Thursday, November 19, 2015

Shinkalion: E6 Komachi


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Earlier this year Takara Tomy announced a new line of transforming Shinkansen trains. I don't much at this time about the background of the line, as if it's based on an anime series. I'm a sucker for trains already, but when they transform you've got my attention. Takara isn't a newcomber when it comes to transforming robot trains. Dating back to the beginning, Takara had transforming trains in their Diaclone series which later were used again in the Transformers series, Headmasters. There was also a team of transforming bullet trains in Car Robots / Robots in Disguise. Even Astrotain's train mode was given a makeover into a modern bullet train for the Henkei! Henkei! / Classics series. Now we have one of 3 new trains and I couldn't wait to get my hands on these.

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The first two figures in this new series were released simultaneously, E5 Hyabusa and E6 Komachi. I ordered both at the same time, but HLJ informed me that E5 Hyabusa had some type of problem and the release was delayed by Takara Tomy. As of this post I'm still waiting on the figure to arrive. Its a real shame both didn't come at the same time as they are meant to be more or less of a pair. If you look at the bottom image on the back of the box you can see that you can mix and match the two trains. While the trains aren't drastically different, the designers did a good job giving each their own character.

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The side of the box shows off the transformation from train to robot. It's a rather simple transformation and had I not been in a hurry to bring this review to the blog I may have taken pictures of each step. However as you can tell you basically take each end of the train and connect them nose to nose. This triggers a spring activated transformation where the legs pop open. When you fold down the other half of the train it presses against a button that reveals the head. Simply fold down the arms and feet and you're done.

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Inside the box you'll find two cardboard trays that house each section of the train. There is also an instruction sheet along with a small sticker sheet of about 8 stickers.

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The train is made entirely of plastic and is very light weight. The quality if the plastic doesn't feel on par with most Transformers release. It's not bad, it just isn't what I was expecting. The wheels are free rolling and from what I can tell from the packaging and other promotional images, the track these trains roll on are the same train track used in the Tomica series. My daughters used to have a few of the Tomica trains, but when I went to look for some track pieces I couldn't find any.

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Once the train components are linked together the entire train is about 12 inches long. There is quite a bit of room left between each section allowing it to easily turn while gliding along the tracks.

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Before you start the transformation process, you'll need to separate each section. The middle section isn't part of the robot, but it does open up to reveal the Komachi's weapons, a pair of assault rifles. Please note I hadn't applied the stickers to the guns at this point.

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Once transformed you've got yourself a very impressive robot mode. Most of the decoration on the figure are paint apps. The only stickers are the 3 red stickers you see applied to his gray abdomen. While the robot looks great, I do have a few small problems. 1) The arms can come unattached very easily while trying to pose them. They plug back in very easily, but it's kind of a nuisance they come off so easy. 2) There is basically no articulation. The arms can rotate a full 360 degrees and are attached to the "shoulders" via a swivel joint. The elbows are hinge joints. The head and lower half of the robot are not articulated at all.

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The head sculpt is quite unique in my opinion. The gray circles on his forehead make it look like he's wearing goggles of some sort. Because the head is molded onto a piece of the train's nose and is spring loaded, you can't rotate the head around or up and down which is a disappointment.

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Komachi's assault rifles come folded while stored in the center portion of the train, but they can be folded out to form a larger weapon. He can wield these in his hands or they can be mounted on the top of his shoulders. I think I prefer the look of him dual wielding the rifles personally.

Overall I'm impressed with the figure. It's got a great robot mode and the train mode is equally as impressive. However the thin/light plastic and the lack of articulation drop it down a notch. From a play perspective I can see this figure being played with quite a bit. From the train mode to the quick and easy transformation this is a figure that is built for play.

You may be also wondering how Komachi looks aside Transformers, since well he's a cousin of sorts. I really wanted to grab Car Robots' JRX for a few comparison pictures, but JRX is at the back of a crowed shelf and call me lazy but I just didn't want to re-arrange the shelf to pull him down. 

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While I didn't bother to grab JRX, I did grab one of the Trainrobo figures from the Headmasters series out of my glass case. As you can see Komachi dwarfs Yukikaze in full train mode, but is about the same size as one section.

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No comparison in robot mode!

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In robot mode he's a little larger than your standard voyager Transformer. After staring at these pictures for long enough Komachi is starting to give me a Brave vibe, how about you? I'm very tempted to grab an Autobot symbol and place it on the nose of the train that forms the chest.

If you are impressed and want to pick one up for yourself, HLJ has them on backorder. With today's exchange rate Komachi costs around $26.00.

4 comments:

  1. I've never heard of this series of figures until now, but I really like the looks of this guy. He's so unique looking and at less than $30, doesn't seem like something that'll break the bank.

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    1. It's pretty cool. Not quite what I expected, but still glad I picked it up. Still looking forward to receiving the other two.

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  2. Do you any idea if the later ones in this toy series - same transformation,bht considerably chunkier proportions - combine? Promo images show 3 new beefy train bots, but I've found nothing in English to confirm or deny,or perhaps they are just interchangeable with and bottom half?
    The promo art shows a combined super robot? But I've seen nothing that shows they do

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    1. I think I know of the release you are referring to. I have it on pre-order so I hope to share my thoughts once I have it in hand. From what I can tell the 3 beefy trainbots are sold individually or in a giftset form. The giftset form appears to have their individual weapons cast in a translucent plastic as opposed to black.

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