Soul of Chogokin Gx-48K Big O Kurogane Shiage (Full Package)
The manual is actually a bit thicker this time, it comes with pages full of illustrations from the Anime.
Not much has changed from the original Griffon, it’s still plastic and still does not have wheels to roll.
The underside is painted though (same as the original Gx-48).
Griffon access (Both feet can open up to accommodate Roger’s car)
Originally released almost 10 years ago (2009), Bandai decided to rerelease this figure in the SOC line, this time sporting an new “matte finish” paint job on most of its body, along with the Web Exclusive weapons pack from back in the day, all in one tidy package.
Big O, Action!
Same as the original, Big O still comes with 2 spare heads, one is the archetype head (as seen in a flashback in the Anime) the other is a bigger, more proportionate head. Be warned though, the bigger head won’t allow you to do “c0ckpit access” mode (head won’t fit into the collar).
Cannon and Missile Party
This requires parts swapping
The Strike Pile has to be manually “pulled” out to extend and lock. Pushing the fist down (i.e. impacting the fist on something) will trigger the Strike Pile to release, just like in the Anime.
Both arms can do Sudden Impact.
Attaching the “sunken” hands may be a little tricky, depending on which arm, the wrists needs to be rotated either clockwise or counterclockwise for the wrists joint neck to be inserted or removed.
To attach the hands to the O Thunder arms, you will need this adapter plug, which is already plugged into the “open palm” accessory by default in the tray layout.
The O Thunder arms don’t have any action this time for the Sudden Impact, the “Strike Pile” only functions to help push out the cannons.
Four different types of “bullets” for added visual dimension.
Moby Dick Anchor
Different types of anchors to attach.
I found it easier to remove the skirt plugs by rotating them first and then pulling them out using the newly exposed edges, as opposed to directly pulling on them, as you don’t have much surface contact to grip.
Do note that the skirt plugs are position specific. You can’t arbitrarily just plug them anywhere when returning them to the skirt.
Missing weapons (so much for the “Full Package” moniker for this set)
Under side of the base says “Cast in the Name of God, Ye not Guilty”
The name plate is also now regular silver instead of shiny chrome.
Original display base configuration of Gx-48 (without weapons pack accessories and display base).
The corners of the default display base have to be removed and re-plugged into an inner section underneath the base to accommodate the parts for the chain plugs. Note that the corners are location specific when you’re returning them to the original configuration.
Both versions of the display base cover are included. One is from the original base design (before the weapons pack was released) and the other has a parking slot for the Griffon (Griffon was only available with the weapons pack).
Comparison with the original Gx-48 set
Display base color is now black vs ebony (?) on the original
Brighter pink and the plastic is more opaque on the new O Thunder effects parts (left).
Everything is now on a tray, back in the original, the parts for the expanded display base are just packed in a baggie.
Fatal Flaw Alert!!
Be mindful of how you pose Big O’s feet. Thanks to the matte finish, surfaces tend to show scratch damage more visibly. I found this out the hard way after doing the photoshoots. There’re some scuff marks on the foot plate from contact with the leg armor. Sigh…The Good
-Big O weighs roughly 544 Grams and stands rough 8 inches tall (9 inches if you extend his knee and groin joints). By comparison, the original Gx-48 weighs 539 Grams. So I guess the Kurogane finish adds 5 grams of weight to the toy?
-Diecast parts include:
-Inner “pistons” of the lower legs
-Hidden mid-torso joint included allows for some minor “ab crunch” mobility.
-The Kurogane finish really suits the toy well.
-The Kurogane finish, while cool, was already a concept that Max Factory already cooked up with their Max Gokin Big O release a few years back. So it’s not really a “fresh” concept. Sorry Bandai.
-Griffon is still plastic, plus the wheels still don’t roll. Booooo.
-Nothing new is added to the toy, it’s a straight up redeco.The Ugly
The price, ouch! Folks were really disappointed when they rolled out the original additional parts set a while back as a Tamashii Webshop Exclusive. The set got really pricey fast. Fast forward to today and Bandai doubles down on the concept and releases the FULL SET as a Webshop Exclusive. C’mon Bandai….
Overall, it’s okay. I would totally love and recommend this if it was a mass retail release, since the Big O Anime is cool and has a lot of appeal especially in the US where it was a hit back in the day (compared to how it fared in Japan), but as is, it’s too darn pricey due to it being a Tamashii Webshop Exclusive. Someone once told me that the “Kurogane” matte finish process costs more to do than regular paint, which then increases the base cost of the figure. I don’t know if this is actually true, but if that was the case then I would’ve rather Bandai just rereleased the whole set without the Kurogane finish just to give folks who missed out on the original set a better deal. I guess this is one of those figures that’s meant for completists. Too bad.