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Astro Toy
Dynamite Action Big Dai-X

by David Cabrera,

Dynamite Action Big Dai-X
Series: X-Bomber/Star Fleet
Maker: Evolution Toy
Price: $130

I know that you're all looking at me like I've lost it again. I haven't topped Galvion for obscurity: I'm not sure I'll ever be able to beat reviewing something from a series that never even finished airing on TV. Even so, I am willing to put down money that most of you who didn't Google it just now have never, ever heard of X-Bomber. So again, like last time I did something this out there, I want to explain the source material.

X-Bomber is a very obscure relative in the Dynamic Productions family, having been originally created by Go Nagai. It's a live-action series, technically, there just aren't any human beings onscreen. The show is a marionette space opera, directly influenced by Gerry Anderson's series like Thunderbirds. All the characters were puppets, and the ships (like the titular X-Bomber) and the machines (like the Dai-X robot) were models. The series was only ever released in English in the UK as “Star Fleet”, roughly intact. It's really cool! You should dig up that version sometime, as one of the characters is named “Barry Hercules”.

And you know who likes X-Bomber? Hideaki Anno and Brian May do, so eat it!

It is Evolution Toy who have chosen this unlikely character for an entry in their Dynamite Action line. God help these brave human beings, who target 70s and early 80s nostalgists almost exclusively. Specifically, they seem to be in some kind of race to make expensive figures using the most obscure Japanese roots possible: Daikengo, Atlanger, my beloved Bryger. At Wonder Festival they even teased a figure of the robot from Kyatto Ninden Teyandee... which you more likely actually know as Samurai Pizza Cats!
I salute the wonderful insanity of these people, while not neglecting to point out that Evolution Toy was also responsible for the single worst figure I have ever reviewed in my years on this column. What will happen this time?!

This is a very pretty figure, as it had better be for what it costs. Not big (only a little bit taller than the average Super Robot Chogokin), but loving detail is evident on every panel line and mechanical bit. The paint job is appropriately clean and glossy: you can't go wrong with a nice, bright red and white for your robot!

The gimmick of this figure, and of this line, is that everything-- and I mean everything, here-- is a magnet. Have I told you how I love magnets in toys? I really do! I wish they were in everything! Magnets in robot toys are a really old-style thing. (see “magnemo” and Ga-Keen.)  So these guys have really got me with this Dai-X packed with magnets. All the points where you can see steel balls are magnets, and the rest of the joints are the same.

Every point with a magnet joint can simply be removed from the body with a firm, gentle pull. Elbows, shoulders, even the torso separates at the top! This by itself is hours of fun for, uh, “big kids” like me. There doesn't feel like there's a lot of metal in the body, but the magnet joints make the figure so heavy that it feels like the whole thing is made of diecast when you pick it up.

The range of motion this allows is also very impressive: the figure can just about bend its leg to the back of its head! Here I've gone and curled it up into a ball. This will turn out to be necessary for the transformation later. Thanks, science.

Though it stands perfectly well on its flat feet, do be careful when you stand this figure: mine fell over backwards and actually lost some paint on the back of the head.

Of course Dai-X is sort of a “smash n' stomp” kind of robot, so this is really the kind of pose you'd go for with it.

Dai-X is a combiner: that is, it's actually made up of three components, each with its own pilot. Ah, I love this kind of thing. We've never gotten to do it on the column! I would have started off with the component craft, but the figure is packed as the completed robot. Let's try it out.

Brainder, the head. Just tug on the sides of the head, slide the middle part up, and hope nothing breaks. I actually had more trouble with this simple procedure than with anything else.

Jumbody, the, uh, body. The transformation is actually pretty simple; the problem is an unreadable manual, featuring photos so low-quality you can't tell what's going on in many critical steps of the process. I had to take blind leaps of faith on a couple of the transformation steps and hope that twisting certain bits wasn't going to snap them off and break the toy.

Legstar, which is, okay, it's the legs. This is the most complex of the transformations: the legs flip over the body and become gun turrets. There are treads you can attach to the craft for ground mode. Getting the whole thing back together is trivial.

They're similar, but one of the robots is Ideon and the other is Dai-X. Don't be fooled.

The price on this figure is obviously very high at $130, but given how niche the character is and how small the company is, I can't comfortably say “Bandai's robot prices are better! You can get a Soul of Chogokin Gaogaigar for the price of two of these!” Because of course they are, Bandai is a mega-corporation, and every robot nerd with a pulse (me, I want one) wants a SoC Gaogaigar. That $140 Galvion... also a Bandai (via Megahouse) product.

So what I'll say is that this is a passion piece for an extremely niche audience, made by people who probably just wanted very badly for it to exist, regardless of whether anybody else (but me) did. Isn't that what's wonderful about otaku? Evolution Toy is hereby forgiven for their squid mishap. Long may Evo Toy prosper, and may they never run out of weird old robots to build.

When he isn't killing time on fighting games and mahjong, David Cabrera makes moe 4-panel comics about videogames at Kawaiikochan. You can follow him on Twitter @sasuraiger.

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