Appearing in the Brave Command Dagwon series in 1997, Gunkid makes for an interesting toy.
One part Brave, one part Battlestar, no wonder he ends up looking like something from Brave Starr. I’m surprised he didn’t come with little handheld pistols like Shadow Maru and Gun Max.
In robot mode, he stands about the same height as G1 Galvatron.
The cowboy theme is worn right on it’s sleeve with this guy, or maybe on his head. I mean, Cowboy hat aside, he has little spurs on his heels, and he also has a “battle mask” face which is very reminiscent of the old handkerchief mask of the Wild West for bank robberies and the like.
His transformations are simplistic, but effective. He transforms into four “distinct” modes.
In gun mode, or INFINITE CANNON as it’s known, he can be held as a gun by humans and used to fire foam darts at your friends eyes. It’s a really fun mode, with a good size and weight to it, and it’s all too easy to lose the foam pellets which adds to it’s toy charm.
His second mode is the obligatory and somewhat phoned in cannon mode, or KID TANK mode. Let’s be fair, G1 Galvatron got away with it just about, and the “transformation” between modes was less involved than with this guy, and the little molded tank treads do help.
His final mode is as a jet, or KID FIGHTER mode; complete with landing gear, wings and tailfins. It’s obvious where all the parts go, but they never intrude upon the other modes, and the way the view-finder folds down to become a cock-pit is very satisfying. The landing gear hidden inside the gun handle is another nice touch, and it makes this mold super fun and interesting.
The rumour is that the design for Gun Kid originally started life as Battlestar Megatron, if this is true, then he would have been the only Decepticon to make it into the Fight! Super Robot Lifeform Transformers: Return of Convoy toyline, alongside Star Convoy, Grandus, Sky-Garry and a handful of combining Micro-masters. It’s a well known fact that bad-guy toys do not sell as well in Japan, which explains why the Autobots constantly out-number the Decepticons, especially in Japanese only lines such as Victory, Zone and Return of Convoy.
This was the penultimate Japanese line of G1 Transformers released in 1991, coming just before Operation Combination in 1992 which was mostly repaints, Euro releases and Micro-masters, as such Return of Convoy featured the last of the big leader type toys, and Takara was busy at work designing new toys for the Brave toyline.
At this point, there was no TV show to support the line, and the story of Transformers continued exclusively in the pages of the Battlestar Manga, published in the Japanese TV Magazine.
In the storyline, Dark Nova (to relation to any Nova Prime) resurrects Galvatron as Super Megatron.
Below is the character model which is believed to have been the predecessor to Gunkid, and there are certainly comparisons between Super Megatron’s jet mode and Gunkid’s. Although maybe not as much as the robot mode looks like Animated Megatron, but given Derrick J Wyatt’s love of the animated series that does not surprise me.
All this could explain why Gunkid feels like a G1 toy through and through. There is zero partsforming and you can transform between modes very quickly, and the toy doesn’t disassemble into fifteen pieces to combine with five other things like some Brave toys do. To the point that I’m almost tempted to customise one into Megatron; if the Gunkid head wasn’t so darn adorable!
Of course, to keep things Brave, Gunkid does have the ability to interact with other characters, and he can interact with both Fire Dagwon (who you might remember had a cameo in our Thunder Dagwon comparison article) and Power Dagwon in his GIANT WEAPON MODE. I don’t want to spoil this interaction until the Super Fire Dagwon blog goes live, but once it does I will post the pictures here to complete this blog (although SPOILER if you go back up and look at the very first image of the box).
Thanks for reading!