Series: Japanese Generation 1
Function: Strike Soldier
Alternate Mode: Monster
Thanks to heroic decepticon for loaning me Kakuryu for this review
Height: 4cm Width: 6cm
A gold monster with metallic charcoal arms, red eyes and cheeks and white legs, Kakuryu is a repaint of Slog, minus that awful gold plastic. Sure, he's dominated by gold here, but that's gold paint over white plastic. Kakuryu shares his plastic colours with Rairyu. The gold dominates the front of the toy, although his back is black robot bits. This colour scheme is fairly uninspiring and quite similar to that of Slog (moreso than any other Dinoforce member, actually), but since it avoids Gold Plastic Syndrome, I'm really quite happy with it.
This is a terrible monster mode. While most of the Dinoforce are recognisable as being based on some animal, Kakuryu looks like a fat bipedal... thing. His head is on the front of the toy rather than on top and it's difficult to work out what it's meant to be. He has tusks and a horn on top of his head and an upper jaw that looks like it belongs on a turtle. The arms end in blade-like claws and have big blocks on the sides (attachment points for Goryu and Yokuryu). When it comes down to it, Kakuryu's doing an awful lot to make Dinoking work and suffers as a result.
The play value here is limited to swinging arms. Not surprising really, considering he's an ill-defined gold block. This is my least favourite Monster mode of the set, since it's such a weak excuse for an animal. On the upside, he's avoided GPS.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Flip the legs out and flip up the head. Turn him around.
Height: 6cm Width: 6cm
With the gold relegated to his back, Kakuryu is now metallic charcoal with white boots and white on the sides of his torso. The gold, along with most of the monster bits, is on his back. This colour scheme looks better than that of the monster mode, because it's more unified. Kakuryu has a blue face, with moulded eyes and a receded mouthplate.
This is Kakuryu's better mode but it's still not great. Those big blocks are still on his arms and he's still very wide, although now he's taller which offsets the width slightly. There's a gap in his chest where the head stows in monster mode, but since the torso is (effectively) black you don't really see this.
If it weren't so wide I'd actually say this is one of the better robot modes of the set, but with the bulky torso, wide legs and the blocks on his arms, Kakuryu looks like a fairly well proportion robot that's had too much KFC. As with the monster mode, the play value is limited to swinging arms. He has blocky fists now, with the claws sitting on the back of them, and can hold his charcoal gun in either hand.
I'm underwhelmed, really. There's some promise, but this robot mode is essentially ruined by Kakuryu being wide enough to form Dinoking's chest. It's not the worst robot mode of the set, but it's not a good one either.
The Pretender Shell
An olive green Triceratops with a grey backpack and grey helmet. There are gold moulded shoulder cannons on either side and red eyes "peeking out" of the moulded helmet. The top of his tail is sculpted with the same mechanical look as the grey backpack, but missed out on grey paint, which is a shame, because there's a little cannon on top of the tip - a nice feature that deserves to stand out more.
This is a much better shell than the ugly red blob that hides Slog, not least because it actually looks like something. It also avoids the lilac backplate - which all Pretender Monsters have, but in my opinion worked worst on Slog. Along with those false blasters and the tail gun, Kakuryu's shell also carries Dinoking's gun on top, as well as his own, giving him an impressive five weapons. He also carries the head for Dinoking, which clips on top. He's moulded in a walking pose, with the right side legs moulded together as a single protrusion.
A nice shell that's held back a little by the unpainted tail. I love the array of weaponry and it's a well defined animal - the opposite of Slog's shell. Not the best in the set, but not far behind that level.
None I'm aware of. As mentioned, he is a repaint of Slog.
Kakuryu has the weakest inner robot of the Dinoforce, since he forms the core of Dinoking, but he's not miles behind the others. His robot mode is decent even of his animal mode is poor. Unlike Slog, he avoided Gold Plastic Syndrome and his Pretender shell actually looks like something. He's not outstanding but he's decent. I wouldn't recommend him unless you're completing Dinoking - on his own, Kakuryu isn't worth his hefty price tag, but he is more satisfying than his gold plastic counterpart - 4/10