When separated, this dynamic robot becomes three distinct vehicles,
or where combined, a space age Carrier.

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

Like fellow Godaikin figures Daidenjin, Sun Vulcan, Goggle V and Bio Man, Dynaman comes from Toei's long-running Super Sentai franchise, specifically the series Kagaku Sentai Dynaman which seems to largely focus on massive explosions and thus looks awesome. This aired from 1983, with the Chogokin action figures released the same year (the DX version coded GB-96, the ST version GB-97) - one of the last designs by Popy before they merged back into parent company Bandai. The toy was thus one of the most modern released in the Godaikin line. Also issued in both territories was the Dyjupiter, the ship used by the Dynaman operatives. As an aside, some years later Kagaku Sentai Dynaman was the first Sentai to be imported to America - albeit as a spoof dub simply named Dynaman.

The full-size 'DX' version splits into three units - the small jet Dynamach, the armoured car Dynamobile and the truck Dynagarry. As well as the three vehicles, the DX Dynaman toy came with the Dyna Sword, Dyna Shield, half a dozen missiles and four Big Punch Missiles. Mine is missing the shield and both right hands - the other left hand fits in upside down in the right socket well enough, and is generally well-hidden by the sword.


DYNAMAN

Dynaman has one of the great Chogokin combinations. The torso has a single slot on the top and two on the bottom. The legs slide into the latter, while the undercarriage of Dynamach slots into the former with the red shell of the jet flipping up to reveal Dynaman's face. Dynagarry folds in on itself before splitting in half and forming a pair of surprisingly solid legs. The attention to detail is superb, best epitomised by the cab wheels folding in to form smooth, flat feet. Unlike the legs of Goggle V these can actually stand freely, which makes forming Dynaman that bit easier (and thus more fun). Dynamobile's front then folds up, the wheels move underneath and the arms slide out of the Dynamobile body, forming the solid torso and arms. The whole sequence is free of frustration or needless complexity and is curiously addictive - many times I've formed Dynaman only to separate him almost immediately and start all over again.

Combined into robot mode, Dynaman is an impressive and imposing figure. Around 10" tall, the robot is well-proportioned, and satisfyingly chunky. The colour scheme works beautifully, with the various white, red, yellow, silver and chrome areas breaking up the blue nicely. The robot hangs together solidly, has incredible balance due to the flat, heavy feet and weighs in at an astonishing 1.5kg. The amount of diecast has been pared back from earlier releases, thought the lower torso and feet are still metal. Articulation is limited to the shoulders, though the rocket punches and accessories stop him from getting boring. Dynaman isn't as seamless as some of the other Godaikin, with visible holes for the arms in the sides of the torso and the Dynamobile wheels plainly visible on his back, but these really aren't major factors.

Godaikin Dynaman DX
Godaikin Dynaman DX
Godaikin Dynaman DX

DYNAMACH

By far the smallest unit, this is a tiny ~2" red jet which is formed from Dynaman's head. The face is well hidden inside the shell-like red body, and Popy have made the nice touch of engine indentations in the back too. The whole idea works better than it should due to some clever design work although the wheeled trolley underneath obviously ruins the shape a lot.

Popy did miss a trick in not making this removable, though it would have been tricky to do without it getting lost in the robot's chest I suppose.

Godaikin Dynaman DX

DYNAMOBILE

A 5" long wedge-shaped armoured car, Dynamobile is actually a great vehicle. The weight of the thing (some 350g) is pretty astonishing, while the big chunky rubber tyres add to the feeling of quality. There's just something very fun about this bizarre collision of tank and dune buggy and unique profile very much gives the impression of something designed to ram larger things, such as robots. Tasty.

In addition there's a delicious colour scheme, and aside from the hands being visible from the rear (they're hidden inside the vehicle) it gives very little of Dynaman away. The twin missiles launchers located in the nose add a bit more play value, though the design makes it surprisingly good fun anyway.

Godaikin Dynaman DX

DYNAGARRY

The largest of the vehicles, Dynagarry is a 10" long articulated truck. As a flatbed truck there's not a huge amount to look at, though the design work on the cab is nice - by now the Chogokin range was moving forwards from the Gerry Anderson look to what can loosely be described as 'anime style' - the edges are a bit smoother, but there's still this wonderfully 1980s sense of futurism in the thing. This is what we were going to see on the roads by the year 2000, this is.

The crisp colours are once again beautiful, though the layout isn't great - like the much later Bandai-designed flatbed/legs unit for Chaos from Gobots, the middle section totally gives away that these are the legs of a robot. There's an obvious split line down the middle but Popy have learnt from Goggle V, and the two halves are held together very securely - and as the realistic alternative to a join line is legs that are moulded together it's not a problem. What's really impressive though is the articulation mechanism for the cab - it's a great piece of work, allowing the cab to turn despite the connection being split onto the two halves. The other two vehicles can also be mounted on Dynagarry for transport.

Godaikin Dynaman DX
Godaikin Dynaman DX

SUMMARY

Dynaman is one of the best Godaikin I own, with three interesting vehicle modules and an impressive robot mode. Add in the legendary Chogokin production quality and you have a fantastic - if expensive - figure. Definitely worth a look if you're after one of the big DX figures, or if you're a Sentai fan in general.