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Blackjack's Review: Transformers Go! Goradora

Name: Goradora
Allegiance: Predacon
Series: Transformers Go!
Size Class: Legends Class

The Hasbro lines decided to revitalize the Prime toyline by adding a subline imprint: Beast Hunters. Promoting and fooling the fandom into thinking that a new incarnation of the Predacons will feature heavily in season three, the entire toyline ended up being chock-full of random character repaints with spikes dotting their alternate modes and a whole lot of dragon Transformers, only one of which actually appeared in the show in any significant manner.

Of course, some of the Predacon toys are pretty good, but the designs have been hit-and-miss. On the smaller side of scale, though, we get new reimaginations of the Terrorcons of G1, which are awesome. Hun-Gurrr, Cutthroat (rechristened Windrazor due to trademark), Sinnnertwin (Twinstrike), Blot (Blight) and Rippersnapper are remade in a loving updated homage, leaving behind the awkward boxy alternate modes from G1 and getting new, wicked-looking ones courtesy of 30 years advancement in toy-making technology

By now you probably would’ve read up on the reviews on these things, or heard how good they are on the internet. If you haven’t, well, this site has reviews of all five of them – I should know, I reviewed more than half of the team. And as you can guess, I’m kind of a big Terrorcon fan.

And somehow I ended up waking up one day having paid for this rainbow-coloured Japanese version of Abominus, and in a couple months he arrived on my doorstep – after I’ve already gotten the proper, G1-coloured Abominus.

See, despite Takara’s penchant of waving homages in your face and insisting on G1 cartoon accuracy, they instead eschewed everything and repainted the Terrorcons in this delicious fruit loop colours. It’s like Generation Two all over again! Abominus is renamed Goradora, and the individual Terrorcons have names: Dorara, Barara, Burara, Jurara and Garara. I don’t think I’ll ever remember which one is which, even after looking them up multiple times to write this review. The Japanese created a short little cartoon in the style of the Unicron Trilogy names ‘Transformers Go!’ where a group of combiner Autobot ninjas and samurai have to face off against the ancient Predacon demons attempting to resurrect their dark lord. So basically every shonen manga plot, except without any unique twist to make it anywhere that approaches interesting.

It does, however, get the toy-only moulds some screentime, rendered in relatively decent CGI for a toy pack-in DVD (although it truly pales compared to Prime – understandable considering the budget). Lazerback, Skystalker, Grimwing and Ripclaw are renamed into a bunch of dudes whose names end with -dora. Goradora, though? They’re the mook army that get beat up every episode. The little guys don’t even have personalities or souls, they’re just summoned to delay the Autobots, combine, and get beat up.

So, anyway, since these are all straight-up repaints I’ll cover only the differences and my general thought, otherwise I’ll just repeat myself from the other Terrorcon reviews.

Hun-Gurrr is repainted in a rather pleasing shade of orangey-yellow and gray. I certainly think that this paintscheme is a step up from the rather boring and low-key mainly-light-gray-with-some-maroon one from the Prime toyline. Yellow Hun-Gurrr is still as bad as his Prime counterpart, but at least he looks far better now than he did before. The plastic used for him feels far sturdier and the ball joints feel better than the Prime counterparts, so there may be some truth in Takara using better plastic… or maybe it’s just because these guys are kinda brand-new and aren’t exactly mucked around with much whereas the Terrorcons, by virtue of populating my work table, get transformed every now and then.

This dude is apparently named ‘Dorara’. Well, Dora replaces all the light gray plastic in Hun-Gurrr with a far more pleasing dark gray, which brings out all the sculpting in the mould far better than Hun-Gurrr did. All the maroon is replaced by that nice orange-yellow plastic. The parts painted with silver paint still stay the same, and the bits on Hun-Gurrr painted randomly yellow (the chest and parts of the shoulders) are painted with gold. Overall, I do like Dora’s paint scheme better than Hun-Gurrr.

Shame, though, that being practically the same with Hun-Gurrr means that Dora shares all the faults that Hun-Gurrr has. His robot mode is relatively lanky thanks to the long, thin dragon-neck legs, and he looks kind of odd having such wide shoulders. His dragon mode still looks pretty awkward and pathetic and non-threatening, although at least the dark grey plastic makes his stubby little T-Rex arms far more prominent. He’s got rather sub-par articulation compared to his compatriots. As I’ve bitched in length in my review for Hun-Gurrr, it’s a mould that suffers a lot thanks to an awkward transformation scheme and having to be the centerpiece of Abominus. Generally, this is kind of the worst of the lot. He’s not terrible, he’s just not good.

Blight has been repainted into the appropriately stupid-sounding ‘Burara’. It is most likely a big, big coincidence, but I cannot unsee Slog the Pretender Monster in Burara’s paint scheme. Slog and Blot are two stocky, pudgy, boxy bastards, and I am a big fan of the Yoda-talking statue sculptor Slog. But since the Pretender Monsters are never released in Japan, it is definitely a coincidence that Burara shares the maroon, gray and gold paint scheme of Slog’s pretender shell. And it’s a pretty nice-looking paint scheme, too. Maroon and the low-key gold blends together far better than the purple-with-random-yellow deal Blight’s got going on, and like yellow Hun-Gurrr whose Japanese name I’ve forgotten even though I just typed it above, again the end result is a surprisingly more aesthetically cohesive paint scheme.

Burara is a pretty nice toy, but with a lot of little flaws. They’ve fixed the beast claws’ tendency to pop off, but the inherent problems with the transformation scheme can’t be helped. In beast mode Burara’s robot hands are poking out very conspicuously from the inner sides of his feet, and since they’re cast in a starkly different colour than the rest of the leg it makes him look pretty bad. There are also a bit of gaps on his beast-mode chest if you decide to pose him upright… though, really, being some kind of gorilla-reptile-crocodile hybrid monster you’re going to want Blight and Burara to adopt a crouching pose.

Burara’s still got a solid robot mode, looking pretty good, brutish and generally with a smooth transformation that does not disappoint other than the few niggles mentioned above. Both Blight and Burara have pretty awesome paint schemes, and share a pretty awesome mould. A really fun, nifty little toy.

Rippersnapper, rechristened Jurara here, sees the least drastic change in the transition from G1 homage to random Takara repaint. Jurassic is basically the same as Rippersnapper, except that they changed the blue on Rippersnapper into a pretty nice shade of light lavender. The light gray and yellow details all basically remain the same, maybe changed to look a little darker. Jurassic Park also doesn’t have the random mould defect that plagued my sample of Rippersnapper, so that’s a bonus.

Generally my feelings about Jurassic and Rippersnapper are almost identical. Pretty great redesign on the landshark dinosaur mode, and the robot mode, despite having some funky kibble-feet, looks pretty great as the small punk that Rippersnapper is. Not really much to say – Rippersnapper is probably one of the most solid Legion-sized toys I own, and his repaint shares that distinction.

Twinstrike finds himself repainted into Garara. Now Twinstrike was the toy that impressed the hell out of me when pictures of him first showed up on the internet. He looked so impressive that I thought he was a Deluxe class toy, and I was blown away when he turned out to be a Legion class! Of course, they ended up actually upsizing Twinstrike into Deluxe class and they ended up making him look like a bad Chinese knockoff, but that’s a rant for another time. While Twinstrike is pretty colourful, with the excellent contrasting colours of bright yellow and bright blue with some purple thrown in, Gaara is basically almost entirely a subdued shade of forest green and gray, with some silvery bits on the forelegs and tail.

I’m pretty sure I like Twinstrike’s loud paint scheme a lot, but Gaara’s forest-green scheme is so subdued and generally aesthetically pleasing. I like how they used shades of colour that are rarely used in Transformers toys to make these Fruit Loop Terrorcons look distinct and colourful without being too neon.

In Warcry’s review about Twinstrike, he complained a lot about the yellow part on his shins that are attached by a crappy pin joint that doesn’t work and is doomed to falling apart if you force the issue too many times. Well, that is no longer the case for Gaara! The offensive part works perfectly well in transformation, and it clicks up and down perfectly to allow transformation without all the hassle and forcing and grunting required in transforming Twinstrike. Without that flaw, I can safely say that Twinstrike/Gaara is my favourite out of the five Terrorcons. He just looks so mental and awesome and spiky! How can you not like him?

Windrazor’s new name is Barara, not to be confused with Burara. Well, Barry here probably gets an even more drastic repaint. Windrazor is a pretty colourful bird, mainly green and cream, with dark purple wings and yellow details. Barry is mainly silver, with blue serving as the secondary colour and gold painting the tip of his claws and wings. He just kind of look boring compared to Windrazor, moreso than the Gaara/Twinstrike comparison.

That said, Barry’s still the same solid transforming pterodactyl monster that Windrazor is, and his robot mode still look as skinny and as threatening, like some kind of awesome kung fu master with massive underarm blades. Not much to note here, again, other than the change in colour schemes and frankly I don’t really know what else I can say without repeating myself again and again. Out of the five, Barry’s the repaint I don’t like the most, mostly because he’s so boring and we’ve seen his shade of dark blue in practically every one out of three Transformers toys.

Some people have this theory where each member of Goradora is named after and based on the paint schemes of the five larger Predacon toys. While I concede the names of the little guys are follow the naming scheme of the big guys, none of which I will ever commit to memory, the colour thing is just going too far. Sure, two or three have similar paint schemes if you squint, but really, Goradora’s paint scheme might as well homage Dinoking or a bowl of Fruit Loops than the other five Go Predacons. With that bit of stupidity out of the way…

If you think Abominus is a messily-coloured combiner, well, Goradora raises the ante even more. With the orange-yellow Hun-Gurrr repaint as the center, and lavender, maroon, forest green and silver-blue limbs, he looks far more bright and far more like a bowl of cereal than Abominus is, despite Abominus featuring far more colours. Goradora’s components feature gray for their secondary colours, making their primary ones stand out far more, whereas Abominus’ parts all do their own thing and then get stacked onto each other. The end result, is, surprisingly, far more cohesive palette-wise than Abominus, yet still looks pretty bright and offensive and 1980’s.

Of course, Goradora is still an Abominus repaint and shares all the flaws Abominus has, of which Abominus has plenty. Hun-Gurrr’s legs are the primary offender here, being far too long and lanky for Hun-Gurrr, let alone for Abominus. His crotch is where his ribcage should be in a proportional humanoid figure, and his limbs are far too large proportionally. The lanky Hun-Gurrr legs also make it pretty wobbly, and he’s forced to have his legs posed in an open manner.

With that said, though, I’ve always felt like the Abominus/Goradora combiner mode has always been more of a bonus, more of an additional thing the designers threw into five really great Legion size toys (well, four really great toys and one sub-par one), so I can’t really blame Goradora too much. He looks good, he’s bright and colourful and brightens up my shelf of robots.

Marks out of ten for the following:
Transformation Design: 8/10 Mostly the same, other than Hun-Gurrr and a few niggles here and there the Terrorcons generally have well thought-out transformation schemes for toys their size.

Durability: 8/10 Surprisingly the myth that Takara uses better plastic is proven true, at least for this batch of toys. Goradora’s individual components really feel a lot more solid than their Hasbro equivalents, and considering they fixed Twinstrike’s leg armour problem and Rippersnapper doesn’t come with some kind of shitty defect, plus all their ball joints are tight and everything… well, what can I say? It does feel a lot sturdier.

Aesthetics: 8/10 While at first I bitched a lot about them not being GEEWUN Terrorcons, I suppose I have to be thankful not to have two more-or-less the same set of toys on the shelf. Plus with the exception of Barry the Windrazor repaint all the Goradora members ended up looking really good for random repaints, making use of lesser-seen shades of colour to give them a distinctive, bright look. Plus the toys themselves generally look great, with great sculpting and great homaging being made to their original G1 look.

Articulation: 8/10 As before, Terrorcons are pretty nicely articulated for toys their size.

Fun: 7/10 They don’t have character per se, but it is fun mucking around with good, small toys, and surprisingly I found it fairly funny to mix-and-match combiner parts to make my own Frankenstein Goradobominus thing.

Price/Value: 3/10 They’re imported from Japan. It’s more expensive for the rest of you than me, but it’s still an imported toy and the added durability doesn’t really justify the price I spent on them, especially when the Hasbro Terrorcons are still pegwarming practically everywhere.

Overall: 6/10 I ended up really liking Goradora because of how colourful they are, plus they’re kind of repaints of really good moulds, but when all is said and done I’d rather have the money. Don’t get me wrong, they look good and the Blight repaint ended up being a pretty nice Slog substitute in my head (thus making the Twinstrike Bristleback and Windrazor Birdbrain) and the team ended up being somewhat of a Monstructor substitute… I like Monstructor, so it’s a surprising bonus, but at the end of the day, is it worth it to import a repainted version of dudes shelfwarming everywhere? Slightly more durable, granted, and some problems are fixed, but they're nobodies. Expensive nobodies. They look good, are good little toys, but you can get that anywhere, you don't have to import from Takara to do so. For me, it's definitely not worth it.
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