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

Robot Mode: Let’s get the most obvious thing out of the way first: Jinbu is a robot without a torso. He has shoulders and directly below them the legs begin. He’s a leg man. All-leg. The jet cockpit in front and the panels on the back do their best to hide the fact that his torso doesn’t really exist and from certain angles it works, but the moment you look at him even slightly sideways, you see the gaping hole where the center of his body should be. The price he pays for being both a jetformer and part of a combiner, I guess. Moving on.

Once you get past this the figure as such isn’t bad. Articulation is quite good (just remember to bend the legs where the hip should be instead of much, much higher up), allowing Jinbu quite the number of dynamic poses. He has big feet, giving him a solid stance, and the general look of the figure is quite good as well. Okay, the combination of alternate mode and color make it seem like Bumblebee had a love child with a Decepticon Seeker, but still. I like his look.

Jinbu comes with a very, very big Samurai sword as his main weapon. The sword is almost as long as he’s tall, but it looks good on him. Due to the long handle it can only be used by figures where the fist hole goes all the way through (Ganoh and Kenzan can’t wield it). As a second weapon Jinbu can fold together the helmet / chest plate thing for his combiner mode (see below), turning it into... well, something that’s supposed to be a gun. Actually it’s the best gun-thing of the three Swordbots, but that doesn’t say much. It works much better as a rucksack, though, giving a bit more mass to Jinbo’s torso and offering a place to store his sword, too.

All in all Jinbo’s robot mode suffers heavily from the combiner requirements, but he’s doing the best he can given those limitations.

Alternate Mode: Jinbu transforms into a jet with forward-swept wings of no particular model, I believe. Much like the robot mode the jet consists mostly of legs, which form the largest part of the jet’s body and the big combiner feet are folded up to form the jet’s rear. The big sword goes on top with the handle forming a kind-of gun barrel up front and the jet has a landing gear as well, or at least a partial one (front wheel only). From certain angles the jets looks pretty good, but from others… well, not so much. Anyway, the jet can also be armed with Jinbu’s helmet-gun, but that pretty much ruins what little aerodynamics he has and looks rather stupid as well, so I’d leave it off. So bottom line: not a bad attempt at a jet mode, but not a particularly good one, either.

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 Jinbu on top is called GoJinbu. Jinbu becomes the upper body and arms, Kenzan becomes the hip and legs, while Ganoh provides the belly and rucksack.

Jinbu’s helmet-gun unfolds into a helmet with a very long breast plate that actually goes all the way down to his crotch (it needs to plug into Kenzan’s torso for the electronic sound effects, more on that in Kenzan’s review). This actually causes GoJinbu to look very stretched-out, despite being no more disproportioned than the other versions of the combiner. Jinbo actually makes a very decent upper body, though look-wise he’s actually my least-favorite version of the three. Mostly because Kenzan doesn’t really work well as a lower body. One flaw here is that GoJinbu cannot hold the combined weapon (a long lance made from the individual weapons of all three team members) because his fist holes are a tad too narrow to fit in the handle of Ganoh’s weapon. You can, however, utilize the fists of Ganoh, which peek out above his shoulders, and plug in Kenzan’s swords there, for example. Looks pretty cool. Additionally GoJinbu can wield the extremely awkward combination of Kenzan and Ganoh’s helmet-guns, which… yeah, you know? Don’t put them in his hand. Just don’t. You’re better off that way.

Bottom line here: all three combinations of the Samurai Swordbot team are solid, well-connected, and look pretty cool in a Japanese-warrior kind of way, but personally I must say that GoJinbu is my least favorite of the three.

Side Note: Unless, that is, if you simply take Jinbu and Ganoh, leave Kenzan aside, and combine the two in the old Energon Powerlinx style (see last picture in the gallery). In that case GoJinbu looks very cool, nicely proportioned, and the yellow-red color combo is to my liking as well. Of the two-mode combinations GoJinbu is actually my favorite of the three.

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.

Overall I must say that Jinbu is the worst of the Samurai Swordbot Team. He isn’t a bad figure as such, but his engineering is very much compromised by the combiner gimmick, more than the other two. Still, you’re going to buy either all three of the team or none. Jinbu looks the most Japanese of the three in single robot mode, I must say, so once again: if you like the general aesthetic and the combination gimmick, you get him. If not, leave him aside.

Rating: C+
Toy DB Link

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