Bandai included here. Tobikage comes with three pairs of hands, Battleshot Blade, Thunder Arrrow Gun and other sheaths that work with his weapons. As a hidden bonus, he has pull-out weapons on his thighs but not removable.
Kurojishi comes equipped with three pairs of hands, two blades (one standard, one beam), a removable tail, and a heavy-duty cannon.
Transforming Kurojishi isnít difficult and the instruction booklet does a fair enough job aiding you through the process. It would certainly help if you can read Japanese but since I donít, I winged some of it. The parts that included combining Tobikage with Kurojishi was pretty straight forward, certainly easier than the other set I reviewed.
All in all, Bandai scores a home run with this release and you can get yours now at HobbyLinkJapan.com for $107 American (on sale for $88.94 as of this writing). It may seem steep but these are quality toys and the perfect thing for fans of the show, or fans of transforming robots with ninjas in general. If American toys could be half as good as these, it would be an amazing world.
Photos and Review by David Yeh
Review Samples Courtesy Hobby Link Japan