Mega Review: Now includes both 1/20 non-transformable toys
Packaging & Extras (2/5)
These toys come with stickers but that was it. The packaging is small and includes a Styrofoam tray to keep the goods in place. The Armor mode toy comes with a gun. Both toys feature nice artwork but the most notable element of the packaging is the back of the Armor-mode box. Two prototypes are shown as future releases, one is Ray’s VR-052T and the other is Yellow’s VR-041H. I’m sure someone somewhere has these prototypes and covets them as truly unique Mospeada collectibles. Poor Houquet, it doesn’t seem like there was ever destined to be a release of an Armor-mode version of her VR-038.
Charm & Collectability (3/5)
These are pretty hard toys to come across since they were never distributed outside of Japan so true Genesis Climber fans may rate these higher. The Armor-mode toy features a healthy bit of metal but both these toys suffer from lacking transformation. The unattractive plastic rider, odd scale, and lack of diecast on the Bike-mode toy might make it the less collectable of the two. Both toys are further hindered by not having much of a fun factor. The manufacturing stamp is pretty prominently located on the backs of each figure.
Sculpt, Detail, and Paint: Bike Mode (6/10)
For the most part the representation of both the bike and the rider are fair but there are a few let downs. The rider looks a bit out of proportion, kind of unnaturally thin from being stretched somewhat laterally. The back of the bike accomodates the rear tire by cutting the exhaust pipes in half. Paint on the bike looks great, it’s spruced up nicely by the included stickers, but the rider is completely unpainted and looks odd. Gakken was thinking ahead though and made the rider completely removable so fans could paint him on their own.
Sculpt, Detail, & Paint: Armor Mode (6.5/10)
Back before the releases of the moder ride armor toys I gave this Gakken release a higher score. These days it’s hard not to notice the big screws, lack of transparent plastic, and lack of finer detail. Gakken definitely got the spirit of the toy and its proportions correct but compared to its modern brethren it can’t compete.
The free-spinning wheels and the fact the rider can be removed are just about the only design elements that bear mentioning. The Armor-mode toy doesn’t do much better. There’s no targeting scope, no retractable visor (or even a helmet-less head you could swap out), and no other frills to really speak of. Neither of these toys transform so they score most their points here simply because they do what they do (which is very little) without issue.
Durability & Build (9/10) -1 for Armor Mode Toy
The bike is basically one piece of plastic with no real tricks so the only thing you should fear is breaking the connecting pegs the rider grabs (and that doesn’t seem easy to do). The removable plastic rider is a bit rubbery and seems like he’d be able to stand up to some serious play. The Armor mode toy features full diecast legs which are very prone to wear, they’ve been known to get chaffed from the Styrofoam tray that holds the toy. Also be careful with the toys arm as raising it too high will cause the plastic of the shoulder to cut into the arm.
As I said when I did my review of the Matchbox Armoured Cyclone, a motorcycle CAN be articulated. Moving handle bars are a start, a suspension, wheels that move, and pedals/breaks/clutch/misc would get a bike a perfect score. This bike has a rider that could also have been made articulated but was not. The Armor-mode toy fairs no better with points of articulation at the knees, shoulders, and the wheel roots (no idea why). This toy can not achieve most of Stick’s iconic poses. As such, these toys are more cool little statues that would seem perfect for display.
Total Score Bike Mode (25/50), Armor Mode (24.5/50)
As a huge Genesis Climber fan I think these toys have more charm than I gave them credit for. They’re cool little representations of the bike and armor that look great among other vintage Genesis Climber merchandise. However, there’s not a whole lot to it and anyone looking for a toy with any bells and whistles would inevitably be let down by these products. They’re a lot of fun for Ride Armor (Cyclone) fans but there’s not much here for anyone else. As someone commented below, the bike mode toy can have its rider removed and replaced with a CMs riding figure which is nice since the CMs toy is so fiddly in bike mode and the Gakken toy has such a bad looking rider figure.
This Review has been updated, it now combines both toys from this line (the bike and the armor mode toy), all new higher resolution photos were added, line art comparisons were added, a video review was added, and a comparison to other bike modes was added. Original post July 3, 2007 (bike), May 2, 2007 (armor).