Thursday 3 February 2011

Toybox REVIEW: Bandai Super Robot Chogokin Mazinger Z

Mazinger Z is an important piece of Super Robot/Mecha/anime history. As the first piloted robot to appear in anime, its important that it receives figures that reflect this legendary status. And he does....except most of the really good ones are a little bit on the expensive side. Not to worry, because Bandai's (relatively) new Super Robot Chogokin line has brought us a highly detailed Mazinger figure at a small scale (about the size of a Revoltech/Robot Damashii figure).

Mazinger Z isn't a complicated robot - in fact the simplicity of the retro design is one of his biggest selling points to me, and Bandai have got the design dead on perfect with this figure. Metallic paints, deep glossy blues and blacks - I don't have a single complaint here.

Being a Bandai Chogokin figure it has a fair bit of die-cast, mostly in the chest and hip areas. So as you can imagine, he has a bit of weight behind him. Not only that, but Mazinger also has an excellent amount of articulation. The head and neck are both on ball joints, so there's quite a bit of expression available. Moving down there's swivel joints, ratchet hinges and more ball joints (even the ankles have them!) - so he's capable of a hell of a lot of posing. The hands are easily removable and are attached via a ball joint on the wrist - so pop on and off with minimal effort, but are secure when attached.

There's quite a few extras included with the figure - the Pilder (the flying machine pilot Koji Kabuto operates the machine from), some separate hands, a reinforced rocket punch piece with larger hands, and the Mazinger Blade. Both the reinforced rocket punch and blade have a chrome finish, looking especially shiny.

Also included (well, the internet says it was only included with the first release, and since I got mine almost 6 months after it came out I assume if you got it now you'd get it too) is a Styrofoam rock base. There's not that much to say about it really - it looks like a rock and its made of Styrofoam. However it doesn't look like a rock made from Styrofoam, and so posing Mazinger on top of it does look pretty fantastic.

I only have two complaints with this figure. The first is the Pilder. While it makes sense to have it as a separate piece on the larger Mazinger figures which you can take on and off the head to recreate those "PILDER ON!" sequences, with a figure this small it means that the Pilder is tiny. Not only that, but it is incredibly difficult to play firmly on Mazinger's head. Mine kept popping off, refusing to stay down. After about 10 minutes of struggling (and not even applying that much pressure, knowing how fragile the piece is) the Pilder broke. Only a little bit - the very tip of the middle fin snapped off, and though its almost unnoticeable I still know it happened and therefore is even more annoying). Even now the Pilder isn't attached properly - its being held on with a little bit of white-tack. I don't know if this a common problem for the figure, but it certainly is a pretty big negative for me. Breaking a figure even only slightly right out of the box is always a sad moment.

The second, and not as big a complaint, is Bandai's decision to release a separate weapon pack for the figure - including the Scrander (i.e. the wings), a second reinforced rocket punch and (most annoyingly) rocket punch ignition effects. Given that the Super Robot Chogokin Great Mazinger figure comes with his wings and effect parts for his signature 'Thunder Break' attack, I don't see why at the very least least one rocket punch effect part couldn't have been included. Even if it meant jacking the price up a little.

I wanted to give this figure a perfect 5, I really did. But the Pilder was such a huge issue for me and the thought of having to buy an add-on set just to make the figure even better makes it just narrowly miss out on the prize. Still, if you're a Mazinger fan and like all your figures to be in roughly the same scale this is probably the best Mazinger Z figure money has to offer.

And yes, I probably will get Great Mazinger down the line too, even if he shares the same Pilder problem. That's how great this figure is.


MikeR said...

hlj is having a sale for the Super Robot Chogokin lineup. Its a good idea to snag Great Mazinger at the moment. I wish you could have taken pictures side by side with a Revoltech Figure. Great review BTW.

Alex said...

Thanks alot, I'll have a look into Great Mazinger once I get paid :) Yeah I probably should have put a comparison picture in with a Revoltech, that's one thing I'll remember for the future!