Tomy Diecast IdeonAt the turn of the 1980s, it was quite common for most of the toy robot big guns to have a budget label, either a separate company or a subdivision. The reasons for these were varied - sometimes it was to recoup the cost of a license; sometimes it was to keep kids buying their own robots, but at a reduced price; sometimes it was just a way to milk more money out of children without having to sully the respectable company's name with a cheap and nasty bit of tat. Popy used Victoria, Takatoku used Mark and Tomy had a company called BEAT to do its' dirty work. These figures were usually sold at train stations, news stands, petrol stations and the like, as cheap impulse buys for kids, or for parents trying to take the sting out of a journey.

They produced several Ideon figures, the best known of which (obviously here we're talking relatively) was a version that came under BEAT's Diamond Gokin banner. This figure isn't particularly rare, and seems to have been produced in two runs. One features a rather more colourful box, and may have three discs (Oh yes! We'll get there in a minute) included, the third one being green. I have the version in a less exciting silver box (though it does have a nice picture of the Ideon on the back). Incidentally, most of this information has been cribbed from the CollectionDX review of the figure, which has better pictures and doesn't ramble as much =)

Diamond Gokin IdeonThe Diamond Gokin Ideon stands at about 4.5" tall, and is squarer than most of Tomy's other Ideon figures. Even the head is chunky... Amazingly, most of the body is diecast, from the legs right up to the shoulders. This is offset a little by the cheap plastic used on the arms, which as a bonus failure is a much lighter red.

Diamond Gokin IdeonDetail is light, but certainly still passable - at least, once again, on the main body, which has all the usual parts represented as paint apps. The arms are solid blocks of red, with only a pair of unconvincing silver stickers as detail. I guess the money ran out after the diecast body. In a slight reversal, though, the diecast body is (aside from the gimmick, which I'll save until last) is one solid block.

Diamond Gokin IdeonThe only articulation is at the shoulders and the elbows on the cheap arms - apparently, the head turns, but mine doesn't - whether it's a production variant, cheap manufacturing or a fault with my example (which is missing the antennae) I don't know, though. Of course, the main reason this one is worthy of note is the special feature. It's totally mental - on the front of the Ideon, there's a metal pin, onto which you attach a plastic rotor.

Diamond Gokin IdeonTurning the knob on the robot's back cranks up a spring or something, and pressing a button on the hip causes the disc to fly at you sideways at around 6000 revolutions per minute, before it cannons off under a desk. It's like some mad designer sat away somewhere coming up with insane gimmicks to add to Ideon toys (brain-damage inducing missiles, violent springs, firing feet blades, boxing gloves) and had some dirt on the licence holders meaning one had to be included on each Ideon figure.

This one is certainly a little different, but the giant plastic rotors look incongruous even on this strange figure.

I suppose you've got to give points for imagination, but there's little point denying that this is just a bizarre curio. It's actually one of the cheaper and more common vintage Ideon figures, but once you get over the sheer left-field nature of the rotors, it's a bit dull and chintzy.