C U T T E R_ L I G H T A N

Chogokin Cutter LightanShortly after Popy completed the first series of six Lightan, Popy were taken over by Bandai and their design team were broken up. However, Lightan had been a successful line and another design studio - Plex - were handed the task of designing the second series of robots. Four new moulds were produced, and one of these was Cutter Lightan. It would seem none of these arrived in time to feature in the Golden Warrior Gold Lightan Anime series.

The Plex figures were issued a predominantly white box that clearly distinguishes them from the Popy figures. Cutter Lightan was reissued by Bandai Hong Kong in 2008 as part of their second series of Lightan reissues.

Chogokin Cutter LightanThe main area the Plex designs fall down compared to those by Popy is the relatively poor special features - it's difficult to imagine what the gimmicks would actually do for the real robots, which reduces the toys to something of a novelty item. Cutter Lightan actually contains a pencil sharper under the lid (through the robot head), which can either be detached entirely, or the sharpenings are collected inside the robot's chest and can be emptied at a later date.

Chogokin Cutter LightanIt's difficult to imagine him grabbing alien robots and feeding them in through the top of his head where they get sliced up, though. Well, actually, I can sort of see that now, but it's hardly practical. I mean, his arms are too short...

Erm, anyway, the lighter mode - this sees the return of the gold pyramid panelling used on Gold Lightan himself, and the lighter is noticeably smaller than any of the others from the range - measuring just 2" tall and weighing only around 100g. On the plus side, it makes him a lot closer to the size and weight of a realistic lighter.

Chogokin Cutter LightanThe transformation is one of the line's most straightforward (and that's saying something) - very similar to IC Lightan, with the lid flipping up to reveal the head, the legs sliding straight down from the base, and the arms coming out from the sides. Similar to Light Lightan, there are ridges on the outside of the legs that pop the arms out. It's simple, but fun.

Chogokin Cutter LightanIn robot mode, Cutter Lightan is simply darling - a lovely little robot. He's still markedly smaller than any of the other conventional robots in the line (while, at 3" including the lid, he's taller than Mechanic Lightan, he's nowhere near as wide or deep).

The plastic head with the big, gold hexagonal eyes is cute and memorable, adding a bit of character. The look combines well with his diminutive size, the the boxy torso actually works well with the slim limbs. Like the rest of the Plex figures sadly there's no articulation beyond being able to change the angle the arms stick out from his body.

Along with Light Lightan, Cutter Lightan is one of the best Plex designs for the line. While he's not as dynamic, he is cuter and a bit more memorable - arguably the most charming of the whole line, even if it's difficult to imagine him battling alien robots. The special feature is next to useless as the finish and quality is so high you'll never be able to contemplate using the pencil sharpener, but Cutter Lightan is a nice figure nevertheless.