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Vault Review:
SH Figuarts’ Gokai Blue

I know I must be getting old because it seems like this year just flew by, and it looks like I’m doing the final 2011 review.  Surprise, it’s an import!  I’m a little behind on Gokaiger reviews, so I’ll get Gokai Blue in before next year begins.

The second Gokaiger figure to be made in the SH Figuarts line is Gokai Blue, Joe Gibken.   Joe was once a loyal soldier for the evil Space Empire Zangyack.  Under the tutelage of his master and fellow soldier Sid, Joe became an expert swordsman.  His nearly unrivaled abilities led him to be quickly promoted to Zangyack’s Special Forces.

On his first mission Joe failed his duties in disgrace when he refused orders to kill a group of children and instead physically fought his commander until the kids could escape.  Joe was imprisoned and beaten for his actions until Sid freed him, eventually sacrificing his own life so that Joe could escape.  But with a tracking collar around his neck, Joe was constantly on the run from his Zangyack executioners.

Desperately outmanned and fighting for his life against a Zangyack unit, that’s when Captain Marvelous (Gokai Red) found him.  Together they defeated the Gormin foot soldiers and Marvelous even risked his life removing Joe’s tracking collar.  In return, Marvelous asked for Joe to join his crew and help him search out “the greatest treasure in the universe.”

As an aside, Joe eventually learns that Sid was captured and experimented on.  A Zangyack scientist removed his personality, emotions, and memories, but leaving his expert swordsmanship abilities intact.   Now he’s a nearly unstoppable cyborg known as Barizorg, and personal bodyguard of the Zangyack Prince.

One thing that really bothers me about this line is its lack of enemies.  Part of what makes Power Rangers interesting is the unlimited amounts of creative villains.  What else are my super-articulated Rangers supposed to fight?  Characters like Barizorg or the Gormin soldiers would make fantastic figures, and I really hope Bandai gets on the bad-guy ball soon.  End aside.

We’ve seen most of Joe’s sculpt already with Marvelous’ figure.  Basically everything from the neck down is the same composition.  It’s still a great sculpt, which looks entirely accurate, but we’ve seen it before.  And we’re going to see it again with Gokai Green’s figure.  The one piece that is entirely new is Joe’s helmet.  Each helmet has its own unique visor design that adds a bit of personality to the figure.  The angular look of Joe’s visor makes him look much more serious somehow.  Or maybe that’s just me projecting the character’s personality onto the mask.  Continue to page 2…

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12 comments to Vault Review:
SH Figuarts’ Gokai Blue

  • Jekyll

    How do I know which release of the figure I’m getting? I’d like to pick one up online, but I want a 1st release with the wheel. The ones at BBTS don’t say either way so now I’m wary about ordering one through them. Can you point me in the right direction so I can be sure to get the steering wheel?

    • AdventureVault

      I’m not sure if BBTS is getting the first releases or not. But even if they are, they’re still charging too much for them in my opinion. Ordering from Japan is still probably best, even with the high exchange rate.

      Normally I’d tell you to check out Amiami.com, but they’re sold out of all their Gokaiger Figuarts currently.

      Gokai Green is still available at Hobbylink Japan: http://www.hlj.com/product/BAN970403

      Your best bet will probably be Mandarake.co.jp
      They’re like a Japanese version of a Vintage Stock or comic shop. You can get things for decent prices, especially if you don’t mind the box being damaged. They currently have a bunch of Gokai Blue and Greens with their Darins, but no Reds at the moment. You can tell by the pictures because the Darin is packed in a separate box.
      http://ekizo.mandarake.co.jp/shop/en/search.do?action=setSearchedList&searchedListIndex=0&searchStrategy=keyword&dt=1325358234917

      Hope that helps. Good luck!

  • TheBloodyAwfulPoet

    So, someone has produced actual figures of space pirates… And its not a line of toys based on 1984’s Ice Pirates?

    Dammit.

  • From what little I’ve seen, I really love the spirit of what’s going on with this current sentai show. I think the costume design really ‘pops’ and shows more energy than what’s gone on for some time. I think it’s the collar. That ‘popped’ collar is really pretty different, visually. That and the impression of an open jacket running down the front. Much more visually striking compared to the usual ‘single color with maybe a band or stripe on it’. I put it on a par with Dekaranger or Jetman.

    And of COURSE his name is Joe! How could it not be? Isn’t he the ‘bad boy’ of the team? His whole backstory is one of the most common templates in anime and the sentai shows. I can even guess how it all goes: There’s a battle, maybe a series of battles between Gokai Blue and Barizorg. Then the theme branches, either a.Barizorg somehow regains his humanity and turns on his master, or b.he dies in Gokai Blue’s arms, thanking him for freeing him(which could also be part of story a). There’s also a chance he flips from heel back to face and becomes an additional ranger.

    I think Barizorg is a likely choice for a S.H. Figurarts release, but I’d wager he’ll be a Tamishii Web exclusive.

    I see the figure still available at Hobbylink Japan and Amazon but yeah, a real gamble if you’re going to get the wheel parts. Stupid Bandai and the whole ‘first press special item’ crap.

    Another great review, Vault! Keep it going! I hope you can get the ladies!

  • manekochan

    Me, I hope they never get to the Gormin. I know you can’t resist army builders and those damned things show up in droves. You won’t be happy with less than 4. Nice pics, though.

  • And in keeping with this, I take this announcement with much glee!

    http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2012/01/04-1/video-kaizoku-sentai-gokaiger-vs-space-sheriff-gavan-film-trailer

    Swear to god, such a massive nerd boner this gives me! I will own this movie somehow when it comes out!

    Of course that means you’ll need to add this to your collection, huh?

    http://www.hlj.com/product/MEG81106

    I hope it’s near the same scale 🙂

    • AdventureVault

      I’m tempted by that Gavan figure. He’s just a bit shorter than Gokai Red, so it doesn’t look too horrible. The real problem will be hunting one down.

      Maybe we’ll get lucky and he’ll get a Figuarts.