Soul of Chogokin Gx-39R Machine Robo: Revenge of Chronos Baikanfu (2017 Renewal version)

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Soul of Chogokin Gx-39R Machine Robo: Revenge of Chronos Baikanfu (2017 Renewal Version).

Watch out for this little connector piece for the swords for Rom. It can get lost easily since it’s on the edge of the tray. I’m definitely not a fan of this decision.

Series opening credits

Series opening credits 2

Rom Stol

Rom Stol is a master of the martial art Tenkū Chūshin Ken (Sky Space Heart Fist style). With his sword, Kenro, he can travel accross dimensional barriers and summon forth Keryu and Baikanfu.

Rom also comes with a pointing right hand accessory, for daunting his opponents… or for bossing other Machine Robos around..?

With Kenro

To do this pose, you have to use the spare “sword holding right hand”. It has a looser grip and is included specifically for this pose.

During the finale of the TV series, Rom receives his brother’s sword the Nagase (Shooting Star). He combines both swords to finish off Gadess, the leader of the Gyandlar empire.

Both swords can be connected at the handle with the use of this connector piece.

I repeat, be mindful not to loose this little connector piece.

Tenkū Shin Ken secret technique – Nitou Ichiji!

Mask-less head

Leina Stol

Like he brother, Rom, she can also use Tenkū Chūshin Ken. She inherits the Kenro sword after Rom inherits the Nagase from their eldest brother.

With her dear brother.

Leina is generally the team’s muse and hangs out with the team’s comedy relief, Triple Jim. She later becomes the main hero of the OVA after her brother falls in battle and she continues the fight using Kenro.

The helmetless head is still included.

Kenryu

When Rom finishes his combination with Kenryu, he usually gives a short speech, along the lines of “Wherever there is darkness, there is light. Wherever there is evil there is also good! The emissary from the Heavens, Kenryu, is here!”

Bandai included the same “body double” as before. I was really hoping they would modify it to cover the large gaps or even put some paint on it for the R version. No such luck. Seeing the empty gaps in Kenryu if Rom isn’t plugged in sort of bothers me.

The whole point of the body double is for the spine of the toy to stay upright even if the inner figure isn’t plugged in. Otherwise the spine would tend to droop forward since it works via ball joints.

With Rom plugged in, Kenryu’s poseability is hampered. It’s more recommended to use the body double to give Kenryu more freedom to move and at the same time, prevent scratches on Rom.

Kenryu can also use Kenro and he is the only form that uses a shield.

Sigh.. I cannot unsee those visible gaps.

High Formation!

“Heaven, Earth, Fire and Water, grant me the power!”

Baikanfu

In the Anime, when Rom finally summons Baikanfu, more often than not, all it has to do is “one-hit” his opponent and it goes down in seconds. Drawing upon the infinite power of nature itself, Baikanfu is pretty much undefeatable throughout the series (makes you wonder why Rom just doesn’t spam it upfront all the time).

His usual opponent (apart from monster-of-the-week types) is the Gyandlar combiner Devil Satan 6 (“Monsterous” in the Gobots toyline) in a lot of episodes, and yes, Baikanfu pretty much “one-hits” this opponent a lot too.

Although we never see this happen in the Anime, you can display Baikanfu opened up all the way to Rom.

Uhh… Roomy enough for you in there, Rom?

Rom, Kenryu and Baikanfu in action!

Man and machine – Power Extreme. 😀

Tenkū Chūshin Ken! Shorai! Thunder Claw!

God Hand Smash! Seibai!

Baikanfu also comes with his own Kenro.

Display base

Same as before, the display base opens up into 2 levels, each for storing the fists. It should be noted that you can’t really fit all of the hands in for Baikanfu.

My set up in this pic is actually wrong, you can’t stack the rock formation back into position if all of the “open” Baikanfu hands are plugged in. You can only place 1 set of open Baikanfu hands at the most. Doing more will cause the fingers to hit some of the inner braces of the upper rock formation.

I haven’t tried exploring all of the possible permutations but going by the instruction manual, it seems you can only place one set of open Baikanfu hands if you want to restack the rock base, even though there are enough pegs to plug them all in.

All 4 swords can be plugged into the base.

Comparison with the original Gx-39

When viewed from the front, the boxes are the same in dimension.

But when you stack them up, the Gx-39R box is actually more compact by 20 CM.

Tray layouts have been greatly redesigned from the original. Leina is now included in the main styro box as opposed to being tossed into the miscellaneous accessories tray.

Gx-39R no longer comes with a cardboard tray for accessories (present in original Gx-39). Note that the way it is packed now from the factory, the hollow plastic tray is still at the bottom with the styro tray up top. This might cause the back of the box to crease or dent if you grab the box too hard, so watch out for that.

Manuals comparison

Gx-39R’s manual now comes with a baggie that has child safety warnings. No markings on the original 39.

The “range of motion” markings are now highlighted.

From the get go, you will realize that the Gx-39R’s manual is much thinner, this is due to 4 missing pages. The original 39 manual had big splash pages featuring highly detailed photos of the toy “in action”. Too bad Bandai didn’t try to recreate this. It was one of the nicer aspects of the earlier SOC manuals.

The rest of the manual is the same as the original.

Rom comparison

Rom features a lighter shade of blue over his original.

Leina comparison

The original has a shinier paint finish on her hair. The new version features a matte finish and also lighter shades of blue over the original.

Kenryu comparison

Kenryu spots a lighter shade of blue compared to the original. His hands have also been retooled to look bigger and better proportioned.

Shield is colored slightly differently than old Gx-39.

Baikanfu comparison

Bigger hands = more macho.

They also modified Baikanfu’s back. It has nothing to do with Anime accuracy, but I guess it’s to cover up the gaps on the shoulders if seen from the back.

Uniformly colored hinges on the R.

Kenro is more yellow than gold.

Display base is now black plastic instead of gray.

The Good
-The weigh in:
–Rom: 18 Grams
–Leina: 13 Grams
–Kenryu: 239 Grams (Rom plugged in)
–Baikanfu: 845 Grams (Rom+ Kenryu plugged in), 635 Grams if empty (no body double). Original Gx-39 is 614 Grams if empty.

-Height comparison:
–Rom: 3.75″ (perfect scale next to Modern Era G.i. Joes)
–Leina: 3.5″
–Kenryu: 7″
–Baikanfu: 10″

-Diecast parts include:
–Rom: Lower legs
–Leina: Lower legs
–Kenryu: Upper torso, “spine”, waist, lower legs, feet
–Baikanfu: Upper torso, “spine”, waist, thighs, feet

They added more diecast with reissue Baikanfu, the front halves of his thighs are now diecast as well. They were plastic in the original Gx-39 release.

-Newly retooled, bigger hands on Kenryu and Baikanfu makes them look more proportional.

-Better designed, more show accurate Baikanfu head

-New chrome-plated parts make him stand out more on a shelf.

-Some changes on the back of Baikanfu, to better cover up the lack of real shoulders when viewed from the back.

The Bad
-Still can’t move his shoulders forward to 90 degrees. All Baikanfu and Kenryu can do are still just elbow flexing and armpit widening stances (same as the original).

-Swapping around the fists on Baikanfu are still as troublesome as they were back in the day (pegs are a a bit too big). I really wish they improved this isssue somehow. The joint came apart on me one time. Good thing it was simple to reattach the joint back into the forearm.

-You’re really not supposed to see Kenryu’s arm when Baikanfu is formed. I was hoping they improved this a bit somehow.

-When Rom combines with Kenryu, Kenryu’s poseabilty is a bit affected. This also goes the same for Kenryu affecting Baikanfu’s poseability. It was the same then, it’s still the same now. I guess they didn’t want to spend more on reworking the engineering of the toy.

-I wish they added an extra joint for the neck so the head can go up a bit, angled shots like get the head blocked by the collar.

-The lighter shades of blue on the toys actually throw off the Anime accuracy. The blue on the original Gx-39 is the more accurate color.

-Some QC problems on my unit. They included the wrong sword-holding fist for my Baikanfu. As is, my unit can’t hold the sword with his left hand. D’oh..

-No new accessories added, just tweaks on the existing ones at best (hands). Lighting or fire effects parts would’ve been nice.

The Ugly

Sigh.. those horrible gaps on Kenryu and Baikanfu when only the dummy bodies are used. I really wished Bandai had fixed that. That was actually the first thing I thought they’d do after they announced a “R” version of Baikanfu, or at the very least include bigger, better dummy bodies to cover up the gaps and not just work as a core for the spine.

Overall, given how much the original Gx-39 has skyrocketed in price. I think it’s a good thing Bandai decided to roll out a reissue. This new version sports better proportioned sculpts, better paint apps (there were paint bleed issues on my Gx-39) and slighty more diecast (front thigh plates are now diecast, not plastic). If given the choice I had to pick one, then I’d pick this one over the regular 39. But if you already own the original and you’re not sure if you need another one, then you might want to skip it as the changes are mostly just cosmetic and no major improvements (unlike, say Gx-01 vs Gx-01R) have been done to the toy.

Funfact 1: Hanna-Barbera’s Challenge of the Gobots animated series’ characters were based from Bandai’s Machine Robo toys. In the Machine Robo series, all the Gobots/ robots were (mostly) heroic. Cy-Kill (Bike Robo) even leads his own strike team which can equip suits which allows them to combine, called Land Commander Five (Power Suits “Courageous” and “Grungy” in the Gobots line).

Land Commander Five in action!

Funfact 2: Despite being based on vehicles, the Machine Robo are only about 7-9 feet tall in robot mode, making them only slightly taller than humans (a far cry from usual Transformers scale). As such, Rom and Leina can’t really ride inside the vehicle forms, just piggyback on them, kinda like riding horses.

Funfact 3: Following the TV series, a 3 part OVA was made. After crossing a dimensional barrier, Blue Jet, Rod Drill and Triple Jim are transformed into humans with armor resembling their former mech forms. Kenryu is different in the OVA, it now appears a human-sized, outer armor unit similar to Iron Man’s armor. Likewise Baikanfu’s appearance is also modified a bit in the OVA.

(Humanized) Blue Jet and Kenryu as they appear in the OVA.

Baikanfu in action in the OVA.

SPOILER ALERT!!! Sadly, in the third and final episode, Rom dies in battle. Leina now wields the Kenro and generates an armor that closely resembles Rom’s and defeats the enemy, bidding farewell to Rom’s spirit in the final seconds of the OVA.

Leina in her new Rom-styled armor.

You can put Leina’s head onto Rom’s Body, but it’s not accurate obviously. 🙂

Series ending credits

Series ending credits 2

Gold


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