Alrighty then, first entry. So jumping straight in, I’ll be doing a toy review of Bandai’s Garo Equip & Prop: Volume 5: Shinmetsujyushin Garo & Zaruba aka Berserk Garo. That’s a bit of a mouth full eh? I lack a camera at this time, so no personal product pics, however, I’ll post some product shots here.
Now, let’s break this review down now by how toy reviews usually are (more or less): Looks, Articulation, Accessories and Other.
So as you can see from the pictures, this thing’s a bewdy. It really is. Color-wise, some galleries show it as being extremely SHINY and GOLDY. Well, in person, it’s not quite that shiny. Not without proper lighting I do reckon’. And it’s more of a bronze/gold rather than full on gold, but still, it looks good. It has a nice, solid look to it.
Now, I’m not really a fan of the show of which this figure is based on, so I can’t say how show accurate it is or isn’t, but on its own, Berserk Garo is still a mighty purdy figure. It has lots of good detail, obviously it looks cool, but it also has a feel of MUSCULAR POWER to it, thanks to its massive back.
And speaking of massive, Berserk Garo is just that. Yeah, it’s tall, but not only that, but wide and thick as well. With it’s long gorilla length arms and animalistic stance augmented by it’s thick-bodiedness, Berserk Garo is very much a worthy foe for your Marvel Legends, Super Imaginative Chogokins (S.I.C.) or heck, your Transformers or G.I. Joe.
Okay, here is where things get a little weird. First I’ll list off his points of articulation (these being the bits that can move), and then we’ll take it from there. Bear in mind that Berserk Garo’s sculpt means that sometimes, his movement is restricted though. His jaw opens and closes, his balljointed neck moves in all directions, though the range is restricted. His biceps turn. Elbows are double jointed, though due to sculpt, it only bends around 90 degrees, but the joint at the forearm is a balljoint. Double wrist joints, with hand joint being balljointed. Each finger is individually balljointed. Berserk Garo also moves at the knees and ankles.
Sound good? But ain’t I missing something? If you read carefully, or simply didn’t skip the listing off, you might note I haven’t mentioned his shoulders or hips. There’s a reason for that. You see, you can pose his major limbs, however, you have to pull the limb off and reattach it to these gear shape pegs there. So he does have articulation in those points, but they just aren’t dynamic.
In short, as a friend described, Berserk Garo has lots of fine articulation, but not gross articulation (he does, but it’s static). Another thing is, that due to his weight, and this is a heavy figure, your leg poses will probably be limited in order to properly handle the weight distribution.
That said, Berserk Garo is still pose able enough to display with all your other figures. Just make sure to have a stable surface.
He’s got lots. He comes with two back blades that you stick to his back. Not really accessories, but since they’re packaged separately, I’ll consider them as such, especially since with some imagination, you can do loads with them. He also comes with a cracked Zaruba. Zaruba’s a (diecast) skull shaped ring from the show, apparently sentient. Here, Zaruba’s skull is cracked, as in he has a gaping cranium, and in addition, there’s some translucent green plastic beneath that has a nice lit up effect when you put it to light. I love the Zaruba ring. I may well insist on it being my wedding ring.
Finally, Berserk Garo comes with two tails, one extended, the other not. And a head which can be attached to other Garo human form figures. Just the head though, no body is included. But that’s alright, you can pretend it’s a severed head he’s got. It’s not like any of the human figures look like their television counterparts, since the guys there are incredibly bishounen. They could make cameos on Ouran Highschool Host Club with no prob.
By Extras I mean features, coolness factor, playability etc. Well, certainly, Berserk Garo is full of coolness. His size and looks also means that he has high compatibility with other figures you might have. He could be a monster to fight your Hasbro Leader Class Optimus Prime, a steed for your Kaiyodo Revoltech Yotsuba or a secret berserker form for your Bandai Souchaku Henshin (Trans Armour) Momotaros (from the Platform & Inmagin 2-Pack).
Or he can be just a nice display piece for the living room, either way, Berserk Garo has high display value as well as playability.
Pros: Big, imposing, heavy and pretty. Berserk Garo is great to look at and play with. And he’s got the cracked Zaruba ring.
Cons: Heavy. Too heavy, it make balance an issue. Also, the limbs detach easily, which is both good and bad. But overall, if there’s one thing I wish for, was that it was hollow, so as to reduce the weight.
Verdict: So is Berserk Garo worth it? I’d say so, yes. I got him for around 82.26 USD on 15th February 2008? Somewhat of a high price, as I later learned. You can get him cheaper if you shop online. I saw one for only 50 USD, another for 65 USD. Even at the price I paid, I felt he’s worth it. He’s only a little more expensive than a retail Hasbro Transformers Leader Class figure here, about the price of a retail Hasbro Transformers Supreme/Masterpiece Class figure here. Anyway, more pictures: