Cliffbee.com: Raiden Toy Review

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Name: Raiden
Series: Japanese Generation 1
Allegiance: Cybertron
Function: Heavy Series-Linked Gestalt Warrior
Alternate Mode: N/A - Gestalt comprising Getsuei, Kaen, Seizan, Shouki, Suiken & Yukikaze.



COMBINED ROBOT MODE
Height: 21.5cm Width: 14.5cm

   A mixture of six Trainbots and a bunch of add-on bits, Raiden is a mix of silver (the unifying colour), beige, red, white, blue, green and black. The colours mesh fairly well, which is helped by the consistent silver. His head is black with a silver face and yellow eyes while the fists are black, along with his guns and the two guns mounted on his ankles (which are specifically designed to attach to this combined robot).

   Shouki forms the central block of his chest, largely hidden by his chestplate, while Kaen forms the groin and thighs along with the head. Getsuei is the right leg and Yukikaze the left, Seizan the right arm and Suiken the left arm. The arms can legs can swap sides, but the arms can only be arms and the legs only legs. The detachable front sections of Suiken and Seizan form the waist, making Raiden probably the most fiddly G1 gestalt to assemble. Having said that, all six components attach directly to one another, which is not the case for Devastator or Monstructor. He's more stable than Devastator once you do assemble him, although with six components, six train fronts and a total of twelve add on pieces he's easily the most disparate gestalt (and I guess the most likely to lose parts).

   There's not really any poseability here. While the arms _can_ swing, this is a by product of the shoulder attachments being simple posts, and you're more likely to twist the arms off that successfully pose the arms. The fists do rotate, although this is about it. While it's not really a feature of the combined mode, the toys come with little green hitches that allow them to pair up as two-car trains, adding some play value to the set.

   Raiden is the oldest Gestalt design amongst the Transformers, with his Diaclone introduction in 1980. Considering that he has an integrated head, members that attach to each other directly and a pretty good shape, he's not a bad effort. He is quite fiddly and most of the later combiners are engineered better, although they were able to learn from the mistakes here.

VARIATIONS

   Raiden was released twice in Japan during G1 as either a giftset or six trains. The Diaclone version is quite similar, although it lacks the orange waistplate and orange backplate (which doesn't do much, to be honest). For some reason the ankle guns attach directly on the Diaclone but attach to connecting plates on the Transformers version. The Diaclone version lacks rubsigns and there are some changes to Shouki, Seizan and Suiken - the simple wrist attachments of the Transformers version replaced a launcher system of the Diaclone. I actually have the Diaclone set along with the Transformers versions of Seizan, Yukikaze and Getsuei.

OVERALL

   A very dated set, but that's not to say Raiden doesn't have something to offer. Certainly if you like the idea of Transformer trains, which are rare outside Japan, he'll offer something. The combined mode is fiddly but once you get it assembled it looks pretty good and will stay together. Perhaps the biggest limiting factor is the price - Raiden doesn't come cheap - 6.5/10

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