Saturday, January 26, 2013

Super Robot Chogokin Alteisen Part 1

The not-so-big red machine

Just a stress on a very minor point, this review has nothing to do with Kane's action figure featured earlier this month. XD

This is Super Robot Chogokin Alteisen from Tamashii Nations. Released in October 2010, this was not only the debut mecha of "Super Robot Wars Original Generations" in this action figure series, it was also the first "non-Mazinger" mecha to be released as well. ^^ I have nothing against Mazinger or any of its related mecha, but given how the Super Robot Chogokin series seemed to be about "miniaturization" of previously released Soul of Chogokin figures before Alteisen's release, this big red mecha which I absolutely love was certainly a welcoming release. ^^

While the aforementioned "miniaturization" of figures from all Chogokin series for wider market appeal is certainly one key element of Super Robot Chogokin's creation, I think versatility in mecha selection to be included in the product line is a huge point as well. I remember many fans were talking about Tamashii Nations trying to offer a more affordable Chogokin product line to attract people who couldn't get any from said series otherwise because of the high price. I don't think that's entirely true because while the price of each Super Robot Chogokin figure is significantly lower than the most of the larger releases from Soul of Chogokin, Soul Spec (product release in hibernation mode since 2009 ^^;), Chogokin and its DX series, the frequent releases (one to two items per month on average) would still be a huge drain on a particular collector's wallet. ^^; Price certainly plays a part in its creation, but I do believe it's meant for more. ^^

August this year would be the third anniversary for Super Robot Chogokin. From all 39 releases from the series so far, I feel that it's pretty moving on its own path. ^^ In terms of mecha selection, the focus on Super Sentai robots and mecha from The Brave series is something unique to this action figure line, and in terms of action product design, the focus on articulation design for high posability, while sacrificing complex transformation for most releases is very special as well. ^^

Like the Perfect Grade series for Gunplas, I think the other larger Chogokin series are so well established in their projected image that it has become difficult for new product development. On the bright side, consistent product image allows fans to associate themselves to that product line for a very long time. Most Chogokin releases are often out of stock the moment they hit the market, so the market is definitely there regardless of their high prices. When I look at Chogokin releases, the first few points that pop up in my mind include their exclusiveness, great details, well-designed transformation features for some, large size and of course high price. Then again, the entire series has pretty much been typecast with those elements they have become its limitations. ^^;

I cannot imagine how Soul of Chogokin GX-57 Space Battleship Yamato would be received if it wasn't designed to be over 400mm in length; I cannot imagine how DX Chogokin YF-25 Durandal Valkyrie (Alto Saotome's Unit) or Soul of Chogokin GX-60 God Sigma would be received if they wasn't designed to be completely transformable as well. ^^;

There's no doubt all the Chogokin lines outside Super Robot Chogokin are very well done and are tremendous collectibles to have. But for folks who like to have the heavy Chogokin feel in their figures, or for those who prefer playability over size and transformation gimmick, there was nothing from Tamashii Nations that can suit their needs before August 2010 it seems. ^^; Arguably, folks can find playability from the Robot Damashii series. However, apart from being busy with [Side MS] (Gundam) releases, Super Robot type mecha is not on the menu for the Robot Damashii series. Else, a [Side MZ(?)] Mazinger Z would have come out long before the idea for Super Robot Chogokin was ever conceived. ^^

Personally, I treat Super Robot Chogokin as a completely different line than all its other Chogokin counterparts. There are mecha previously in the other lines that would pop up once a while in the series, like Gunbuster (a non-transformable one on top of everything ^^), Shin Mazinger Z and others, but as I mentioned before, it's pretty much on its own. ^^

I really like this series. ^^ Folks who like Super Sentai robots are definitely going to love this series too, as they are one of the main focuses. I think it has great potential to include even more mecha series for its releases. ^^ From other reviews, I know that the articulation design for the figures, including those that would never be able to move as well in their animation of TV series is excellent. ^^

A Daizyujin that moves better than anything its special effect actor could ever perform in cardboard suit as seen in its TV series? What more do I need to say about this series? XD

The Super Robot Chogokin emblem on the top left corner of the box.

A shared characteristic of the package design in this series: narrow slits on the front cover that very vaguely reveal the content stored inside. ^^

Pretty simple box side design.

Introduction of the figure on the back of the box.

"Compact X Impact" is the tagline of Super Robot Chogokin. ^^

Comparison with the boxes of other action figures: the dimension seems to be identical to that of Robot Damashii [Side MS] Geara Zulu's box, but Alteisen's is a bit thicker, which is due to the figure's own design no doubt.

The box is even comparable to that of a BB Senshi Gunpla kit, in this case, BB Senshi Sangokuden Bacho Blue Destiny. ^^

Comparison with the box of a Soul of Chogokin figure (in this case GX-48 The Big O) somewhat reveals Alteisen's "miniaturized" treatment in the Chogokin series. ^^

Box open.


Top view of the package content.

With the clear plastic cover taken off.

Closeups on the content.

Rear view of the package content.

Closeups on the content.

A straight out of box display of Super Robot Chogokin Alteisen. ^^

An instruction sheet is included, which shows how to configure Alteisen's weapons and special effect parts, as well as adjustment on its special articulation points.

I didn't mentioned at the beginning at the review on this figure is going to be part of a double feature - a Super Robot Chogokin double feature. ^^ The first double feature of the year, on a brand new figure series to be reviewed on this blog. ^^ It's going to be fun. ^^ The other figure to be featured is Weissritter, which is very close to Alteisen in its mecha development history and in the story as well. That relationship is what prompted me to do a double feature on them actually. ^^

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