2017/06/19

Soul of Chogokin Megazord Review - Part 1

 Long time, no see, eh? I definitely apologize for the lengthily 2 year silence, as time has been quite the commodity for me. And I feel like half-assed rushed reviews are less than deserved, so I opted to only review when I was absolutely able, or when that one thing hit that there was no way I could avoid it.
Needless to say, I found that “one thing.”

Soul of Chogokin GX-72 Daizyujin.
Better known here in the states as the original Megazord

Growing up with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, The Deluxe Megazord was always one of those amazing toys of the early 1990’s… That I never owned… I remember my mom went through hell to get me the Deluxe Dragonzord, but amid the chaos of that, missed out in getting me the Megazord. While this was never a repeat issue as they had gotten me every subsequent Zord set until PR Turbo crashed my interest (as did entering middle school), I wouldn’t get my own Deluxe MMPR Megazord until 2008; 15 years after its initial domestic release. At which time, I was well into my Gunpla career and used to more advanced levels of figure technology. So suffice to say, at this point, the old ‘91 mold left a lot to be desired, both in sculpt and poseability.


I also at one time had the 2010 Dino Megazord, but the issues with that release grossly outweighed the couple improvements over the original, and I eventually gave it to a friend who really wanted a Megazord, as I had one I was willing to part with. And once I learned the Legacy version of the Megazord used that same mold… Yeah, definitely passed on that.
Then, enter 2016 - 8 years after I got my DX version.


At PowerMorphicon 2016, Tamashii Nations teased their newest installment in the Soul of Chogokin line. I saw those individual zords sculpted in meticulous detail and thought, there’s no way I could pass this up! But, I was at the time ignorant to the SoC line, so I educated myself on a few releases, to prep for what kind of detail to expect, as well as price tag. By the time they unveiled the whole combination and cost at New York Comic-Con that October, I knew I was right to do so.


I pre-ordered it minutes after it went live, and it took me 6 months and help from countless friends and family members to acquire the $300 to accommodate the pre-order. And of all places, I took Bluefin’s recommended link for Amazon. So, I received my item weeks to a month after most other stores got the US release… *sigh* But, it's here now, and my God, is it glorious.

 

First off, I’ll note that the western release’s package differs from the Japanese release, and not just in logo, but in cover layout, as well. And, unlike the SoC Voltron released just a few months ago, this doesn’t have a slip cover, so what you see is what you get. While it kinda irked me when first shown online, I grew okay with it. Since I have the US Deluxe Megazord, it only seemed fitting to keep that tradition. Though I must admit, the Japanese box’s homage to the DX Daizyujin is on-point.

 Comparisons with the 1993 Deluxe Megazord package

 Back and sides of the box are pretty much the same as the Japanese, though, with only localized wording. Though it’s nice to see the kanji along the top of the back still reads “Daizyujin” rather than a re-translated “Megazord.”


The Styrofoam tray is nice and dense, as well as sharply molded. Each figure is inserted in whole into their respective divots, wrapped in a nice clear plastic so they don’t gain static from the Styrofoam.

Compared with the Deluxe Megazord’s tray. Interestingly similar layout, with only a few things moved around to fit better.

I was happy to see the manual for all the releases are the same, so I still have something in-hand with that awesome Daizyujin logo used for the JP box. Something that actually breaks the norm of the SoC packages over the last few years.


The booklet is a definite improvement over the single black & white A3 sheet of the original DX release, but unlike prior Chogokin’s manuals, there are no design notes or line art. Kind of a disappointment, as I was truly hoping for some nice clean images of the original PLEX designs.

Now, despite how little there looks to cover, there’s a LOT to go over with this, so I will multi-part this review to keep from overwhelming you (Or myself, for that matter).

SOUL OF CHOGOKIN GX-72 MEGAZORD PART 1:
TYRANNOSAURUS DINOZORD


The largest of the individual Dinozords, the Tyrannosaurus sports a lot of detail and gimmicks, as well as the most gokin among the set. Diecast is used on the chest plate, both hips, upper portion of the knee joint, internal of the shins, and the feet. Needless to say, this guy is heavy!


As you can probably tell, this is the best the Tyrannosaurus has ever looked, even compared to the on-screen models and suit. The proportions are sleek, the details and paint apps are crisp, and the whole thing is just a hefty beast that could have almost been sold on its own.

Other noteable details around the back of the body, including the backpack and leg thrusters(?)
as well as the tail bolt and the side armor.


The first gimmick is one shared with mostly every iteration of the Tyrannosaurus zord; the opening mouth. Though this is the first time the cannons have been sculpted in, allowing proper replication of its Tyranno Sonic attack.


The arms have a good range of motion, especially for a T-rex. Shoulders are on a ball joint, so they have limited ability to spread outward, as well as rotation. Elbows are double jointed, versus the no articulation at all on the '93 version. Also, the hands can open, and the wrist is hinged on the same joint.


The legs are a bit more limited than I anticipated, but still decent for what they need to do.The hips can do a full outward spread, but there's only about 20 degrees of turning the leg back and forth because of the tail. Widening its stance helps gain a little of it back, but not all. Both of these are on ratchet joints, so the clicks kinda guide you as to what can and can't be done.
The knees are good, but also a bit hindered. The legs cannot stick straight down, so only about 40-45 degrees is attainable. They have a semi-ratchet joint, but I think that's more because of a hidden gimmick which will be discussed during combining.
The feet have a good hinge which helps alleviate most of the hip and knee problems. However, they're on a one-directional hinge with no pivot. Luckily, the hips' swivel can help keep the feet flat in most stances, and despite being a friction joint, it's pretty strong.


Nicely, though, it also has a waist swivel. A nice ratchety one, too. Though, it's a bit loose around the ratchet itself, so it'll be off center pretty easily during handling. Solid, otherwise.


Probably the most hoped-for gimmick is the tail articulation. Yes, each segment can arc up or down. Sadly, no side-to-side, like some of the latter Legacy releases, but it still does a good job for what is needed from the Tyrannosaurus. You do have to watch that obvious joint between the third and second joints toward the end, as that's largely for transformation.


One thing they didn't have to do, but my God, am I glad they did, was the ability to store the cannons used in the Tank and Megazord modes inside the Tyrannosaurus's chest


It's a welcome addition, as I find using them as the Pterodactyl's feet as kinda awkward.

Comparisons with the Deluxe Tyrannosaurus
I'm going to go ahead and note now that this is mostly between size and sculpting, as my Deluxe Megazord has been painted and redecaled using Reprolabels to detail-up it. Even still, the differences are astounding.


As you can see, the DX Zord is actually a bit larger, both in height and bulk. However, the SoC has clearly superior sculpting, as well as the poseability. The amount of details on it makes it almost feel larger. I'm sure the overall weight doesn't help, either.


It's a definitely all-around upgrade, and gives the Tyrannosaurus Dinozord the utmost respect it deserves. Something the Legacy version tried to pull off, but ended up just being worse.

Next up will be the other four Dinozords! Keep an eye out for Part 2
COMING SOON!
OUT NOW!


Links to all parts:
Part 1: Tyrannosaurus Dinozord

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