Bandai recently tackled Gurren Lagann in their Super Robot Chogokin line. As an extra add-on set, the Drill of Manliness was released as well. I’ve spent several months with the Sen-Ti-Nel RIOBOT Gurren Lagann and will lightly touch on how they both compare as well. Here is the review.
Figure: I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t seen the anime in a very long time or if I was mostly exposed with the RIOBOT figure, but SRC Gurren Lagann looks odd. There are several things that just stand out. The best part of this figure is the color scheme. The red is vibrant, the black is clean, and the gold is juicy. I’m just not a big fan of the gun-metal ball-joints; the red plastic make them stick out like a sore thumb. The figure’s silhouette, on the other hand, is not so good. This figure is the same size as the RIOBOT GL, but the proportions are completely different. The SRC GL has thunder thighs, hindered by a crummy codpiece, and an incredibly bulimic torso. Getting back to the codpiece, it does move slightly out-of-the-way, but the side skirts annoyingly pop off all the time. The knee pads look like they belong to a child skater, are ridiculously oversized, and unnecessarily “hover” too far from the joint. When you place both figures next to each other, it makes me somewhat dislike both figures. Despite being somewhat stylized, the hefty proportions of the RIOBOT look better to me. The SRC, however, has the advantage of being sturdy with its die-cast. The stomach face has a moving mouth, but it’s not as good as the RIOBOT‘s. The last thing that I want to add is that this figure is the first to use the Super Robot Chogokin Cross-Over feature – Gurren Lagann implements pegs that future (and a handful of older) figures do. Because of this, Gurren Lagann is compatible with the Mazinger Weapon Set.
Accessories: Gurren Lagann is packed with a nice amount of accessories. There are eight nicely sculpted hands that are difficult to plug on. The figure comes with three facial expressions that I half like; I love the mouths, but the eyes are not very pretty. Unlike the RIOBOT figure, the wrist drills just individually plug into the wrists. These drills are sharp and can probably pierce a kid’s eyes out. As expected, the chest’s sunglasses are removable and there’s an alternate piece of plastic to make things look smoother. Gurren Lagann also comes with two sunglass boomerangs. Lastly, the figure comes with a set of wings. This is very sturdy and has a wider wingspan than the RIOBOT one. The only unfortunate thing is that jetpack has drills that are prone to breaking.
Overall: Super Robot Chogokin is an enigma to me. I practically like every figure in the line, but this one is confusing to me. While it looks more like the mecha in the anime, compared to the RIOBOT figure, it’s still pretty ugly. I’d like the figure much more if the lower body wasn’t as funky. On the flip side, this figure is much more affordable and is the best option at a lower price range. I am more partial to the RIOBOT figure myself, but you’ll have to make your own decision between the two.
Drill Set of Manliness: If the standalone figure’s drill count doesn’t suit your fancy, the Drill Set of Manliness will quench that thirst. The set comes with twenty-eight drills that directly plug into the various holes on the figure. These rubbery drills take forever to plug in, and I’m constantly afraid of bending the tips. For some odd reason, I really love the alternate forehead crest. The main attraction, is the large drill that plugs on Gurren Lagann’s wrist-joint. There’s also a piece of plastic that looks like a spinning drill. This is merely a sleeve that just fits over the one large drill; unfortunately it makes the drill too heavy for the figure’s arm to hold up without a Tamashii Stage. I hate to say it, but I’m really okay with leaving this spinning effect in the box. Lastly, there’s an adaptor that makes it Cross-Over compatible. While it’s cool to see this figure overloaded with drills, the set doesn’t really do much for me. I understand wanting it for the larger drill, but couldn’t that have been packed with the original figure instead? If you’re going to have a drill add-on, go all the way and even include the long ones that protrude from the body. Buying Gurren Lagann and this set is more expensive than the RIOBOT figure, and less impressive too.