Max Gohkin XD-01 Dragonar-1 ドラグナー

Hey guys, sorry for the absence of activity in the last few weeks, been very busy with various things including moving house (yet to find one but all packed up!) and doing some freelance design work. Any who, moving onto the main event, I have been looking forward to reviewing this guy ever since I first laid eyes on the prototype photos, and here he is, MAX Gohkin Dragonar-1 XD-01!

Background:

Max Gohkin XD-01 Dragonar-1Metal Armour Dragonar (機甲戦記ドラグナー) is a 48 episode mecha anime series created by Sunrise, first airing from 1987. The series gained good ratings and had a loyal fan base however it failed to surpass Mobile Suite Gundam ZZ which was release prior, so it never made it to the second series.

The story takes place in the year 2087, and revolves around three main characters Kaine, Tapp and Light who are close friends and fellow EA (Earth Alliance) trainees. I won’t go into the story to much, as I haven’t actually finished the series, but the three guys find themselves the pilots of three prototype Metal Armours (mechas) called Dragonars, stolen from the Lunar Empire of Giganos who aims to take over Earth. They pilot the Dragonars to defend Earth against the military force of Giganos.

Name: XD-01 Dragonar-1
Manufacturer: Max Factory
Line: Max合金 Gohkin
Sculptor: Max Factory
Scale: Non-scale
Material: ZNDC, ABS, SBS, POM, Die-cast
Release: Jan 2010
Original Price: ¥22,800 (approx. $270AUD / $245USD)
Height: 190mm / 7.48inches (to top of head)

Packaging:

The packaging comes in three parts, the outer cardboard box, and two layers of interlocking polystyrene box. The outer box has nice artwork of the Dragonar mecha as well as photos of the toy itself showing all the features and detail, well executed, sturdy and even comes with a plastic handle so you can carry it like a briefcase! Open the outer box, you will see the instructions as well as a pair of gloves on the lid of the inner box.

  • Dragonar packaging outer box
  • Dragonar packaging inner lid

Below that, the first layer holds Dragonar-1, his weapons and Lifter (wing). One more layer down, you’ll find the display stand, hands, beam sabers and accessories. Everything is covered in plastic and fits snuggly in their allocated place. The only thing I found strange was that the box wasn’t taped shut for the “sealed” in MISB.

  • Dragonar packaging inner box top layer
  • Dragonar packaging inner box bottom layer

Accessories:

You get a pair of white gloves with this figure, which I’m guessing is so that you don’t leave finger prints as you handle the toy, but seriously unless you have hands like and 10 year old kid, these are practically useless. I have small hands already, size 7 or “s” to be exact and you can see how stretched the fingers are.

  • Dragonar accessories - gloves
  • Dragonar rapid-fire hand rail gun

Of course, Dragonar-1 comes armed with his usual arsenal of weaponry, including his primary weapon, the rapid-firing hand rail gun nicely painted in dark metallic green. Also included are two pairs of beam sabers with an optional handle for double sided beam action! There’s also the signature shield that resides on his left arm as well as the little round ones that clip onto each side. A pair of machetes are also included, but somewhat plain – moulded in black and left unpainted.

  • Dragonar beam saber and shield
  • Dragonar double beam saber
  • Dragonar machete
  • Dragonar soft vs hard antenna

You also get a pair of soft antennas however I personally prefer the hard ones as they look sharper. As you can see in the photo, the soft one is on the left and hard one on the right for comparison. The biggest accessory of all, is of course the Lifter with moving lower wings and thrusters, however it has its problems which I’ll address later on. And lastly, a huge display base with cavities to fit all the accessories is also included.

  • Dragonar Lifter
  • Dragonar display stand

Form/Sculpt:

The biggest selling point for this figure lies within its sharp well proportioned form. Unfortunately looks can be deceiving. You see, the design was excellent, arguably the best looking interpretation of the Dragonar-1 mecha out there, much more aggressive looking than both of Bandai’s offerings but much to my disappointment there is a serious lack of die-cast for a MAX Gohkin toy and the overall quality is sub-par especially being a Max Factory release (the same company that brought us the awesome KARAS, Guyver, and Figma figures). Speaking of die-cast parts, I actually can’t see or feel any so I can’t be 100% there is any in there at all, especially weighing in at only 285 grams with the lifter on.

Update 27/03/10: Just did a “magnet test” on the toy, and it does in fact contain metal parts. Not sure if they are die-cast parts or just screws but the magnet reaction came from chest area, waist area, shoulder joints, elbow joints and the knee joints.

Dragonar-1 front and back view

Articulation/Action:

The Dragonar-1 toy does alright in this department, able to be placed in a range of great looking poses (that is if you can get over the fact that bits will drop off here and there as you pose the figure). Most joints are pretty tight but are held only by friction which means sooner or later they will loosen up. My particular figure came with slightly pre-loosened knees, which are double jointed but still does not allow a clean kneel. The only ratchet joint on this toy is in the waist for the “bow” movement, would have been nice to have them in the knee and elbow joints too!

  • Dragonar shoot!
  • Dragonar ready for duel
  • Dragonar double beam saber
  • Dragonar kneel?
  • Dragonar going in for the kill
  • Dragonar going to battle
  • Dragonar in flight
  • Dragonar kick

Paint/Print:

Paint job on this figure is pretty average and to be honest I was expecting something better. It should have been better, much better. Paint is thin in places, wobbly and uneven in others, some bits don’t line up and some look like they’ve been painted by a 10 year old (see the photo of Lifter wing hinge).

  • Dragonar shield paint
  • Dragonar thin paint on shoulders
  • Dragonar paint on legs don't line up properly
  • Dragonar Lifter hinge paint looks like its been painted by a kid!

There is a bit of panel lining, and again this looks very much done by an amateur. I even found a huge paint chip on the left hand side waist apron. The worst of the bad I can see on my figure is on the feet cover, here you can see the paint has actually bubbled.

  • Dragonar panel lining
  • Dragonar uneven panel lining on legs and thin paint
  • Dragonar waist apron paint chip!!:(
  • Dragonar bubbled paint

Detail/Features:

One cool thing on this toy is the moving knee part, as you bend the legs at the knees the knee part slides up. Not entirely useful but cool nonetheless. The elbow pad part is one of “those” bits I mentioned earlier that would fall off as you handle the figure, best to superglue this in place. And I’ve just noticed now looking at that photo, one more thing to add to the list of woeful paint work is the hair painted over on the forearm!

  • Dragonar moving knee panel
  • Dragonar loose elbow pad

This version also has the removable grenade on the shoulder pad, nothing too fancy but I thought I’d mention it anyway. One thing that really bugs me above all else on this toy, is the yellow Earth Alliance “star” motif on Dragonar-1’s chest. You can see where they have cut this part off the sprue, it looks like someone has taken a chunk out of it!!

  • Dragonar shoulder grenade
  • Dragonar chest motif with missing chunk

The thing with this toy is, everything seems to be just off the mark, this also applies to the fitment of accessories to the figure, nothing “clicks” in or fits just right, an example of this is the round shield that attached to the forearms. You can see how uneven the clasp is, one tiny nudge and the shield falls off. Comparison in size to the Bandai release, the Max Factory version is much bigger, and from a distance does look much nicer, but bigger isn’t always better.

  • Dragonar shield clasp does not fit properly
  • Dragonar Max Factory vs Bandai

Overall:

This was such an anticipated toy by so many people including me, but even without the build up of the anticipation this toy hardly lives up to the usual standard of Max Factory releases. It has sloppy paint work, lack of die-cast, terrible quality control and huge price tag. What a way to ruin a great design and awesome sculpt. Playing with this toy feels like I’m playing with the production prototype. Heck, even the production prototype in the press release photos look better than the real thing!

I’ve always been a huge supporter of Max Factory and their products, what went wrong here? If someone’s neck is not on the line for this, I’d be very surprised.

Thanks for reading my toy review!



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5 Comments

    Update: Just did a “magnet test” on the toy, and it does in fact contain metal parts. Not sure if they are die-cast parts or just screws but the magnet reaction came from chest area, waist area, shoulder joints, elbow joints and the knee joints.

  • selling my Dragonar on eBay to make shelf space 0.99NR http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320608491306#ht_1721wt_905

  • I loved your blog post.Thanks Again. Keep writing.

    • Thanks! Please keep visiting:)

    Hi davidgoh, I staetrd playing on the iPhone and now with the iPad. Reached the present score with the iPad. I did not keep track as to how many times I played but it has been a few times per week for about 3-4 months.I probably will keep trying to get a complete destruction with zero birds probably on to see if it can still be accomplished.Your technique did work for me in the past. When this level froze at 3070 I flung a few birds to see what results could be obtained and came a little under your results.

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