Chogokin Hello Kitty by Bandai (Available From HobbyLink Japan – HLJ.com)
Following our unboxing, here is the review of the excellent Chogokin Hello Kitty by Bandai. It’s a genuinely lovely little toy and Bandai has definitely “done good” in terms of recreating Kitty-chan in chogokin form. Anyway on with the review!
The toy, whilst small, is basically almost all diecast. This makes it surprisingly heavy. It comes with a stand and peripherals that help with the various “transformations”. These can than then be stored under the stand itself. Unlike other more high-end chogokin, whilst there are lots of gimmicks it is a proper sturdy little toy and would be great for kids too (though they absolutely WILL lose the rocket punch fists if they aren’t careful, like Japanese kids did all through the 70s).
Considering that Bandai did an April Fools of having the Hello Kitty mecha in a recent Super Robot Wars, it’s clear the 70s super robot spirit is definitely strong with this one!
There is a small Kitty-chan pilot included as well and the cockpit itself is locked in place by the mecha’s fetching red bow (there’s a switch at the rear to lock the bow back, as it is spring loaded). In the cockpit, there is a mode switch button that changes the eyes to different colours. The rest of the modes are handled with very simple transformations as well as the addition of a multipart bow that acts as both a mock Jet Scrander and flippers (for when the mecha ventures underwater).
The detailing, whilst simple, is handled well and the sculpt is great in a really retro way, too. You can see false rivet bumps across the body, which adds a lovely 70s super robot vibe to the whole thing. The transformations are pretty simple too but endearing in execution.
It’s clear that whilst this is a 40th Anniversary collector’s toy, it’s also very close to the spirit of what the original chogokin were: fun toys for children. In that sense, this is both a fun collector’s piece and a great little toy.
You would have to be a pretty miserable human being to NOT find the Chogokin Hello Kitty fun, either to display or even play with. Of all the cross-media collaborations Bandai has done, this is definitely one of the nicest. Show no mercy, Kitty-chan!