GIGA 合金 Gohkin 001 Final Dancouga
After months of searching and waiting, I finally got my hands on this guy to share with you all. He is pretty hard to find, apparently only 1,800 pieces produced so it was important for me to give him a detailed review, enjoy!
Super Beast Machine God – Dancouga (超獣機神ダンクーガ), or as the Japanese companies have chosen to translate it “God Bless the Machine Dancouga” is a anime about a team of four soldiers, each piloting an animal mecha machine to fight and free Earth from the “Muge Zorbados Empire” of alien invaders. The show was released in 1985 and ran for 38 episodes.
The individual mecha machines have the ability to transform and combine into the almighty Super Robot Dancouga, but unlike most Super Robot animes which combine every episode in order to defeat the enemy of the week, Dancouga does not combine until almost half way through the series meaning each individual machine somewhat has the ability to hold their own.
Each of the four machines are capable of changing between vehicle, beast and humanoid form, as well as combining to form Dancouga. There is the Eagle Fighter which forms Dancouga’s head, the Land Cougar that forms the left foot, Land Liger that forms the right foot and the Big Moth (Big Mammoth) which forms Dancouga’s main body.
To form the extremely powerful Final Dancouga, another mecha called the Black Wing combines and latches to the back. The Black Wing has the ability to transform into humanoid form also, however it is different to the other four mechas as it was not developed by the same person. The Black Wing was destroyed in battle towards the end of the series.
Name: GIGA合金001 Final Dancouga
Manufacturer: GigaBrain ギガブレイン
Line: Real ActionRobo Series 04
Material: ABS, PVC, Duracon, Die-cast
Release: Mar 2007
Original Price: ￥13,440 (approx. $174AUD / $150USD)
Secondary Market Price: ￥8,000 ~ ￥15,000
Height: 190mm / 7.48inches (without Black Wing)
Height: 245mm / 9.64inches (with Black Wing)
The packaging of the GIGA Gohkin 001 Final Dancouga somewhat reminds me of Russian babushka dolls, as there are boxes inside boxes inside more boxes. The most outer box is a cardboard box with the product name printed on it (this is the box Gigabrain used to send the toy to their customers in), inside that is a white glossy box with the product name and the Cyber Beast Force logo printed.
Inside that box, you’ll find two more boxes, one for the Black Wing and the other for Dancouga himself. The Black Wing sits in a rather floppy plastic tray, but at least the toy itself is wrapped with plastic to prevent rubbing during transit.
Dancouga and all its accessories are safely packed within a polystyrene box, very snug! However the outer box with the graphics is exactly the same as the regular version, not even a “Limited Edition” sticker of some sort in sight. There are also two pieces of paper that comes with the toy, the big piece is instructions for playing with Dancouga, and the smaller piece explaining there might be problems with Dancouga’s head so they’ve included an extra head, luckily mine had no problems so I have two good heads:)
Jumped ahead slightly above so you already know the limited version comes with an extra head. It also comes with an array of accessories and weapons. Included is the Dankuken (断空剣 – Dancouga’s Sword) in normal form and energized form, DaiGun (Beam Bazooka) with handle attachments for the left and right hand as well as just the handle itself, karate chop hand and open palm hand. The two smaller guns attached to the end of the DaiGun are actually from Land Liger and Land Cougar.
To give Dancouga flight ability the booster unit is also included, however the design is different from the OVA version as this wing booster has no thrusters and weapons, just looks like giant butterfly wings. The only “accessory” the Black Wing comes with is a special “Jyusenki Tai” (Cyber Beast force) metal badge, apparently only the first 1,000 customers who ordered from the Gigabrain website got this. Interesting to note, all the accessories and weapons are the exactly same for the normal version Dancouga figure.
This was the reason why I fell in love with this toy in the first place, the proportions have been exaggerated to emphasis the Super Robot physic, and the blocky 80’s design has been updated with modern angles and shapes. Simply put, this guy looks bloody awesome front and back!
Comparing the limited version to the normal version, they are about 90% the same. The differences, although few, makes a huge difference to the overall toy. Hard to spot at first glance, the limited version sports an all new sculpted head design, new hip design to improve articulation as well as die-cast calf parts to improve stability by placing extra weight on the legs. Die-cast parts are scarce, and the limited version only gains an additional 55grams, going from 224gm to 279gm (without wing or booster). The new head design is a dramatic improvement on the normal version, which looks like a teenage version of the limited version.
Black wing: Unfortunately the Black Wing is non-transformable, but it is nicely made and adds heaps of value to this limited offering. It has a total wing span of 360mm, huge! The head also opens up to reveal the Final DankuHo weapon (ファイナル断空砲) which fires a massive energy beam and destroys everything it touches.
Articulation isn’t its strong point, but it does okay in most poses thanks to it’s beautiful sculpt. In total there are 14 points of articulation, the knee although double jointed is still somewhat restrictive. The hip joints have been vastly improved from the normal version but I wished they could have done something about the shoulders as well. The arms at the lowest position still sticks out sideways and is unable to be placed in a “relax” position.
Most of the dark grey “body bits” are moulded in colour but where there are paint, it is generally neat and tidy but nothing too special. I don’t really have any complaints here but not a lot to highlight either. Photos of some of the paint job up close.
When there is nothing attached to the back of Dancouga, There are plug pieces included to cover the ugly connecting holes (plugged on the right side in photo). When attaching Black Wing to the back, you have to disconnect the DankuHo and replace with a connector piece, this allows for a much tighter connection between Dancouga and Black Wing.
Good sculptural detail on the tank tracks on the legs, feet and arms, unfortunately they are all static. The feet does have a special mechanism which allows it to be extended about 4mm out, I think this may help when posing Dancouga in dynamic poses but not by a lot. The little cannons on the DankuHo can rotate up and down, neat.
Surely this is a must have for all you Dancouga fans out there, unfortunately I’m sure there are definitely more than 1,800 of you. The normal version is good, and looks great on display but if you plan on playing with it then I’d give it a miss as it will cause you more frustration than fun.
I acquired mine from Yahoo Auctions Japan, they do pop up from time to time (I’ve seen 4 in about 4 months), but I doubt they’ll ever come up in eBay but no harm in trying. Happy hunting everyone:)
Thanks for reading my toy review!