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Toys: Composite Ver. Ka Gurren Lagann

Posted on : 22-08-2010 | By : | In : Toys/Kits



Courtesy of our good friends at HobbyLink Japan, we’ve been sent a toy from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann to review. Specifically, the new Composite Ver. Ka Gurren Lagann. In addition, to give the toy some context, we’ve also linked some anime and gameplay footage of it in action from its Nintendo DS game at the end of the review.

As a series, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has in many ways re-defined the super robot sub genre of mecha anime. With multiple old school leanings, unsurprising from a studio such as Gainax, merged with a more contemporary vibe for the characterisation the show has become something of a popular phenomenon. Admittedly, this palpable glee surrounding the series is wholly justified as it is a remarkable work and one that will influence super robot anime for a good while to come (especially in its approach to gattai sequences).

Considering its runaway success you’d have expected a veritable orgy of gaming appearances. To date, the titular mecha has only graced one game that of a Nintendo DS action adventure developed by the series’ co-sponsors Konami. All things considered the game was actually pretty decent. Merging adventure type gameplay with action segments, the game even came with a one off OVA packaged with it.

In terms of toys and kits though, the series has been pretty well serviced from a variety of Revoltech toys to figures even made by Konami themselves, culminating in their first ever die-cast chogokin-esque toy (which was utterly magnificent). Kotobukiya even produced a selection of kits as well, to their usual high standard. The missing part to that line-up was of course Bandai, something that Hajime Katoki has now rectified.

Normally Katoki goes for the real robot end of the spectrum. Gritty and industrial realism was something the Gundam FIX Figuration toy line did excellently but since the advent of the Robot Damashii toys that approach is now spreading to all aspects of the mecha mythos, with super robots being included in that. This toy then is the first entry into Katoki’s new Composite Ver. Ka line and he picked one of the most bonkers super robots (read: best) to kick start the line.

Despite the similar price, the best way of envisaging this range is something akin to Robot Damashii Deluxe. As the paint job is considerably more detailed and the articulation is far more thorough. This is not to say that the Robot Damashii range aren’t wonderful toys but it’s clear to see that this new line is meant to be a bit more special case.

Toy: Composite Ver. Ka Gurren Lagann
Price: 4800 yen
Size/Weight: 24.1 x 24.1 x 7.6 cm / 460g

The base figure comes with a variety of hands, heads and other accessories. The joints, whilst not ratcheted, are sturdy and hold poses very well. The articulation in the feet and legs is also very good, as it keeps the figure stable even in the most garish of poses. The paint job, for a toy of this price, is also incredibly detailed and vibrant. Whilst some of the tribal influenced markings aren’t actually in the show they do convey the theme of it very well nonetheless. Despite the potential for the Great Wing to affix at the rear, this figure doesn’t ship with it. Whether this will be a separate and special release remains to be seen.

The party piece this figure offers is that of a wonderful full size Giga Drill Breaker. Amazingly, the figure can support the drill on its own and consequently looks very striking. The drill itself is made up of three parts that snap together. This means that the inside of the drill is actually hollow, thus allowing the figure to support its weight.

The figure, unlike the Robot Damashii range, also comes with its own very serviceable display stand. This allows for various airborne type poses, either with the Giga Drill Breaker or without. The stand itself also covers the pilots too, which is always a nice touch.

Overall then, for the money, this has to be one of if not the best Gurren Lagann toys to date. Whilst the epic Konami die-cast Great Impact figure is clearly the ultimate toy based incarnation of the design, Katoki’s attempt does give a more gritty machine like quality to the sculpt and it’s the only toy to have a full sized Giga Drill Breaker accessory. Even the backboard of the toy box, picture above, shows Katoki’s craftsmanship at its best and his tamashii has definitely made it into the final toy. Considering Katoki’s heritage as a hard nosed real robot designer, it’s a wonderful thing indeed to see him embrace a super robot such as Gurren Lagann with such obvious zeal. Put simply of all the Gurren Lagann toys available, bar Konami’s die-cast beast (which is no longer in production anymore), this new Composite Ver. Ka is the one to get. It’s also a brilliant first entry into a line that clearly has a lot of promise.




Comments (3)

What a fantastic piece. Excuse me whilst I clean the drool from my keyboard!

No Good. Not worth the money. Konami is still the best

The Great Impact toy costs three times as much though!

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