And this Crystal Warrior and Crystal Warrior base set is just one fine example. Everything you see here - the 7 inch tall Crystal Base and Crystal Warrior Robot set - all of which are built from acceptable plastics (Not cheap, but not high-class plastics either) cost a total of PhP 400 (Roughly US$ 9.00).
So what exactly is this? Crystal Warrior is a Chinese Anime Cartoon - which probably explains why it's not so popular. We've all heard of American Anime, Japanese Anime, but Chinese? It's a wonder it was picked up by one local cable channel.
But it does provide an explanation as to why these toys exist. I mean of all the Asian countries, China is the one that has the manpower to make what it needs when it needs to. There's actually an interesting factoid about the origin of these toys that we'll discuss later.
Anyway, Crystal Warrior, AKA Shuǐjīng Zhànshì revolves around the staple "five-man Power Ranger" team which consists of a leader, a kid, a heavy-set brawler, a silent but deadly guy and the token cute female.
Further, the Bandai version of the Crystal Base comes with colored miniature versions of the Crystal Robots and the Crystal fighters - Red, Blue, Green, Yellow and Violet. The one I purchased comes with gray miniatures of the Crystal Robots and Fighters.
So. Are these fakes? I honestly don't think so as the quality is pretty good - though i would not put it beyond Toy Kingdom and Toys R' Us here in the Philippines from selling fakes because they do.
These feel more like factory overruns that were never finished or deployed to Bandai and re-released when no one really cared anymore.
The Crystal Robots
There are five Crystal Robots. The first one, belonging to the leader of the group is the Fire Robot. The Fire Robot is the 2nd biggest of the five Crystal Robots and comes with a spare head that becomes the head of the combined Crystal Robots. Articulation is poor. He can turn his head, raise, lower his arms and twist his legs at the hips, that's it.
He forms the chest, head and shoulder areas of the combined Crystal Robots. What's funny about him is that you have to take his head off to do this, totally ignoring that big gaping hole in his back where I store his head when I combine the five.
Next up is the Ground Robot. He's the biggest of the five that forms the lower legs and feet of the Combined Crystal Robot.
The Ground Robot is the only one of the five that appears to have a non-bladed weapon on him. There appears to be a dual-cannon built into his left shoulder and his miniature version shows these tracked down 90 degrees forward instead of straight up. Unfortunately, the cannons are fixed in his larger version.
The ground robot splits cleanly down the middle in order to form the legs and feet of the Combined Crystal Robot, and his head folds neatly into his central torso.
The Yellow Robot is the Heart robot - how cute - third largest in size, he forms the mid-torso, thighs and upper legs of the Combined Crystal Robot. If you want to be cynical about it, then the Heart of the Combine Crystal Robot is his stomach and his loins.
The Heart Robot also comes with the sword of the Combined Crystal Robot - though I accidentally shot him with the cape like shield that attaches to the Heart Robot's back and forms the chest plate of the Combined Crystal Robot - he looks better this way.
His transformation is pretty basic. He simply folds his arms and head back and raises his legs at the knee level to create the thicker Combined Crystal Robot's thighs.
The pink, feminine looking robot is the Water Robot - which is pink, not blue like the color of Water. I assume it's operated by the female on the team.
The Water Robot forms the left arm of the Combined Crystal Robot and come with two bladed weapons that.... well they have to practical use as an offensive weapon in my opinion. They're probably a form of shield or sword breaker akin to Bat-Man's bladed wrists bracers which catch, lock, then break blades.
Last up is the purple one, the Magical Robot. He's Magical because he's the same mold as the pink Water Robot but it's driven by a guy - no wonder he's the silent but deadly type.
The Magical Robot forms the right hand of the Combined Crystal Robot. His shoulder blades actually form spiked knuckles on his right hand which is really cool. He also comes with the aforementioned chestplate that I accidentally shot with the Heart Robot. I shot the Magical Robot with the Combined Crystal Robot's sword instead.
The five robots combine to form the Crystal Robot. Note, putting them together is not easy as some parts require more pressure than others to put together, and the more pressure you apply, the more things fall apart.
More than once you will find yourself re-attaching the legs to the lower torso, the upper to the lower torso, and both shoulders (attached to the two arms). But eventually if you're patient and gentle, you'll get it.
Articulation is not really good. He can raise, lower his arms and turn his head. That's about it.
The Crystal Base comes with the featured miniature Crystal Robots and the Crystal Planes - which sadly don't combine like their larger counterparts do. It also comes with three re-position-able cannons - thanks to the pegs at the "V" of each of the five "star points" of the Base. and two launch pads.
The tower of the Crystal Base is battery-powered and a button lights it up accompanied by what can only be described as the sound of screeching metal and a clang - weird.
Each of the Star points has a hangar that opens to reveal the Crystal Planes.
You can replace all the five miniature Crystal Robots with the original forming a very colorful carousel.
Not bad for a PhP 400 toy. Not quite sure what to do with it, but you have to admit it's cool1