Saturday 7 June 2014

Toybox REVIEW: Ressha Sentai ToQger Minipla Diesel-Oh

It's quite possible that Ressha Sentai ToQger is going to be another Super Sentai series with lots of mecha. After all, it only took nine episodes for the team to receive their second set of trains that could form a giant robot - Diesel-Oh. Made up of the Diesel, Car Carrier and Tank Resshas, Diesel-Oh is a formidably powerful robot affectionately called "Ji-chan/Grandpa" by Right. And now it's joining Bandai's mini-pla candy toy line as the second wave for this 2014 Sentai

Diesel-Oh is packed in four separate boxes, with a total of 12 boxes making up a case. So that means if you end up buying a case direct from a retailer such as Amiami or Hobbysearch, you'll be receiving three full sets. The impressively long Diesel Ressha takes up two of the boxes (moulded in reddish brown plastic) while the Car Carrier and Tank Resshas take up one each, moulded in orange and blue plastic respectively. As usual building instructions are printed on the inside of the box, combination instructions are featured on a separate leaflet and a piece of soda flavoured candy is also thrown in for good measure.

Continuing what I started with ToQOh a couple of months ago, this year I will be completely painting my mini-pla and using as few of the stickers as possible. For the first time ever I didn't use a single sticker on Diesel-Oh, so once again - to see pictures of the fully stickered version please visit this (fantastic) blog.

Starting with boxes one and two, we have the rather long Diesel Ressha. In box one you'll find the front of the train, which in robot mode makes up the right side of the torso, right arm and head. Box two is the back, and so is naturally the left arm and side of the body. With a total of seven separate sections making it up, its not only the lengthiest build the ToQger line has had to offer so far but also the most varied. The stickers do a pretty good job of covering all of the details (bar the final carriage/left arm's black), but to get those gold sections looking as good as they do in the show you're going to need some paint. Its strange because they could have very easily given this release foil stickers just like they did with Kyoryuger's Bragigas, and I'm also willing to bet that the clear Cho ToQOh set being released in September will have them as well.

From there we move onto our first auxiliary Ressha to appear in the mini-pla line - the Car Carrier Ressha! Ignoring how often you'd actually see trains carrying cars in this manner, it's a well done kit with plenty of moulded detail for those who prefer to paint their models. The stickers also do a good job of covering the basics, but the most glaring omission will be the two included cars left in orange rather than red/blue/yellow/green/pink. Sadly only two cars are included so red/blue would be the accurate colours to pick, and once pegged into place can't be removed from the model either.

Car Carrier Ressha is also the only train to be released so far that has an additional feature, even if it isn't a very exciting one. The ramp at the top of can be lowered down so that the cars can roll off of it, but since the cars can't move it's really just there as a nifty little extra.

The Car Carrier Ressha can also be combined with ToQOh to form ToQOh Car Carrier! This is an incredibly simple transformation - all that needs to be done is unplugging the front end of the yellow Ressha and replacing it with the entire Car Carrier. This could also be done with the opposite arm, but since the official show formation always keeps it on the right so have I. There isn't really much else to say about this other than that it's ToQOh with an extra long arm, but thanks to an additional joint needed or the Cho ToQOh formation there is an elbow there.

Finally there's the Tank Ressha, which is just another plain old kit with no real features worth mentioning. Nothing's really missing from the stickers either, it's just a case of whether you want the black/gray to wrap around those sections or simply sit flat like the stickers will do.

ToQOh can also swap out its forearms for this auxiliary Ressha, forming the fast-punching ToQOh Tank! This isn't a very overwhelming form in the looks department, and is a bit problematic the articulation too. Only the right arm has a working elbow, and that's only when the Tank piece is (inaccurately) rotated 180 degrees. Since it's not a particularly impressive for it isn't that much of a deal-breaker, but worth mentioning nonetheless.

The Ressha Sentai ToQger vs. Kamen Rider Gaim summer special also debuted a further form of ToQger that is created when using both auxiliary Resshas - ToQOh Car Carrier Tank. There's not much that can be additionally said about this formation, other than that it only uses the front portion of the Tank Ressha on the left arm.

When lined up the Diesel Ressha line doesn't quite match up to the Rainbow Line's impressive length, but it comes pretty close for three tiny trains/four tiny model kits. Much like ToQOh, the transformation sequence can be done while still having the trains rolling across the floor, although the Diesel Ressha itself does need some uncoupling and rearranging. Then, after flipping a few pieces up or down the second ToQger robot is ready to stand tall!


Diesel-Oh has a rather interesting build for a giant robot, and one that was very hit and miss with fans when toy pictures first leaked. Like ToQOh it has the old -school robot blockiness thing going for it, but its take really taken to extremes here. The giant head is fixed pegged firmly to the shoulders and doesn't allow for any articulation whatsoever, so unfortunately Diesel-Oh is stuck looking straight on in any pose (something which really didn't help when trying to take photos).

As far as proportions go I think the mini-pla has the edge over the DX version, but there are still some obvious problems with the overall design of Diesel-Oh. Both the Car Carrier and Tank Resshas feel incredibly spindly under that giant boxy body, and the tiny feel areas don't really help with balance unless you're posing the robot using the sides of its feet for support rather than soles. Diesel-Oh doesn't have any unique weapons either, so what you see is pretty much what you get. A train front that kinda looks like a good is pretty cool, but the same can't be said for the flat backside of the same train.

There's still no waist joint (not even a secret one this time either), but there was certainly no slouching on the articulation. As I mentioned earlier there's no head movement, but moving downwards we have working shoulders, elbows (which can twist as well as move up/down on a hinger), side-to-side and forwards/backwards hips, knees and toes. There's even another joint just above the knees meant for the Cho ToQOh combo, so you can even pose Diesel-Oh with some weird contorted legs.

That first moment where ToQOh and Diesel-Oh battle alongside each other has definitely been a highlight of the show so far (especially because its a beautifully lighted nighttime fight), so its no surprise that even in toy form these two look fantastic together. The "grandpa" nickname really works in that Diesel-Oh looks like a old-school version of ToQOh, but still more than capable of kicking ass with his colourful compatriot.

And in what will hopefully lead into Engine Sentai Go-Onger levels of crazy combos, these eight trains are also able to combine into one giant super robot. The fact these guys are able to peg together while still in full train mode is a massive appeal to me, as I really like the idea of this big convoy of trains that can suddenly stand up and become a giant robot (although this time the Diesel-Oh head piece needs to be removed to make it all work).


A special combination that wasn't in the original designs for the Ressha, Cho ToQOh is a powerful combination that can even damage its components in prolonged use. Armed with giant cannons on its shoulders, its finishing attack is the "Cho ToQOh Full Burst Finish" - where it fires projected energy versions of the eight components at its Shadow Line Opponent.

Cho ToQOh bulks out the ToQOh's unique rainbow-striped look, adding two sections of Diesel Oh in the shoulder areas and then the Car Carrier and Tank Resshas to the feet. The standard ToQOh head remains hidden in the compartment inside the back of the Red Ressha, making room for the Cho ToQOh head on the back of the Diesel-Oh head into a hole in the top of the Red Ressha. Raising the track pieces on the helmet requires the kit's one main piece of parts-swapping - taking each side off of the main head, flipping them around and then reattaching. Makes sense, but it seems a bit off when the same effect could have been achieved more accurately with hinge joints.

Despite the added height and bulk, none of ToQOh's original articulation is hindered by the new pieces. Adding the two Diesel pieces either side adds a THIRD point of movement to the shoulders, while the Car Carrier/Tank pieces on the legs offer a huge boost in stability to hold the various poses its capable of. Thanks to being attached via a single peg, the head still has a full 360 degrees of movement even though its significantly bigger than the original ToQOh head. The giant shoulder cannons can move both up and down and from side to side, and despite jutting so far out never seem to topple the kit's balance.

While articulation and balance may not be a problem for ToQOh, playing around putting it in various poses quickly made me realise that it isn't the most stable thing to move around. With the entire sides (made up of three Resshas either side) being held in by a single peg, they do have a tendency to move about because of the weight distribution. Popping out is more of a problem for the legs, which suffer from the same single attachment problem. 

Diesel-Oh is another solid entry to Super Sentai's mini-pla/candy toy line, even if it isn't quite as impressive as its predecessor. Despite noticeable design (though this is more due to the suit design rather than the actual toy) and engineering flaws, the kit is a fun build that will go down well with both painters and stickerers (?) alike. Cho ToQOh is just the kind of upgrade you want to see from a two robot combination, and with a few more peg holes still visible on the robot bigger and better things may be still to come...

1 comment:

Blue said...

cool. I think I might buy one :)