The Great Robot Base is here! Well, part of it is, anyway.
If you’ve seen my gallery on one of the newest Diaclone releases, you’ll have clocked that TakaraTomy has dropped something super special in the form of DA-95. It’s the largest and more detailed figure in the line to date, and that’s saying something!
However, as exciting as it all is, the figure has raised lots of questions, too, many of which I find myself frequently being asked on social media. So, very simply, here are those Great Robot Base questions answered!
#10: No, it’s not *just* a pair of trousers
One thing that’s certainly perplexed many casual observers about Diaclone’s DA-95 release is that it turns into a pair of legs and a torso… but is missing anything above that: no arms, no chest, and no head. We’ve been accustomed to some weird and wonderful robot designs over the years but don’t fret; the answer is much simpler.
You see, DA-95 is but one-half of the whole. A second release, DA-100, is currently up for pre-order and will provide the top half of the giant robot form, completing the overall set. Both pieces have their own functionality and modes and can combine together in various ways.
That’s not to say that DA-95 isn’t a substantial release in its own right. Whilst yes, it may be only half a humanoid, it still boasts a hugely impressive vehicular form and plenty of play value (see below for more deets!), all of which will be further complemented by DA-100 when it drops later this year.
#9: It’s based on a vintage Diaclone toy
This next point may seem obvious to those in the know, but the inspiration behind the new figure remains a point of curiosity for many. I’ve been asked if it’s intended to represent Transformers characters like Fortress Maximus or Omega Supreme, but the answer is that it’s none of them! Rather, Great Robot Base was a staple of the original Diaclone line and, in keeping with its updated design, was the largest and most impressive of the entire range. The ‘rebooted’ figure swings heavily into the original’s aesthetic, paying closer homage than arguably most other toys in the new Diaclone line to their respective forebears, and looks like a suitable update as a result.
#8: It was never part of Transformers
Perhaps this next point might have been deduced from the above already. Still, it’s worth being clear that Great Robot Base was never one of the Diaclone toys licensed to Hasbro for use in Transformers, and thus it has nothing to do with the robots in disguise line in any way bar being part of its ‘ancestry’ of sorts. Transformers was mostly born out of a specific subline known as ‘Car Robots’, which is why many of those designs resemble read-world vehicles and the like, as opposed to the majority of Diaclone, which was far more sci-fi in style. Whilst it’s true that stuff like Metroplex also has its origins rooted in Diaclone originally, given the prototype for the toy originated from that era, there’s still ultimately no crossover whatsoever with Grand Robot Base, which remains entirely separate from Transformers.
#7: Yes, it’s the dude from the logo
OK, even if you’re only passingly familiar with Diaclone as a concept, you may have clocked the extremely eye-catching logo with the massive robot face on it. It’s so iconic that the new TakaraTomy toy line has opted to keep it exactly as it was back in the ’80s, and yep, you guessed it, that’s the Great Robot Base front and centre on the design. For this reason, if no other, modern Diaclone fans have long been excited about the day the new designs may finally tackle the biggest robot of them all, and now, finally, here we are. A straightforward comparison also shows just how closely this new toy sticks to the classic look.
#6: The full thing is very, very big
Time to talk about that combined robot mode. The two main vehicle modes for DA-95 and DA-100 are massive in their own right, but once you put them together, the real showstopper comes into play. But how big is it, exactly? For one thing, Many have wondered if it is as sizeable as a modern Transformers Titan. Well, actually, it’s a bit larger, clocking in at roughly 24.4 inches (about 62cm), and that’s not including the guns and whatever else on the backpack. For those curious, Haslab Unicron is an almighty 27 inches tall, so this beast is certainly close! Now, where are we going to put it?
#5: Yes, it’s very pricey, too
Real talk time, but yes, this thing also comes with a *whopping* price tag, clocking in at around $500 for each half of the overall set. No doubt that eye-watering sum will be a considerable barrier for many collectors (and firmly puts to bed any notion that this is a toy designed with anyone but adults in mind). However, it’s not entirely unexpected, given the Diaclone line has never been the cheapest of endeavours to begin with, and considering the size of both halves compared to the rest of the roster. It’s worth noting that the parts count on DA-95 (and, by extension, DA-100) is off the chain, too – far greater than anything you would typically expect from a mainline or even a Masterpiece-level Transformers toy. This goes some way to explaining the enormous asking price, even if it doesn’t make it any more palatable for many, I’m sure.
#4: It’s also chock-full of play value
Perhaps the more important conversation beyond “How much does it cost?” is “How much do you get for your money?”. In that regard, I honestly believe it’s quite a lot! After getting my hands on DA-95 this week for a photo gallery, I was blown away by how many gimmicks and features are stuffed into the design and how much fun the whole thing is as a result. There are hidden compartments, motorised elements, flip-out guns and missiles and secret vehicles aplenty, and a lot more play value besides. But don’t take my word for it; just check out TakaraTomy’s video about DA-95 here:
Oh, and here’s DA-100 to further whet your appetite!
#3: There is a reissue on the way
Well, what if you’re just discovering some of this information now and missed the boat on DA-95? It’s a genuine consideration, especially as modern Diaclone carries a hefty aftermarket late tax if you don’t pick up new releases as soon as they drop! Fortunately, we’re about to receive only one of several reissues we’ve seen since the new iteration of the line began, with the other notable example being DA-01 Dia-Battles. Word is it should drop in December of this year, so if you’ve yet to board the Dia-train, now could be your time.
#2: There are also some expansion packs
Suppose the incredible combo of DA-95 and DA-100 isn’t quite enough for you (or expensive enough already!). In that case, you can add more into the mix with several other Diaclone releases and expansion packs. The first of these is DA-93, which, amongst other bits, includes another of the small track vehicles which stow away inside the rear of DA-95, one of which already comes with the main figure. DA-96 is another copy of the fighter ship included with DA-95 and stows away inside the main chest compartment. DA-97 includes another jet and a hook accessory that clips onto DA-95’s main cannon for an extra spot of playability. DA-98 is a ‘reinforcement’ set with several guns and cannons to pad out DA-95’s battle configuration. Finally, DA-99 is an extension set for the ‘deck’ of DA-95’s vehicle form, again including a few extra guns. Will there be more? I expect a few sets to add onto DA-100 as well, no doubt.
#1: It’s absolutely *incredible*
Admittedly, the final point isn’t something that’s ever been called into question. Still, it is worth stating in case it isn’t absolutely clear – this is a simply astonishing figure that, in this writer’s humble opinion, is a must-buy for anyone who is even slightly interested in the new Diaclone line. The price is a massive hurdle to overcome, but in terms of sheer play value, quality of materials and execution of design, you get a significant bang for your buck. It’s an extraordinary achievement on TakaraTomy’s part and represents what may well be the peak of this toy line, at least for many years to come. Roll on DA-100!
So that’s our list! Are you excited for the Great Robot Base?