It's a mighty robot! And a space age vehicle, too!

DaidenjinDaimos had previously been released in several different forms for Mattel's Shogun Warriors, but it wasn't until the second series of Godaikin that the Chogokin DX version was issued in the West.

Daimos was the star of the 1978 anime Tôshô Daimos , the third instalment of director Tadao Nagahama's Romantic Trilogy of series (along with Cho-denji Robo Combattler V and Cho-denji Machine Voltes V). These are commonly credited with expanding Super Robot series beyond being toy commercials and towards more emotionally involving, adult storylines. And who knows, maybe they did. Daimos had several toys based on him, all designed by Popy. Foremost were the two Chogokin releases. The standard version was a non-transforming figure closely modelled on the character's appearance in the Anime. The deluxe version featured a few more compromises, in order to transform into Daimos' Tranzer mode. The Tranzer was also released as a non-transforming vehicle in the Popinica range. A 24" non-transforming version was also released in the Jumbo Machinder range.

In 1979, Mattel released a highly modified version of the Jumbo Machinder figure, the ST Chogokin and the Popinika Tranzer as part of Shogun Warriors . It wasn't until 1984, and the second series of Godaikin, that the DX version was finally issued in the West. Daimos is a very expensive figure, one of the most sought after Godaikin. One of the reasons for this is the original came with a truly obscene amount of accessories, a dazzling array of blades and missiles. I don't have the money to pay three figure sums for a toy, so went for a £15 example that's been pretty much stripped. It has the two shin-mounted blades, and that's about it. There is now a very sexy Soul of Chogokin version out, though.


DAIMOS

The resulting robot isn't bad looking at all. The proportions aren't brilliant, with the head slightly oversized, and the thin arms in contrast to the chunky legs - not as badly as the pictures suggest; Daimos' absent fists also include a good chunk of forearm on them; however even if these were present, the upper arms would still be rather thin. The helmet, being basically the truck cab, is a little oversized too. However, the construction of the figure means the body still comes out looking rather good. Even the big grey shell of the Tranzer looks good on his back, and despite his slightly misshapen physique, it's difficult to dislike Daimos. The figure also has decent articulation, with two joints at the shoulders, moving hips and slight movement at the knees - the big flat heavy legs mean you can actually make use of the latter as well, and it's not hard to get a good display pose out of the figure.

As you'd probably expect from a figure that dates back to 1978, the transformation is fairly straightforward - though some credit should be given for the very neat way the legs unfold, especially the spring-loaded panels that keep the thighs totally unclosed. The top half is theoretically simpler, as the shell of the truck simply moves around to Daimos' back, and the arms are pulled out (incidentally, and contrary to most Chogokin moulds I've yet owned, it looks like the fists can't be left in place for the vehicle mode). However, and I'm not sure if this is either some trick I'm missing or a legacy of my less-than-pristine example, but the arms are very hard to actually pull out - and this after I loosened a screw in his back.

Godaikin Daimos
Godaikin Daimos

TRANZER

Just over 9" long, the Tranzer is a big futuristic 24-wheel truck (well, the wheels at the rear of the cab are clearly pairs moulded as fat wide tyres for convenience, but the description stands). I should add here and now that there are meant to be more panels on the sides of the trailer, covering the visible sections of the arms, and some silver prongs on top of the cab - which, judging by the planet-splitting armament Daimos carries, probably double as guns in this mode.

There's not a huge amount to do with the Tranzer, to tell the truth. The cab contains a missile launcher, while the rear panels can be flipped down to reveal further launchers. The truck is articulated and can even be separated from the cab with the removal of a single screw, and that's about it. The little doors on the back would hold some of his weapons (I believe the two blades for the double-ended sword). I'm not 100% sure whether the two yellow blades are meant to be mounted in vehicle mode, but I'm guessing that they are, considering Popy's record for this sort of thing. It's not a particularly attractive vehicle being rather a blocky mess and having a mishmash colour scheme. However it is very solid and in 100% complete condition would hide most, if not quite all, of the robot mode features, something rather ahead of its' time when originally released.

Godaikin Daimos
Godaikin Daimos

SUMMARY

Daimos isn't a knockdown classic. With his relatively neat transformation, two solid modes, respectable articulation and bewildering amount of accessories, Daimos would have been an absolute revelation upon original release in Japan, but since then a great number of toys have bettered the idea and I'm reviewing the figure in 2008, not 1978. Do I like him? The answer is a 'Yes'. Would I like him even more in good condition and with a complete set of accessories? Undoubtedly, 'Yes' again. Would I have liked a complete one enough to add an extra zero to the price I paid? That one comes up as a 'No'. The figure lacks the clean design of I expect from Chogokin, and I'm quite glad I didn't spend a fortune on him.