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Monday, October 12, 2009

WSTOYZ- REVIEW: BRAVE SERIES-LINER DAGWON!!!


Hey there fellow Bloggers! Today I will be putting something different as a kind request by one of my best buddies! (Here's hoping I don't let you down, bro!) -who just so happens to be an avid collector/fan of the Brave or Yuusha, line of Transforming Robots; which coincidentally became somewhat of a huge success for Japanese Toy-Maker Company Takara Co. Ltd. Although considered a separate franchise, The Yuusha Series; the toys certainly somehow inadvertently "borrowed" certain similar elements/ Mecha-design references during a time when the diminishing popularity of the Transformers franchise in Japan, Transformers Zone, occurred during the early 1990's. Takara desperately needed another shot in the arm, and thus a series of Brave or Yuusha cartoons paved the way for a reemergence and reinvigorating future after the unparalleled success of Transformers.

Without further delay, essentially, today I will be giving a personal review for one of the most interesting Three Robot / Train-based combiners to ever be produced by Takara, even being released as far back as the year 1994 in the Brave Command Dagwon Line! Yes, fellow Mecha fans... It is none other than : "SPEED WARRIOR - LINER DAGWON!"


Box Image: Front view shows nice, solid graphics of individual modes and combined form. This is the more inexpensive Sonokong Korean Version, Licensed by Takara.


Inside of Box: Contents are individually packed in Train mode inside plastic tray. Missiles for DagArmor are neatly packed on top right hand corner, as is the stickers and instruction manual.

I shall give a brief review and little personal insight with regards to the individual Robots, aesthetic differences and of course functions and gimmicks.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS:

First up is the Team Leader and Commander:

DagTurbo

Train Mode:

Dagturbo's train mode is essentially a Blue and White Bullet Train which can transform into the main torso of the combined super-robot mode. He also holds the super robot head in the middle part of the train carriage. At a glance, the design is pretty similar to other train robots produced by Takara, and DagTurbo's function and style can be likened to another 3-part combiner in the form of Transformer Car Robots JRX J-5 / RID Rail-Spike Bullet Train.

Left Arm Power Up Weapon:

DagTurbo's Power-up Piece is a super-charged turbo engine, which he attaches to the back of his train mode-- It can be separated to make the Left-hand connection and arm of the Liner Dagwon super robot mode. Besides forming the arm, the super-mode part also carries the front hip-guard for Liner Dagwon.









Power-Up Robot Mode:

Stylish, and retains the colour of its Train Mode--it stands roughly about 5 inches tall when fully transformed. Adding the Turbo Engines is done with two pegs which can be attached to the back part of the legs. Overall he is a decent looking robot, but definitely not the best looking of the bunch! LOL! Here, pictured above, you will notice slightly that I have made a few minor enhancements to the sticker parts, namely the hip-plate and forehead yellow crest. They were missing from the original sticker sets, and I thought a little "sprucing up" was needed to enhance the Robot mode's appearance! It's always cool to add your personal touch to your own toy-- as they always say--a little effort goes a long way! :)

Next in line is The Combiner's Team Fire-Power and Artillery Expert:

DagArmor


Train Mode:

Essentially, the appearance of DagArmor's Train-Mode is quite similar to that of DagTurbo's. He is primarily white with a lighter shade of blue. The only difference is a few colour changes of a few green lines across the train carriage. DagArmor's main function is to transform into Liner Dagwon's Right-Leg Piece, connecting with DagWing to form the lower part of the super Robot Mode. At a glance, the design is pretty similar to other train robots produced by Takara, and DagArmor's function and style can be likened to another 3-part combiner in the form of Transformers Car Robots J-7 / RID's Rapid Run.



Right Arm -Power-Up Weapon:

DagArmour's Power-up Piece is an Artillery Multiple Rocket Launcher , which also attaches to the back of his train mode-- It can be separated to make the right-hand connection and arm of the Liner Dagwon super robot mode. The plastic missiles are fully spring loaded, albeit only with respect to the two main launchers attached on it's wrist.

Power-Up Robot Mode:

Whoa! what an extra awesome difference the robot mode can look just by attaching it's super rocket launcher backpack! Its safe to assume that his overall aesthetics appeals to me the most. His backpack makes him look bad-ass and adds to a sense of power-- The primarily green arms and legs complements his red-missiles and silver stickers applied. An excellent robot mode well designed!






And thirdly, the last member of the group to be given the spotlight is the team's flight expert:

DagWing

Train Mode:

Essentially, the appearance of DagWing's Train-Mode takes a completely different turn to that of both Turbo's and Armor's. He is primarily gray lighter shade of silver. DagWing's main function is to transform into the flight thrusters for Liner Dagwon's super robot mode. He also has the connecting piece in order to combine with DagTurbo to form the lower part of the super Robot Mode. At a glance, the concept once again is rather similar to other train robot gestalts produced by Takara. Although dissimilar in design to Car Robots J-5/ RID Midnight Express, nevertheless DagWing's function is important to complete the overall look and feel of Liner Dagwon's Super robot mode-- The upward mode of the "Robot Wing's" is enhanced even more because of the clear blue plastic used to mold them.

Wing Booster Power-Up Weapon:


Essentially, the thrusters and wings can be folded backwards to mimic a so-called "landing mode". The style of the wings can be then altered with a press of a button on the thrusters back-part. Nothing much in terms of the gimmick, but it does add to the playability, considering the limitations of the overall toy design and engineering form the early 1990's.

Power-Up Mode
:


My second fave--and also retains the colour of its Train Mode--Overall pleasing on the eye, and a stylish looking robot! Here once again, as pictured above, I have made a few minor enhancements to the sticker on bot mode., namely on his front of the train chest. A strip of silver and black sticker with the number's "1" / "2" embossed. The "sprucing up" was needed to give the Robot mode's appearance a hint of personality! Once again, I always feel that with a little creativity and inspiration, you can make a toy unique and stand out even more. ;)

JUUREN-GATTAI! DAGWON LINER!

Well, now that its coming to the tail end of the review, I would not want to be so cruel to let you guys miss out on the piece De la Resistance' : The combined/ parts which are transformed from the individual powers/abilities of the Three Liner Members!

As mentioned earlier, DagTurbo forms the torso and head piece, followed by both DagArmor and DagWing. Essentially, both Turbo's and Armor's super mode weapons become Liner Dagwon's Arms-- this also includes both train mode front pieces, which become the super robot mode's shoulder pads.

To Gattei, or Combine, simply take the mid section of Dagwon Liner's Torso and tab the connectors from DagTurbo (essentially his arms which are folded ala JRX) into the combined lower leg/ thighs area of DagArmor and DagWing. Then attach the arm connectors, followed by the back thrusters. Finally, swivel the Super robot-Mode Head forward to complete the transformation and combination sequence!!


FINAL THOUGHTS:


WELL, HERE HE IS FINALLY! DAGWON LINER IN ALL HIS GLORY! Overall, he is a bulky-looking combiner, not necessarily a bad thing, but in my opinion, not too shabby and well proportioned. In my book, Liner Dagwon is an interesting and well executed combiner -- and will appeal to mecha fans who especially love combining train-bots! However, having said that, i will take a more unbiased view by adding that in my humble opinion, the individual robot modes are more overall
esthetically appealing -- as they match the Anime look more closely, and look cool with their super parts attached. With that, I give this Brave Series Gestalt a positive 4 **** / Out Of 5 ***** Stars!!

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