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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Fredericksburg, VA

    Bandai's Super Robot Chogokin - ALTEISEN

    Introducing my new favorite Japanese Super Robot...

    Bandai's Super Robot Chogokin Alteisen is IN-STOCK now at priced at $49.99.

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    With hyper-articulated action figures standing 6 inches tall composed of both tough plastics and die-cast metal, Super Robot Chogokin is Bandai's more affordable solution to their high-end Soul of Chogokin series. Where a Soul of Chogokin figure will set you back at least $150, a Super Robot Chogokin can be had for $50. Super Robot Chogokin's smaller size and price point makes it easier for fans to collect all their favorite 'bots, while individual weapon and accessory packs encourage more dynamic display.

    Late last year, Bandai launched Super Robot Chogokin with two Japanese classics, Mazinger Z and Great Mazinger (read our review HERE). With an origin dating back to the early '70s, Mazinger was a perfect choice for introducing the new toy line celebrating anime and manga's powerful machines. For their third Super Robot Chogokin release Bandai fast forwards in time to represent more modern mecha, specifically the Alteisen from Super Robot Wars: Original Generation.

    Where Mazinger has had decades to work its way into American pop culture - be it through the animated series Tranzor Z or old Shogun Warriors toy line and comic - Super Robot Wars (better known as Super Robot Taisen in Japan) is relatively new. Originating in 1991 as a video game series from Banpresto (and later an anime and manga), the franchise didn't hit U.S. soil commercially until 2006 with the release of Super Robot Wars: Original Generation. That said, my familiarity with the series - and the Alteisen unit in particular - is close to zero. What I do know, however, is that the Alteisen has quickly become my favorite Japanese Super Robot based solely on its awesome good looks.

    Like the Super Robot Chogokin Mazingers before him, Alteisen comes packed in a closed window box that bursts with design energy. The window is actually incorporated with an explosive, radiating graphic, which, while hard to make out the product inside, is extremely eye-catching nevertheless. Dynamic product shots adorn the front, side and back panels, the latter highlighting the Alteisen's cool weapons and accessories in greater detail. All in all it's a box that screams "Buy Me!", looking great while delivering your collectible safe and sound.

    The Alteisen's packaging shines even more with its collector friendly storage. Simply lift the top flap and pull out the interior plastic tray to find your fully assembled Alteisen and bonus accessories ready to go. No twisty ties, no hassle. Out of the box the Alteisen is set to rock your display. As mentioned, the mech measures a stout 6 inches tall and immediately astonishes with a nice solid heft. This figure really brings back fond memories of my old die-cast Shogun Warriors, when toys were built Tonka tough. The Alteisen's die-cast content isn't nearly as great as the Shogun Warriors, but its enough to let you know you have some real metal in your hands. What's remarkable is that it is really hard to define where the die-cast starts and the plastic begins - the combination is very fluid and seamless. Close inspection reveals that the Alteisen's legs are indeed metal, as are numerous joints, and the nail weapon. The end result is nothing short of spectacular.

    Rugged construction aside, it's the Alteisen's appearance that truly drops my jaw. I'm not a huge fan of "spiky" mechs, but the Alteisen pulls off the look by merging it well with a cool chunky frame. Where most "spiky" 'bots are lean and fragile looking, the Alteisen comes across as more of a "heavy assault" mech; its pointy appendages lending it almost a rhino or stag beetle-like vibe. The Alteisen's robust robot role is further defined by its meaty armament. Two bloated missile pods (with opening doors) embellish each shoulder for long range attacks, while two arm-mounted weapons get the job done in close and mid-range combat. These include a tri-barreled gun on the right wrist and a nasty hydraulic nail melee weapon on the left.

    The latter is especially cool in that it features a revolving ammo chamber that can be swung open. I imagine it holds explosive rounds for powering the pummeling device. Ouch, that's gotta hurt another mech in close quarters.

    Making the Alteisen's armament even cooler is the additional add-on pieces Bandai throws in. Two translucent fiery parts are included, one for the nail weapon and one for the Alteisen's protruding forehead horn. Both "explosions" attach easily - the nail blast caps the tip of the weapon and the horn blaze slides right over top the sharp extension. Both look killer when in place and really add some pop to the figure on display. Two sets of interchangeable hands - open and closed fist - are also included for various battle poses. I like to mix things up so I have the right hand open while firing the tri-blaster and the other clenched shut in anticipation of a strike.

    This brings us to articulation, something the Alteisen has plenty of. Articulation joints abound on this figure - all very fluid, nice and firm. I already pointed out a few with the swing-out nail chamber and opening missile bay doors, but those are just the tip of the iceberg. Pratically everything on this figure moves on ball or hinge/swivel joints. The head and waist can even extend up a fraction for even greater mobility.

    All armor plates can be positioned as can the twin-layered shoulder-mounted thrusters. Combined with extreme stability due to the die-cast legs, fans will never run out of fun and solid display poses. Bandai even goes an extra step by including an attachment that clips on to the Alteisen's crouch. This piece features a peg hole and is for use with Bandai's flight stands - sold separately. I might have to pick one up...

    My introduction to Bandai's incredible Super Robot Chogokin series couldn't have come from a better mech. The Alteisen simply oozes coolness - from its striking red, white and black color scheme to its insanely wicked robot design. If a battle was on between Alteisen and Mazinger, I'd have to place my bets on the former. The Alteisen maybe the new Super Robot on the block, but he's already on his way to becoming a classic.

    Oh, and for the record, my former favorite Super Robot was Raideen, which just so happens to be the next figure in the Super Robot Chogokin series.

    Bandai's Super Robot Chogokin Alteisen is IN-STOCK now at priced at $49.99.

    Review and Photography by Jeff Saylor

    Review Samples Courtesy of Bluefin

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