By Cacophanus from Mecha Damashii
GX-68 Soul of Chogokin Gaogaigar by Bandai (Available From HobbyLink Japan – HLJ.com)
Following the unboxing, here is the full review for the GX-68 Soul of Chogokin Gaogaigar from The King of Braves Gaogaigar. This is by no means your standard Soul of Chogokin release either and harks back, in a very good way, to the original Gaogaigar toys from the 90s.
I’ve owned a lot of Soul of Chogokin toys over the years. From the small to the huge, all have been clearly catered towards collectors. With intricate detailing and fiddly gimmicks, they were meant for people who were patient and primarily wanted a display piece.
This Gaogaigar toy is different, though.
While it ticks all the boxes for collectors in terms of the detailing, sculpt and overall finish, it is one of the first toys in the range that I can legitimately play with.
Due to the large amount of diecast used, it’s a very weighty figure, and sturdy with it. It feels like a very high-end toy from the 90s, in the same vein as the older DX toys that were released along with the series when it aired.
That said, the transformation and combination aspects to the toy aren’t entirely straightforward. For this, Bandai has released a very useful instructional video on how to handle your Goagaigar (shown below).
Even with this new complexity, the toy is still clearly durable and can be played with without fear of incurring damage.
So behold the best Gaogaigar toy ever released. It’s simply amazing.
The Galeon to Gaigar transformation is handled simply enough. The figure on its own is very large and quite heavy. The joints are all very high-quality diecast and hold poses very well. There are additional hands for Gaigar and a separate face plate included.
The fun begins when you start the Final Fusion combination of Gaigar and the Gao Machines. Drill is easy enough and Gaigar’s “knees” act as the attachment point. The Drill’s feet are also jointed sufficiently for them to remain flat on most surfaces. Things get more complicated with the Liner and Stealth additions, though.
The Liner comes in two sections and has to be linked with a separate part. Once slotted into Gaigar, it hits a switch that opens the waist. You also have to lock it down with the head. Removing the arms from their housing requires you to pivot the now new shoulders upward. If you have the Liner the wrong way around, the elbow joints will also be facing the wrong way.
To affix Stealth at the rear, another separate part has to be slotted into the now open waist section and then affixed to the wing directly. The covers for the arms also have to be removed at this point, in order to add the hands.
The new head is also stored within the Stealth and operated on an interesting hinge setup so you can turn it.
Once all is done you have completed the mighty Gaogaigar. In addition to the basic hands you also have some much larger hands with individually articulated fingers. There are also some fixed-pose hands that allow you to recreate the Hell and Heaven attack, too.
The other big addition is that of the Dividing Driver, which affixes to the arm (though you have to remove the affixed hand first).
All in all this is an epic toy. Not only does it have the Soul of Chogokin pedigree in terms of detailing and finish but it also feels like a proper toy of old. If you are in any way a fan of Gaogaigar, then you owe it to yourself to get this.
I know nothing of the show, but I am uber jealous of the Japanese television and toy market right now.