Soul of Chogokin DX Voltes V

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Soul of Chogokin DX Voltes V

Box is really big! Measures 24.5 x 18.5 x 9 inches in dimension.

Philippine market holo sticker at the bottom of the box.

As another throwback to the original 1970’s Popy DX “Volt In Box” design, this set has a handle included. It does seem thick and sturdy, but I think I would avoid using it for fear of breakage, as this boxset is really heavy.

It’s essentially like opening up a briefcase.

The set comes with batteries included on a separate tray:
LR41 x3
LR44 x7
AA Battery x2

“C0ckpit capsules” featuring all five pilots are included. Unfortunately, Bandai didn’t label the c0ckpit capsules with numbers on the sides as seen in the Anime. Folks with color blindness are going to be really confused who’s who here (they can only see blue and yellows, they cannot see reds or greens).

The manual features a beautiful illustration by artist Kazuhiro Ochi. I sure wish Bandai included a jumbo sized poster of this somehow.

Volt Cruiser

Piloted by the eldest of the three Go siblings, Kenichi is the team leader and controls Voltes V when it is combined.

C0ckpit capsule

The battery compartment is located on Voltes’ nape. Cruiser requires 3x LR41 button batteries.

The switch for the electronics is located here.

Landing gears can be flipped down.

The Volt Cruiser includes the Crew Cutter attachment. Just push down on the default wings to pop them loose and reattach these parts in.

Also included is the Crew Boomerang weapon. Just push down on the yellow fins and the tip of the nosecone should pop open.

In the show, it shoots just like an oversized boomerang, then returns to the Cruiser’s nosecone afterwards.

Volt Bomber

Piloted by Ippei Mine, a former rodeo champion. His cynical nature has him often at odds with the temperamental Kenichi.

C0ckpit capsule

Landing gear

The rear landing gears are actually spring-loaded. Pressing down on this button will automatically release the wheels.

Volt Panzer

Piloted by the second eldest Go, Daijiro. The Panzer is the only unit to house a Nuclear reactor that functions as the main power supply for Voltes in combined mode. Daijiro has the important task of controlling the power output for Voltes.

C0ckpit capsule – I personally found this one the hardest to fit in, since the assembly slides in, it’s tricky to maneuver it into the right place.

The front chest plate can actually be removed for you to install the batteries.

The electronics on the Panzer run on 3x LR44 button batteries. The switch is also located next to the battery panel.

Panzer features extendable working claws.

Too bad it can’t extend all the way to the front like a bulldozer though.

The Panzers legs are meant to be able to be locked down. Just plug the tabs (marked red) into the ports (marked green) to securely fasten them.

Volt Frigate

Piloted by the youngest Go, Hiyoshi, the Volt Frigate functions as a repair unit for the other Volt Machines while in the field.

C0ckpit capsule

Battery compartments are located on each leg of the Frigate. Each leg requires 2x LR44 button batteries.

Bandai took some creative liberties here and added these bars to keep the legs level. They weren’t there in the Anime. Fortunately, you can collapse them if you don’t like seeing them.

Landing gears

The rear landing gears are a bit tricky to get out, but not as bad as how it was with the DX Combattler (Grr… those stick tick me off to this day). Ironically, Bandai didn’t include a pick or anything this time around for flicking hard to reach areas (they sometimes include a pick for some of the finicky SOCs)… guess we gotta provide our own spudgers?

Volt Lander

Piloted by Megumi Oka, daughter of the General of the Earth Defense Forces. The Lander functions as a reconnaissance unit, capable of gathering and analyzing data even in the heat of battle.

C0ckpit capsule – like the Panzer, it’s difficult to set it in place. You basically have to push it all the way into the back, until you hear a “click”, meaning it’s now locked in place in the rack in the back.

In the Anime, Megumi is usually seen riding in the left foot. But both canopies can be opened here so you can alternate if you feel like it.

There’s an ejection gimmick here for the c0ckpit capsule. You’re supposed to push the slider forward so you can pop the capsule out.

The halves of the Lander are held together via magnets.

Pushing down on this button “frees” the wheels to roll. This is a safety feature so that Voltes won’t accidentally roll off a display shelf. Pushing down on the entire Lander will force the button back up and lock the wheels again.

Flip out Lander Drills.

V Formation!

The set includes a huge letter V! It’s so massive, you can actually place all the Volt Machines on top of it!

“V Together!! Let’s Volt In!”


TRANSFORMATION NOTES
MOST IMPORTANT TRANSFORMATION STEP!!!!

To connect the Panzer and the Frigate, you have to actually split open the hips first. -To unlock the hips, press this button, then slide the hips to the sides.

The hips should like this….

Doing this will give you the clearance to slide the Panzer’s locks into position. If you don’t do this step, then you risk damaging the locks.

After the Panzer has docked, then slide the hips back into position again to lock the connection in place. To disconnect the Panzer, press the button and pull the hips to the side and the Panzer should slide out freely.



-Remember to extend or collapse the main section of the Cruiser before folding the head out.

-Cruiser’s missile pods need to be swapped out for the helmet’s “ears” to have the right color.

-Don’t forget to close the front landing gear covers on the Bomber properly. Otherwise, if the panels aren’t closed flush, they will snag when you collapse the front section of the Bomber during combination, this might result in damage to the cover panels.

-The Bomber is supposed to look like this when it’s ready to combine.

-These pieces on the Panzer need to be flipped out before connecting the Frigate in.

-This connector piece for locking in the Panzer tracks can actually be flipped around to hide it from sight (you can do this for both sides).

-This slider bar on the Frigate can be moved, its purpose is to hold the spring-loaded towers on the Frigate up or down in combination mode. Slide it to the back to unlock the towers, then slide them to their original position to hold the towers inside the thighs.

The Frigate’s supposed to look like this when it’s ready for connecting.

-The Lander’s c0ckpit can actually rotate while inside the Lander, just like in the combination sequence in the Anime. Simply rotate this gear here.

This will shift the c0ckpit 90 degrees counterclockwise.

-The Lander’s antennae are meant to be folded to the back, not to the front.

-To release the Lander connection, press on this button. It’s not quite enough though, you still will need to apply some force to pull it free from the Frigate.



Voltes Five!


Created by the brilliant Professor Go as a last line of defense for Earth against the coming Boazanian invasion. The series was really ahead of its time. The stories and characters felt grounded (not silly) and both sides lost important people in the war. Even after more than 40 years, I think this is still one of the best Super Robot series ever made.

Same as with the regular SOC Voltes, the set comes with optional hands and ball-jointed wrist peg plates.

The elbows can be hyper-extended.

Note that the Lander’s antennae are simply just plugged in place and can be accidentally popped off.

I love the fact that the actual figure is roughly the same size as the image on the back and front of the box. It’s not 100% fit to scale but it’s close enough. Certainly better than the way Metal Build Mazinger Z Infinity’s box projected the wrong idea of how tall the actual figure was.



Voltes’ attacks

Voltes Beam!


Gatling Missile!


Grand Fire!


Chain Knuckle!

Requires some assembly.

Bandai used a really impressive thick chain here. Nice touch.


Chodenji String!

You can customize how you want the String to form up, thanks to the multiple curved pieces included.


Chodenji Goma!

Same with the Chodenji String, you have optional pieces to work with, including a different tip that features a “loop” for the tops.

To connect the tops, remove the default bottom pin and replace it with the thinner pin so the tops can fit into the String.


Voltes Bazooka!

A bazooka round is included.

The bazooka is spring-loaded and really fires!!!

To load the round into the “chamber”, you’re supposed to remove the muzzle first, slap in the bullet and then reconnect the muzzle. This is all so you can actually fire the bullet by pressing against Voltes’ hand (the trigger).

I personally prefer to not have the right arm rotated “over the shoulder level”. Fortunately, you have the option to pose the Voltes Bazooka like so.



Tenkuuken!!

The chest piece is actually held in place with magnets.

Do note that the Tenkuuken/ Laser Sword actually has an optional little peg you can push out to have Voltes grip it more securely with just one hand.

Tenkuuken V no Jikiri!

(lol… I can’t believe I borrowed my daughter’s stuffed hamster for this.)



Taka (Eagle) Mecha / Mechanical Eagle

The “secret ship that saves the day” is also included with this set. The mystery surrounding it when it first appeared generated a lot of buzz for fans of the show. No internet to spoil things for folks.

The beak opens.

The Mechanical Eagle seemed bigger in the show to me.

Halfway through the series, the Boazans upgrade the armor of their Beast Fighters, resulting in Voltes’ Sword now unable to cut through the plating. A mysterious Mechanical Eagle suddenly appears and later on attaches to Voltes an upgraded Chodenji Ball Control Device to increase and stabilize its power output so it can now fire a new weapon called the Chodenji Ball from the tip of its sword to negate the improvements of the enemy’s armor. You can attach the Control Device along with the Mechanical Eagle via magnets in a secret compartment located on Voltes’ back.

Chodenji Ball Control Device

The “legs” of the ship can be folded out.

Voltes’ back compartment opens up to accommodate the Control Device.

Voltes Tank Mode

Another throwback to the original 1970s toy, while this mode was never seen or mentioned in the Anime, it was something that the vintage toy could do. Voltes’ predecessor, Combattler V also had a tank mode but that one did make an appearance as a final attack late in the series.

Make sure the Panzer’s legs are adjusted like so, so they match the height of the Lander in the back, otherwise the tank mode will look awkward.



Boazan Army Disc/ UFO

Impressively, Bandai took this thing a step further, you can actually spin the blades on the UFO, instead of just giving us a static figure. Nice touch.

With the Volt Machines

When the Volt Machines took out the UFOs in the first episode, I could’ve sworn the saucers were bigger than this. Now I feel bad for the guys in the saucer. lol…

Flight stands for the Boazan Disc and Taka Mecha



Display Base

Take note that the Frigate’s catapult requires additional assembly. You have to tab these legs onto the catapult’s bottom.

The big “V” can be plugged on the back of the platform for additional visual effect.

The “head” of the Falcon is pretty spot on.

It’s a shame the beak doesn’t open. It opened during certain events in the Anime, like when giving Voltes a power boost and such.

As a bonus, you can recreate the launch sequence for the Volt Machines, just
tack on the additional attachments before you plug them in the display tower.

They’re a little difficult to get in at first, but once you get an idea of how it’s supposed to go, it gets easier to plug in.

I don’t know if I assembled it wrong, but somehow the capsules get in the way of the Cruiser’s parking. As there are grooves on the catapult for the Cruiser’s landing gears, there’s a specific spot to park the Cruiser, if you place the capsules in a “V” formation, this hinders the Cruiser from parking right.

I eventually decided on tilting the tower back a bit so that there would be better clearance. It works but now there’s a gap there. I find it very odd that this is an issue. Ah well…

The assembly for attaching combined Voltes to the display base requires removing all the catapults plus the tower, and adding this attachment piece to hold Voltes in place.

Voltes plugs in very securely.

Be mindful of the Lander’s antennae snagging to the arch base, this happened to me, which caused the antenna to come off (see above).


The display base eats up a lot of shelf space. Its dimensions are 17 x 13.25 x 19.5 inches (LxWxH)




Electronics Department

-Display base requires 2x AA batteries. Batteries are included.

-Bandai used sound bites from Kenichi Goh’s original voice actor, Yukinaga Shiraishi for this set.

-The set features a total of 27 different audio tracks, including music soundtrack from the show (activated on the display base) and there are 14 different voice patterns for Kenichi.

-Pressing the 5 buttons on the base will play 5 different songs.
(1) “Votes V no Uta” / “The Song of Voltes V” (Vocals: Horikita Mitoko)
(2) “Boazan Gunsou Kougeki Kaishi”
(3) “Let’s Volt-in!”
(4) “Voltes Zettai Sezumei”
(5) “Hissatsu! Tenkuuken V no Jikiri”

-Not all Volt Machines have electronics. The Bomber and Lander don’t have any working electronics on them, just the Cruiser, Panzer and Frigate (hmm… only the 3 Go brothers) .

-To activate Voltes’ eyes, use the red tab on Voltes’ nape to push down on this button. Do note that the eyes will NOT light up unless the Cruiser is plugged into the Bomber, this also activates a separate set of audio clips from the Cruiser.

-Voltes only has two buttons for electronics, but it requires an alternating sequence to access all the commands. Pushing either button will make the yellow circle on Voltes’ chest glow or pulsate.

-The button layout, Button A and Button B:

-Pressing just the Button B will randomly generate three sounds, followed by sound effects:
–Voltes Beam!
–Chodenji Wave!
–Chodenji Beam!

-To activate specific attacks, you have to cycle through them by pressing Button A numerous times and then press Button B to get to the attack you want.
–1 time Button A, then Button B- Grand Fire
–2 times Button A, then Button B- Chain Knuckle
–3 times Button A, then Button B- Chodenji String
–4 times Button A, then Button B- Chodenji Goma
–5 times Button A, then Button B- Gatling Missile
–6 times Button A, then Button B- Voltes Bazooka
–7 times Button A, then Button B- Tenkuuken

After pressing Button A on the 7th time and then pressing Button B, the Tenkuuken mode will be active. Pressing Button A again will then result in another different set of electronic sounds to play out, namely Kenichi shouting out various slashing patterns for the Tenkuuken.

-1 time – lighting sound effects
-2 times – “Tenkuuken V no Jigiri!” (Tenkuuken V-Slash!)
-3 times – “Tenkuuken Karateke Wari!” (straight vertical slash)
-4 times – “Tenkuuken Ichimon Jigiri!” (single slash)
-5 times- “Tenkuuken Nidangiri!” (Double slash)

For an alternate take, after pressing Button A on the 7th time and then pressing Button B, and then pressing Button B again (instead of A), you will get the Chodenji Ball scenario, with the sound of the Chodenji Ball attack powering up. Pressing Button A or B will now result in a random slash attack being shouted out.

Note that while in Tenkuuken mode, you have to let the whole scene play out (until the explosion sounds are finished). You will not be able to access the other non-Tenkuuken attack patterns until the Tenkuuken mode is done.

Also, there doesn’t seem to be an automatic timer shut down for the electronics this time. I could still access Buttons A and B anytime after leaving the unit alone for more than 5 minutes. So be mindful of this and manually switch off the electronics so it won’t drain the batteries.




Comparisons with other Voltes V figures.

(L-R)Vintage Godaikin , SOC DX , SOC Full Action, SOC Gx-31 40th Anniversary, Bearbrick, Action Toy’s Mini-Deformed and Mini Action Voltes.



For the curious, yes, the old Popy/ Godaikin Voltes is still heavier, but only by 45 Grams (1507 vs 1462 Grams) ,

Boxes comparison (SOC DX Voltes’ box is way bigger and thicker).



Comparison with his “older brother”, the SOC DX Combattler V

For the unfamiliar, Voltes was originally meant to be a sequel to Combattler V, before changes were made to the original draft. We did get a cameo from Juuzou Naniwa, the pilot of the Battle Crasher, in Daijiro Go(Big Bert)’s introduction scene in the pilot episode (he’s one of the guys Bert hits in the face with his bo staff).



The Good

-The weigh in:
–Volt Cruiser – 64 Grams
–Volt Bomber – 229 Grams
–Volt Panzer – 328 Grams
–Volt Frigate – 452 Grams
–Volt Lander – 369 Grams
–Taka Mecha – 25 Grams
–Boazan Army Disc – 28 Grams
–Voltes V – 1462 Grams (DX Combattler is 1635 Grams)

-Voltes stands roughly 14.5 inches tall.



-Diecast parts include:
–Volt Cruiser – Booster nozzles, Voltes’ helmet (except the nosecone)
–Volt Bomber – Voltes’ shoulder joints, landing gears
–Volt Panzer – Voltes’ chest plate
–Volt Frigate – Voltes’ joints, landing gear, dorsal thigh plates
–Volt Lander – All the red sections
–No diecast parts on the Taka Mecha and Boazan Army Disc

-Chromed antennae on Frigate and Lander!

-Lots of electronic play value! Bandai really outdid themselves here.

-The music tracks!!! Ohhh.. the oh, so sweet music tracks. Voltes had one of the most impressive music BGMs in Super Robot Anime. Past DX Soul of Chogokins only had 3 music tracks at the most, and none had battle BGMs included. Voltes here is the first and he comes with 4 BGM tracks to boot! Thanks, Bandai!

-Articulated fingers on the default hands.

-Thicker rubber treads on the Panzer. Hopefully this means they won’t break easily.

-Gotta love the “V” effect. Really cool of Bandai to throw this in.

-Display base looks awesome! Certainly way better than DX Combattler’s in terms of visual impact. It really makes you stop to look at it when displayed with everything loaded on.

-Lots of improvements over the DX Combattler, especially with regards to the weapon accessories. In a lot of ways, the DX Combattler felt incomplete, seeing DX Voltes like this just makes that seem even more so.

-I love the inclusion of the smaller ships like the Eagle Mecha and the Boazan saucer, it’s crazy little details like this that fans love.

-Rubberized pads included for the display base.

-Firing Voltes Bazooka!!! I did not expect that! Firing gimmicks, another first for the DX line!



The Bad

-No waist swivel, but that’s expected.

-While the Cruiser comes with weapon attachments, the other units don’t. I would’ve loved to see some of the Bomber’s weapons included here.

-Admittedly, the little notches on Voltes’ torso for the Panzer legs are an eyesore. I wish Bandai included covers or some means of flipping them around so they don’t stick out in the combined mode. It’s like Voltes has low-hanging, inverted nipples or something.

-The front landing gear for Frigate can be a bit … awkward.. when you spot it from certain angles when Voltes is combined. I wish there was a plate cover for this too.

-While the Falcon head on the display base looks great, it’s too bad the beak doesn’t open.

-Electronics don’t have adjustable volume. I wonder why Bandai couldn’t reproduce what they did with the electronics on the Gx-67 Captain Harlock Arcadia? To date, that one is still the only SOC ever to feature adjustable volume for the audio.

-No mini-rubber monsters or Chogokin pen ala Popy “Volt in Box” included? Boooooo…

-It’s a shame they didn’t include the series’ ending theme song “Chichi wo Motomete”, as the lyrics were penned by Tadao Nagahama himself. Bandai usually includes ending themes when it comes to electronics with music tracks.

-Even though it’s still got a decent amount of diecast, the overall set is lighter by roughly 10% compared to the DX Combattler V. But, hey, at least he’s still heavier than the DX Mazingers.

-Yep… the lower legs are still plastic, just like with the DX Combattler V. Feeling a large portion of plastic on a pricey DX “Chogokin” feels very … disappointing, to say the least. Fortunately, it doesn’t feel as hollow as the plastic they used for DX Combattler’s legs, so it’s an improvement… ?

-While it is cool that the chest piece is held in place with magnets, I do kinda wish they put the magnets on the opposite end, so that we won’t see the exposed magnets on Voltes.

-This section on the Frigate tends to slide loose when you lift Voltes off the table while the Lander is connected due to the weight. Kind of annoying.

-The lights for Voltes’ eyes aren’t as bright as I had hoped.

-I wish there was a way to always leave the lights on for Voltes’ eyes. They only turn on for a few seconds when you push the button on the Cruiser (while Kenichi shouts Voltes’ name).

-Sadly, the head and neck don’t have a wide range of articulation. I guess it is what it is.

-No “opening belly” for the Chodenji Goma/ Ultra Electromagnetic Tops. But I guess that one would take a miracle of engineering, with all that’s going on inside the Panzer.

-No “X-ray mode” removable armor panels like on the DX Mazingers. (I know, I know, manage expectations, but I can always dream).

lol… Voltes sans chest plate seems really weird.



The Ugly

The gapping holes on Voltes’ shoulders for the Bomber’s fins. I know it’s all for the sake of “Anime-accuracy” when it comes to the transformation, but I really, really wish Bandai included something to cover that up (they “bent the rules” a bit with the SOC Daltanious and Daimos transformations, why not here?). I’ve seen some folks create their own covers using 3D printed materials, but things could’ve been simpler if Bandai included some sort of cover plate from the get go.

The same goes for the slits on the forearms. I know they’re supposed to be for connecting the arms to the center unit of the Bomber, but Bandai could’ve at least used different “closed” molds for the lateral sides of the forearms, instead of using the same entire mold for both arms, resulting in slits on both sides of both forearms.

Alternately, something feels “off” with the plastic used for the arch for the display base. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like this is the sort of plastic that turns brittle too soon and cracks easily over time? You can feel it when you’re trying to connect and disconnect the main arch to the base, there’s a certain “brittleness” that feels weird (it should feel more durable or malleable) and I was half-expecting stress marks when I was done with everything (luckily I didn’t see any stress marks). I hope I’m wrong and I’m just over-thinking it.


Personal pet peeve
The white lines on Voltes’ “helmet”. I know it’s supposed to be a homage to the original DX Popy toy, but it bugs me that Bandai went through all the trouble of doing things for the sake of “Anime-accuracy” (Bomber’s fin transformation), and then suddenly goes a different direction with regards to the helmet. Guess they were trying to go for “best of both worlds”? I wish they just went all red for the helmet, just like with the regular SOC GX release.


Overall, an amazing, amazing piece! Bandai designers outdid themselves here. Definite engineering improvements over the DX Combattler (heavy ratcheted shoulders top the list) and then topped it off with lots of minute details and fan service. I suppose the only real buzzkill for this set would have be the crazy prices for it on the secondary markets after early preorders sold out.

I have to say, a huge part of this set making an epic first impression stems from the crazy size of the box, along with the heavy nostalgia (the music tracks) and gimmicks worked into everything (the big “V”, the c0ckpit capsules, the Big Falcon head, the firing Voltes Bazooka). Honestly, receiving and opening this set would get anyone’s excitement going.

I really enjoyed handling this set right from the moment I got it out of the outer brown box, it gave me nothing but smiles. A strong recommend for this release for me.


Funfact: In the Anime, the Cruiser is the fastest Volt Machine, flying at top speeds of Mach 20. While the other Volt Machines range Mach 18 (Bomber), 17 (Lander), 16 (Frigate) and 15 (Panzer).

Funfact 2: Ippei Mine/ Mark Gordon, pilot of the Volt Bomber is actually the grandson of Professor Hamaguchi/ Doctor Smith, according to the Japanese Wiki entries for the characters. I can’t really recall this ever being mentioned on the show?

Funfact 3: Voltes was originally conceived to have a gun as his finishing move (the Voltes Bazooka?), which fits since Kenichi was already written to be an expert marksman. But thanks to some convincing from Popy/Bandai, the finishing move in the final draft before the series was fully made was changed into a sword to better hype sales for the toys.

Gold



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