2017/06/25

Soul of Chogokin Megazord Review - Part 4 (FINALE)

On the previous review, we discussed the Attack Tank Mode and why that name is hot garbage. But it's okay, because we're about to move away from that and into everybody's favorite combination of dinosaur robots and not-dinosaur robots. Today, we finally review


SOUL OF CHOGOKIN GX-72 MEGAZORD PART 2:
MEGAZORD, ACTIVATED

And yes, I'm aware I used that pic twice, now. You take over an hour to set up a display like this and not use the best shot more than once.

Transforming from Attack Tank Mode to Battle Mode


Still in Dinotanker mode, we're going to remove the Pterodactyl, Mastodon head, and the main cannons, and then close up the emblem on the Tyrannosaurus's chest.


Close up the pegs the Pterodactyl perched on and place the cannons in the slots just above those pegs.


On the third segment toward the tip of the Tyrannosaurus's tail, there's hidden peg that will flip out. It can be a little difficult without something to push the end down enough to get the rest of the rotation to take place. I tent to use the back peg on one of the cannons.


With that, now we will separate the tail from the body of the Tyrannosaurus, rotating it up so that peg will plug into a slot at the top of the Mastodon's back area. Fold the tip two segments of the tail down to complete the back.

Now, we reach the first step of the on-screen transformation. There will be a few more places of added bits for aesthetic cleanup, but most everything follows the in-series animation, which is something the Soul of Chogokin line is well known for.


Firstly, we will rotate the black parts of the forearms inward about 40 degrees. Then we rotate the feet of the Mestodon outwards, revealing the Megazord's fists. Go ahead and turn the thumbs upward to complete the natural fist look. Return the forearms to their straight out position and the arms are now formed.


Next, turn the head of the Triceratops and the head and front legs of the Sabertooth Tiger upwards. Also on the Sabertooth Tiger, there's a bit at the bottom chest that can fold outward. This will become a heel spur to better balance once the Megazord is up on its feet.


Standing the Megazord up is not as graceful as it looks, here, but is still relatively simple. Rotate the Tyrannosaurus's hips downward as the Megazord's own hips. Also be sure to straighten that bend above the knee of the Tyrannosaurus, which will put the T-rex's feet completely against the back of the thigh.


Slide the thighs back inward to complete the legs of the Megazord. You may have to widen the stance to keep the lower legs from colliding.


And now, we open up the chest plate of the Tyrannosaurus, and fold its face down within, revealing the iconic face of the Megazord, proper. Return the plate to its closed position.


Finally, the Pterodactyl goes into full introvert mode. Open up the wings, fold the hed back, then refold the wings, right over left. The last step will be to fold out those silver tabs at top end of both of the Pterodactyl's wing binders.


Fly the Pterodactyl, top inward, to the chest area of the Megazord, suing those tabs to secure into the slots on the Mastodon's arm joints. You'll also secure the tail fins of the Pterodactyl into the a portion just below the chest plate of the Tyrannosaurus.


And finally, we fold out the horns from behind the head.


And here we have the Megazord in full bipedal attack mode!


Okay, right away, it's hard not to straight up gush about this, but this is absolutely gorgeous! The proportions are nice and chunky, but somehow a little lean, too. It's a great, strong impression left by the amazing silhouette, but also all the details within are perfect. I feel like everything that's ever been forgotten or ignored by previous iterations of the Megazord come to life, here. And that A-frame stance... *swoons*


For the first time, we have head articulation! Well, honestly, it's only a rotation, but it's an unhindered full 360-degree rotation!


Of course we know the arms can turn forward and backwards, as those were part of the transformation gimmick, as well. But what is new here now the arm can swing outward, almost a full 90 degrees from its downward stance, with only the shoulder armor hindering those last few degrees.


Another new feature to the arms is an elbow joint with an over-90 degree bend. and 360 bicep swivel. But the coup de grace is the hands, which have basic MG-grade articulation on all four fingers and a ball-jointed thumb. While I do wish this came with hands akin to the SoC GaoGaiGar's fully articulate hands, the arms are finally the most functional they've ever been on a combining Megazord!

And the last bit of poseability is the legs. Yes we get the hips that go forward and backwards, as well as D-tint outwards, and that thigh swivel. All these were inherited from the Tyrannosaurus's articulation, after all. But what we get as a bonus, here, is a knee bend!


Okay, so it's not the greatest knee bend. Maybe on par with the Ver.Ka Unicorn MG before they redid some of the parts. But by design, this almost shouldn't be possible! How it's achieved is a jointed section within both the Sabertooth Tiger and the Triceratops (Those internal diecast bits I mentioned during their reviews) creates a modest bend, as well as those posts from the Tyrannosaurus's knees, which have at most one click of their ratchet to give. So while at best, it's a 30 degree bend (It's technically better than this pic gives credit, I just don't have stands at the right height), it still allows for pretty good stances.


I mean, as far as I'm concerned, it still does better than a guy in a rubber suit. Plus, with all the weight in the legs, there's no way you'd be able to keep a stance that would utilize a further knee bend. I say what we get is more than enough for what we need our robot to do. And, I don't know why, but I love that bit of the red knee armors of the Tyrannosaurus peeking out.

There is a cheat articulation, where if you unsecure the back fins of the Pterodactyl and lower the tail of the Tyrannosaurus, you regain access to the waist turn. It's not something that keeps the design very true, it's a nice hidden feature. (Sorry for no photo, but this occurred to me only as I write this)

ARMAMENTS

Mastodon Shield


To form the shield, all we do is curl the trunk back under the head. Then, left out the grip all the way.


Insert the grip into the left hand of the Megazord. You should be able to do so with the fingers closed, but you may have to squeeze them a bit tighter to secure the grip. What I found works is to position the thumb up alongside and against the extension of the handle to keep it from rotating inward.

Power Sword

. . .

Okay, so, I grew up with Power Sword as its name. Despite it also being the name of the Red Ranger's sword. Also, what Zack mistakenly called the Sword of Darkness in one episode. We get it. Every sword's a Power Sword. But this...

THIS


Is so much more than just another Power Sword. This is the Dinosaur Sword 
Godhorn! 


I have to admit, in retrospect, this may have been the first buster sword-type blade I'd ever been introduced to. It's definitely larger to a broad sword, and even has a thickness to it that's very nice. The weird thing is that this sword isn't very heavy. It's all plastic with an AMAZING chrome finish. The gold embellishments at the base of the blade, gloss black grip and the silver painted pommel all give this weapon some very good variance.


 Close up of the gold detailing, as well as a showing of how clean the chroming is.


Like the shield, the grip of the sword just slides into the right hand. The biggest difference here is, because of the lack of weight, it holds it well without any extra support of fiddling of the hands.

Megazord, fully armed!

It's an impressive visual with its full equipment. With the improved stances capable with the Chogokin design, it's completely safe to say this is the most impressive Megazord made to date. Yes, the Legacy Thunder Megazord looks pretty great, too, but definitely lacks the poseability factor. 

And now, for the finisher!

Chou

Densetsu

Raikou

Giri!!!

Or "Super Legendary Lightning Cut." Once again, this never had a name in the Power Rangers verison, or any of the finishers, for that matter.
The fact I can pull off those scenes mostly shot for shot is quite impressive of this bulky figure. I'm constantly blown away but what I can pull off with this figure, despite its limitations by design. 

Comparisons with the Deluxe Megazord

  
So, yes, the Deluxe edition is definitely taller and larger. But we can see the issues much more clearly now. The stance to the DX is a brick, with its together legs facing forward. The arms, the same problem. And because of the lack of elbows, the sword and shield's positions are super unnatural, with the arms needing to be raised a click just to be somewhat forward. And the overall proportions are very stumpy and broad. I will admit the DX's cannon positions are a little better than he oddly-raised ones on the SoC. The back side details on the Chogokin version are astounding, though. The visible axes of the rear treads on the Triceratops, nice streamlined underbody of the Sabertooth Tiger, the crisp lines on the soles of the Tyrannosaurus's feet and the vents on its tail segments and rear hips. You can tell which one is just a toy and which they wanted to be a true three-dimensional masterpiece.


And that sword! That chrome is some of the most amazing plating I've seen on any plastic figure product, and I'm honestly glad it's not made of metal, as if this fell, it would definitely tarnish the coating under the weight added. That being said, I still recommend being careful with it. I've been wiping mine down with a linen cloth to maintain the clean sheen of the chrome.


One last comparison with the rest of my Soul of Chogokin figures, the GX-71 Golion/Voltron and the GX-48 Big-O. Kinda sad that these aren't to scale, though this would either make the Megazord even shorter or the Voltron ludicrously tall. Not even going to figure out where the Big-O would be, since it has no official height...


I'll be honest, in my waiting for this figure to come stateside (almost 2 months between East and West releases), I watched and read almost every review that had been posted, and while there are a few problems I will agree with, mostly minor QC issues, I believe they tempered my expectations. And once I got it in hand, maybe it's just my love for the design, but I can very easily look past all these issues. Mine has loose swivels at the shoulders and left elbow joint, but those can be tightened with the right care. And the restricted movement? Like I said that can relatively be worked with or around.
 

I will admit it's not perfect. A few missing paint apps that are hidden when in combined mode, the back cannons sit a little high, in my opinion, the hands are a little weak in articulation compared to other SoCs in the recent past. It'd be nice if the Tyrannosaurus's wrists swiveled. No functioning wheels or treads, even if they were click joints just so they're not free-rolling.
All these problems are nitpicks. (*cough*Aside from the lack of included stand for the Pterodactyl*cough*)

And there's always going to be nitpicks. Even if all these issues were addressed, I'd still find something else. Nothing's ever going to be perfect. If they truly made the articulation on-par with, say, the Super Robot Chogokin Daizyujin, I feel like there would have been some serious compromises to the aesthetics and design, keeping this from being what it was meant to be. 

And what that is is what I could only dream of in my childhood, or even in my early adulthood!


So thank you, Bandai and Tamashii Nations, for this spectacular piece of plastic and metal. And I want to believe that, somewhere, I can here a familiar tune on the wind, promising another legendary beast within the following rising tide...

FINAL RATING: 4 OUT OF 5 

As I said, it has its flaws, but I don't feel they're enough to get in the way of truly enjoying this amazing display piece. I definitely recommend it, if you have the ability to get the $300 it costs, but as someone who took half a year to acquire the funds, it does not disappoint. 

Links to all parts:
Part 1: Tyrannosaurus Dinozord
Part 2: The Four Lesser Dinozords
Part 3: Megazord Sequence has been Initiated
Part 4: Megazord, Activated (FINALE)

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