Thursday 7 June 2012

Toybox REVIEW: Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters mini-pla GT-02 Gorilla & RH-03 Rabbit

Rounding off the main three mecha of Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters are GT-02 Gorilla and RH-03 Rabbit, belonging to Blue Buster and Yellow Buster respectively. Much like Go-Buster Ace, these Buster vehicles can transform between an animal and vehicle mode, but lack the robot mode that Ace has. Together the three vehicles can form the titantic Go-BusterOh, formed to battle against Gamma-type enemy megazords. The two candy-toy representations of these mecha were released in April in a case along with a re-release of Ace (who came out individually a month earlier). GT-02 is comprised of two boxes, while RH-03 is a single box.

GT-02 Gorilla

As is the standard with the Super Sentai mini-pla releases, the instructions on how to build the model are printed on the inside of the box in a easy to follow step by step pictorial. The first box is made up of the head and torso/back piece, while the second is the legs and arms. The toy is cast in mostly blue and grey plastic, with the odd bit of yellow used for the joints and missile launcher sections. While the stickers do cover most of GT-02's detail, there is one section that is left untouched (and is particularly noticeable when put in Go-BusterOh formation). The back panel of the legs is left grey - while in the show its blue. The hands should also be black while the toy leaves them blue. Other details that are covered by stickers but I think personally look better with paint are the feet and the tires (both black) and the mouth bar (gold).

The completed gorilla mode is a faithful representation of his onscreen model, but unfortunately lacks any outstanding articulation. The head can swing forward, the tires at either side are fully moveable at two points and the hands and feet are hinged. Any movement the arms could have had is restricted by the head piece, which plugged into the top of them preventing them from moving.

Transforming the kit into truck mode requires taking it completely apart and rotating/rearranging the pieces, which is again laid out in the instructions on the back of the box. Not really much to say about the vehicle mode, its a great likeness but its a shame that it lacks spinning wheels. To add the gorilla head to the vehicle, simply pull down the front grill and insert the head into the tabs provided (remembering to pull out the forehead piece and moving it to a lower peg to cover the eyes).

Finally, a tiny Gorisaki banana is also included with the kit, which attaches to the back of the larger gorilla head. The Gorisaki is completely unpainted, but luckily the details are easy to bring out with a lick of paint if you have a steady hand.

While GT-02 doesn't really have the articulation that I love about the Sentai mini-pla, its still an excellent toy with much more detail and play value than the standard Super Sentai mecha component. Its got two different modes, and the appeal of being based on a more unorthodox animal (for a robot anyway). Looking at it from the point of view of it being a smaller, more affordable version of the DX, GT-02 is certainly worth the price for fans of Blue Buster or the series in general.

RH-03 Rabbit

Next we have perhaps the most interesting concept in the initial three Go-Buster mecha - Yellow Buster's rabbit copter. Being only one box it's the easiest of the three Buster Machines to assemble, and is cast in yellow and grey plastic. The helmet for Go-BusterOh is also part of this set. The stickers cover a bit more here than they did with GT-02, but there are still a few little details left untouched if you're looking for full accuracy. the back feet toes (on either side, but not the centre ones) should be black, as should the gun sections on the front legs/wings. The black detailing is also minimal on the front legs. Finally, while the grey plastic doesn't look awful (in fact the DX toy also uses grey), I found painting the pieces silver to look much better. It should also be added that the Go-BusterOh helmet stickers are an absolute NIGHTMARE to put on, as they are tiny.

Rabbit mode mode looks great, and even manages to have a little bit of articulation. Both sets of legs are hinged, and the ears have a full 360° range of motion. Go-BusterOh's helmet piece pegs into the backlegs, sitting mostly out of view.

Transforming into helicopter mode also requires breaking the figure down into its four core components (ears/blades, head, front legs, back legs) and reassembling them in different peg sockets. The front legs are brought up to make front wings while the back legs are folded down and then rotated backward, putting them at the back end of the vehicle and exposing landing gear on its base. Go-BusterOh's fists are brought forward to fill out the front end of the helicopter (but folded back in if you want to reinsert the rabbit head). The rotor slots onto the top with the helmet piece on top of that. It's a little stiff, but the rotor does can spin a full circle.

And of course to top it off there's the minature Usada Lettuce. Unlike Nick and Gorisaki, who can be fully removed from their larger animal heads, some of Usada's parts (i.e. the arms) are part of it and so doesn't look quite right without it.

There might not be a lot to say about RH-03, but much like GT-02 there's more to it than the standard mecha component. Its a great combination of a good looking vehicle mode and different choice in animal (there need to be more rabbit mecha). Definitely one for fans of unusual robots.



While the three individual Buster Machines are superb, it all falls apart (quite literally sometimes) when put together in their combined mode. In the show itself Go-BusterOh has come across as somewhat as a disappointment, doing very little when it does appear onscreen and being constantly outclassed in the individual mecha fight scenes. Sadly, the candy toy is true to the show version in this respect as well as accuracy, and comes across as a huge disappointment.

While the transformation sequence is quite interesting, the end result isn't much to rave about. Gorilla's arms and legs become the feet, while the back part of the rabbit become the arms (Ace's shoulders are rotated and then the arms just kind of stick out). The cheetah head sticks on the right shoulder, the rabbit on the left and then the remainder of the gorilla is the chest and crotch piece. The helmet piece is added by removing Ace's face and putting it on the back of the head (where it just stares at you from behind) and replacing it with the helmet. Due to the shoulders, the head articulation is severely restricted. The knees also feel somewhat restricted because the crotch blocks the legs from moving forward much,

Its weapons, the Go-Buster Ace sword (with added boosters from RH-03) and arm blades look impressive, but again the figure lacks the ability to use its articulation to show them off properly. The parts hanging off of the arms often get caught up in Ace's arms hanging from the shoulders, which can frustrating lead to pieces dropping off the figure quite easily. Despite its bulk, the top half feels very loose at the joints, and it really doesn't take much for limbs to start dropping off.

I love the individual Go-Buster mecha, but Go-BusterOh is a huge let down. After failing to get any decent action poses out of it, its safe to say I won't be posing them in this mode any time soon. The design itself feels like an incomplete mismash of parts, and while adding Beet and Stagbuster's mecha (neither have been revealed in the mini-pla line yet, but it most certainly will happen) into the mix may improve things, I'm not holding my breath.

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