Gekisoumaru takes on the alternate mode of a large lion. In the standard combined configuration, he forms the chest portion of the gestalt. We'll look at that a little more in bit. His package is your standard Go! fare. A large window to show off the toy while the back of the box shows off the toy and I'm guessing tells you a little about the electronic features of the toy. One side has his Tech Spec rankings while the other shows off the combining aspect of this figure and the others in the team.
When I first saw the solicitation pictures online of Gekisoumaru a few years ago I was impressed. The blue looks fantastic on the figure and the yellow and gold trim help give the figure a fantastic appearance overall. I personally like the large lion face chest too. Perhaps it's my recent interest in all things Brave again, but this guy gives me that type of vibe.
He has a solid, complete look overall. What I mean by that is the other two members of his team have areas that expose the legs going all the way up to the robot's upper body. Neither Hishoumaru or Sensuimaru have a well defined torso area and it makes the robot look awkward from certain angles. I guess since Gekisoumaru is intended to be the main torso of the combined mode and combined with his inner electronics, he has to be a bigger, beefier toy and it works.
The lion mane is made of soft yellow plastic shards that attach via a ball and socket. This gives these pieces mobility as you can pose them any way you want, or remove them all together if you light.
Articulation wise he has good range of motion in all of his limbs. His head can turn a full 360 degrees. His shoulders allow the arms to rotate a full 360 degrees. The arms have double jointed elbows. His waist doesn't turn, but you can make him do a split. He has a thigh swivel and hinge jointed knees. His toes move up and down, but that is more from transformation than it is articulation.
When you press the Autobot symbol on the lion's forehead, you are treated with some interesting phrases and sound effects.
I will admit that his robot mode isn't quite perfect. The head is a tad small for the size of the body and that grin! What is this Cybertron/Autobot so dang chippy about?! I do love the detail that was put into the face and head however.
One his back you'll find this clear piece where you can mount the two swords if you choose not to use them. Look carefully and you'll also see the combined robot's head.
Where as the other two have removable kabuto pieces, Gekisoumaru's combiner bits are worked into the figure. I removed the head (or helmet if you will since it fits over Gekisoumaru's head) so I could get a better picture of it. I has a fantastic look and the more I stare at it to more I do see a ninja vibe going on.
The overall proportions of the lion may be a little off, but in hand this thing looks pretty cool. Transformation between forms is pretty straight forward, something that I found very refreshing. I'm not always a fan of these complex transformations.
His articulation in lion mode is a little limited. Each leg can rotate a full 360 degrees, thanks in part to his mane pieces being on ball and sockets. His tail is fixed between his rear legs.
Up close look at the lion head. Good detail, I like the large white teeth and the silver vents (?) on the sides. His eyes are a red translucent plastic as they do light up and blink when the Autobot symbol on his forehead is pressed.
He also has an attack mode. You can fold up and forward the combined robot's head and move the sword mane pieces over to the side of his legs. Flip forward to two lower pieces of his mane and he's ready to charge in against the evil Predacons!
After my disappointment with the individual and combined form of the previous Transformers Go! Samurai combiner team, this is a refreshing change of pace. In this configuration the gestalt's name is GoGekisoumaru. Which ever robot forms the chest area, you just add "Go" to that robot's name.
I like the look of this configuration. The legs are still a little thin, but look better than the other options. Now I do apologize I didn't photograph the other combined configurations. I took these pictures quite awhile ago and then placed the figures up on my top shelf...and well he isn't that easy to access at this time.
You can take the other weapons and combine them to form a larger weapon, same as the other's kabuto pieces to form a large shield.
It's clear that Sensuimaru forms the legs, but Hishoumaru just seems to form a backpack! This does cause the combined robot to be a little top heavy, but I've had him on display like this for awhile now and he hasn't had any trouble standing up without any additional support.
In my personal opinion Gekisoumaru is a solid figure, whether you have just him or intend on using him in his combined form. Like the others, this figure didn't seem to sell well as I've seen this toy hit clearance prices. eToysJapan currently has him in stock for just $25.19!
I should also note that he was recolored in a "Nemesis Prime" like color scheme. I believe he was a Aeon store exclusive in Japan. It is labeled as the Kurojishi version, which is supposed to translate to "black lion". eToysJapan also has this figure currently in stock, marked down from $59.94 to $41.68.
Three figure combiners have their strengths and weaknesses and they aren't for everyone. While the Samurai team let me down a bit, the Shinobi team improves on many of the others weaknesses. These figures do have a strong Brave feel so if you are fan of Takara's other family of transforming robots these may appeal to you more. However if you are just looking for something different you may want to give Hishoumaru, Sensuimaru and Gekisoumaru a look, especially since all three are basically on clearance at many online retailers.