In my last blog entry I basically answered a question that nobody had ever asked me. This time, I'd like to address a glaring concern that seems to come with my videos. I want to talk about why I think DX Super Sentai mecha toys are bullshit today.
Let me start with the best: Super Liverobo.
Super Liverobo is the combination of Liverobo, a three-piece mecha, and Liveboxer, a two-piece mecha. What makes the combination so appealing in it's toy form is that Liveboxer and Super Liverobo was never planned at the beginning of the series. At some point in production they managed to put together a second mecha that not only looked cool as individual vehicles, but also neat(ish) as a mecha and awesome when all five were combined into one. Super Liverobo is like a car that is tuned to the point of perfection. It truly is a complicated design, but it is a complicated design that works brilliantly.
I haven't even started on quality. I can take or leave Die Cast on most DX Mecha.
There is something wonderful about the DX Chogokin mecha of the 1980s. Chogokin toys of the 1970s were usually 90-100% Die Cast affairs with little playability and, as a result, pretty rotten designs that seemed to lose their paint quite easily. I know these toys are beloved by many, but DX Chogokin toys of the 70s were junk. By the time the mid-80s rolled around, the DX Chogokin toys were a nice blend of plastic and metal. They always seemed to have a perfect heft, and were never off-balance when they stood up.
OK, I'm rambling now. The point is, Bandai made the premiere mecha toys for a long time. Then...they suddenly stopped.
You may have noticed that I have a strange affinity for the Gaoranger Power Animals toyline. I didn't care much for the show, but the DX Chogokin (!) mecha toys were virtually on par (give or take on some aspects) with the quality Sentai mecha toys of the 1980s. They were definitely an enormous leap forward from the Timeranger mecha line in all fields, but the most important one was quality. There was a clear strive to build these toys in a loving way that had only been seen sporadically by Bandai through the 1990s.
...and then came Hurricaneger. The Shinobi Machines were larger, cartoonish things that suck. The box says DX Chogokin, but I'm not sure why--there isn't much metal. The Shinobi Machines began a continuing era of poorly designed toys with weird glossy finishes that stink like cheap electronics.
The irony is that the Shinobi Machines are themed off of the same animals/colors as Liverobo.
Ever since then I haven't cared for DX Mecha. They just feel like they should be made by Takara/Tomy rather than a premium toy brand like Bandai.
Things really got bad by the time Shinkenger and Goseiger came around. Really... HOW is this toy appealing?
A collection of badly-made sex toys.
Compromised by a terrible gimmick. Result? Unfinished toy.
While some toys like Henshin Items have been almost unchanged in price in their 30+ year history, DX Mecha have somehow managed to be more expensive, worse in quality, and are released in a state of almost unfinished build.
In my ramblings, I guess my message is murky. The point is this...
I feel that mecha and their toys have diminished in design and quality over the years. Designs have been compromised thanks to the fact that they have to connect with every other mecha in annually expanding toylines. There is no drive to make good looking toys anymore. They just want to pile as much shit on to primary mecha as possible.
I guess some people seem to like these toys, but it's hard for me to like them when I know they aren't finished. I guess I feel the same way about video games and downloadable content. Bullshit.