Category Archives: SOC

SRC Mazinger Z vs. SOC GX-01R Mazinger Z

As a chogokin fan, I am not a super huge fan of the Bandai Super Robot Chogokin series. I have both the SRC and SOC Mazinger Z in my collection, and am going to make some comparison of the two. With some thoughts of my experience with handling the two figures.

Size

The SRC is a smaller size figure than the SOC. It is about a little more than a head shorter than the SOC figure. For which, I am ok with that, since the SRC Mazinger Z has as excellent amount of details and paint job as the SOC.

Size does not really matter in my collecting habit. I even tend to appreciate more of a smaller size figure that shows excellent craftsmanship and details.

The 1st and 2nd photos are the SRC, and the 3rd photo is the SOC. Some design difference between the two, but I like both designs.

Engineering

For the articulation engineering, SRC definitely is an improved version of the SOC ones. It is more flexible and posable.

However in general, the SRC series figures do not have any transformation or combination features. Every figure is pretty much using the same frame and engineering idea. To me, it is lack of surprises and pretty predictable. Unlike the SOC series, almost every release is using a new engineering design, which makes the experience more fun.

Accessories

The SOC GX-01R comes with the scrander jet pack. While the SRC does not come with it.

In general, Bandai will sold the optional parts separately for most of the SRC figures.

Back to the SRC Mazinger Z, this package however does included accessories that the SOC version does not have, like the sword and the giant punch.  The next few photos shown the SRC figure with it’s accessories, as well as showing how flexible the figure can be.

Gimmick

The SRC version is lack of that in this department. The SOC version has the rocket punch features on both arms,  can be changed into a vulcan gun arms as well. The waist area has the missile launcher gimmick.

As said before, the extra accessories and gimmicks of the SRC figures are usually sold separately as optional set. Sometimes, one figure release will have multiple optional sets to choose from. This is sort of a new Bandai marketing strategies.

The optional parts are vary from each figure release, some of them are extra accessories, and some are add on parts for the figure (like scrander jet in this case). And the optional parts used on SRC that is seldom see in SOC are the effect parts, which you will be able to mimic the scene in the anime series. It is quite cool!

Unfortunately, I do not purchase the optional parts of the SRC mazinger Z. Therefore I cannot demonstrate.

Content

The diecast content between the new and the old series is a difference from the sky to the ground.

The diecast of the SRC version are the lower legs, upper chest, and some of the joints. The diecast distribution of each SRC release are the same.

For the SOC version, the diecast content are the feet, lower and upper legs, the lower waist, upper chest, shoulders, and upper arms. The diecast content is vary from each release. But you can pretty much expected each release will have plenty of diecast content in the figure.

Price

SRC has a way affordable price point than the SOC. If you are only looking for just a basic figure with the character that you like, SRC is definitely a go for.

I still think that the SRC series is an excellent line. The line does not quite attracted to me is that I felt the figures are very standardize and predictable. You will get the same amount of diecast content on the same body parts with the same articulation from each release. They are all what you expected it to be. It just does not have the FUN factor and excitement that the SOC series has, which each release is a different design, different engineering, different content distribution to attempt perfection on each release.

I expected the next chogokin line after the SOC series will be a step forward.  But I just felt Bandai’s SRC series is sort of the other way around just to meet their purpose of trying to get more sales by cutting the size of the figure, the amount of diecast content, and the creativity. Maybe it is targeted on other audience, not for the old-schooled collector.

Side Note: The GX-01R I had was the Hong Kong Toy Show exclusive version. It comes with a black version plastic Mazinger figure. The last 3 photos are the GX-01R showing you the front, close up and back of that figure.

 

 

SOC GX-13R Dancouga Real Color Version (Part 2)

Now it is time to combine the 4 mecha together and form the giant robot “Dancouga”.

SOC-Dancouga34After the combination, Dancouga stands about 30 cm tall.

I can say the robot is great! The combination is not hard at all, the mechas are jointed together nice and tight! The proportion of Dancouga is excellent. Usually posing a combiner figure is a pain in the butt!! But Dancouga has no problem on posing at all.

SOC-Dancouga33Dancouga also comes with a backpack (Set of wing). After putting it on, it looks even more menacing ! Due to the backpack is made out of plastic, it is relatively light on weight. Dancouga does not suffer too much of a back heavy problem.

The two major weapons of Dancouga are the sword and the big gun cannon.

Speaking of big gun cannon. It is another great part of this figure! It is because not only the robot is a combiner, so as the big weapon! It is a combination (with some transformation) of the 4 weaponry from the 4 mechas.

It takes a little bit of the effort to do the final attack pose. But it is achievable! It really shows how flexible and how stable this giant robot is!!

Unfortunately, I broke the peg of the sword. It was a tight fit. But the sword also looks good and pegs into the palm nice and tight.

One final comment of this set that I felt very special and differ from the others is that the set is majorly painted in mat finish style. When you look at it, it just does not quite appeal as a metal diecast figure at all. Kind of like the Yamato Valkyrie figures, but it has more diecast content than the Yamato’s.

SOC-Dancouga27Final thoughts, this is a great SOC robot that really shows what Bandai is capable of in terms of design and engineering. Although there’s still a little flaws that could be better, but it is almost perfect to me!

SOC GX-13R Dancouga Real Color Version (Part 1)

This is a MUST have for me. First of all it is chogokin. Second of all it has 4 mechas and each mecha can transform. Not only that, each can transform into 3 modes: vehicle / beast / robot mode. Lastly, all 4 mechas can combine into one giant robot!! Just for this 3 reasons, I cannot resist. And Bandai does not disappoint me at all.

The eagle fighter is pretty much the only one mecha, that has NO diecast content in it. I think it’s because of it’s size.

This is also the only one that has only 2 modes of transformation. Cause vehicle and beast mode is pretty much the same.

The scale of the robot mode is excellent, very tiny little robot, comes with a tiny little gun. Later on it will be transform into a head of the Dancouga.

The only part is there’s no  elbow joint, so the arm articulation is non-exisiting. But it is forgivable since the figure is so tiny.

Overall, I felt the scale and proportion of this figure is excellent. I really like both modes of the eagle fighter.

The Land Cougar and Land Liger are pretty much the same figure but with a little bit of the difference on the details. They are the feet of Dancouga. Really like the vehicle mode of these 2 figures. Especially, all the joints are tugged in nice and tight. Excellent engineering on Bandai!!

The beast mode of these 2 figures are excellent as well. Great articulation and a nice head sculpt.

The robot mode of these 2 figures however are just okay. Remember the old diecast version in the ’80s suffered a major proportion problem. Bandai has made a huge improvement on this department in this newer version. But due to the complexity of this design, it is unavoidably still suffer the same. You can see it in the robot mode of these 2 figures.

As you can see the proportion of the robot mode is off. They also suffers a little bit of the articulation limitation on the thigh. The robot mode of these 2 figures are pretty much the weakest part of the entire toy.

Up next is the biggest mecha of the four – The Big Moth!! It forms the body of Dancouga.

As you pick up the Big Moth in your hand, you can pretty much felt the weight and the diecast in this figure. Again, vehicle mode is excellent. All the weaponry attached on the vehicle are freely articulated. The tracks are movable made with soft rubber.

The beast mode is excellent as well. Very articulated, from the legs to the nose and teeth. Although not much posing option due to the nature of this mode, but have to give Bandai props of keeping the figure as articulated as it is and also keeping the proportion as real as possible.

The robot mode is the best out of the four. Load of diecast, no problem on the articulation and proportion at all. Very stable! Not only there are lots of cannons all over the body itself, it also comes with a big machine gun.

Overall, I am very satisfied with all four mechas. Only the proportion of the Land Cougar and Land Liger robot mode are the down point. But that really does not bother me much!