Type-J9 Griffon Labor [Flight Unit Ver.]
I know I’m about 4 year late with this review, but I only recently got back into Patlabors and acquired this guy on my last trip to Japan earlier this year. I have to say, this has quickly become one of my favourite pieces in the collection. Read below to find out why!
From the anime series Mobile Police Patlabor (機動警察パトレイバー) comes the infamous Type-J9 Griffon Labor. Developed in secrecy by Schaft Enterprises, its main goal was to demonstrate the capabilities of the company to prospective buyers/investors and prove that it was the best. To achieve this, the Griffon Labor sets out to fight against different type of Labors, and it was during this that the pilot of the Griffon Labor, Bud Harchand, meets and begins a rivalry with the pilot of the Unit 1 AV-98 Ingram Patlabor, Noa Izumi
Name: Type J-9 Griffon Labor
Manufacturer: CM’s Corporation
Line: Brave Gokin 09
Designer: Yutaka Izubushi
Material: PVC, Cloth, ABS, Die-cast
Release: August 2007
Original Price: ¥13,800 (approx. $160AUD / $175USD)
Height: 190mm / 7.48inches
Unlike a lot of chogokin toys, the contents are well packed and do not waste much space keeping the overall box quite compact. The colour scheme fits the figure perfectly and there are cool images showing all the features of the toy inside. The figure itself is protected within a polystyrene box, and the accessories laid out in a plastic tray.
This version of the Griffon Labor comes with the Flight Unit which requires the wings to be attached, two extra pairs of hands, the cannon revolver of the Unit 2 AV-98 Ingram and black plastic stubs to fill in the screw holes on the figure. There is a pair of open claw hands, a pair of fists, left gun grip hand and a left “thumbs up” hand.
The sculpt of the Griffon Labor could not have been any better, it simply looks amazing and accurate to the anime. There is plenty of die-cast used in this toy, I don’t know about the joints but the majority of the body, the forearms, the waist, the thighs and the entire leg and feet are all metal, it really feels solid and hefty. For the joint area, rather than using rubber CM’s has opted to go with a cloth cover. I’m not so sure about this as cloth is hard to get right in small scale but it’s not too bad, at least it should last longer than rubber.
For a hefty gokin toy the articulation is actually not bad. The knees and elbows both have a huge range of motion thanks to double joints, this even allows the Griffon to kneel but I only found this out later so there are no photos of it. The feet can extend about 5mm to help with articulation of the legs. All the joints are simple friction joints apart from the knee joints, they are ratcheted with a solid clicky feel. The only down side I found was that the shoulders are hindered by the wing joints making it difficult for Griffon to raise its arm straight up.
On the whole the Griffin has a nice glossy black finish. Even the plastic parts have been made to match this look. There are a few little paint details here and there which really sets off this toy and break up the blackness. The pistons on the ankles have been painted a metallic gold which looks awesome, unfortunately it’s at the back of the toy. The rocket boosters are painted burnt orange which also contrasts well with the black. There is a small danger with paint chipping as some of the metal parts can come in contact easily, just something to watch out for.
There are some very nifty features on this toy, the best of which is the intricate opening cockpit. The hatches are easy to open and close and all the parts fit together beautifully. You can see Bud sitting in the cockpit seat, keen for action!
As mentioned earlier, the feet can extend to help with articulation. It clicks in nicely and stay in place despite the weight of the toy.
One thing I thought was strange is that the wings do not open up all the way as they should in the anime. As you can see with the joints in the photo, the wings are open as far as they can go but they still don’t look like they are in “flight position”.
Lastly, a comparison of the CM’s Griffon Labor with CM’s AV-98 Ingram Patlabor and the WAVE ARL-99 Helldiver Labor. From memory, the size of the Griffon should be about the same as that of the Ingram, even though they are both non-scale toys it would have been nice to make them the same size. Sizing up against the WAVE ARL-99 Helldiver Labor, they actually look great together, and in scale.
This toy is now much cheaper and more affordable than when it was initially released in 2007 so it’s the perfect time to pick one up if you have not done so already. I highly recommend this toy to any Patlabor fan, as well as collectors of chogokin toys. Trust me, you will not be disappointed!
Thanks for dropping by!