Astro Toy Super Robot Chogokin Alt Eisen
by David Cabrera,
Super Robot Chogokin Alt Eisen
Series: Super Robot Wars OG: The Inspector
Cost: around $50
Hello, everyone! We talked on Halloween a little while back, and now we find ourselves, even more appropriately, looking at expensive toys in the aftermath of Thanksgiving. Don't worry, you'll never have to get yourself run over in a stampede for any of this stuff-- until I take over, anyway, and the most popular show on television is “Do It To The Max!” Gattai Robo Blastonger. Then you'll have to buy the combining, transforming DX Chogokin set. It'll be the law. No running in the store, please.
I am always pleased to talk about Chogokin diecast robots, as you are aware (and overjoyed by, yes?). Super Robot Chogokin is a new line that I have nicknamed “Recession Robo”: as the standard price of new Soul of Chogokin pieces has started to get around $200 and change (look at that thing, it is beautiful) and times being what they are, there has been some need for a more affordable zinc robot. In the package's own words:
“Introducing the next generation of Chogokin!
The 140mm figure has been developed with the latest sculpt and articulation technology--
the result being super alloy robots with COMPACT size that bring massive IMPACT!”
Meaning it's smaller, and therefore cheaper: about the size of the Robot Damashii toys. This line is pretty slim on the extras, too: the previous Mazinger Z release actually had its weapons sold separately. Costs are definitely slashed here to get Chogokin on the same shelf as Revoltech and Figma.
The robot, luckily, is a personal favorite: the Alt Eisen is the protagonist Kyosuke's custom robot from the currently-airing Super Robot Wars TV series. Humbly named “scrap metal” in German, this is the machine of a man who speaks infrequently and wields several unreasonably large sticks. In the context of robots at large, it's a little gaudy, but in the robot-mad universe of SRW-- which culminates in three transforming robots that combine into one robot so huge that its gun is actually another transforming robot-- ol’ strong, silent Scrap Heap is minimalist, nearly subtle.
While what you get here is in line with its cost, we have to lead by talking about what you lose compared to the benchmark Soul of Chogokin figures, which would cost twice as much for a comparable figure. The metal content is light as you might expect, but the figure is weighed down at the important points: joints, the torso, the calves, and the back skirt armor are diecast. Particularly on account of the metal joints, the whole thing feels very sturdy.
The figure is so sturdy, in fact, that at first I thought the articulation was bad. When I first pushed at the shoulder, it looked like it only went a tiny distance before giving up. I got a feeling like I was going to break the thing, so I thought that Alt's arms didn't move. And what is an Alt Eisen that can't move its arms? Then I pushed a little harder. It's not that Alt's arms don't move, it's that the metal joints are extremely tough.
Anyway, we're not talking about Revoltech or Figma-level articulation: the body is too bulky for that kind of thing. That said, this is definitely past the movement range of the average Soul of Chogokin figure. You would think that the big, blocky waist would get in the way, but the joint actually floats a bit over the body (not noticeable unless you look closely) and swings around freely. It's a satisfying thing to play with, and after that initial encounter I was never worried about breaking it again, which I don't say often when I deal with toys like these.
The figure doesn't come with any weapon accessories, but that's because all of Alt's are on the robot itself: we've got the Autocannon here on the left arm...
And the signature Revolver Stake on the right. This deserves an explanation of Super Robot Logic: see, the Revolver Stake mechanism propels a metal stake a very short and painful distance by firing gigantic shells like a Magnum. Remember, super robot weapons aren't about how well they would work in real life, they're about how awesome they are. The stake itself is shiny metal, but sadly, my dearly held wish of a spring-loaded (and potentially deadly: this spike is no joke) Revolver Stake remains unfulfilled. Furthermore, as seen here, the chamber actually opens up and spins. One of my few complaints is that the detailing on the weapons isn't too hot.
The opening Claymore compartments are the same way: because they open at all, you pop them expecting some kind of surprise or cool detail, but none exists. Some kind of effect part for the Claymores would have been nice, or some detailing on the canisters.
There are, however, effect parts for the horn on the head and the stake itself. Notice a theme? I'm not gonna lie, this whole business is more than a little phallic. You could talk about how, hey, this whole super robot business is kind of about overcompensation, isn't it? I won't deny it. Overcompensation is a man's romance! As JAM Project once so wisely stated, “Maximum maximum maximum maximum.”
This is almost always the case with the Bandai lines (the exception is the ultra-premium Soul of Chogokin, where every figure comes with a fancy, personalized base and sometimes a mountain), but this toy doesn't even come with the most basic stand. No matter how hard I try, I will never be able to pose it atop my shelf doing an UltimateGespenstKick. Please enjoy this Seated Ultimate Gespenst Kick instead. (None of my existing stands fit it, unfortunately, and I'll be damned if I take Ed out of the box again). Adding insult to injury is the included piece that's specifically designed for attaching Alt to the “Tamashii Base”, which is sold separately in packs of three and oh my god, these people make me so angry. So a stand for this thing will run you $30. I thought this was a budget toy!
My only real issue with this figure is the stand thing, and that the weapon detailing isn't so hot. If Bandai wanted to keep rolling out figures like this for some of the other robots in the SRW-verse, I'd be fine with that: a pair with the Weissritter (did you know Kyosuke's girlfriend carries a bigger stick than he does? It's a fact) would be nice! Either way, Alt comes highly recommended.
“No matter how thick your armor is, I have only to pierce it!”
Want the toy? We seem to have bought HLJ's last, but it's on preorder at BBTS for $50 before domestic shipping.
When he isn't killing time on fighting games and mahjong, David Cabrera gets hype about anime, manga and gaming at Subatomic Brainfreeze.
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