Monday, March 21, 2011

1/6 GR-2 - Unknown Manufacturer, Unknown Year

Name: GR-2
Scale: 1/6
Manufacturer: ?
Year: ?
Materials: Plastic, Vinyl, Rubber
Country of Origin: Japan
Price: $50 (approx)
Acquired Via: Online Toy Forum

Been wanting to get my hands on this piece for a long time. Having grown up watching reruns of Johnny Sokko and Ultraman I've always had a special place in my heart for Giant Robo. Not quite as popular as Ultraman or Kamen Rider, the toys didn't really find their way to North America in the same numbers making a Giant Robo toy a bit of a grail for many years as far as my personal collection was concerned. Sometime in the 90's, perhaps as the critically acclaimed re-envisioned Anime based on the original works of Mitsuteru Yokoyama was nearing release, the floodgates opened and companies like Marmit and Medicom were offering products based on the 1967 Live Action series, we not only got Giant Robo, but many of the insane giant monsters and robotic doppelgangers became alot easier to find in local comic shops via Diamond and more commonly on ebay.

GR-2 has always been a personal favourite just because of his awesome simple and sleek black design, not to mention the unususal head piece that doubles as a weapon. I've managed to collect a few pieces over the years and until recently this one has eluded me. Thanks to an incredible online toy community forum, I not only scored GR-2 but ol' GR himself. These kits always scared me a bit, especially when I recently tracked down a pre build Bed Baron that was just a poorly constructed floppy mess. These early 1/6 toys from Marmit and even Medicom often were a hybrid of garage kit and toy action figure often requiring the user to cut or glue some of the pieces together to get a finished product.

I hesitantly sat down this past Saturday with a big cup O' Joe, a few exacto knives and a file to tackle GR-2 and you know what, though intimidating with all that cutting, it was not all that bad.

I have to admit, while I have built my share of model kits, it's been close to 10 years since I've put one together despite owning close to 50 unbuilt kits at one point, this was more than a little intimidating. This was $50 and I desperately did not want to make one mistake. Let's get one thing clear, if you plan to buy this kit, you will not cut every piece perfectly, so live with it, relax and do your best. One thing that didn't dawn on me until I finished was heating the vinyl would have made cutting a whole lot easier. Anyway, above are the pieces, a rubber frame that cover the base body and provides the accordion like joints for the knees and elbows, not to mention some nice color contrast and the hard vinyl black outer body. The base body is just strange, a weird wire frame with a small head that provides some limited movement in the arms and legs but a Revoltech this is not, you get two poses from the completed model.

This definitely took about three hours to complete in total, I was taking my time to be sure not to make a bad cut, and as I said earlier, I did NOT heat the vinyl so some of the pieces required alot of work. The instructions while simple and not translated were ample and I only made one mistake cutting the trim off of the hands, not leaving enough slack, but it still looks fine. I have to say, whomever put the aforementioned Red Baron together was just not a skilled modeler or they tweaked the kits as they released them because the end result is a nice, solid toy that looks great despite the limited poseability. The base head acts as a ball joint so there is a nice amount of range for the head piece. In all I'd say, if you are interested in the kit, if you have even rudimentary skills do not be afraid, it's much easier than it looks, if you have absolutely no modeling skills at all, maybe ask a friend for help.

The mystery of this figure is the Manufacturer and the year it was released. Also how many kits make up this line, I've seen Red Baron, Mach Baron, GR and GR-2 and even recently found a Combattler V version on Yahoo Japan doing random searches, so who knows, this appears to be a line even more neglected than the Marmit Super Action Heroes line which we plan to cover here in the future. So if you have any info, please comment below.

Left to Right: Vinyl Paradise, Marmit 1996; Unknown, Unknown; Kaiyodo Sci Fi Revoltech, 2010; Medicom Toy Miracle Action Hero, 2000

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