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Toys: Robot Damashii Zwarth

Posted on : 02-07-2014 | By : | In : Toys/Kits

Hardware: , ,



Courtesy of our good friends at HobbyLink Japan, we’ve been sent a toy from one of our favourite anime series, that of Aura Battle Dunbine to review. Specifically, the Robot Damashii Zwarth that’s on sale. In addition, to give the toy some context, we’ve also linked gameplay and anime footage of it in action at the end of the review.

As you probably already know, we are huge fans of Dunbine. From the brilliant story and characterisation, to the unique world setting and its subsequent mecha design. The latter has been finally getting the proper treatment it deserves, as Bandai have been releasing all manner of aura battler toys. Each of them have been fantastically sculpted and given a very professional finish. The latest in these figures is the mighty Zwarth as piloted by the main rival in the series; Bern Bunnings or the Black Knight at this point in the story (voiced brilliantly by Sho Hayami).

As Dunbine wasn’t a straightforward kids show, the characterisation was considerably more nuanced. Whilst Bern was Sho’s rival in the series, he was still a noble and principled character. Admittedly he was on the wrong side of the fight, as Drake Luft was a rather insidious albeit suave villain, but Bern’s motives were always well meant. He was also a remarkably vulnerable and tender character too, which is quite a endearing trait for someone who’s trying to kill the protagonist.

As such, whenever Bern entered a new aura battler each of the designs reflected his temperament and character. Starting with the Virunvee, it was a very strong and muscular design though with a dark twist. Likewise the much more powerful Zwarth was similarly designed. This is where the Dunbine designs also split somewhat. The original and main design was handled by Kazutaka Miyatake, with aura battlers like the slender and titular Dunbine. However, as the show progressed more muscular designs surfaced. These were penned by Yutaka Izubuchi, including the Zwarth.

This then in turn fed into the later OVA and the much more monstrous designs, with the Zwarth being upgraded into the menacing Zwauth. This in turn influenced the designs in the Wings of Rean anime adaptation, with the Oukaoh clearly being an incarnation of the Zwarth too.

Game-wise the Zwarth has been in a fair few Super Robot Wars games but also in the Another Century’s Episode games too. Not only as a boss but also as a playable unit. As you’d expect, it tends to be a pretty beastly unit to use.

Over the years, the Zwarth has rarely been given much love in terms of kits let alone toys. So this new Robot Damashii figure is something rather wonderful indeed.

Toy: Robot Damashii Zwarth
Price: 5,850 yen
Size/Weight: 29.6 x 19.7 x 10.5 cm / 440g










The figure itself is quite large and weighty for a Robot Damashii figure. Much of this is down to the backpack but the design is fairly chunky anyway. The articulation is pretty much flawless but due to the size (and weight) of the backpack the hip joints sometimes fall back. You can get the toy to stand upright on its own but it does have a tendency to flop backward. Admittedly this could be just our toy, as we’ve seen it hold poses fine at various Bandai events, but it’s only fair to mention it here.

The sculpt and detailing are amazing though. The red colouring on the chest and shield is actually treated like exposed musculature, which is a bit gruesome but handled very well. The internal vents are all separate yellow plastic and really contrast well with the overall black colouring. The cockpit also opens but, like the other Robot Damashii aura battler figures, lacks a pilot. There is also a point at the rear to attach a stand (sold separately). This allows for more aerial type poses.

Considering that this is the only real toy the Zwarth has ever got, we can definitely say it’s worth picking up. Whilst the heavy backpack can make the figure flop backwards, with a little practice and patience you can get it to pose without this being an issue. As such, for fans of Dunbine and general mecha design connoisseurs this is a absolutely a must get.

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