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Series: Transformers Go!
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Voyager
Year: 2013

Robot Mode: The first thing I thought upon seeing the Samurai Swordbots, especially Ganoh here, was: wow, Armada is making a comeback. The aesthetic of the robot is heavily Japanese and it does somewhat remind me of the Armada toys, though one must say that Ganoh is far better articulated than most Armada figures. Still, the style is quite far away from either the Movie- or Classics-look that most recent figures adhere to. This is clearly a Japanese robot and it’s not a big stretch to figure out that he combines with someone, too.

How can you tell? Ganoh is about two-thirds legs, it feels. He has a very stocky chest and no real lower torso to speak of (though more of one than his two teammates), while both his arms and head are rather tiny in comparison. The resultant robot still looks pretty good and powerful, mind you, but the proportions are far from realistic. Still, I like the look of this guy and he has the image of the strong, tough guy with the heart of gold down pat. He’s about Voyager-sized and could easily serve as a sparring partner for the likes of Bulkhead.

Ganoh comes with a folding lance as a weapon. When folded together he can plug it into his fist, but unfolded to full length… the handle now sticks out sideways and he can hold it, just not in any position that actually looks good, I think. He can also store the lance on his back. Additionally Ganoh has a … well, a helmet and shoulder pads for the combiner mode (see below) that folds together into a really crappy looking gun. I mean it’s nice that they tried to find a second use for it apart from a combiner helmet, but I’ve seen G1 Targetmasters that looked more realistic as a gun than this thing. Anyway, the gun can be stored on his back, too, but it gives him an enormous backpack.

What else to say? Ganoh is my favorite of the Samurai Swordbot team in robot mode. He’s big, he looks tough, he works well even without going into the whole combiner thing. Okay, he’s got the big combiner fists as heels on his feet, but they do give him a solid stance. So bottom line: a decent Voyager-class robot mode. I like this guy.

Alternate Mode: Ganoh transforms into a red fire truck, somewhat reminiscent of the alternate mode of DOTM Sentinel Prime, but quite a bit less detailed, naturally. The folded lance goes on top as a kind of water cannon and there are no robot bits visible. Okay, the robot’s forearms are on the roof, but unless you look closely you don’t recognize them as such, so no problem here.

Not really that much more I can write here. Ganoh’s vehicle mode is perfectly fine and you can mount his incredibly stupid-looking helmet-gun here, too, though I’d advise you not to. So bottom line: a nice vehicle mode. No complaints.

Combiner: The three members of the Samurai Swordbot Team can combine into a larger robot in three different combinations. Each combination is named for the bot that forms the top with an added ‘Go’-prefix, so this particular combination here with Ganoh on top is called GoGanoh. Ganoh becomes the upper body and arms, Kenzan becomes the belly and rucksack, while Jinbo provides the hip and legs.

GoGanoh is the stockiest of the three possible combiners, given that Ganoh is the bulkiest upper body and Jinbo the skinniest lower body. I’ve found that leaving Jinbo’s legs fully extended makes for a very wobbly combiner, so I’ve utilized the multiple joints to give him bird legs instead. Makes the combiner somewhat smaller, but more stable and it looks better in my opinion. His “gun” becomes a red chest plate with a black kabuto helmet with golden horns. GoGanoh can combine all three weapons of the Swordbots into once very long lance/spear thing, but it’s rather ungainly and I think it looks better if he makes it two weapons. Additionally the two helmet-guns that come with Kenzan and Jinbo can combine into... well, an even stranger-looking gun-thing. GoGanoh can at least attach the thing to his arm as a kind of shield, where it looks slightly better than as a gun.

Articulation is as good as the general bulkiness of the combined robot allows and everything clicks together pretty solidly, so no complaints on that front. The look, once again, is very Japanese, whether or not you like that is up to you, of course. Personally I do like it and I am actually still uncertain whether GoGanoh or GoKenzan is my favorite combination here (sorry GoJinbo, you are third either way). GoKenzan looks more streamlined and wholesome, but GoGanoh has the better upper body and the stockier build. Let’s call it a toss-up. Either way, a very nice combiner mode and probably the main reason for getting this toy (and this two teammates, naturally).

Side Note: not mentioned in the instructions but possible nevertheless, you can combine the Samurai Swordbots just two at a time in the old Energon Powerlinx style (see last picture in the gallery). In GoGanoh's case he'd simply use Kenzan as a lower body and leave Jinbo aside. Which... yeah, now the upper body is realy a tad big. The other two two-bot combos look better, but it's still a fun alternative.

Remarks: Transformers Go! is the Japanese version of the Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters series, but includes quite a few figures exclusive to Japan and with its own cartoon series that has nothing to do with the Prime TV series. I’ve only seen the first episode of said series, but it featured the Samurai Swordbots who were awakened by a small child and got to face off against Abominus, who dutifully reassembled himself time and time again so the Swordbots could show off all their combinations and special moves.

I first thought about reviewing the entire team in a single review, but ultimately decided to give each their own, especially as we have three different combiner versions, too, so each review gets one. Let’s be honest, you either buy all three of these guys or none at all, so discussing the merits of Ganoh as a single figure is somewhat redundant. Still, he is definitely my favorite of the three Swordbots and while I wouldn’t go quite so far as to call him a great stand-alone figure, he does work pretty well. Whether or not you will like him depends heavily on your opinion on Combiners and Japanese-style robots. You like them? Great. If not, don’t go near these bots.

Rating: B
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