A colourful robot that becomes a tank, a jet and a dump truck when separated.

Goggle VGoggle V (and that's Goggle Five, not 'Vee') was one of the larger Godaikin figures - not quite the size of Golion or God Marz, but a healthy ~10" tall. The robot split into three individual vehicle modules - Goggle Jet, Goggle Tank and Goggle Dump.

Like several Godaikin figures, Goggle V is actually one of the mecha from Toei's Super Sentai series - in this case, the Goggle Robo from the sixth instalment, Dai Sentai Goggle V (which translates to Great Squadron Goggle V). Godaikin had a habit of naming the figures after the show they appeared in, rather than after the robot (in this case especially baffling as the number five doesn't fit with the three-module robot, instead referring to the five-man team). Apparently this series saw the Super Sentai franchise broaden its' appeal to adults - though what clips I can find seem to be the same mix of explosions, people striking a fighting pose, and charmingly inept model work.

There were several toys of the Goggle Robo - an 'ST' version that separated to some degree (not sure exactly what, though), a small version that came with the Popinica toy of the Goggle V's spaceship Goggle Caesar and the full-size DX version. These were all released in 1982. A two foot tall polythene Jumbo Machinder Goggle Robo prototype was made but Popy decided to axe the outdated range before it was released. The prototype is now on display in the Bandai Museum in Matsudo, Japan. A year later, the DX version was released in the inaugural Godaikin range.

This one I managed to get without packaging, but seems to have all the accessories. Firstly there are the three main units - the red Goggle Jet, the blue Goggle Tank and the yellow Goggle Dump. Then there's the Goggle Sword, Goggle Shield, Goggle Hand (a claw-like weapon on a chain), the Goggle Cutter (a twin-bladed thing that slips over the fists) and the Goggle Spindle (I have no idea what this does at the time of writing). Also present are four Big Punch (or rocket punch) fists and half-a-dozen missiles. There's certainly plenty for Goggle V to do, at any rate. And no, they didn't go mad on imagination naming the accessories either.


GOGGLE V

Goggle V stands around 8" tall and for a Popy robot is rather slender. Not disproportionately so, but he's shaped a little more like a humanoid than a big, blocky robot. The colours blend really well, hitting the right mix of showing his ability to separate without making the robot a hideous patchwork. This is helped by the judicious use of chrome and silver breaking up the primary colours and by the three units fitting very smoothly together - as with God Mars and most other multiunit Chogokin, Goggle V looks like the robot mode was designed as the starting point, and then that was split up into three components, rather than the individual units being designed and then worked into the whole.

While Goggle V has minimal articulation (just the shoulders), the number of accessories add to the playability and display opportunities. Mine did suffer from very loose shoulders, but these proved pretty easy to take apart and fix (the hardest part is keeping the stickers on the front of the shoulders intact) and now he can fully brandish his wide selection of armaments, from the neat glove-like Goggle Hand to the obligatory sword that's nearly the same height as the robot to the Goggle Hand (with a metal chain). Still no idea what the Goggle Spindle is for, though.

The combination sequence is very well done, with Goggle Dump splitting cleanly in half, and then Goggle Jet and Goggle Tank form the front and back of the torso respectively. Aside from the head, which is pretty obviously under the nosecone of Goggle Jet, the rest of the body parts are very well hidden - the arms especially, contained within the body of Goggle Tank (actually done well enough that I briefly panicked they weren't present on receiving the toy). Similarly Popy have gone the extra mile to make sure Goggle V isn't bristling with vehicle parts - only the wheels on the legs and fins on the head give much away. The Dumper bucket halves actually rotate to give the robot solid thighs while the Jet wings retract into the body and the fins and rudders fold onto the chest. Even the concave thighs don't look bad. Overall it's a very neat, clean robot mode.

Godaikin Goggle V
Godaikin Goggle V
Godaikin Goggle V
Godaikin Goggle V

GOGGLE JET

A ~5" long red jet aircraft, Goggle Jet has an idiosyncratic but charming design ethos. It's quite stubby, with very small wings and a big flat fuselage (necessitated by it forming the front of Goggle V's chest). The main fuselage is diecast with the nosecone, wings and fins made from plastic.

The shape from the side or underneath is very strange indeed, as basically the jet doesn't have a bottom half, just a pair of extended wheels so the thing can stand on a flat surface. While there are no explicit robot mode features, the shadow of the combined mode hangs over it to a large degree. The biggest problem is that the nosecone rotates to reveal the face - this can work loose and flop to the side. There's not really a lot of features to the vehicle in summary.

Godaikin Goggle V - Goggle Jet

GOGGLE TANK

This futuristic ~4" long ~2" high vehicle is more of an armoured car than a tank, although it's clear from the cockpit that it's a bloody massive one. The extended wheels and angular design are (like much of this sort of thing from Japanese fantasy lines of the late 1970s/early 1980s) highly influenced by Gerry Anderson's model work from the Supermarionation shows, and this is a good thing.

The top half of the tank is diecast, and some thoughtful paint apps help make it the best-looking of the three individual units. Best of all is that there's a missile launcher on the top - being a Popy design, this thing has range and power. The launcher can even be aimed to a small extent, staying upright through several different angles. The only shame is that the missiles have to be removed before it can be stowed. As a concession to the combined Goggle V, the Goggle Tank has a pair of blocks protruding from the back (for the legs) but these aren't a huge disturbance.

Godaikin Goggle V - Goggle Tank

GOGGLE DUMP

At ~5" long this is the largest of the three modules. Once again tapping the Anderson look, it's pretty massive looking (the three vehicles keep scale with each other as far as can be told), and as these things go it looks rather good. As a unit for a combining robot, it's chunky and powerful, though I'm not sure what kids made of their heroes driving around in a dumper truck.

The two panels at the back do actually work and can tip things into the main bucket (which actually moves a little from side to side). The biggest problem is that the vehicle splits in half to form Goggle V's legs. Not only is the split line pretty obvious, but also the two connectors don't hold the halves together very well and thus the vehicle lacks rigidity.

Godaikin Goggle V - Goggle Dump

SUMMARY

While Goggle V isn't one of the best-known or best-designed Godaikin figures he's certainly an interesting piece. The plus side is that his lesser reputation can make him a cheaper figure to pick up, which is a bit of a plus at it means he delivers value for money. He's worth keeping an eye out for, being well-made with a diverting separation sequence and an impressive - if stoic - robot design.