Thursday, 6 December 2012

Toybox REVIEW: Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters Minipla LT-06 Tategami LiOh (Part 1)

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As 2012 draws to a close, this year's Super Sentai series is also hitting its final stretch. With Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters going to under an extensive retooling to try and recoup lost ratings, the show has stepped up its game significantly and also introduced a few new additions into the mix, such as super modes for the main three Busters and a brand new mecha. The new mecha is the gigantic Buddyzord LT-06 Tategami LiOh, who has finally been released in minipla form. As well as three individual modes, LiOh also have the ability to combine with GT-02 and RH-03 to form Go-Buster LiOh, and then with those two plus BC-04 and SJ-05 to create Go-Buster King! This review will be split up into two sections - the first looking at LiOh's individual modes, while the second covers the larger combinations with previous mecha.

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As the biggest individual mecha in the Go-Busters line, Tategami LiOh is a three-box candy toy model kit. The pieces are moulded in blue and black plastic, with stickers to cover most of the gold detailing. However this is one kit I'd say Bandai really skimped out on the stickers for, lacking any claw stickers for the lion feet or gold rim for the lion mane. While personally I probably wouldn't have used these stickers and would have opted for paint it still would have been nice to include the for those who do use them. The only other glaring inaccuracy would be the staff weapon, which is moulded in blue plastic but is in fact silver.

On a side note, the candy included with these boxes is a different shape! Instead of the usual pill-like circular pieces, they are instead a flower shape. Its the usual soda-pop flavour though.

We'll start the review with robot mode, since that's the mode it'll be in once you finish building!

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Tategami LiOh may seem like a sleek robot from front view, but turn him to side and you can see just how long it is. The shoulders slot in at a permanent angle (but can be raised up for lifted arm poses), but the arms can still swing down for the arms to be parallel to the arms. The head is on a balljoint, while the torso can also swivel at the waist. Moving downwars, perhaps the biggest eyesore in robot mode is his obvious parachute pants, complete with particularly low knee joints. Using the knee joint effectively involves unclipping the wheel pieces so that the joint can bend properly, but the lack of a decent hip joint means the legs will always be facing forwards anyway. The feet have a good surface area for balancing, but the strange way they connect to the legs (via a ball joint that's on an l-shaped stem) results in them sometimes flopping about. The lion head shield (which freely spins) can be pegged into a slot on the side of the arm, while the staff weapon can be pegged into the hands.

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Transforming into bike mode involves some parts swapping. The arms swing upwards, fixing the tyre used for the shield (with the lion head removed and the flaps closed up) in between to form the front of the bike. These are locked into place by two panels on the sides of LiOh. The legs slide up behind the back wheels to form the back. Meanwhile the chest piece needs to be switched around, with the handlebars taken off  and pegged in differently. Finally the lance weapon needs to be rotated and inserted into the lions mouth, attaching it all to the front of the bike. Its a reasonably simple transformation, and voila! You have LT-06's vehicle mode. This mode features freely moving wheels, and can be rode by the Go-Buster Ace minipla! To attach Ace, simply split the bike at the middle and peg the back piece into Ace before putting the bike back together. The handle bars don't fix to Ace's hands but it isn't hard to get him into a vaguely convincing riding pose.

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Finally we have lion mode, which is probably the mode LiOh spends the most of the time as in the show. This is a fairly simple transformation from bike mode, starting by removing the lion head and front wheel. From there bend the arms straight down, flipping out the lion legs. The back end simply requires swinging down the legs from the sides of the bike and then attaching the staff in the tail shape (which is a "Z" shape") to the back. Finally reattach the lion head to the front tyre and stick it to the front of the body. While lion mode looks pretty good, its articulation is particularly disappoint. The front legs only bend forwards, and the back only swing up sidewards. So in reality, the only pose it can really achieve is a sort of bowing stance. Compare this to Ace's cheetah mode, which has a full range of forwards/backwards motion in both sets of legs and its rather underwhelming. Once again Ace can ride this mode, and is attached exactly the same way he was in bike mode.

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As a standalone mecha Tategami LiOh is very good, but feels rather limited in the articulation department. He may have size on his side, but both Ace and Go-Buster Beet are much more expressive and fun kits. LiOh is definitely a recommended purchase, but not the stand out mecha of Go-Busters he perhaps could have been. How will his combinations fare? Be sure to check out the next part of the review to find out!

2 comments:

Moose of Ages said...

Anyway we could see a combo of go buster with tategami lioh as some sort of new buster megazord?

Moose of Ages said...

sorry i meant to say was there any possibility of seeing a combination of go buster ace with tategami lioh,since they all seem to have the same connector ports