A 'flying' robot that can be transformed into a fantastic spaceship too!

VavilosAs well as the large DX version of Vavilos, a smaller ST version was also made for the Chogokin series. As was by then the norm, this was released alongside the DX in the American Godaikin line.

Based on the title character's transforming ship in the tokusatsu show Uchuu Keiji Shaider (Space Sheriff Shaider), most of the history of Vavilos is covered in the review of the DX figure elsewhere on this site. The ST toy was coded GC-16 in the Chogokin series and then released in the third series of Godaikin in America. By then, Super Robots were very much on the decline in Japan while Godaikin was beginning to finally wind down after three years of sustained failure. Much like Laserion, both versions of Vavilos saved stores around America considerable sums in heating bills by warming the shelves.


Now, the DX version of Vavilos is my least favourite figure from the range - and by a considerable margin too. However, much to my surprise the ST is a considerable improvement. Compacted the design looks a lot better - while the shoulders still don't work, some of the other proportions just look a little better on this 5.5" tall version. The arms and head seem larger relatively speaking, and feel less like irrelevant details. The design is still a little bland, but the ST version looks less like an oversized knockoff figure. There are two other things that really make this small version much more enjoyable - for one, there's about the same amount of diecast, but at this size it comes to a much higher percentage - the chest, arms and thighs are all metal.

What really helps is the added articulation. The flexible arms (movement at the shoulders, elbows, hands and wrists) from the DX are still there but now the head can turn through about 30° and look up a little. Best of all is that the legs now have movement - thanks to the same hip joints as used on the ST version of Laserion and some hinging knees. The ankles don't move but the feet are big enough to allow a few decent poses. Vavilos isn't hugely dynamic, but the design works a lot better when it isn't as static as the DX. Features-wise, Vavilos still doesn't have a lot going on - just the chest-mounted launchers, though on this version the firing mechanism is a pair of paddles on the robot's back (and even this is an improvement). Incidentally, on all the examples I've seen, the missiles are yellow. Mine came without missiles, and I went through my usual action in this case, that is to rummage through my parts box, see what spares I had and try to get stuff to fit. And these red ones (the true origin of which is a mystery to me) fit nicely. They also go with the colour scheme better and are consistent with the DX.

Godaikin Vavilos ST
Godaikin Vavilos ST


The trade-off is in the transformation. The ST Vavilos doesn't transform into the Big Magnum at all and the V Spaceship is severely compromised.

The legs don't slide together at all - the feet go flat with the legs, and then these bend in on the hip joints. The result is a gaping chasm down the front of the ship. I'm guessing this is because of the hip joints - however, I don't see why these couldn't be moved in by about half an inch, with the joints then allowing the legs to separate. It would be nice if the thighs could be covered as well, but there we go. The back end isn't as bad, though Vavilos' head is still there. It's just a robot on its' back.

Godaikin Vavilos ST


While the robot mode has a bit going on and the figure is comfortably compact, Vavilos still isn't especially good. The transformation aspect is only there on a technicality - it's best to think of him as a poseable non-transforming figure than take the V Spaceship seriously. He is streets ahead of the DX version in every other way and if you want to pick up a Vavilos, I'd go for the smaller one. However, being streets ahead of the larger Vavilos isn't difficult and the toy is still largely forgettable.