Review: DX Lupin Gunner & Lupin Blade Viral Core (Kamen Rider Drive)
DX Lupin Gunner & Lupin Blade Viral Core
Premium Bandai Exclusive – May, 2015 – ¥4,860
Ultimate Lupin, the master thief that is secretly Cyberoid ZZZ copies the data for Mashin Chaser’s Break Gunner to create the Lupin Gunner! Wanting to steal the title of Kamen Rider, Lupin uses it to transform into Kamen Rider Lupin. Premium Bandai decided to remold the Break Gunner to release their very own Lupin Gunner, complete with the Lupin Blade Viral Core. The toy was released in May, 2015 for around ¥4,860 before middleman fees. As mentioned, the Lupin Gunner was a Premium Bandai Exclusive release.
The Lupin Gunner, as mentioned, shares a mold with the Break Gunner, with the only new portion being the upper fins sporting a new decorative trim. The toy sports a really beautiful gold paint job with red borders, easily one of my favorite color schemes possible. Like the Break Gunner, the toy cycles through Gun Mode and Break Mode, all in its elegant snobby voice. Holding down the front button activates the transformation call and jingle, which sounds pretty cool! Like the Break Gunner, nothing changes after transformation.
Included is the Lupin Blade Viral Core. Unlike other Viral Cores, it isn’t based on an animal of any sort, but is instead just a fancy looking car. What’s different however is there is a giant blade sticking out the back of it! Other than making a handy knife, the Viral Core slots into the Lupin Gunner and can be folded up, to turn the device into a dagger. With the Viral Core installed, the toy now cycles from Gun Mode to Blade Mode, instead of Break Mode. Finally, with the Viral Core inserted, you can hold the front button down to initiate the final attack, the Lupin Stlash. No, I don’t really know what a Stlash is. Like a strike and a slash all together. How would that even work?
Unfortunately the toy only has compatibility with the Lupin Blade Viral Core. All Drive Type Changes or Tire Koukan Shift Cars will produce the “Drive System!” sound. Shift Dead Heat, the Shift Next portion of Shift Next Special, and all of the Signal Bikes all produce the “Next System!” sound. Shift Formula, Shift Tridoron, and the Pit Crew all produce the “Advanced System!” sound. Finally, any and all Viral Cores will produce the “Viral System!” sound. It’s unfortunate that the toy ditched all the playability of the Break Gunner. Granted, the toy didn’t have to produce anything since it wasn’t in the film, but it still would have been cool to see.
The Lupin Blade Viral Core does have functionality with the other toys. It says “Dark Rider!” in the Drive Driver, produces an error noise in the Break Gunner, says “Warui!” in the Mach Driver, and “Rider! Hou!” in the Formula-Hou. While simple, it’s nice that it has compatibility with the other toys, even if it doesn’t signify it as Lupin, but instead just a generic evil Rider.
Overall, the Lupin Gunner is a nice looking toy, and the Lupin Blade Viral Core does bring some functionality to the other toys. But as it stands, it lacks playability that the other toys in the line thrive from. It’s great for completions sake, and the toy definitely sounds cool, but I wouldn’t pay the full price of entry if I didn’t have to.