Just got this guy in the mail today and he's amazing. They say that you can't beat a classic, but the detailing, INSANE level of articulation on the pilots when they wouldn't be taller than 1cm (0.4 inches more or less), the interactivity and combination options, well and truly tell a different story in this case. Arguably the best robot themed toy released this year to date and I'll be interested to see if anything tops it. I'm not holding my breath though.
Ok rihia2k , so the "got a pic" turned into a mini photo review by stealth that's taken me a few days to get to.
This is going to be pretty in depth - in fact it's turned into a photo review by stealth, but here goes.
A bit of history first.
Diabattles was originally a part of a toyline known as Diaclone, one of the 2 main toylines which Hasbro drew on when creating Transformers.
This is the original figure, produced back in 1980, the first non-base type converting robot in the line which would ultimately produce the figures which would later become Optimus Prime, the Seeker mould, the Autobot Car Moulds, Devastator, the Omnibots, the Dinobots, the Trianbots, Ultra Magnus and the Insecticons:
Unfortunately when Transformers became the runaway hit, Takara reimported it, and sold it alongside Diaclone and the Micro Change line. However due to the brand confusion, Takara killed off the Diaclone and Microchange lines, incorporating all remaining unused designs into the Transformers line.
As much as many of us who have come to know and love the history of Transformers had wished otherwise, the line appeared all but dead and buried - never to be seen again in its own right.
Then at Wonderfest 2015, someone took a video of this on their phone:
Naturally it was a "shut up and take my money" moment for us. However to be honest, for me, for the most part it was more an interest thing from an historical perspective than "must have". Then it arrived in the mail earlier this week. When it arrived, I was getting excited - more excited than for the Masterpiece Ratchet figure that was coming in the same delivery. Poor Masterpiece Ratchet - a great figure, but it never stood a chance this time round in terms of being geeked out by it.
I had no idea what Takara had made and spectacular doesn't even begin to cover it.
To start off with, here are images of the front, back and sides of the box, as well as the insert. Nothing too out of the ordinary, but definitely what I'd associate more with a Soul of Chogokin release, which I'd be paying double the price for.
Also included are its instruction booklet:
As well as the unexpected bonus of an 8 page side-story companion guide:
Now for surprise number 1, but before that, a bit of backstory. You know those cockpits in not only Optimus, the Decepticon Jets and the Autobot Cars, but also the Dinobots and Insecticons? They're remnants of the Diaclone design where the toys were piloted mecha which came with pilots (Dianauts), who looked like this and had 4 points of articulation - shoulder bend and hip bend:
The V2.0 Dianauts are about the same size and look like this:
As you can see, they're about 2.8cm tall, so tiny (2.54cm=1 inch for the metrically challenged):
However what blew me away is that they managed to cram 5 points of articulation into them- ball jointed shoulders, elbow bend, ball jointed hips, knee bend and an ab crunch:
Yes, you read that correctly, they gave a 2.8cm figure, an ab crunch!
Of course that only the beginning of the surprises.
Much like the original, there are 3 vehicles:
Battles01 also has interchangeable weapons, but I'll get to that later on.
The cockpit for Battles02 is also a mini-jet capable of detaching from Battles02 and operating independently from it:
- Battles03, which unlike the others, is a 2-seater mobile armour:
And with the press of a button:
As with Battles02, the cockpit for Battles03 is also a mini-jet capable of detaching from Battles03 and operating independently from it:
It has articulated landing gear, which includes transforming wings:
It can also dock with Battles02:
And combine with the minijet from Battles02 to form the Bullet Fighter:
It also has another surprise in the hidden rear cargo bay:
The Road-Viper (anyone else thinking "TETSUO"?):
Able to be ridden by a Dia-naut:
I could transform him into a Robot, but let's same that for last. For now, here's every other combined form, first starting with Hopper mode, a combination of Battles01 and Battles03:
Hopper mode is also able to convert to Crawler Mode- without changing combination:
Then there's Glide mode, a combination of Battles02 and Battles03:
Which when docked with the minijet of Battles03, becomes Fortress Mode:
When Fortress mode combines with Battle01 by way of the undercarriage on Battles01 being on a swivel joint, it becomes Battles Triser:
Which looks even more impressive when you attach different blasters into his top hardpoints:
But of course, back to the main event, Scramble Mode, a Combination of Battles01, Battles02 and Battles03:
Which converts to Manual Mode:
And then finally Diabattles V2 Mode (almost):
The only step remaining, is to press this button:
Which in a real love letter to the Super Robot anime genre, triggers this gimmick:
Revealing the fully converted robot mode, ready for action:
It's shoulder cannons can be swapped out to something a little more hot-blooded:
Or in true Super Robot tradition, swords:
Which can be sheathed in hard points that can be attached to the inside of the thrusters on Battles 02:
One final feature of note - the stickers (4 black chevrons on yellow). Where most stickers are thin pieces of paper, these were on thick cardboard mounted with double sided tape - a massive improvement on the norm in terms of durability, as seen by the empty sticker sheet:
I'll admit, this guy wasn't cheap with a recommended retail of 15,000 Yen (1 Yen is the equivalent of 1 cent) but he's absolutely worth every cent I spent on him. Best toy of the year to date and unlikely to be topped between now and December. I only have 1 regret - that I'm now hooked on this line, which wont be kind to my wallet at all.
Last Edit: Jul 1, 2016 7:41:02 GMT -6 by bowspearer
Woah, thanks for going the extra-mile and posting that review up, bowspearer! Real treat to read. I'm glad I asked now
Once I saw the name Diaclone I was like, "aha" jigsaws falling in ta place. Though I've never gone deep down the robot path.
I can completely dig your delight in this acquisition now. Also reckon that 15,000 yen price tag is justified quick smart. I see a lot of rehashed characters marketed at adult collectors which are over-priced glorified bookends/paperweights, but this baby has that craftsmanship and considered detailing that reinstates some faith in the art of toy design. (those pilots, that bike, even!!)
Probably good I don't own one, every time I walked past it I'd have to adjust something on it and I'd never eat, sleep, shave or get anything done.
Actually I hate Takara right now and hate myself more lol. You see, I got this guy last Monday and loved it from the minute I got it. I knew I was hooked on the line, but it wasn't until a day later that I knew how badly.
Figure King Magazine had run an article showing update on Transformers releases. Masterpiece Inferno was getting most of the love, and Masterpiece Cheetor was getting the rest.
Then I spotted something down the bottom left corner of the page showing Masterpiece Cheetor at the top.
This is the original design for the Powered Suits in Diaclone, as shown in the commercial for Big Powered: