Otomonin Series 03 – Surfermaru
June, 2015 – ¥2,800
Our third Otomonin has landed on shore, as it is none other than Surfermaru! Surfermaru is a water based Otomonin that can transform from a submarine mode to a robot mode complete with a surfboard! Surfermaru can combine with both Shurikenjin and Bison King to form Shurikenjin Surfer and Bison King Surfer respectively. The Otomonin was released in June, 2015 for ¥2,800.
Included with Surfermaru is an all new Otomonin Shuriken. Naturally it has some new sounds and of course a new core and blade design unique to this Otomonin. The back button cycles through “Otomonin Shuriken!”, “Surfer ja!”, and “Surfermaru!” as one would expect. Naturally, when attached to Shurikenjin, the Shuriken will shout “Shurikenjin Surfer!” while playing a Beach Boys-esque jingle. Unfortunately, despite being able to connect to Bison King, no unique sound is used, so Bison King Surfer also gets Shurikenjin Surfer’s sound.
The submarine mode is actually pretty nice. It has a slight shark design, with teeth on the front and various fins throughout the base of the toy. It even has this nifty little periscope on top that looks really neat. The Otomonin Shuriken acts as the propeller of the vehicle, a wonderful touch and a nice way to include it. It even spins! Transformation into the robot form is easy, with the front of the vehicle forming the robot and the rear forming the surfboard. This mode is really fun as well. Surfermaru looks really nice (my favorite of the robot modes for sure) and is really fun to roll around on the surfboard. It just looks really cool.
Shurikenjin Surfer is alright, as is Bison King Surfer. The combinations do not feature unique weapons like Paon and UFO do, instead opting to use the surfboard as a focal point. Both robots can roll well, but with anything in their hands they have tendencies to topple over. The highlight of the mode is definitely the head for me. The shark teeth on the head design is just really awesome, and again, my favorite of the group. Unfortunately the fun sort of stops there. With no weapons and an unstable surfboard, it is more or less simplistic compared to the others.
Surfermaru is definitely my favorite of the Otomonin, even though he has some flaws. While the combinations aren’t nearly as thrilling, the toy itself is really fun. The sub mode is great to roll around and spin, while the robot mode is rather creative and also fun to roll and pose. It’s a shame that the combinations aren’t as fun, because otherwise Surfermaru would be an easy winner as my favorite of the line. Regardless, he’s a favorite and I certainly recommend him.