SOC GX-40 GOD MARS! (Pics galore! Beware!)

Discussion in 'The Toyark' started by BuildKing, May 13, 2008.

  1. BuildKing

    BuildKing Well-Known Member

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    Well, since this piece is almost a "Transformer", I tought it would be a good idea to share some comments and pictures about it. I know that there are many Soul Of Chogokin fans on these boards, so...:D 

    Mods, feel free to move this thread elsewhere if you feel uncomfortable to see a SOC product review in the Feeback section.

    Before the review, I must specify that I'm not a specialist of the God Mars series(the anime). I've watched parts of it on YouTube just to make sure I have a decent knowledge to produce the review, but still, you'll excuse any mistake at naming the characters or the lack of details that would link this product to the original anime series.

    Soul Of Chogokin God Mars GX-40 is a highly anticipated piece mostly because it's a combiner. It has a strong Transformers G1 vibe even if it's not related in any way to the TF universe.

    Packaging

    God Mars' packaging is big: 16" X 11" X 5.5". As with most Soul of Chogokin figures, the front of the box advertises the the actual products: in this case, six individual robots in flight and of course the God Mars itself in all its glory. Back of the packaging showcases, with more pictures, everything included in the set. The box has a very eye-catching silvery finish and the pictures are highly teasing. Let's open it!!

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    Inside, you'll find not one but two inserts, one on top of the other, containing all the figures and accessories. The robots are contained within a styrofoam insert, a rarity these days but not in Bandai's SOC line. Each robot comes in its own polybag. The styrofoam insert is covered with a yellow and black dye-cutted card. The other insert is a plastic stray containing all the accessories such as the wonderful Mars Flash: God Mars' huge sword.

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    Now, let's see what's this set is all about!

    Sphinx

    The biggest figure of the set, Sphinx stands 6 1/2" and weighs in at 0.6 lbs . This boxy but charismatic robot forms the torso of God Mars. With its clumsy look, short legs and odd head shape, Sphinx surely manages to bring a smile to everyone who sees it for the first time. The design of this big robot is a fine blend of strength, humor and nostalgia to a certain extent: Sphinx does bring that "retro" Tin Robot vibe from the 60's.

    Though it's a heavy die-cast and plastic brick, Sphinx still shows some posability: head rotates(a surprise, quite frankly); shoulders rotates forward/backward and up/down to sides; swivel joints at the biceps; elbows; wrists rotate; hips(forward/backward, and spread out a bit to sides); rotating thighs and limited knee articulation. Not bad for such a chunky design.

    Die-Cast parts on Sphinx: most of the body is die cast. Torso, waist and, err, pelvis. The rest is all high quality plastic, molded in nice metal flake colors.

    Outside the fact that he can turn into God Mars' torso, Sphinx has no special gimmicks. He comes with another set of hands though, wich is a nice touch. His fists just pop out and then you can fit the other hands.

    The transformation into God Mars' torso is well-engineered and fun. Sphinx' head rotates 180 degrees to reveal God Mars' head; Sphinx' arms then retract and fold to be concealed into its own body; inside its torso are two parts that deploy and extend to add extra bulk to God Mars' body. Very neat!

    Gaia

    Gaia is a short (about 4" tall) but impressive and sharp action figure. He has tons of articulations (I will not list them here, but it's around 23 A.P...). Bandai has managed to put die-cast even in such a small figure, true to their quality commitment. Front torso; waist; lower legs and feet are all die-cast. Wow. Though he may look fragile, Gaia is actually quite a sturdy little dude. He also comes with another set of hands: just like Sphinx, simply pull out his fists from their sockets and replace them with the other hands.

    Bandai, especially with its Soul Of Chogokin line, is into intricate details. They prove it again here: while you look very closely at Gaia's chest, you can see a small plastic window that will reveal a tiny-tiny figure that represents, not in much details but still, the pilot of Mecha Gaia (sorry folks, I don't know the name of the main human character in the Anime).

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    Titan and Uranus

    I will review them as a set since they're almost like clones....almost. Titan is the green one and Uranus the white and red one. Each will become an arm for the giant Mecha God Mars. Both figures stand about 5" tall and each weighs about 0.4 lbs. They're neat little 'bots that sports multiple points of articulation: head on ball joint; rotating/side-to-side joints at the shoulders; swivel biceps joints(yes!); elbows; wrists that rotates and can be push upward; waist(rotating); hips(side/forward/backward); swivel joints at the thighs; knees; ankles(rotating side-to-side/up and down).

    The sculpt is amazing on both robots: though they are indeed blocky, you will find any intricate details everywhere. As usual, Bandai quality is felt here. As with all the figures of this set, they're made of both die-cast and plastic.
    Die-cast parts on both robots: shoulders and shoulders' joints, waist, back of the lower legs, knee joints. The rest is high quality plastic. The green parts on Titan are all molded in "sparkly" plastic, looking very close to be die-cast. I had to check Titan up close to figure out wich green parts were actually plastic.

    The transformation to turn them into God Mars' arms is fairly simple: you fold their arms into their torsos; head is also concealed within the torso; legs have a neat transformation scheme that will reveal God Mars' hands and will conceal the robots feet at the same time. Very clever engineering here. There is a clicking joint, made of die-cast, that once unfolded outside the torso, act as a connector to GM' big shoulders.

    Outside the fact that they transform into body parts, Uranus and Titan don't have any gimmicks per se. Still, they're very cool and sturdy figures, each with its own personality.


    Ra and Shin


    As with Titan and Uranus, I will review those two as a set. Safe for their design and paintjob, they're quite identical.
    RA is the blue and yellow 'bot and Shin is the black and silver one. Both can transform to become the legs of God Mars.

    Both robots stand at 6 1/2" tall and weighs about 0.6 lbs each. They share the same set of articulations: head(ball joint mounted on rotating neck, wow!);shoulders(full movement); swivel at the biceps; elbows; wrists; NO waist articulation sadly; hips(limited movements in every direction); rotating thighs; knees(swivel AND pliable); ankles(rotate left/right AND up/down).
    They have their share of beloved die-cast: their upper legs and knees are all die-cast as well as their big feet.

    They're nicely detailed with translucent plastic parts on the torso. Under the feet, there are some boosters, intricately sculpted. Their heads are also sharply sculpted, faithful rendition of their Anime characters. Paint job on both is perfect(at least on my own set): no smudging or blotching here. Again, we can immediately see Bandai's quality.

    No gimmicks other than to turn into big legs for the Main Event Guy. Transformation is basic but still enjoyable. Arms are folding within the torso(pretty much the same engineering as with Uranus/Titan); head is hidden also within the torso( leaving a gap that will be used as a connector later); legs retract a bit and join/snap together. Voila!

    [​IMG]


    GOD MARS

    Once combined, you'll find yourself face to face with a totally awesome giant, made of metal and plastic. Standing about 12" tall, God Mars is a sight to behold. Needless to say, he is quite heavy: 3.12 lbs! He stands solid and he's not prone to fall. His big feet are doing the job at keeping him very stable. I will not be redundant here by recalling what is die-cast or plastic on this behemoth...since he's the amalgam of all individual robots. There's not too many new die-cast parts that will be reveiled when God Mars is finally assembled, safe for two exceptions: lower red part of GM' head and white side parts of the newly formed torso.

    [​IMG]

    Articulation: It has a fair amount of articulation points: enough to have fun but not overwhelming. Head on a ball joint; rotating arms at the shoulders(forward/backward/sides); swivel joints at the biceps; elbows; wrists(ball joints); swivel joints at the thighs; limited knee joints(there are some, but they don't have much amplitude); ankles(quite articulated actually, with a specially designed swivel joints that enable his feet to rotate up/down from side-to-side,and up/down on the front and back). The legs can spread out a little, just enough to give this Mecha a good stability. They can also move forward and backward but again, his movements are limited somehow by the very bricky design.

    Features: there's a couple of neat little features here and there on that giant.

    -Multiple sets of hands(3); including a set that enables him to hold the big 9 1/2" Mars Flash Sword. His "standard" set of hands have articulated thumbs and "four-fingers-piece" articulation.

    -You can put the Gaia figure inside a built-in "canopy" in he chest of God Mars: very clever, just like in the anime. A plastic clip holds the figure in place.

    [​IMG]

    -Reminescent of what you could see the original Anime, when you push GM head's "crest" forward, a small robot face appears in the translucent lower part of God Mars' head (the blue part that looks like a faceplate). It's very subtle, you must be close to GM's head to actually see it, but it's there. This gimmick emulates the scene when Gaia is taking place inside God Mars as a "pilot"...he sees where is going by looking through the blue visor essentially. This gimmick has brought memories of the Transformers G1 Brainmasters who had a similar feature.

    -When you close GM' torso to lock Gaia inside, the logo on the giant's waist "activates": Gaia, compressed between the torso panel and the cockpit inside of the giant, is now pushing on a tab that move forwards the logo to the squared window on the waist. Again, it's a very subtle effect, but still a clever gimmick.


    Cosmo Crusher

    Cosmo Crusher is a nice addition to this set. It's basically 3 spacecrafts in one. Two big vessels and an incredibly tiny one. The first of the big ones, that looks more like a futuristic jet fighter, is about 4 1/2" long. It has translucent blue plastic cockpit windows. Its wings can fold up and down and it has a retractable landing gear. Yes sir: a landing gear. Talk about details here. The second big one, with its dual-engine thrusters, is about 3 1/2"long and also has translucent plastic windows. The third one is an amazing little jet sporting a lavender cockpit window. This cute little spacecraft will be the nemesis of every invading alien armada with its 3/4" long fuselage. He-he.

    [​IMG]

    Now you can combine both bigger planes to form the sharp-looking Cosmo Crusher(5 1/4" long)....and, oh my god, would you beleive it: you can store Tiny-Crusher in a compartment under Cosmo Crusher, with opening panel and all. Impressive.

    [​IMG]

    Cosmo Crusher has 3 landing gears; a fold-down nosecone and deployable triangular nosecone stabilizers. A superb accessory indeed that 3-in-1 space craft.


    Accessories

    Here's the list of accessories incuded in this set:

    -Statue/ Sarcophagus: this item can split open to reveal Gaia. Gaia is hold inside via a display stand. The statue is a cool piece that reminds me of one particular figure in the Micronauts line. This prop adds to the play value of the set.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    -Mars Flash: this huge 9 1/2" sword was a must for GX-40. The chromed blade is impossible to ignore! Inmy pictures, the sword looks like golden chrome buy it is actually silver chrome.

    -Multiple sets of hands( 2 for Sphinx; 2 for Gaia, and 3 for God Mars)

    -Cosmo Crusher: 3 space fighters rolled into one.

    -Display stand: a very multi-purposes stands enabling you to display wether Cosmo Crusher, Gaia or the accessories.

    -Illustrated Booklet: again, another quality printed piece with pictures and sharply drawn instructions. A beauty.

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    [​IMG]


    Conclusion

    This Soul Of Chogokin GX-40 GOD MARS brings together qualities that every Tranformers/Mecha wants in a toy: die-cast, high quality plastic, posability, accessories, good engineering, superb presentation. Of course, this masterpiece does not come cheap: at 200$-260$ on average, it's an investissment. But it's worth every penny. It has very minor flaws, like the limited posability in God Mars' legs, the lack of waist articulation on RA and Shin...but those are easily forgotten when you embrace all the things this astonishing set has to offer.

    Thank you for reading, and if you have questions do not hesitate!

    Mario
     
  2. tigermask44

    tigermask44 Kills Cons Dead!

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    Great Review! I wish I could afford one!
     
  3. Liokaiser

    Liokaiser Super Mod

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    Great review. I'm starting to wish I grab one from BBTS at Botcon.
     
  4. Silent_Magnus

    Silent_Magnus Taint of Primus

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    A combiner with useful articulation?
    It's blasphemy!:mad 

    It does look beautiful, I just wish I was more familiar with the anime.
     
  5. Vangelus

    Vangelus Long Live the New Flesh Moderator Content Contributor

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    Excellent overview. :D 

    On the God Mars anime: It's out there fansubbed. It's long. It has two movies. It's incredibly boring if you're after pure robot action. A God Mars fight scene is typically:

    a lengthy combination sequence --> God Mars floats towards the enemy --> God Mars cuts the enemy in half in one slice and the fight is over
     
  6. QuinJester

    QuinJester T. Bison

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    Awesome in-depth pictoral breakdown. There's been a few SOC reviews along the way (Gunbuster springs to mind) in here, so I shouldn't think it'd be a problem having it here.
     
  7. ShadowStitch

    ShadowStitch vectoring the hate plague

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    Hmmm...

    Just testing something, don't mind me. :lol 

    Seriously, this looks like a great figure -- somewhere on youtube is a great stop-motion animation showing the features and combination sequence... I'm an instant fan of this sort of toy, but... it's a little rich for my blood. :cry 
     
  8. Feralstorm

    Feralstorm I ship Nick & Judy TFW2005 Supporter

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    So when do the Mighty Orbots come out? :) 
     
  9. DavidLoPan

    DavidLoPan Well-Known Member

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    <---------:) 
     
  10. BigRC83

    BigRC83 I'm singing in the rain

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    May pick one up in a couple of months.
     
  11. GENOZAUR

    GENOZAUR Banned

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    So when do the Mighty Orbots come out?

    i second that notion

    seriously i would be all over like that like white on rice
     
  12. Sol Fury

    Sol Fury The British Butcher Administrator News Staff

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    That is one awesome robot. I've been tempted by him for a long time.
     
  13. ranoobu

    ranoobu I like fried chicken

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    I think uranus is too close to your shin

    that's right. i went there for my own delight
     
  14. KA

    KA PENIS GOES WHERE?!!

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    :banghead: 
     
  15. wipeyourfeet

    wipeyourfeet Winner of the Internet

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    I have no interest in the anime, but damn.
    When I have the money that sucka is mine.
     
  16. TCracker

    TCracker おもちゃは今とても暑いです

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    HAWT
     
  17. BuildKing

    BuildKing Well-Known Member

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    It was exactly what I had in mind when I bought this monster. :D 
     
  18. Soundblaster1

    Soundblaster1 The Heisenberg of Toys

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    Awesome figure. The leg being named "Shin" makes it even more want-worthy (anyone catch the funny there?).

    Too bad I'll never have the $300 to get one.
     
  19. Seth Buzzard

    Seth Buzzard R.I.P. Buzzbeak Content Contributor

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    Do want but can't afford. :( 
     
  20. ambushbug74

    ambushbug74 Stroke me, Stroke me! TFW2005 Supporter

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    I may be able to get one, but am wondering what people think. Should I get this, or a Gunbuster off eBay? I really like both, but and only afford one at the moment.
     

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