A striking 12" super robot that becomes two soaring jet planes when separated.

For the second series of Godaikin, Bandai America began using different versions of the same figure. Thus America received both the ST and DX versions of Bio Man. This review covers the DX version.

Bio Man is another figure from the annals (sic) of Super Sentai mecha that was co-opted for Godaikin. The toy is actually modelled on the Bio Robo from Choudenshi Bioman , the eighth Super Sentai series.

The toy was originally released within the Chogokin range in 1984. The seminal line was now under the control of Bandai, but much remained the same. Bio Robo was manufactured in both ST and DX versions - the former transformed into a combined jet mode only. Bandai also manufactured figures of the five Biomen themselves, and a large Bio Dragon vehicle as featured in the series - this was scaled to accommodate the DX Bio Robo.

As Bandai America tried to make Godaikin more appealing to children, both Bio Robo figures and the Bio Dragon were issued for the second series. In common with most (if not all, Daidenjin being the one exception) Godaikin, the Western release was named after the show, rather than the character (though it was parsed differently in this case). My Bio Man is a bit knocked around, missing his weaponry and suffering from rather heavy yellowing.


BIO MAN

The design of the robot sadly lacks the flourish of Dynaman. It's a bit more svelte that its' predecessor, and somehow loses a lot of the charm - Bio Man is more like an ordinary robot. The lanky legs (size-wise, they're about right; however, the vertical stripes make them look very long) don't help the look either. There are some nice flourishes - the excellent head design with its' stylised Batman-esque horns, the lovely feet and the neat smooth legs, but somehow he falls just short. It lacks the solid feel of some other Chogokin, not least due to the much reduced diecast content - only the chest and fins are metal (though the plastic is still of very high quality).

There are some slight wear issues to the toy as well - the catch that links the two Bio Jets isn't as unflinchingly solid as the similar arrangements on other multiunit figures from the line, while the extendable thighs can work a little loose leading to the legs suddenly compacting without warning. Articulation is moderate at the shoulders and elbows, though the feet can be rotated a little meaning Bio Man can be slightly more dynamic when being displayed.

Combining the two Bio Jet modules is good fun. Bio Jet 2 forms the lower half of the body, and how it does so is less obvious than you'd think. Rather than the legs just pulling down from the back end of the jet, they also rotate inwards - this leads to the top side of the aircraft ending up on the inside of the legs and the folded wings on the back. Thus the front and outside of each leg comes from areas not really visible on the jet mode, allowing for a markedly different colour scheme. Bio Jet 1 has fewer surprises on the way to forming the top half of the robot. Nevertheless, it's striking that Bio Man is actually very differently coloured to his jet modules, with black taking over from white as the primary colour scheme. The colours mesh very effectively, but there's something not quite there about the overall design of the robot mode.

Godaikin Bio Man DX
Godaikin Bio Man DX

BIO JET 1

Measuring 5.5" long, Bio Jet 1 doubles up as the top section of Bio Man. Compared to earlier Chogokin there's a distinct effort from Bandai to move this a little towards robots in disguise, with the majority of the robot components either hidden away or blending in a bit better than on some older figures. The exception here are the arms - although some attempt has been made to hide these, the L-shaped folded limbs are still obvious in origin.

The design itself is nice, with some good smooth lines and considerable charm. There's even a darling set of landing gear that fold neatly away inside the aircraft for flight or robot modes. Bio Jet 1 also has two spring-loaded missile launchers on the stubby wings - as per usual, these are brutal. For a nice change there's even an opening cockpit - I'm guessing once upon a time this housed a little figure of one of the Biomen but that's long gone from my example.

Godaikin Bio Man

BIO JET 2

The second jet is a little larger, at 6.5" long. It's a wider bulkier thing, which is odd when you think about it - Bio Jet 2 doubles as Bio Man's legs, and you'd expect these to be slimmer than his torso. The limbs themselves are generally well hidden, though there is a telltale gap down the back of the aircraft that gives the game way. The design isn't the smoothest, with the cockpit section being quite a bit smaller than the main body of the aircraft, leading to an ugly ridge 2.5" back from the front. There are some nice details, though, notably a (fixed) cockpit, some very slick undercarriage and a thorough sticker sheet. It's a nice blocky design very much of the period.

Incidentally, the two Bio Jet modules can be combined into a single jet if the fists are removed from their stowed position on Bio Jet 1 - this isn't advertised in anything I've seen, and doesn't seem to feature in the television series. However, the non-separating ST version necessarily uses this as the alternate configuration. It looks pretty awful and I'm not really counting it as mode of the figure.

Godaikin Bio Man

SUMMARY

Bio Man is a respectable figure, just a little ordinary overall. The separation sequence is a little dull compared to Dynaman or Goggle V, the Bio Jet modules aren't much on their own, and the robot mode lacks any highlights (aside from the superb head design). Bio Man isn't bad, he just lacks much to make him stand out.