[Part Three / Turbo Terrain Fighter (Land Team)]
A review of an early production sample of the Soul of Chogokin GX-88 Dairugger XV (Vehicle Force Voltron) by Koji Igarashi!

The fastest VORTRON Review part 3

Dairugger XV, better known abroad as Vehicle Force Voltron, joins the Soul of Chogokin series! As we prepare to launch the product, the Chogokin scholar and animation historian Koji Igarashi examines a sample in a three-part review!
In Part 3, we’ll take a close up look at the five vehicles of the Turbo Terrain Fighter (Land Team)!

※Images are of a pre-production sample. Actual product may vary.
※For instructions about combining the vehicles, please refer to the instruction manual.

ARMORED EQUIPMENT CARRIER

ARMORED EQUIPMENT CARRIER becomes Voltron’s waist. To accommodate the motion of the legs, its body is formed from hinged panels. These come in handy when forming Voltron. By opening all of them up when you “dock” the legs, it’s easier to make sure that everything’s properly seated and attached.

ARMORED EQUIPMENT CARRIER with panels open

ARMORED EQUIPMENT CARRIER with panels open. This exposes the joints where SPACE PROBER 1 and 2 will combine, making it easier to confirm they’re locked in place.

the release button of ARMORED EQUIPMENT CARRIER

The release button is found on the back of ARMORED EQUIPMENT CARRIER. Use this when decoupling from COMMUNICATIONS MODULE.

ROTATING PERSONNEL CARRIER / JET RADAR STATION

Rotate these vehicles’ tires 90 degrees so that they’re flush with the body before docking them to form Voltron’s arms. This feature, which captures the appearance of the vehicles from the anime, is something that wasn’t included on the classic old Popy DX Dairugger toy.

SPACE PROBER 2 in vehicle mode, SPACE PROBER 1 in combination mode

ROTATING PERSONNEL CARRIER and JET RADAR STATION seen from below. ROTATING PERSONNEL CARRIER has its tires folded in. The tires are separately molded parts, but there’s a danger of scuffing the floor if you try rolling them. I’m sure a lot of you want to re-create the launch scene, but for the sake of your floor, I recommend not actually rolling them.

ALL TERRAIN SPACE VEHICLE 1 / ALL TERRAIN SPACE VEHICLE 2

These are packaged with their tires locked in place, so when you take them out you’ll need to extend the chassis and spread the tires. When combined into Voltron mode, they’ll be retracted again before connecting them. Sliding the tires up into the body locks the connector joint into place. Sliding the tires down, on the other hand, unlocks the joint for decoupling the vehicles.

  • locked position
  • unlocked position

The left shows a side view with wheels locked. This is how it comes in the package. For display in vehicle mode, or as part of the Turbo Terrain Fighter, the wheels are slid down to release the lock. The right side shows the wheels in lowered and unlocked position.

the connector joint (shown by arrow)

The connector joint (shown by arrow). After combining MULTI WHEELED EXPLORER 1and 2, slide their wheels up to lock this in place and ensure the feet stay connected to the ankles.

Turbo Terrain Fighter

Turbo Terrain Fighter mode! Fold in the antenna of ARMORED EQUIPMENT CARRIER and combine. Don’t forget to extend the mounts on the rooftops of ALL TERRAIN SPACE VEHICLE 1 and 2.

Turbo Terrain Fighter mode

Note how the wheels of ROTATING PERSONNEL CARRIER and JET RADAR STATION are folded away for combination.

Voltron

It’s finally time to form Voltron! Make sure to follow the instruction manual when doing this for the first time. The angle of STRATO WEAPONS MODULE, the chest and waist orientation, the decoupling buttons on the knees, and the locking mechanism and attachment of the feet are particularly important, so I recommend checking each of these vehicles carefully after purchase to get a feel for them.

a straight pose

Voltron is complete! First, I wanted to try a straight pose evoking the old 1980s Popy DX toy. I attached the rotors to the shoulders and the antenna to emphasize that old-school charm. It looks great this way. It really captures the original line-art of Voltron’s designer, Katsushi Murakami!

an action shot

Next, an action shot. The waist panels are hinged to give the thighs room to move for poses.

hold the sword

Even without swapping hands, the land machines’ hands can hold the sword. The combo of gold and silver chrome is really beautiful.

S.H.Figuarts GX-88 VOLTRON I

Koji Igarashi

Animation Historian. Founder of the editing production house Tulcas. A widely published writer in the field of robot anime research. His most recent book is the August 2017 “Robot Anime Evolution Theory,” an exploration of the relationship of anime and toy merchandising over the last fifty years. Other works include his participation in the “50 Years of Go Nagai” exhibition (2018-2019) and the “World of Yoshiyuki Tomino) (2019-2020) exhibitions.