Despite looking amazingly good, I passed up on getting any of the new Diaclone releases from Takara Tomy simple because I thought they were essentially glorified DX sets. Boy was I wrong. These sets are modular as heck and have lots of play patterns. If that wasn’t awesome enough, they’ve now ventured into a crossovers with a property that I also passed up on. Looks like I have some definite catching up to do.
Yes, the Diaclone ✕ Gridman Universe crossover is definitely happening and the first set is Battles Gridman, a combiner which takes a support vehicle and combines it with Gridman to form a powerful fighting machine, a gimmick that has been a staple of the franchise. And like most releases in the Diaclone line, this set also has multiple modes and play patterns.
Chief of these play patterns is the included Gridman figure which is based of its Primal Fighter appearance from SSSS. Gridman. The figure stands at 14 cm and is very much articulated, both as a stand-alone figure and as core to the Battles Gridman form. If you missed any of the previous Gridman figures based on this form, then here’s another chance to get one, along with so much more.
Gridman itself includes its own weapon, the Thunder Crash Caliber which is more or less the Gridman Sword from the original series. Which means it can also split into the Thunder Sword and the Thunder Shield for all out melee combat.
The other half of this set is the Battle Hanger, an assist weapon built based on Diaclone mecha data and functions more or less the same as Gridman’s previous assist weapons. It’s composed of two components: the Bullet Fighter which is a small fighter that a Dia-Naut can pilot, and the rest of the Battle Hanger which can interact with Gridman in two ways.
There’s the Battle Hanger in Ride Attack Mode which is basically Gridman using the Battle Hanger as a large hoverboard. You can also attach the Thunder Crash Caliber on top of the Battle Hanger for storage.
But that’s not the gimmick that we’re getting this set for. What we’re after is the combination of Gridman and the Battles Hanger which is reminiscent of the different combinations he had in previous series. When combined, the resulting form is Battles Gridman.
Battles Gridman has two modes. First is A Mode which is meant for flight and heavy artillery attacks. It fully utilizes the twin cannons and wings on its back. In the same configuration, you can also deploy its Full Attack Mode where the two wings angle up and all cannons face forward. The Power Vise or claws on each forearm are also deployed.
Then there’s B Mode which is geared toward melee combat and jettisons the cannon and wing units. Here, you can fully utilize the articulation built in the core Gridman figure. In addition, you can combine the Bullet Fighter, which is not used in either mode, with the wing and cannon units to form a combat support aircraft. Likewise, you can combine parts from other Diaclone sets to this one thanks to their modular feature.
Overall, I really like this set though I’m still debating on whether to get one or not. More importantly, I should definitely get a Dia-Battles V2 set if I’m planning to get this guy. Those two would look great on a shelf I imagine. Tsubuyara and Takara Tomy have released videos to promote this set and I’ve included them below for your viewing pleasure.
Diaclone / Gridman Universe Battles Gridman
June 2021 / ¥22,000