Brave Gohkin EX Dark Legioss ダークレギオス
Whenever I see something that is the black/dark version of something else, I always imagine it to be cooler than the original. In this case, it’s no exception.
Dark Legioss is the stealth version of the three-form transformable fighter AFC-01 Legioss from the sci-fi anime series Genesis Climber MOSPEADA (機甲創世記モスピーダ). MOSPEADA stands for Military Operation Soldier Protection Emergency Aviation Dive Armor. The 25 episode series first screened from late 1983 to early 1984 and have since become a classic in the genre of Japanese mecha anime with a solid fan base.
The story of MOSPEADA takes place in the 21st century, when a mysterious alien race known as the “Inbits” invade and overtake Earth. The now human colonized Mars, known as Mars Base, sends troops back to Earth in an attempt to retake Earth and drive the Inbits away. In the story, fossil fuel is no longer in use, instead a new energy source known as “HBT” (hydrogen fuel) supplies power to everything, including the Legioss and other weapons. The downside to this was that the Inbits can sense HBT, making all weapons highly visible to them and easily targeted.
For this reason, the scientists on Mars developed the AFC-01D Dark Legioss with improved shielding for the fuel system and engine, effectively making them invisible to Inbits (apart from the human form Inbits that sees things like humans). The Dark Legioss is a modified version of the standard Legioss unit, with a different head design, clasping claws instead of hands and the VTOL thrusters removed from the underside of the inlets
Name: Dark Legioss ダークレギオス
Manufacturer: CM’s Corporation
Line: Brave Gohkin EX (BRAVE合金EX)
Designer: Shinji Aramaki
Material: ATBC-PVC / ABS / POM / Die-cast
Original Price: ¥13,440 (approx. $170AUD / $140USD)
Height: 170mm / 6.69inches
I wasn’t very impressed by this packaging at all, as soon as I held it in my hands, it felt light and fragile and didn’t seem to offer much protection for the contents due to the flimsy cardboard used. For a toy priced at RRP of $170AUD, you’d expect something a bit more solid, something worth collecting. The plastic liners did hold the figure and accessories in place alright, but overall felt very under designed. The packaging also had no windows for you to view the actual figure. Most collectors including myself prefer to be able to inspect the actual figures before making the purchase, especially for a high priced collector’s item such as this.
Other then these few negatives, the packaging had good graphics and show the figure in all three modes, the artwork also feels very “MOSPEADA-esque”.
The Dark Legioss comes with its high energy gun pod, also known as the Destabilizer, two missile pods for attaching under the intakes, a MOSPEADA decal sheet to decorate your Legioss with and screw plugs to hide some of the ugly screw holes. Also included are three to scale figures of the MOSPEADA, one in motorcycle mode with a person riding, another with a person in armor mode, and one that is folded away for storage. The figures are a nice touch and look great when displayed with the Legioss, giving it a bit more sense of scale. The Destabilizer is also nicely detailed but a few things that I found slightly annoying with it. Firstly, the ammo cartridge needs to be removed when in Armo Fighter mode to clip to the top of the fighter and there is nowhere to store the cartridge making it very easy to lose. The other thing being that you need to clip a special hand part to the Destabilizer for the Legioss to be able to hold it, couldn’t CM’s have made it so that the claws can hold the Destabilizer without having to change parts around?
I think the Dark Legioss looks great in the Armo Solider mode, some people may disagree saying that it isn’t very accurate to the anime, and that CM’s have gone and “redesigned” the Legioss. Yes it’s true that the proportions are different, it is sleeker and taller than what it’s supposed to be in the anime, but to be honest, I thought they looked a little chubby and angular for a mecha the turns into a fast and sleek fighter jet. The toy representation of this mecha in this case however, seems more likely in my opinion.
I really love the way the front looks in the Armo Fighter mode. The nose is long and sleek and is exactly what a fast jet fighter should look like. It does look a bit bulky underneath, but remembering that it is also a space fighter, so aerodynamics is not an issue here. Moving to the back you start to see some problems with this mode, the legs just tucks in and sits underneath, there are no pegs or joiners to hold it in place, just doesn’t feel as solid as it should be.
This is a cool mode for the Legioss, especially the Dark Legioss. As the VTOL system has been deleted on the Dark Legioss variant in fighter mode, this mode allows it to still take off vertically. It’s reminiscent of the Macross fighter’s Gerwalk mode, just not as nicely resolved. It looks great from the front, but it takes a bit of fiddling around to put the legs in the right place so that it doesn’t look awkward from the side.
When I first picked up this toy, I was scared of breaking it. A lot of the joints were very tight and made cracking sounds as you move them, and usually cracking sounds are not good in a toy! But as I played with this toy more and more, I’ve found it to be very solidly built. For an Ex Gohkin toy, there isn’t much Diecast at all, mostly they are found in the joints, such as the ankle joint, the shoulder joints, and of course the main transforming joint that hold the Soldier mode’s head and Fighter mode’s front section. There’s about 20 points of articulation in Soldier mode, pretty decent I think and it can do some pretty good poses. One important joint that it lacked I thought was the ability to splay the legs, this would have made the figure much more dynamic.
Most of the parts are molded in colour, so there isn’t much paint to be found here. What paint there is seems to be of good quality. The red eye and the white part on the face is painted, the intakes are painted as well as the red tips of the missiles. One thing that I thought was weird was that the white on the face did not match the white on the intakes, it should have been the same colour.
There are also a few print details that were nicely done on the figure and deserve a mention. The “A-CYCLE” symbol on the chest area and the “Danger” on the side of the intakes were a nice touch.
In Armo Fighter mode, all three landing gears are solid diecast with turning wheels, this is probably the biggest diecast component of the figure, nice but could be more! The cockpit has a pilot which is a great detail that they have included, I like this very much. In fighter mode the missile pods on the shoulders can also be opened to give the Legioss more firepower, great!
In Armo Diver mode, the hatch can be opened at the top to store the folded MOSPEADA unit, although it doesn’t seem to have been designed for it, and they’ve simply found a hole where you can put it in. As mentioned earlier, the main transforming joint that holds the Soldier mode’s head and the Fighter mode’s front section is a well made diecast part, it’s a bit tight when new, so be careful and slowly jiggle it loose, and it should be fine for future transformations.
This figure also has a lot of in molded panel line and rivet detail, although not highlighted with paint, it does show up in decent lighting. And of course the missile pods are a nice touch of detail, just lacks a bit of depth which makes the missiles looks like red dots.
I really like this figure, although only appearing for a brief moment towards the end of the anime series, the colour scheme is so much more realistic as a military machine than the blue, green and red Legioss. A lot of little detail can be found on this figure that has to be seen to be appreciated.
Although not a limited edition, it is a limited release meaning only a few thousand will be produced so it’s definitely worth collecting now while they are still in stock. Secondary market prices for these will certainly go up once the main retail stores run out.
The price is considerable higher than you’d expect in a toy like this had it been a mass produced item, making this line very much for the dedicated die-hard fan.
Thanks for reading my toy review!