GN-U Dou #011 Kenryu ケンリュウ
I’m sure all of you at some stage during your childhood would have come across Machine Robo / Gobots / Robo Machine / Robo Machine Men? Well turns out, I had too, but without me knowing it until only recently. They are actually all the same, given different names for different markets, but all came from Japan from a toy line first released by Popy (ポピー) in 1982 called Machine Robo (マシンロボ). – Same age as me=).
Machine Robo toys started out as a small assortment of Matchbox car sized transforming vehicles that retailed for ¥600, known as the “600 series”. Not to be confused with The Transformers, a different toy line by Takara that also features transforming robots to vehicles, which was their main competition. Machine Robo debuted their first anime TV series in 1986 in response to The Transformers anime released a year earlier in 1985.
In the 1986 anime, Machine Robo: Revenge of Cronos (マシンロボ クロノスの大逆襲), the story takes place on the mechanical world of Cronos, where a band of villains called Gyandlar have come to the planet in search of the mythical energy known as the Hyribead. (wiki).
The main protagonist Rom Stol, can summon and combine with Kenryu (ケンリュウ) and Baikanfu (バイカンフー) to gain more power using the Wolf Sword Kenrō (剣狼). Kenryu is a larger robot body of Rom Stol, which increase his power by tens. Baikanfu is the largest robot body of Rom, it can synchronies with the planet’s energy and draw upon the power of nature itself!
Name: Kenryu (ケンリュウ)
Material: ABS, PVC, POM
Release: Nov 2008
Original Price: ¥3,150 (approx. $39AUD / $35USD)
Height: 140mm / 5.5inches
Kenryu is fairly well secured in his box, contained between a sandwich of plastic lining with a sheet of plastic material to keep him from moving and getting scratched up in transit. The box has a window that extends to the top side giving a good view of the figure, the accessories are not visible but you can see them in the photos on the back of the box. Overall it is a good clean design for the packaging which is used throughout the GN-U Dou line.
Only two accessories come with this figure, the Wolf Sword Kenrō and shield. Not to complain as this character doesn’t have any other weapons anyway, but the hand holding the Wolf Sword is actually moulded as a single piece with the hilt of the sword. Good thing is the sword will never be loose in the hand, bad thing is the sword is now restricted to be held in the right hand only, and cannot be used with other figures.
I really like Yamato’s interpretation of this mecha. The lines are very clean and bold which really bring this 80’s design into the modern world. In comparison to Bandai’s DX offering, Yamato’s design is much simpler, but still manages to capture the mecha’s essence perfectly. If there was something to be picky about, I’d suggest perhaps Yamato could have made the calf slimmer and the feet slightly smaller?
This is another toy line that really prides itself in the articulation department. The figures are all made with a standard inner frame that is designed in CAD for precision and made in ABS for durability. The body panels of the specific character are then clipped on top of the frame. As you can see, with the body panels off, the inner frame is remarkably articulated.
Unfortunately with all the body panels back on, articulation is somewhat restricted as you can imagine. This is especially apparent in the waist and hip joints. The waist has lost 90% of its movement and the legs can no longer be raised above the waist. This is not so much a problem as Kenryu is a mecha, not a gymnist.
This section should be renamed, “The Lack of Paint/Print” for this review. Paint is very sparse on this figure, only a few places get the paint treatment, including the face, the sword and shield, and a few spots around the body. At least the paint work is nice and tidy but the biggest let down is the lack of the wolf symbol on Kenryu’s chest. I would have thought this goes hand in hand with the character identity?
Not much detail to mention for this figure, although an interesting thing to note is most parts are interchangeable with other figures from the GN-U Dou line, you can make some pretty interesting combinations!
This is quite a well designed toy, it is very durable to play with and looks great on display. If you have a spare wolf head decal, this would almost be the perfect Kenryu as the only other offering for this character is Bandai’s Soul of Chogokin GX-39 which is at 6 times the price (¥18,900).
Thanks for reading my toy review!