Unifive Gaiking

Uni-Five Gaiking Figure Front

Unifive Gaiking

The fifth jumbo machinder to be released by Unifive was this really fantastic copy of the Popy Deluxe Jumbo Machinder Gaiking. Regrettably the follow-up to Gaiking was going to be Combattler V - I remember waiting with baited breath for that one and then feeling crushed when Unifive shut down the JM lines. But alas, the Gaiking lives up to all the hype. This figure is very close to the Popy version, featuring an opening chest (the head swings up) where 3 additional missiles are stored, waiting to be lost in a furious JM fight. To me this figure is very accurate as a reproduction to the original (major differences are in the foot wheels and the direction the arms/horns lock into the shoulder - both are improved in the U5 version). The figure does have some interesting features: The right fist shoots via an integrated shooter. The leg "stars" can be removed and held as weapons (just like in the cartoon). Each eye in the dragon-chest shoots (something that was retained in the Mattel release, though Mattel added missile banks on the shoulders and just molded the chest rather than going the full-monty). The scrander can be removed via hooks as can the head - why the head you ask? So the arms can be replaced by giant yellow horns - in the cartoon Gaiking becomes the head of Daiku Maryu - the space dragon!

Unifive Gaiking Head Detail

Unifive Gaiking Chest Detail

Unifive Gaiking Side

Unifive Gaiking Back

Unifive Gaiking Side 2

Unifive Gaiking Armed

Unifive Gaiking Shooting Fist Detail

Unifive Gaiking Rollers

This bad boy looks really fantastic on the shelf. When it was originally release it retailed the most of the 4 previous, coming in around $175 - having seen all the previous blown-out by in the Previews catalog I waited and of course the figure just disappeared which left me stunned. Then for some reason some months later they appeared on close out for $70 and I snagged one! This was the only figure I actually took out of the bags and displayed for a while - it's that impressive. Now to find a Popy version...

Unifive Gaiking Box Front

Unifive Gaiking Box Side Detail

Unifive Gaiking Box Side Detail 2

Unifive Gaiking Box U5-A

Unifive Gaiking Box U5-C

Unifive Gaiking Box U5-Z

Unifive Gaiking Box Ends

Unifive Gaiking Box Contents

Notice on the box Unifive changed the accessory graphics to color images rather than line-drawings. They also limited to U5-A, U5-C and the new U5-Z - the Jet Scrander!

Comparison of Popy Gaiking to Uni-Five Gaiking

The Uni-Five box is very different and the figure less so - the things to look for in the U5 are the bigger, ribbed wheels under the feet and the Uni-Five copyright on the back. The figure is slightly shorter than the Popy and some of the yellow colors are molded in lighter plastic - also the arms attach opposite (in the Popy you slot them in from the front, in the U5 from the back) - otherwise they are nearly identical.
Boxes: Popy on left, Uni-Five on Right

Figures: Popy on left, Uni-Five on Right

Figures Back: Popy on left, Uni-Five on Right

Chest Details: Popy on left, Uni-Five on Right

Popy Gaiking Back Detail

Uni-five Gaiking Back Detail

Heads Front: Popy on left, Uni-Five on Right

Heads Back: Popy on left, Uni-Five on Right

Heads Bottom: Popy on left, Uni-Five on Right

Horns Side: Popy on left, Uni-Five on Right

Horns Detail: Popy on left, Uni-Five on Right

Wings: Popy on left, Uni-Five on Right

Feet: Popy on left, Uni-Five on Right

All Mattel images and captions are copyright Mattel, all Popy, Bandai, Banpresto images and captions are copyright Popy/Bandai and used without permission. All other content, including images and editorial, is Copyright © 1997-2017 John Eaton and/or contributors unless otherwise stated. If there are any comments or objections, please contact John Eaton, by clicking here.

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