Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Daigunder: Tri-Horn

Several years ago Takara tried something new - combining a video game with a transformable robot ala Transformers. The result was a series called Web Diver. I'm not sure what kind of success it had in Japan, but I'm assuming it was modest as Takara released several toys over a short period.

Daigunder is the successor to Web Diver. The premise of both line of toys is you have one larger figure that acts as the "game system". All of the other figures act as secondary items in the game itself. The larger figure attaches to a television with standard RGB cables and features infrared sensors to interact with the other figures. Are you following all of this?

I had the fortune (or misfortune depending on who you ask) of owning several Web Diver toys when they were new - including the leader and "game system" Gradion. The game itself was rather boring and the small controls on the back of the figure weren't all that responsive. As far as the other figures interacting in the game was just a well designed marketing scam if you ask me. It's kind of like this new Skylanders game that is hitting the current gen home consoles. You fork out a lot of money for the core game and then you have to buy additional figures to unlock things in the game. Instead of digitally downloading this content they make you buy a figure to get the in game content. Really smooth idea from a business stand point - but sucks for us as the consumer.

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Getting back to Daigunder I missed the boat originally when they were released. I had seen plenty of pictures of the toys online, but finding the toys (especially here in the US) I found difficult. I remember seeing Daigunder himself at BigBadToyStore's table at a past Botcon, but I glossed over it.  Eventually these toys were popping up all over the place in Korean packaging and a fellow TFW2005 board member a gew years ago was gracious enough to hook me up with a few of the toys for super cheap.  One of these was an early favorite of mine, Tri-Horn.

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Judging from the screen shots of the video game it looks to be a huge step forward from the Web Diver game.  Looking at the health bars and time across the top of the screen I'd guess the game is your standard 2D fighter like Street Fighter...only with transformable robots.

Across the bottom of the box you can see the cross sell images of other Daigunder toys.  Tri-Horn was part of the Dino Unit along with Bonerex (red tyrannosaurus rex) and Deathspector (blue pteranodon).

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The side of the box shows you another way that Tri-Horn can interact with the main figure of the series.  Along with Bonerex you can combine them both to form a large gauntlet like weapon.  Prior to obtaining this toy I didn't know about this feature.

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Tri-Horn is a very bulky and stout figure.  With a little re-tooling it looks like he could be a ape with those large fists that just barely drag the ground.  Most of the paint apps here are nicely done and feature a metallic shine.  The light blue on the head and legs looks a little out of place, but I guess it works.  There isn't much articulation to speak of.  Standard points of articulation include the elbows and hips - not much else.  I'm guessing the electronics inside the figure contribute to making this a brick of a figure.

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If you look on the back you'll see the video game components - a thumb button that pivots right to left and a larger button with red chrome trim.  I have no idea what these buttons do in game.

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Takara did a nice job with the head sculpt.  He has a large chin that sticks out which fits his stocky nature.  The bone like helmet is also a nice touch as it gives the appearance of him being a tough fighter.

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The whole triceratops head comes off and forms a staff like weapon for Tri-Horn to wield in robot mode.  Simply fold the horns up and you have your weapon.

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You gotta admit he looks pretty bad a in this form.  From the large weapon to the massive fists he doesn't look like a robot I'd want to tussle with.

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I was surprised to see that the triceratops is really small.  I guess its the lack of a tail that makes the dinosaur look small and well...a little off.  What I do like about the dino mode is how all of the robot parts are incorporated.  His chest splits into two pieces and forms the front legs while his massive fits form the middle.  Very clever design if you ask me.

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Overall this is a fun little toy and lived up to most of my expectations.  Thankfully with these Korean editions now on the market they are much more accessible if you want to track one down.  There are usually a few sellers on eBay that routinely sell a decent selection of Daigunder toys.

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