There are few characters that have been more influential to me than the Gurren Lagann. "But Pedro," you may say, "the Gurren Lagann is a robot, not a person." Well, if you've Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, you'd know that everything in that show oozes attitude, especially the robots. While they may not speak, the robots (especially the titular one) in Gurren Lagann were my gateway into the world of mecha. That alone makes the Gurren top any list of personal influences.
With expectations like that, any Gurren that is made goes under high scrutiny. I expect only the best of my favorite robot. With Bandai's Super Robot Chogokin version of the Gurren, I think I may have just found the best iteration. Hit the jump to read more!
Figure Name: Super Robot Chogokin Gurren Lagann & Drill Set of Manliness
Figure Maker: Bandai
Retail Price: $69.99 & $32.99
Available at: SRC Gurren Lagann (Entertainment Earth | Big Bad Toy Store | Amazon) Drill Set of Manliness (Amazon)
As per the usual, let's begin with the Gurren's box.
A nice, dynamic box for a robot with attitude. There's no way you'll miss this guy, believe me. With so much willpower and hot blood, there's no way I could possibly contain the Gurren.
The plastic prison holds four drillls, three additional pairs of hands, two giant pair of sunglasses, two fierce faces, a replacement face part and the Gurren's flight pack. Oh, and it of course holds this guy:
What I love so much about this version of the Gurren (and the Super Robot Chogokin line in general) is how sturdy the figure feels. The combination of diecast and plastic really makes a difference in how I treat the figure. Compared to Kaiyodo's Revoltech Gurren...
I feel like I can actually pose the SRC into positions I want to see. The Revoltech's joints just don't cut it. Even doing simple things like this:
...is a chore for the Revoltech and quite simple for the SRC. Add to that the excellent balancing, and you have a figure that is easy to pose with out an additional assistance.
Here you can get a better shot of some of the joints. The only thing that I can knock the SRC Gurren for is the very obvious joint in the midsection. At the very least, the Revoltech Gurren hid the center joint better. However, the pay off is that it's easier to contort the SRC Gurren for some wacky poses.
More joints, this time near the Gurren's feet. A lot of flexibility in those ankles and knees make stabilization an easy affair.
With all that talk of posing out of the way, let's actually use some of those accessories! First up, let's pull out the boomerang sunglasses.
To get these bad boys into the Gurren's mitts, you have to switch out the hands to one of the additional set ups. It's as simple as pulling off one set of hands and pushing in the other set onto the ball. That set up can lead to some precarious moments during removal, but it makes it easy to spin the hands around. You might also notice that the brow has been changed out, thanks to an extra piece. Hey, gotta be accurate!
The other major accessory in the box are four drills and the flight pack, which plugs into the Gurren's back. The flight pack looks quite nice and has a good amount of articulation and adds some nice heft onto the figure. In the wake of needing to collect the pieces of the flight pack for the Revoltech, it's nice that Bandai put it in the package.
That's not to say that Bandai didn't exclude anything in their release of the SRC Gurren. You'll notice that there isn't a larger drill included. I mean, even the Revoltech included a larger drill for posing. Well, instead of putting a wimpy-sized drill in an already stuffed box, they released an effects pack called the Drill Set of Manliness.
With a name like that, you'd expect some large and bombastic. Well, the box has the same amount of 'tude present in the SRC box, so at least it has that going for it. When you take it out of the box, it looks like...
Hot damn! Not only do you get a ton of drills to stuff the Gurren's exhaust ports, but you also get a huge honkin' drill. Unlike the Revoltech's drill, this one is properly in scale with the Gurren. All you have to do is pull out arm at the elbow, insert the connecting piece into the base of the drill and push it in. It's all rather simple.
A close up shot of the drills. As awesome as the drills look on the Gurren, it was a huge pain to get them to stay in. Variances in the size of the ports and the drills made some fall out repeatedly. If you're going to keep the Gurren in one place, then I'd say leave them on. However, if you're planning on posing this sexy robot, then it's best to leave them off.
The final piece in the Drill set is the rotating drill. This magnificent-looking effect part is an empty shell that locks in with the normal drill. You slide it on, rotate it and it locks in. Unfortunately, it also adds enough weight to the drill to make it impossible to pose without some sort of support. Don't get me wrong, it looks awesome. However, you'll have to have the drill propped up on something if you want it at any sort of angle. This might be offset if you have one of the special stands that Bandai sells separately, but I can't recommend it on its own.
Overall, the SRC Gurren is a must buy if you're a fan of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Barring a proper Soul of Chogokin, this likely the best version of the Gurren you'll find. It's super poseable, has a ton of accessories, and is solid. No flimsy plastic here. While the Drill Set of Manliness looks great, it's hampered by the sheer weight of the drill and the weak connections the additional drills make with the Gurren proper.
[A big thank you to Bluefin Distribution for providing us with a sample!]
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