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Sir Auros' review of: God Ginrai

God Ginrai
Allegiance: Autobot (Godmaster/Powermaster)
Function: Powermaster Commander
"No one is free until we are all free."
First U.S. Cartoon Appearance: N/A
First Japanese Cartoon Appearance: God Ginrai Goes into Space
First U.S. Comic Appearance: Transformers #1 (Hi Q -- Transformers #42)

God Ginrai was one of the most anticipated of Takara's reissues from the past year, and should be getting a North American release in Toys r Us sometime in the Spring of 2003. I purchased mine from Hobbylink Japan for a mere 20 USD + shipping, and I'm quite pleased with this toy. For those of you who do not know already, God Ginrai is the Japanese counterpart of our Powermaster Optimus Prime, but his cab is made out of metal and he comes with the Godbomber character/armor. As a character, I'd always thought God Ginrai was lame since he was a robot controlled by a human and not even really Optimus Prime, but as a toy...well, he's a perfect example of a FUN toy. I should also comment on my usage of "God Ginrai," "Prime," and "Powermaster Prime" in this review. Unless I specifically say so, when I say "Powermaster Prime," I am referring to the mode God Ginrai can form that most of us are familiar with and not a separate toy entirely. I mean the same thing when I say "Prime," that it's God Ginrai, but he's in the regular Prime mode.


Alternate Mode
As I would expect you to know, God Ginrai is a version of G1 Optimus Prime, so his alternate mode is, of course, a semi-truck and trailer. God Ginrai is very clearly NOT a vehicle in disguise like the original Optimus Prime, but a powered-up, combat-ready bad mofo version of Optimus Prime...even if he is not actually Optimus Prime in the Japanese series.
God Ginrai's cab is made out of metal on the front, with a plastic back, shoulders, and arms, but the metal is a really nice step up from the American version. He actually has windows instead of stickers and the spot on and around the grill where Hi-Q plugs in is no longer all gray. Instead, the grill is gray and the surrounding area is red like the rest of the cab. The metal, the real windows, and the accurate paintjob make the cab look fabulous and that alone is a reason to buy this toy in my opinion.
The trailer with God Ginrai is kind of funky and does not look as much like a real truck's trailer like regular Optimus Prime's, but it does serve as not only a base but also the body of Powermaster Prime and God Ginrai. Keeping this in mind, the trailer really appears as more of a combat vehicle than something used just for transport. The storage of God Ginrai's guns on the top and sides of the trailer also adds to this impression.
In vehicle mode, the Powermaster Prime/God Ginrai (it is used for both transformations) can be stored in a compartment that opens up from the back "doors" of the trailer. I find that this is also a good place to stuff Hi-Q when he's acting up.
Now, the big difference between the Powermaster Prime and God Ginrai vehicle modes (apart from the swanky cab) is the extra God Bomber trailer that he pulls behind himself. The God Bomber trailer looks, well, lame. Lame as "all get-out" if you will. It is not really that bad, but it just does not seem to fit with God Ginrai in vehicle mode unless you are looking at him as a combat-ready mofo. The biggest problem I have with it is that the front of the trailer is obviously God Ginrai's chest. This is so apparent because it is actually shaped like a chest and looks so ridiculously impractical. He has some heavy firepower and some snazzy fins, but that is about it for God Bomber's "vehicle" (can a trailer count as a vehicle?) mode.

Robot Mode
Prime and God Bomber - The most annoying thing about God Ginrai is the fact that Hi-Q is intended to be used to be able to transform him, but this can be avoided if you just hold down the grill and the little white tab inside on your own. To make a standard Optimus Prime out of this guy, disconnect the blue cannon thingy from the cab and then fold the cab's legs down, flip out his oddly shaped feet, flip his arms to his sides, flip down his briefs, and flip up the piece of plastic on the top of the cab that has his head on the other side. Then you have an Optimus Prime. Put a gun in his hands and he's ready to roll. I would also like to mention something that really bothered me as a child with my Powermaster Prime, he cannot hold his gun straight up unless it is held at a slight angle so that it goes alongside his arm, so it cannot really be pointed straight ahead. I don't know why, but that really really bothered me that he could not hold his gun straight...it still kind of irks me. To make God Bomber, you need to pull the chrome chestplate front off the trailer, pull out the blue arms, pull out the red fins, then you pull the gray Godbomber chestplate off what is now the top of the trailer and then separate the trailer into two halves. On a short sidenote, here is an example of a transformer that pulls apart and recombines rather than actually transforming prior to the RiD series. The two big halves of the trailer become Godbomber's legs by unfolding his feet and then plugging the gray chestplate into them. After you do that, flip up Godbomber's head from behind the gray chestplate and attach the chrome chestplate as his back, plug the red fins into where his arms should be and then plug his arms into those. Godbomber is really big (almost as big as Powermaster Prime), but he just is not that cool because he looks like a big, dumb dork of a Transformer and the fact that the Godbomber armor for God Ginrai feels so insubstantial really hurts his appearance and play value.
Prime's trailer transformed into a base is really nice looking this time around and it is works well with Hi-Q manning the double-barreled guns or in the little control room. To put God Ginrai's trailer into base mode, pull up the flat gray piece on his back to unfold the sides of the trailer into the bottom of the Powermaster Prime legs, then you need to pull his legs apart until he is doing a split, then flip the folded-down sides of the trailer and insert the double-barreled guns and flip down one of the "ramps" and you're done with that part. Then, all that's left is to flip the long gray piece that should now be at the front of the base down to reveal the control room windows. Hi-Q can be mounted on either of the guns or left to stand in the control room. This mode is the only fun way I was able to play with Hi-Q, because I hated having to use him to transform God Ginrai and that was about all he is good for other than playing with the base mode. I suppose he could be used with Micromasters or other Powermasters or Headmasters, but this is the best mode to use him with. I really like the way the base mode looks, and I think it is actually a much better base than is found in the original Optimus Prime or even some of the toys that were designed solely to be bases.

Powermaster Prime
- Here is the transformation those of you familiar with Powermaster Prime will recognize, because it is still exactly the same as it was before. First off, take the trailer and do the exact same thing you do to transform it into base mode but stop right before you start making the legs do a split and also flip the base's blue cannon over so that it is on Powermaster Prime's back. Then, you just take the cab in vehicle mode, flip the legs up so that Prime's cab has become a cube, plop that into the Powermaster Prime body...and if you cannot figure out where, then I cannot believe you have read this review this far. Finally, you just put the Powermaster Prime/God Ginrai head on the top of the cab, plug the double-barreled guns into the arms and put the black guns in his hands and you're done. Now, make him go knock Godbomber apart with one punch. Do it. I really like the Powermaster Prime mode, and I would even go so far as to say that I like it better than the God Ginrai mode, but that might just be because it is what I am familiar with. You are supposed to have Hi-Q inserted in God Ginrai's stomach for this mode, but I usually just transform him sans Hi-Q. This mode is really nice because it allows you to show off God Ginrai's snazzy metal cab, allows you to do something with the trailer so it is not just sitting around, and lets you have Godbomber running about for abuse. There is also one major difference that this mode demonstrates, and that is the retractable fists that are no longer molded as one part of the arm and are a different color as well.

God Ginrai
- Here it is, the whole point of reading this review, or so I'm told... To transform into God Ginrai mode, first make Powermaster Prime, then take apart the Godbomber trailer or robot (depending on which mode he is currently in) and you are ready to begin. The two halves of the Godbomber trailer fit onto the soles of Powermaster Prime's feet, and it is a little tricky getting them to insert correctly at first. I would recommend trying to get the parts that insert at the heel in first. After the feet are on, you can take the double-barreled guns off of Powermaster Prime's arms (you HAVE to actually) and insert them into the sides of his feet. The chrome front of Godbomber acts as God Ginrai's chestplate and it fits on nice and easy over the front. You take the gray piece that is Godbomber's chest and put that into the holes on Powermaster Prime's back. It is really easy for it to fall off, so make sure it is in there as tight as you can get it, then put the red fins into Godbomber's arm holes. The last step is to plug Godbomber's arms over Powermaster Prime's arms. Behold God Ginrai in his might, then have him punt Hi-Q across the room for kicks. Kicks, get it? Ahem, I like the God Ginrai mode as a whole, and he's just as poseable as Powermaster Prime, but I really hate how the double-barreled guns are positioned on his feet. That is just silly. He is really big in God Ginrai mode and it is really an impressive toy. I also find that the Powermaster Prime head also seems somewhat less huge and more normal sized in this mode. Still as much fun as Powermaster Prime, bigger, shinier, and just a cool toy.

Poseability
The poseability is a little above average for a G1 Transformer, because the arms can rotate around 360 degrees on one axis, and they can also be lifted to the side a little. His legs, of course, are completely immobile, but so were most other G1 toys. Nevertheless, it is too bad that his design is such that his legs are not even separated and cannot move at all. He also cannot rotate his head in either mode, but he still gets cool points for being able to rotate his arms so much.

Transformation - 7 He really is not that hard to transform, and you should be able to do it without the help of the instructions, but there are so many transformations that he is still loads of fun to figure out how to transform for the first time.
Durability - 8 I've taken good care of my God Ginrai, so I have to go by the endurance that my original Powermaster Prime had. The only two parts that ever broke on that were the peg that connects the blue thing on the trailer to the cab and one of the wheels broke off when I dropped it. Other than those few weak parts, I do not think it is that easy to damage this toy.
Fun - 10 This is a fun toy people. Multiple transformations of various sizes, heavy weaponry, and enough poseability to allow him to fight with other toys. He is also a lot of fun to push around in vehicle mode, not that anyone ever plays with a Transformer in vehicle mode ;)
Price - 4 I should point out here that my review scale for the price is such that a cheaper toy is on the lower end while something like Fort Max is a 10. I got my God Ginrai from Hobbylink Japan for $45 USD all told after shipping, so he is really cheap for a Japanese reissue of his size. I also think that many other online stores have given him a huge price cut so that he should be selling for something around that elsewhere too.
Overall - 9 He is a really great toy and for his price and value, he is a worthy addition to any collection, or a fun toy to play with.

 
 
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