Transformers' Takara Tomy Turns Bullet Train Into Shinkalion Robot
The licensing company Sho-Pro is promoting the Shinkansen E5 Series Hayabusa bullet train by turning it into the Shinkansen Henkei Robo Shinkalion E5 (Bullet Train Transforming Robot Shinkalion E5). The official website opened on Monday, and adds that plans are in the works for events and magazine campaigns.
While the Plarail toy trains date back to 1959 in the Tomy half of the Takara Tomy conglomerate, the Takara half is no stranger to transforming trains. Takara created transforming, combining Trainsbots for its Diaclone toy line, and eventually folded them into the Japanese Transformers lineup. Transforming Shinkansen trains also appeared in the Transformers: Car Robots (2001's Transformers: Robots in Disguise) series and as a Classics/Henkei! Henkei! update of the Transformers Generation 1 character Astrotrain. Competing toy maker Bandai made The King of Braves: GaoGaiGar toys which combined a Shinkansen train with other vehicles and robots.
The Hayabusa rail line launched the E5 Series of Shinkansen bullet trains in 2011.