Review by JoshB
I was originally very skeptical of Evolution Toy’s Dynamite Action line of Magnetic action figures. I’ve had experience with modern magnet toys before (CM’s Baratak and Bandai’s Shin Jeeg) and found them not to my liking. The Magnetic joint gimmick just wasn’t working for me.
This was affirmed when I checked out Evolution Toy’s Jeeg (Reviewed by Chachipower). I just didn’t think the joints were strong enough. I had been fortunate up until this point as most magnemo characters were not ones that I cared for, but then Evolution Toy has to make a Gaiking and screw up my whole plan. Now I had to check it out.
Most of the modern magnemo toys that have come out have been updated versions of toys that originally had magnet gimmicks. But Gaiking is the first to take a non-magnemo toy and give it the treatment. So was my prejudice against the magnemo characters or the toys themselves? Only one way to find out.
The box is really nice, and surprisingly large. The graphics are all photoshopped photos, and the typesetting and logos are a bit amateurish compared to a Bandai product. It’s no big deal. Inside, all the parts rest in a clear plastic tray – and there are a lot of parts. Included is a bag of screw hole covers but I never use those, so they stay in the box.
The core figure comes assembled and ready to go right out of the box, which is nice.
The feeling I had when I first lifted it out of the box was one of confusion. It was very light in my hands, but I could tell there was a solidity in there somewhere. It was like an anti-gokin. All the parts are plastic aside from the joints and I have to say, there’s not a flaw on it. Paint and mold are spotless in execution. You would never know that this was from a smaller company. Who are these guys?
Instantly I began to tweak the limbs on their magnetic joints. I am both exhilarated and terrified of the range of freedom they offer. Gaiking is not supposed to move like this, is he?
Where is the safety of my ratcheted knee joints? The training wheels are off with this one – you need to use your black belt in action figure posing to make him look good. It takes patience, but when you get that pose, he looks amazing. The fear slowly evaporated as I understood the tolerances and balance of the figure, and I ended spending much more time with the figure because of it.
I think this magnet thing is going to work.
I start to photograph in a way opposite my instincts – I put Gaiking in a classic, neutral pose. You can hide the quirks with a dynamic pose, but not many hyper-articulated toys can also stand up straight and tall. Gaiking does.
Is it wrong that I find this refreshing?
The magnets are very tight. The balls themselves are just metal, but the magnets lie in the parts they connect to. In some instances the joints have some assistive technology to do even more. A great example is the shoulders.
The arms attach to the body around two halves of a cup with teeth (called detents). The arm has the ball, and the body has the magnet. The magnet keeps the two halves clamped together with just enough force to let you turn the shoulder enough, and the teeth make the “click” to hold it in place. The half of the cup in the body also extends outward so that the hands can have more motion around the chest.
Also in the shoulders is a clicky hinge joint to lift the arm out to the sides. This joint is VERY tight and often you will remove the arm from the body while trying to move it. Oddly enough, its only tight going up, not down.
Below the shoulder is a swivel joint, and then you get a hinge joint with a metal ball at the end, which connects to the magnet in the forearms. This essentially gives you a double jointed elbow.
The toy is designed in such a way that aside from the elbows you’d never know all the joints were magnetic. Evolution toy is using magnemo joints as just another means of articulation, rather than the whole point of the toy. This is still Gaiking, first and foremost.
The legs have a pull-out joint that enables a wider range of motion at the hips.
The knees have metal balls at the end, but those are attached to a hinge that provide an extra range of motion.
The ankles are a magnet ball joint, and the base can move a little bit to accommodate wide stances. However I wish this had a little more as I found the joint would rather disconnect than move after a certain angle. Each foot has a moveable toe, and in a fantastic decision there are rubber pads on the bottom of each foot. These pads have an AMAZING stabilizing effect. So much so I wish I had them on all of my high-end toys.
The crosses on the legs are removable and can be held in the variant hands, replicating Gaiking’s “Counter Cross” attack.
The joy of magnemo is that all the pieces come apart. This allows you to separate Gaiking into his three component parts.
Of course it is not a perfect transformation, several parts are included to make the individual components more anime-accurate. The magnet joints make this easy to do.
I like how they include little touches, like the jet nozzles on the arms and the claw connectors on each section.
Gaiking comes with an alternate set of armor to replicate his powered-up form. It includes two lower legs, two forearms, and a larger head with bigger horns. As opposed to the SOC version, these are separate, unique pieces, not just sleeves that slide over. The hands and crosses are used throughout either mode.
Miracle Drill arm attachments are included, and they connect directly to the balls at the end of the arms. You can pose them pointing directly out and the figure holds its balance and stance – something that was entirely unexpected.
One of Gaiking's attacks is the Electron Chain (known as Zaul Geyser in Japan). This weapon fires from the eyes of Gaiking's chest and spiral's out into an attack. Evolution toy included the parts to replicate this, but it is one of the weak points of the toy. To attach the effect part, you must swap out a panel in the chest that replaces the eyes with pegs. In theory, you should be able to attach the effects snugly, but nine times out of ten the piece just falls off. There is almost no tension in the connection whatsoever.
When you can get it to work it looks cool.
The Electron Chain could also be used to form an energy ball that Gaiking could throw, and that Electron Ball is included as well. (Gaiking's pilot was a baseball player).
Finally, included is an alternate head replicating Gaiking's “open face” mode. This part is the head only, so you have to swap the horns from the regular head.
There's a lot going on here, and I have to admit that I like it. I'm not familiar enough with magnemo toys to know the long term durability of the magnets and their tightness, and of course there is always the concern of the rubber pads on the feet drying out over time. But as it is, I really like it, possibly more than the Soul of Chogokin release.
Consider my opinion of magnemo toys changed.
|Posted 19 March, 2013 - 11:16 by JoshB|