Shuriken Gattai DX Bison King
April, 2015 – ¥6,800
Did we mention that the American cowboy ninja that uses a burger phone to transform and attacks with a guitar swordgun also has a little blue Otomonin named Rodeomaru? It also rides on a bison themed ATV named the Bison Buggy! Starninger is about as crazy as you can get. The Otomonin and his vehicle were released in April, 2015 (before any of his gear) for ¥6,800. The duo can combine into the mighty Bison King, which can further combine with Shurikenjin to form King Shurikenjin!
Naturally, being an Otomonin, included with the toy is an all new Otomonin Shuriken for Rodeomaru. It’s brown in color, and ultimately ends up being the head for Bison King. Like most Otomonin Shuriken, the toy works entirely off the button on the back. Pressing it will cycle through the activation sound, standby sound, and Rodeomaru summoning sound. When the shuriken is placed on the head of Shurikenjin or Bison King, it will make the Bison King jingle.
Rodeomaru is pretty simple, being a lot like Shinobimaru in design. It features mild articulation due to transformation, but it is nothing to write home about. The Bison Buggy is pretty darn awesome. While I wish Rodeomaru sat a little more formal on the vehicle, the style they went with makes sense with how Bison King had to be designed, so I can deal with it. It rolls nice, and most importantly looks nice. I really like Sentai mecha that have a robot/vehicle thing going on.
Tranformation into Bison King is pretty simple and straight forward. While I like the overall design of Bison King, he leaves a lot to be desired. While I get the idea behind what they were doing with the “small robot piloting big robot” thing, the platform extruding from Bison King is gaudy and just looks awful. We’ve had pieces stick out before, but this is the worst I’ve seen. Fortunately it can be remedied by folding the panel backwards and out of the way. Rodeomaru’s legs can then fold back onto themselves to make for a more streamlined looking back. Intentional or not, I love that there is a way to fold things up for people with less clearance on a shelf, or just hate it in general. He wields a blade tipped gun that fits comfortably in either hand.
Transformation into King Shurikenjin is also pretty straightforward and shouldn’t prove too difficult. Let’s start with the good. I really like that all pieces from Shurikenjin and Bison King are used without issue. Sure, Paonmaru and UFOmaru aren’t included, but I don’t have a huge problem with that part. The overall design on the show is really nice. Unfortunately it just doesn’t translate well into a toy, where creative liberties can’t be taken. The default formation leaves King Shurikenjin with these stubby, yet lanky legs with thin boots, oddly proportioned arms, and a weird hat. The hat is comprised of the two Otomonin Shuriken, as well as a piece of Bison King. While flattened it looks fine, the toy’s portrayal is just really weird with an awful gaudy hat to go with the awful gaudy back piece.
Overall, Bison King has a lot of merits, and is overall a really fun little robot. It’s a shame he has so many problems, but thankfully most of them can be remedied by flipping the panels down and out of the way. There’s no saving King Shurikenjin’s hat though. If you can look past the gaudy elements of the design, it’s another great addition to the Ninninger line up. If you have Shurikenjin, he’s definitely worth adding to your collection.