GX-68 Soul of Chogokin Gaogaigar by Bandai (Available From HobbyLink Japan – HLJ.com)
Occasionally Bandai releases something rather momentous, and the GX-68 Soul of Chogokin Gaogaigar is just such one of those things. Part of Bandai’s ongoing high-end Soul of Chogokin toyline, it is the titular mecha from The King of Braves Gaogaigar TV series from the 90s. While we’ve had many toys of this design over the years none have been quite like this.
Gaogaigar features the trials and tribulations of the Gutsy Geoid Guard as they protect the Earth from bizarre alien threats. The main protagonist, the ginger cyborg Guy Shishioh, is the pilot for Gaigar and by extension Gaogaigar. Gaigar is also in fact an alien mecha that the GGG have appropriated, with its normal state (minus Guy piloting it) called Galeon. The first Fusion when Guy “fuses” with Galeon to pilot it creates the mecha Gaigar. The Final Fusion occurs when the mecha Gaigar combines with the other Gao machines (Stealth, Liner and Drill) to form the King of Braves Gaogaigar.
This Final Fusion sequence (shown below) was one of the main aspects to the show’s super robot appeal and was something that previous toys had issues with.
The show itself actually started off squarely aimed at kids but due to its quality and pathos eventually brought in much older viewers. The mecha were also famously designed by mecha design magnate Kunio Okawara, of Gundam fame.
In many ways it’s due to this pedigree and older viewership that we now have this glorious Soul of Chogokin figure.
Now over the years we’ve had numerous toys, many of which tried to do the Final Fusion sequence, and were pretty terrible. Recently Bandai decided to do a very solid Super Robot Chogokin figure but this entirely omitted the Final Fusion setup and was just a straight figure (which I can thoroughly recommend if you’re at all interested).
This new Soul of Chogokin version does the Final Fusion sequence in its entirety and then some. It’s also one of the largest toys in the range and is full of diecast, which makes it quite heavy.
What makes this Gaogaigar toy special though is exactly that: it’s a toy. Most other Soul of Chogokin figures can be quite fiddly collectors pieces. While this definitely ticks all the collector boxes it also begs to be played with and that makes it a notable rarity.
As you can probably tell I was pretty excited to finally review this, so make sure to check out the full review later on!