Kit review: Moderoid – Shinkalion E5 Hayabusa Mk-II

Shinkansen Henkei Robo Shinkalion is Takara Tomy’s golden egg. The anime was a hit in Japan that spanned over 76 episodes + a movie and it even got a sequel. However, just like Takara’s other kid-centric series like DriveHead, the toy aspect is mostly aimed at children produced by Takara. However, thanks to its Brave aesthetic and great reception, GoodSmile saw the opportunity and grabbed it. The Moderoid Shinkalion line has the most product out of all Moderoids thanks to the spamability of the design. And this time we’re looking at the main character’s final upgrade unit: the Shinkalion E5 Ml-II

– Info: 
Moderoid Shinkalion E5 Hayabusa Mk-II
Series: Shinkansen Henkei Robo Shinkalion
Price: 3,368 yen
Release date: January 2021

– Design: As the name of the series suggest, the Shinkalions are transforming Shinkansens – Japanese Bullet train. We’ve seen a few transforming trains from Takara before, such as MightGaine, the Raker brothers from Brave, the Trainbots from Transformers etc… And being trains, there’s a limited way that they can transform and the aesthetic is mostly blocky around the limbs and body, but curvy around the head piece of the Shinkansen (that’s their signature detail). The E5 Hayabusa also follow this principle, however, being an upgraded model (hence the Ml-II), it has a bit more “flair” compared to the original. Aside from the green and white color scheme, the Mk-II has gold details on its body to break off the dual-tone and of course, all Braves gotta have some gold on them! The Shinkalion is basically transforming robot with Real Robot style that rocks a very basic yet great design.

– Build quality: The Shinkalions are GSC’s very first few Moderoids after the Mazinkaisers. And subsequent releases have been using the original’s design without any drastic improvement. That being said, about 85% of the build is very smooth and enjoyable, and the other 15% is crazy nub-cleaning and trying to snap parts into place. Some of the ball joints are pretty tight but when you popped it in, it somehow became loose (?). Like seriously this is the problem with a lot of Moderoids – their joints are hard to snap in but get loose (or broken) way too easily. This is due to their plastic being very inferior to, like, say Kotobukiya.

The Moderoids are known for having pre-painted parts, and the paint-app is amazing. However, some of the nub placement is like right next to those painted parts so be extremely careful when you clean the nubs. The face plate looks amazing though. But the worst part about Moderoids is their stickers are utterly unusable if it’s not water-slides. You pretty need special glue to put the stickers on. If you plan to just do it barebone, it won’t be pretty.

– Articulation: Thanks to the very simple design of the Shinkalion, movement is amazing. There’s no side skirts or elaborate front & back skirts. The ab-crunch is very nice. Although the torso and hip joints are quite tight so be careful when you turn the upper body. The thigh joints can swivel about 45-degree, and it’s actually quite short and rely on friction to keep it in place so it might pop out if you pull on it too hard. The feet are on tiny ball-joints that can pop out at any given moment so I’d say tighten them up with some nail polish.

Well despite those shortcomings, the kit does have some great acrobatic capabilities. the shoulders are on separate swivel joints so you can pose them in a variety of poses. And as mentioned, there’s no skirt armor so the legs can swing in very wide angles. You can re-create a lot of action poses from the anime, especially the dynamic kill poses. Shinkalions are amazing with those scenes. The shin armors are on ball joint so you can easily move them while posing, as well as leveraging them for balancing.

– Gimmicks: Yes they are transformed Shinkansens. No the kits to not transform. For me the only gimmick worth mentioning is the Grand Cross replacement part on the chest. For the famous Cross Gattai function, you’d need another model kit, which is the Dr Yellow Moderoid.

– Accessories:  The Moderoid Shinkalion E5 came with all of its accessories (which isn’t much):

x 1 Turnstile Sword
x 1 Blade Case
x 2 weapon-holding hands
x 2 open-palm hands
x 1 Grand Cross part

It is a very basic kit in terms of overall value.

–> Overall: Despite the weird plastic quality and subpart snap-fit quality, the E5 Mk-II is extremely fun to handle. The posability is great as long as you treat it with care. The accessories is minimal but you can use other model kits with it as it’s mostly HG-scale. It’s super photogenic with popping color-scheme and very sleek design. If Moderoid decide to overhaul this line, it would be amazing. In the mean time, you have to settle for like…15 of these kits. And each of them have a unique point so you won’t get bored.


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