November 3, 2008
As one last addendum to my talk about Zyuranger, I also recently acquired some of the early Deluxe Zord toys from MMPR. In all, I picked up DX MegaZord, DX DragonZord, DX Red Dragon ThunderZord, DX ThunderZord Assault Team and DX White TigerZord. First, I’m going to talk about the 1st season toys, which were pulled from Zyuranger.
Araware, Shugozyu-tachi yo!
As the primary mecha for Zyuranger we have the now-classic prehistoric beasts. Tyrannosaurus, Mammoth, Triceratops, Sabertooth Tiger and Pteranodon. Despite Zyuranger being the “Dinosaur Sentai”, only two of them were actually dinosaurs. Granted, the pteranodon was still considered a dino back then, but it’s still a funny observation.
The toys aren’t quite bricks, but there isn’t a lot to do at this point either. They do look nice, though.
Gattai! Dino Mission!
The Shugozyu could combine into a half-way form called Dinotanker. It’s a little odd, but somehow cool. This was not used much, maybe even just the first time they were able to combine. Usually they would just move right on to the next step. There are wheels on the bottom so it can roll.
Finishing the transformation gives rise to Daizyujin. Daizyujin was the sentient incarnation of an ancient god. Daizyujin would sometimes speak directly to the Zyurangers or act on its own. Daizyujin has hip and shoulder rotation, and as a function of how he transforms can bend his elbows in.
Araware! Shugozyu Dragon Caesar!
Another non-dinosaur, and in fact not even a real animal, the sixth Shugozyu was Dragon Caesar. But, nobody cared if he didn’t fit the theme, because he was bad ass. He was controlled mostly by remote with a dagger called the Zyusouken. The Zyusouken was given over to the Geki upon Burai’s death late in the series. The toy is almost completely immobile, but looks great. He does have electronics, but all it does is flash the chest lights and make an obnoxious sound. I was really hoping for some of the sounds it made in the show.
Gattai! Dragon Mission!
Dragon Caesar could combine with three of the other Shugozyu to create Gouryujin (Strong Dragon God). This combo looks fantastic. The only problem is how useless the staff is. Holding it up like that is literally all you can do with it. There is no other way for it to be held.
Once King Brachion (who I don’t have) shows up, the combination of Jyuutei Daizyujin (Beast Emperor Daizyujin) becomes possible. It was able to attack with a big ball of energy branded with a “Z”, called the Emporer Attack. Its primary purpose, though, was to ride on King Brachion to form Kyuukyoku Daizyujin (Ultimate Daizyujin), the true form of the ancient god that sealed Bandora and her minions away.
These are pretty great sentai toys. A number of different modes to play with, and they look really good. In fact, they look so good that they were often used in place of studio models in the actual show. Almost all footage of Kyuukyoku Daizyujin is of the toys, including the combination sequence and finishing attack. The toys also showed up in a number of scenes where Daizyujin or the Shugozyu appear in the clouds all Jesus-like. It’s a little funny since the toys are still very recognizable despite the harsh lighting. Overall, I would try to pick these up if you can before the prices really explode.
One last thing, you may have noticed my DragonZord’s stickers were replaced with Zyuranger ones. I was very let down by the original look of the DragonZord. The US version’s stickers were crude and ruined the entire look of it. Fortunately, ReproLabels makes a reproduction Dragon Caesar sticker set for it that can really improve your Dragon’s looks. They also make conversion kits for MegaZord/Daizyujin, Titanus/King Brachion, and White TigerZord/Won Tiger, though I didn’t find the others as offensive so I’m not worried about it for now. Take a look at this in progress shot of the DragonZord/Dragon Caesar sticker replacement to see the difference: