I was feeling pretty chipper
this morning on my way home, so after lunch I decided to partake in
my latest loserly habit: pointing and laughing at Hong Kong'd toys in
the back of Big/Odd Lots (The store's two alternating names gives you
a good idea of what sort of quality overstocked trash they carry.) Usually
it's a good way to kill anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. Depends
mainly on what's left over from the holiday season (of 1992) and how
quickly a clerk eyeballs me and my friends out after laughing like idiots
in the kiddies section for too long.
Maybe it's mean spirited.
I'm sure some Taiwanese shopkeeper stayed up late pouring metallic paint
into a batch of Fun Time Wind Up Insect, then going into Canon Greeting
Card Maker and changing the name of the product to METAL SPACE BUGZZ.
Or an Indian woman tirelessly working around the clock to reverse-engineer
the Constructicons in rainbow colors. Most of these companies rely on
the latter method of making crude simulacra of existing toys, usually
shrunk or blown WAY up in an attempt to make them look less transparent
as ripoffs. Oh yeah, and horrifically inaccurate paint jobs are usually
robots are especially susceptible to copying, since the target audience
(gullible suburbanites with grubby impulsive kids) is even less likely
to care about the difference. Hence my discover of Dagwon's Fire Dagwon
and GaoGaiGar's Enryu buried amongst the 'HOT WHEELZ' and similar knockoffs,
repackaged as SPACE WARRIOR.
Fire Dagwon comes first. I think the original was supposed to have an
ambulance and a fire engine for the hands, as opposed to two blocky
vans. The main body is cunningly disguised as an airliner with two giant
legs on the bottom and a case of scoliosis. It's as graceful and aerodynamic
as a dead camel. It didn't take much coaxing to get this one or Bastard
Enryu off their packages, they were already sort of halfway there and
slid clean off. If we were talking about cooking ribs, that'd be a good
thing. There was a second Fire Dagwon there with black and red arms,
prepackaged as a robot.
a knock-off is like a thrill ride. You just KNOW something is going
to snap off or explode spontaneously. So as I finagled the legs into
position and somehow transformed the backpack all the way (which is
more than the packaged-in-bot-mode version had) little bits of blue
and white excess plastic molding snowed off of it. Next step: Yank the
entire cockpit section off, split it in half, and stick it on as shoulders.
They do kind of droop, though. His robot head has either a mongoloid
chin or a colossal pout. I wonder if Fire Dagwon looks so depressed
because between the airliner and rescue vehicles, he's like a walking
sensitive SPACE WARRIOR.
The pegs the
arms go into are too small, so it takes some cramming to hook them on.
I only jammed them in about halfway since I may want to remove them
one day. The coup de grace is the large red portion that fits onto the
fuselage. This is just my opinion, but somehow having an extra part
that makes up more than half of the body kind of defeats the purpose
of a Transforming Space Warrior. More like Quadraparalegic
SPACE WARRIOR. The head can fold down into the chest, if you want to
make the red piece look like a chest and crotch, flying through space.
He also comes with a pair of little white swords that were the only
objects even remotely secured to the package, by little strips of tape.
Bastard Enryu seems popular with the ladies on the bookshelf. You wouldn't
expect it, what with his permanently akimbo arms and crack-addict red
eyes. Still, it's an ok robot mode, good stand in for the budget GGG
fan. A few dabs of paint here and there, trim off some of the spots
where jagged bits of excess plastic stick out threatening to pierce
your skin and poison you eight ways from Sunday, and he'd be a good
display piece. Let's see that fire engine mode.
Oh. Wow. ...Holy
shit. That is NOT a fire engine. Bastard Enryu's alternate mode seems
to be more than a little pornographic. Yes, the Power Ladder is hooked
onto his crotch as he lies back on his elbows, staring intently downward.
There's a part to slide the upper legs forward some so the front and
back wheels at least line up, but considering that he's completely hollow,
that can only lead to the aforementioned snap-ouch-now I have been poisoned
scenario. Oddly there's a joint to swing the legs out to the sides,
but the feet are bolted together so it can't actually move them. Er,
back to slightly less disturbing robot mode.
The moral for
today: Why buy a factory-sealed mint in box toy on ebay for 300 bucks,
when gypsies have a pocket-sized flimsier version for under two bucks?