After Leader-1, I was a bit stuck for which gobot to review next. There are a lot, and they all, to my mind, have distinct advantages, disadvantages and personalities. After a quick poll, we’ve gone with Dive-Dive.
Dive-Dive has got to have what is possibly one of the dumbest names in toy history, right up there with The Balzac. While someone, somewhere, might have thought it was cool to have a submarine commander dramatically shouting ‘Dive! Dive!’ it really doesn’t come across that way. Instead it comes out like a small child’s name for his favourite plush toy. I distinctly remember going to the shops and looking at toys in 1986, and deciding against buying this particular toy, not because he didn’t look badarse, but because of his ridiculous name.
All of this is pretty much a colossal shame, because dive-dive is one of the more interesting gobots.
Dive-Dive’s alt mode is of a submarine. While this might sound a bit vague, it pays to check out all the details. He’s erroneously listed as being a ‘688 boat’ or Los Angeles class attack sub. He certainly is many things, but an attack sub he isn’t. A quick check of the area behind the sail of the sub reveals 12 doors for missiles. That’s right kids; the guardians have the capability of launching nuclear death on multiple targets across the globe from their own nuclear missile submarine, or SSBN. The model itself does not conform to any particular SSBN, although it does seem to be most similar to the US Lafayette –Class, which at the time of its creation was one of the main deterrents against the Soviet Union.
The toy itself is not too bad a model, although there are clear join lines indicating that it is more than just a toy submarine. The little metal wheels underneath are a nice addition, allowing it to be rolled around rather than scraped over everything.
The transformation is nice, but with some interesting twists. With the legs tucked in, all parts of the gobot are locked neatly together and cannot come loose. Naturally, they are the first that need to be extended. The legs rotate, followed by the feet and then hips. The wheels tuck back on their own pivot to behind the robot. Finally the bow splits and the arms come down.
Somehow, the engineers at Bandai were able to turn a long, thin shape of a submarine into an admirably chunky robot. Due to his hips stepping out sideways, he’s got nicely shaped legs and large feet, which means that he’s really quite stable for a display. His arms are well-proportioned for his body and the oversized shoulders give the impression of tremendous strength. There is a nice bit of sculpting on his hands. The body has a sticker to break up all the blue-and-silver, and one of the wheels/rollers is quite prominent in his chest, although it could be much worse. His head sculpt is quite nice and is a change from the usual gobot ‘chrome dome’. The glasses and shape of the head definitely make this gobot look like a tough customer.
Tech Specs and characterisation
As usual, there is nothing to indicate who Dive-dive is, what he does, or what his job is. He’s a guardian, and that’s all we know. I’ll break this down into the usual tech specs categories to see what I can divine out of the toy:
Dive-Dive in robot mode looks like a pretty tough customer. He’s got these great big legs, wide shoulders, and powerful arms. He looks like the kind of guy who would be quite happy to deal out lethal bear hugs to the renegades. I’ll put him fairly high up, which means giving him a 9.
As a naval strategist, Dive-Dive is not going to be any slouch in the brains department. He’s going to be fighting a lonely war (as do many nautical-based heroes and villains) so he can’t rely on teammates too much, just his own mental agility to get him out of situations where the odds are against him. I’ll put this up reasonably high, but not super-scientist level. 8.
Barring one or two examples, submarines are not well-known for their high speed. Dive-Dive should be no different. In fact, all of that powerful design in robot mode points to a slightly lumbering nature. This fellow is all about the silent strike-and fade, or hiding out until it’s time for a retaliatory strike. For that, stealth, but not speed, is required. 4.
Subs are tough. They have to be, simply to handle the crushing pressure of the depths. I would assume that a gobot submarine could handle significantly more than a regular military sub. On land and underwater, this gobot would have a very thick skin. 8.
I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to assign a rank to someone who has personal control over twelve ICBMs, then I’m going to give them enough rank to ignore all the crazies shouting orders at him to start nuclear Armageddon, but low enough that he still has to obey the theoretically more sane officers at the top. Let’s give him an 8. That way, he’ll be good mates with Leader-1 and may even be required to lead and thus do more than just skulk around wishing there would be a water mission from time to time. 7.
You’ve got to be brave to get into a submarine and go miles under the surface of the water. You’ve got to be even braver to do that while you’re carrying enough ordinances to sterilise the eastern seaboard of the US. Or, you could argue, that you’ve got to be a bit stupid. Either way, Dive-Dive has to be brave enough to do his job, but not so brave that he charges headlong into battle. His precious cargo needs to keep him aware that discretion can be absolutely the better part of valour. 6.
Let’s get away from the ICBMs for a minute (which would probably put his firepower at several thousand out of ten) and deal with his firepower as a gobot. I’d say that as a primarily aquatic character, Dive-Dive is going to have weaponry that works best underwater. Blue-green lasers, perhaps, or sonic weapons. In fact, while working with dolphins, I discovered that they can project sound so tightly and intensely, that it’s almost heat. That’s pretty impressive. Maybe he should be able to do that with some magnification. Yeah. 7.
The type of guy who commands a SSBN is going to be a pretty deliberate person. Phlegmatic and not prone to outbursts. He’s going to be cool under pressure, and very, very certain of his decisions. In an earlier era, he would have been the kind of man who would smoke a pipe. SSBN captains have a high level of skill in evading submarine and surface combatants alike. I’d go so far to say that they are amongst the most skilled captains in the whole navy. Therefore, Dive-Dive isn’t wanting in the skill department and gets another better-than-average stat. 7.