Play with six fantastic robots, or unite them to create a spectacular super robot!

God MarzGod Marz was one of the large Godaikin released in the series' debut 1982-83 range (the Chogokin release was spelt and parsed differently, as Godmars). The figure consisted of six robots that combined into a single large robot.

The anime, Six God Combination Godmars, was actually quite well known in its' day (it also has a fabulous theme tune ) while the character remains popular enough to recently receive an overhauled figure for Bandai's prestige Soul of Chogokin range. The series was also the loose inspiration for the awful American-made Mighty Orbots cartoon (the figure was even modified for the prototype of the Orbots figure, which never entered production).

The original 1981 version was produced by Popy, in three versions. The first was the ST version - only the 'command robot' Gaia could be removed from this 6" version, but on the plus side it came with a giant mountain it could hide in. The second was the DX - the 10", separating version. Despite having separate codes, the six individual robots weren't issued separately. There was also a two-foot Jumbo Machinder made from polythene - this probably looks better in person where its' sheer size can be appreciated; in pictures, it looks awful. The second version is much better known, and was released by Bandai America for the first series of Godaikin, named God Marz. At the time the toy retailed at an astonishing $80 (that was - at the time - four Optimus Primes). Nowadays you're looking at $400. Or closer to forty if like me you plump for the Taiwanese 'God Tron' remake.

A few words on the packaging of the bootleg, which is directly lifted from the DX release but with the text modified (and converted to English). I'm new at this, and was basically blown away by the ~20" box (which even has a handle in the side to carry). It's so nice - the first time in years that opening a brand new toy hasn't involved nasty twist-ties or a plastic bubble, and it took me back to Christmases of yore when I'd get a massive Transformers toy like Metroplex or Jetfire. It's not exactly a deal-breaker but if like me you tend to buy loose figures it's a nice feeling to have. The sturdy cardboard box and Styrofoam insert with card lid with windows to show off all the parts also provide a great storage option.


GOD MARZ

Merging the robots to form God Marz is a satisfying procedure (helped by the Anime following the toy pretty closely). Extra marks go to the way Gaian slots inside Sphinx - the mechanism is the same sort of thing seen on Gardian and later half-inched for Takara's Transformers Brainmasters figures. Basically, the chest and thighs of Sphinx flip open and the shoulders rotate, creating a cavity for Gaian to fit inside. If Gaian has one of the Takeru 'figures' based in his chest, the extended neck allows Gaian's head to extend inside that of God Marz. The thigh parts and the chest then close, totally hiding Gaian. Well, on God Tron anyway - the genuine article has a transparent face and a window in the chest, allowing both Gaian's head and Takeru to be seen. This is neat from the point of view of being able to see the mechanics, I do think the opaque knockoff looks a lot more solid.

And God Marz is a very solid, impressive looking robot. Standing at a mighty 10.5 inches and weighing a not inconsiderable fraction of the anime's stated 1025 tonnes, the robot is absolutely stunning. The individual robots blend nicely without losing the combined look and the various colours pull together without clashing. Articulation is around the same for most Chogokin robots, with articulation at the shoulder and the elbow. The head cast is great - not particularly personable, but certainly rather imposing. Add on the God Sword - a full 10" of it - and this is one robot you would want on your side. Factor in a pair of rocket punches that could probably go through a window, and you have a great figure.

There are a few downsides. While the usual effort has been put into making the whole body enclosed, from the back the arms and feet of Sphinx plus the arms for Saturn and Titan are plainly visible. Sphinx's head is however hidden well by that of God Marz, and even the arms of Shin and Rah being plainly visible is more a nod to the separation than a particular aberration. Another neat touch is that Gaia can be removed without disassembling the whole unit, which adds to the fun. While the smaller robots have their pluses and look pretty cool displayed as a team, the main draw is God Marz himself. It should be remembered that God Marz isn't six robots that combine, he's a single robot that separates and the full combined form is what Popy concentrated on.

Godaikin God Marz
Godaikin God Marz
Godaikin God Marz
Godaikin God Marz

GOD GAIAN

In the anime, this one (under the name Gaia) was the companion robot of the young Japanese boy Takeru, a.k.a. Mars. At 4" tall, it's by far the smallest of the God Marz robots. The overall impression is more of a humanoid android than the other blocky robots - I'm guessing this is to emphasis that it's piloted by Takeru. The set comes with two little chrome moulded parts representing Takeru in Gaia's cockpit (there are two because they're tiny I'd guess). This can be placed in Gaia's chest but only if you extend the robot's neck to a comical position. I'll give Popy the benefit of the doubt and assume this is largely for the benefit of Godmars rather than Gaia, then. The genuine version has a small transparency on the chest, while the knockoff just has a hole.

Gaia has limited movement at the hips (basically allowing the legs to be moved apart for fitting inside God Marz), rotating shoulders and bending knees (though these are no use). The figure also has trademark Popy rocket punches for both forearms - even on the replica, these things are borderline violent. Gaia can also hold the Cannon Saber, a rapier-cum-blaster can slides over either of the robot's fists.

Godaikin God Gaian

MAJIN SPHINX

By far the largest and most complex of the robots, Sphinx stands at just under 7" and forms the torso, head and shoulders of God Marz. The individual figure looks very good, a nice big chunky Popy robot with a classy three-tone colour scheme. Some of the design touches are great, like the almost pyramidal head and the great big clumping feet.

Most of the engineering is with an eye on the combined form, so there isn't too much to him. However, there are two points of articulation on each arm, and the Cross Sword is a neat weapon that can fit like a glove over each hand. The size and weight of the toy is rather impressive, and Sphinx is probably my favourite of the individual robots.

Godaikin God Marz

MAJIN URANUS

The two arm robots - Uranus and Titan - share the same basic layout, though Popy have made some alterations to both so they look a bit different. Uranus is well-proportioned, and around 4" tall (though much bulkier than Gaian). The predominantly white scheme sadly lacks impact, despite some good detailing work in red and the black secondary colour. Also the shoulders - which house the connections to clip the arms on to God Marz - can't help but look hollow.

The legs are one solid block and articulation is limited to the shoulders (which rotate) and the waist (which bends). Uranus has rocket punches for both fists and can carry the Round Saber. This is a bit of a pain, as it can only be held vertically while the fists are stuck horizontally - resulting in the figure looking like it isn't holding the weapon properly.

Godaikin God Marz

MAJIN TITAN

Titan being the other arm of God Marz follows much the same configuration as Uranus, with the same amount (or lack thereof) of articulation as well as the same solid legs, hollow shoulders, spring-loaded head and pair of rocket punches. However, the overall result is rather more pleasing.

The deep green colouring gives him more substance, something aided by the metallic paint on the chest and the use of yellow details makes the shoulder connectors blend in a little better. The more squared edges add to the substance and make for a more satisfactory robot. The one problem is that the Hyper Sword can once again only be mounted horizontally - while this does mean it looks more natural (as it now lines up with the fists) it also doesn't look particularly dynamic.

Godaikin God Marz

MAJIN SHIN

Standing 5.5" tall, Shin is a chunky black robot. Due to doubling as one of God Marz' legs, he has a wedge-like profile and slightly odd proportions - the legs are just generally too chunky to sit well with his torso and arms. However, the black colour scheme is rather good and the chromed (and, in the case of the knockoff, stickered) silver parts break him up nicely.

The head design has a bit of charm to it. There's also some respectable articulation in the shoulders and rocket punch forearms. Adding to the fun factor is the Angle Cutter, a dangerous-looking weapon that fits snugly in Shin's fist. The biggest downside - apart from the figure being a bit of a brick - is the large grooves for the arms when in combined mode. Not a fantastic robot, but not without a little appeal.

Godaikin God Marz

MAJIN RAH

Much as with Uranus and Titan, Rah (just Ra in Japan) shares the same basic layout as Shin. However once more Popy have gone to the effort of making the actual sculpt considerably different, with a totally different head, chest plate and waist.

While the moulding's fine the colours leave a little to be desired. The blue is nice enough in itself but possibly a little too close to Sphinx, and the yellow head just manages to look rather cheap, despite some interesting styling. Rah features the same decent shoulder articulation and rocket punches as Shin, but his weapon's less impressive. Well, that's unfair - the Iron Breaker itself isn't bad, but it just wobbles around in Rah's hand.

Godaikin God Marz

SUMMARY

In summary, God Marz is an excellent figure, with a diverting set of features. Individually the robots aren't stunning, but the combined robot is superb - a dominating display piece that's beautifully crafted - even in knockoff form. God Tron is highly recommended as a cheap way to get one of the most expensive Popy figures, and that way you won't be afraid to really enjoy the wide range of features.