Figure Review: Soul of Chogokin F.A Voltes V

subete wo kakete
Yaruzo chikara no tsukiru made
Chikyuu no yoake ha mou chikai.

What does most 80s Super Robot have in common? Blocky designs and pretty basic animated movement. Well, that’s just how mecha was animated back in the day since the industry is still limited in terms of skills, tech and funds. Voltes V is no exception, while the series is pretty nice in regards to its characters and story, the animation is quite dated. Which is why modern companies are trying to recreate those blocky designs in a more dynamic and modern style – such as the Soul of Chogokin Full Action line by Bandai. A quite direct counterpart to the normal Soul of Chogokin’s modus operandi, the Full Action line aim to revive classic robots with modern proportions and dynamic. And the first in line is the Choudenji Machine BORUTESU FAIBU!
+ Design: The 5-part combiner is now one single unit. The classic blocky aesthetic of Voltes is largely preserved, with some more curves at the abdomen to create a more dynamic feeling (understandable since the toy designer is Obari-sensei himself). At a glance, you cant really tell the difference between the FA with the normal Soul of Chogokin aside from the size and the lack of combining pegs. By sacrificing the combination gimmicks, Voltes V looks more…balance like a single-piece robot that we see in the show. Since size-accurate post-combining isn’t very easy to animate, so in a way, the FA Voltes is sort of anime-accurate.

+ Painting: Immaculate paint from Bandai. The colors are all there and very vibrant. I love the silver metallic paint and the gloss dark navy dotted with yellow panels. It just work together very well. Even his face is very well detailed. The paint is quite durable as well, so you don’t have to worry too much about scratching the bottom of his feet or anything while playing with the figure (which is what it’s intended for).

+ Articulation: Well, with the name “Full Action” included, you can guess how dynamic this Super Electromagnetic guy can be. Bandai really went above and beyond to create some mind-bending articulation for this figure. Depart completely from the joint-limited Soul of Chogokin, sacrificing the combination gimmick in exchange for uber-posability. The best part has to be the torso joint. An extremely flexible ab-crunch and swivel. Thanks to the Voltes’ simple shoulders, the arms are also non-inhibited and can pose however you want. The only regrettable point is the skirt armor: the front, side and back-skirts are extremely limited. It’s like Bandai invest 99% of the engineering in the upper and lower body and completely cobble together some random things for the hips. Which is also quite unfortunate, since the rest of the figure are extremely acrobatic.

+ Gimmicks: or lack there of. The main body of the figure doesn’t have any gimmicks aside from the magical joint-engineering, if you can count the back wheels wiggle up and down a gimmick, then I guess we have one. It is a compromise that Bandai accepted in order to create a figure specifically for collectors that want to recreate the dynamic poses that the bricky Soul of Chogokin and other figures couldn’t do for the classics.

+ Accessories: Aside from the smaller size, the price tag is also lower, which means there’s less plastic and die-cast. The accessories of the Soul of Chogokin FA is not as abundant as the Soul of Chogokin, but the figure has the main weapons that the robot use in the show. We got the Tenkuuken, the 2 Choudenji Spins, the Gran Fire, the Chain knuckle and Gatling missiles. Basically what the combined Voltes V use, and not the separate Volt Machines. Thanks to the amazing range of movement, the accessories really add to the playability of the figure. You can combine the accessories and create some really nice scene.

Overall, the concept of Full Action line is pretty nice for specific types of collectors. The targeted audience are those who appreciate the classic designs but also want the modern engineering in one package. The majority of Voltes V fans are actually those who like the combination gimmick like the SOC, but the FA figure can entice new type of fans to the series. It is by no means an alternative to the Soul of Chogokin, but it is a very very good figure for those who want to see the Super Electromagnetic machine pulling of the sickest moves in the Super Robot handbook.