Bandai 1/60 Type J9 
Griffon Labor Test Machine








Scott Van Aken


Yikes! Its a robot!!


I won't even begin to tell you that I understand anything aboutthe Japanese mania for robots. It seems to be a major part of the youth cultureover there. They are, apparently, constantly bombarded by cartoon shows thatfeature various types of robots and other transforming mechanisms. While thereis some following here in the US, it is not of my generation so I have littleunderstanding of the variants and variations of Gundam.  (Note: I havebeen informed that this isn't from the Gundam series but from something calledMobile Police Patlabor[for Patrol Labor]. The kit is of a bad guy.)

Arriving at my favorite hobby shop the other day, the proprietorhad just finished unboxing a large number of these kits from Bandai. Giving into curiosity, I looked over the selection. Here were kits ranging from $10.00 towell over $100.00. "Do you sell a lot of these?", I asked. The answerwas affirmative. In fact, he went on to tell me that they were some of thebiggest sellers in the store. During the discussion it came out that most of thebuyers were adults and not children, especially on the more exotic and moreexpensive ones. This intrigued me quite a bit. So much so, that I looked at someof the less expensive ones and settled on this one to take home.

I have zero knowledge on the type or the history behind it, soif any of you can shed any light onto this kit, I'd be more than happy to add itto my knowledge base.


Upon initially opening the box. I was struck by how much plasticwas in there. The packaging was very good with no more than two large sprues ineach bag. There was also a bag of vinyl parts (upper right corner). Also in thebox was what appears to be a large poster, but that is only on one side as theinstructions are on the other. Everything is in Japanese, but the constructionsequence is very well done. It seems that this is a snap kit as I saw noindication that anything needed gluing. Despite the 1990 date on the box, theparts are free from flash and defects. 

There are a myriad of joints, each of which are supplied withteflon bearings (the sprue of circles in the upper right). I'm not sure if thisthing is meant to be a transformer or not, but at the least, the kit is capableof assuming a number of poses. With the vinyl bits comprising the 'body' of thecritter and also being exposed, any painting done to it will require somecomplex masking.

Actually, it is probably a very easy kit to build and appears tomake into a large model when one is finished with it. I look forward to buildingit, so stay tuned.

Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!

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