BLOG: Super MiniPla GaoGaiGar – Development Commentary
|With its upcoming release by the end of February, the Bandai Candy Staff Blog has been updated with a great article on how the decision to go Super MiniPla GaoGaiGar came into fruition, including the persons who spearheaded the project and any differences it may have from the currently offered kits in the line.
Explaining the details is N. Nishi who also works with the Super Sentai team within Bandai Candy. He mentions that in the overlap between the releases of Super MiniPla Xabungle and MiniPla Zyuohger, he realized that the Super MiniPla line can do more and was determined to develop something he wanted for quite a while — GaoGaiGar. He thought that a figure with the right balance between size, playability, and quality is still missing. So when Bandai got the license six years ago, together with the momentum of recent MiniPla releases, he thought — the perfect time has finally come.
|When the decision to release GaoGaiGar was approved, the staff turned back to the animation to get the important details. The staff doing GaoGaiGar are the same guys doing Super Sentai MiniPla a few years ago. This introduces a design philosophy that’s different from the "80s Super MiniPla" (i.e. Xabungle, Ideon).
Because of the transformation feature, GaoGaiGar utilizes ABS like the Super Sentai MiniPla due to better resistance, whereas usual model kits that go with Polystyrene. Aside from great color separation, some parts are also pre-painted, which is the primary reason why this kit uses side gates as using ‘touch gates’ (like those from Super Sentai MiniPla) will cause the parts to pop out while being painted. That said, the set still needs marking seals to be accurate to its on-screen counterpart. Great color separation also meant smaller parts to which N. Nishi relates the expression "God is in the details" so be careful when handling them.
|Now onto transformation. N. Nishi points out that aside from GaoGaiGar itself, GaiGar and the other Gao Machines can also combine to form the lesser known combinations seen here. And while people getting this set won’t likely do these forms, it’s still neat that the set can do them. Most notable of these is where GaiGar uses Drill Gao has arm drills and while the Soul of Chogokin figure can do this too, the latter has weight problems due to the amount of die cast.
What’s cool about these is that for a model kit of such scale, GaiGar and the Gao Machines are able to achieve a almost-perfect transformation gimmick that until recently, only larger figures were able to do. Now there will definitely be some parts-forming involved here but at the end of the day, the staff wanted the Final Fusion transformation experience and they worked with this set revolving around that gimmick.
|Once combined, this is pretty much the GaoGaiGar that everybody expects. The GaoGaiGar that everyone wants. In Super MiniPla form.
Once combined, there’s one question that comes to mind — its poseability. Well based on these released images, it looks like it’s at least on par with that of the Super Robot Chogokin figure but without the constraints of die cast parts. And while on that train of comparison, ever wonder how this GaoGaiGar will do the Hell and Heaven attack?
Both the Soul of Chogokin and Super Robot Chogokin releases require some form of folding or replacement of the mane parts respectively. But for the Super MiniPla release, they show that it can be done without none of those aforementioned. It only requires some fidgeting and boom, it’s done.
|Capping of this look are upcoming Super MiniPla Stealth Gao II and Goldymarg sets which will also include the Gatling Driver upgrade for the Dividing Driver. N. Nishi mentions that both are Premium Bandai exclusives, a decision he really didn’t want to go with as he wanted everyone to have access to these sets.
But nevertheless, here’s an amazing look to Super MiniPla GaoGaiGar. Won’t be getting it personally but it is a great representation of the King of Braves. It does all the transformation from the Soul of Chogokin with the play pattern of the Super Robot Chogokin, and the appeal of building model kits into one release. Really looking forward to the Super MiniPla line now.