Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Toy Review: Popy GB-42 Mechanic Lightan (2007 Bandai reissue)

It's time to revisit one of my very favorite toy lines with another of Bandai's reissues of the wonderful early 80s's Golden Warrior Gold Lightan toys.  In my very first review, I gave an overview to the main character, Gold Lightan, a giant golden robot whose alternate form is that of a pocket cigarette lighter.  Yup, it was 1981, and I guess smoking was still pretty darn common, so perhaps a lighter would have been an adequate disguise.  We all know the tobacco industry has been trying to hook kids for years.  Maybe they were busy luring Japanese youth with huge fighting robots and chogokin toys?

Anyway, the subject of today's review is a subsequent Lightan toy, Mechanic Lightan.  Reissued by Bandai in 2007, this toy was originally one of Popy's releases in its GB Chogokin line.  Mechanic Lightan served in an assistant role in the original television series, acting as a repair bot for the rest of the Lightan team.

In lighter form, Mechanic is a bit shorter than his big brother Gold Lightan, but is wider and stouter.  The toy has greater weight, as there is less hollow space inside.  You'll see why in a bit.  This lighter has a rounded top, but still retains the signature "crystal cut" surface that also adorns Gold Lightan.  There are quite a few seams and some hinges visible in this mode.

A look at the underside reveals the GB-42 code, and an indicator that this is a reissue, rather than an original.  No matter, it's purported to be a faithful reproduction.  You can also see many more seams here as well.  This is where we'll start his transformation to robot mode.

Flipping some of these panels open reveals three wheel pods with a total of four wheels.  Most of the toy is heavy diecast metal, and these wheels are made of the same stuff.

Mechanic Lightan sits upright on these wheels quite well, and he rolls freely on them.

A simple flip of the lighter's top and the robot's head is exposed.  The plastic is a deep metallic blue with silver and yellow accents.  Note the red plastic button on top of the head and the spring-loaded support arm for the top.  It's like the supports on the hoods of many modern cars!

Pressing the red button pops open Mechanic Lightan's chest.  Hidden inside are a variety of moving parts.

Swinging the chest panels all the way out to the sides, one can then fold out two manipulator arms.  These red plastic parts are mounted on silver chromed extenders.

One use for these arms is as firing missile launchers.  These utilize very small missiles that can be fired when the button on top is pressed.

Opening the chest up allows you to get at Mechanic Lightan's array of tools.  These are, amazingly, also made of the same gold diecast from which most of the rest of the toy is constructed.

There's a flat-head screwdriver, drill bit, Phillips head screwdriver, and then a socket wrench.  Each is about three quarters of an inch high.

Each can fit in the missile launcher's opening in place of a missile, thus allowing Mechanic Lightan to make needed repairs.

The blue carrying compartment can even be tilted forward to allow for easier access to the tools.

Mechanic Lightan's got quite a lot of features and gimmicks, and his weight is substantial due to copious amounts of diecast metal.  He's fantastic hand candy and a lot of fun to play with.  A reproduction piece like this is certainly aimed at the adult collector's market, but this is a real honest-to-goodness toy.  I love these guys!

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