Gargomon is the
Champion form of Terriermon, the Digimon partner of Henry.
Gargomon is the first of the three new Champions to appear in
season three, first showing his face in episode 3.03, "To
Fight or Not To Fight." His Ultimate form of Rapidmon - a
green recolor of the Golden Armour version of Rapidmon who first
appeared in "Digimon: The Movie," with some other
slight modifications - first appeared in episode 3.17, "Duel
with the Deva," and ear-marked him as the second
"biggest" character in the show (in terms of
marketing), below Guilmon, due to the fact that his Digivolution
was rendered in CGI - just as all the sequences for Ultimate and
above have been rendered for the other headlining characters in
the past (Agumon's forms, Gabumon's forms, Veemon and Wormmon).
Rather than import the Japanese Gargomon/Rapidmon mould, Bandai
of America have elected to make one of their own.
The toy comes packaged in Gargomon mould, and its major flaw is evident from the way it's positioned in its plastic bubble. When in packaging, the Rapidmon arms, which are usually folded behind his back, are folded out and clearly visible. This is the toy's big fault - he's a simple case of "turn me around and there's my other mode." He is the same in Rapidmon mode, too. It harkens back to toys like Angemon and Kabuterimon, but at least with them, this was only present in ONE mode, with the other mode managing to cover up traces of the first.
Gargomon also has paint problems, but they don't come anywhere near the level of Growlmon's. His belt buckle and toe-claws are not painted grey (very minor), the turn-ups on his pants are the same dark blue as the rest of them, instead of a lighter blue (passable), and the hinge which the belt passes over is cream, rather than brown, to show the belt's presence. Even with this, he's a MUCH nicer to toy look at than an un-modified Growlmon - but that's only if you look at him from the front, otherwise you'll see all his Rapidmon kibble hanging off at the back. Also, I'm wondering why his cannons are black, rather than just a dark greyish. The paint job could have been MUCH worse, though, and after Growlmon, it was a relief to see what it was like on Gargomon.
Gargomon has articulation in his shoulders (though his arms are prone to popping off), his elbows, his hips (underneath his pants, that is), and there are two joints in each of his ears. He's a chunky, weighty toy with a nice colour scheme that's relatively unspoilt by lazy decorative work. The feet bother me, however, as they aren't Gargomon's feet. They're just big green... lumps. The Japanese toy, which functions similarly to this one, managed to replicate Gargomon's feet, so one has to wonder...
To transform Gargomon to Rapidmon, you first collapse his arms. This involves pushing his 'hand' into his forearm, until the elbow locks (when transforming back, you press the light grey stud on arm to pop the fist back out). Then, you open up the side panels of Gargomon's body, and bring his arms together, folding them up and out to form Rapidmon's jet pack. You swing Rapidmon's arms around, folding the double-hinge inward to fit them into the groove in the body, and then turn the toy around. You rotate Rapidmon's head around 180 degrees, exposing his face. Then, to transform the legs, you fold down Gargomon's feet, and rotate his toes around, exposing Rapidmon's feet. You rotate the top of Rapidmon's feet around, fit them to the top of his feet, then swing his feet around, and slide them back to form his feet, while Gargomon's feet become his boots. Pop his knees joints into position to make sure he can stand, and then rotate each leg 180 degrees.
Rapidmon is a rather hit-and-miss mode. His paint job is even better than Gargomon - the only things missing are the small bits of cream at the base of each of his ears, and the bottoms of his feet are cream instead of grey. Also the thin trim at the tops of his boots is green instead of grey, but that facilitates a better Gargomon mode. Everything else about the paint job is fine, down to the little red triangles on his chest and pelvis.
As to the toy itself - the head is set rather low in between the shoulders. It wouldn't have been hard to put it on an extending joint, which allowed it to rise up a little bit. And as with Gargomon, you merely have to turn Rapidmon around to see all the parts of his other mode. His jetpack is also set too far out from his body. But from straight ahead, he looks great... right down until you reach the legs. They're entirely too short and dumpy, and the joints in them are very loose and can pop out of position and make him fall over with ease. They have a nasty, hollow feel to them (because they ARE hollow, natch), which makes you think they'll never be able to support the weight of the rest of the toy - and comparing with other Digivolvers, Rapidmon is pretty heavy, particularly due to the backpack, which overbalances him quite often. Also, you can see Gargomon's pants peeping through from the other side around his hips. A dash of green paint over them on the Rapidmon side of the toy would have helped.
Rapidmon has articulation in his neck, his shoulders, his elbows, his hips, his knees, his ankles (though the last two are fairly loose, as you have to pop them out of the joint that keeps them stiff to swivel them), and retains the two points of movement in his ears.
Gargomon is very "half-and-half." If you turn the toy to the side, and look at it, you'll see what I mean - there's no point where the two modes blend or where parts are overlaid... he's just half-Rapidmon, half-Gargomon. It's especially disconcerting with the legs, which just... stop. They're half-cylinders that stay in one mode or the other.
Beyond this, Gargomon is quite a fun toy. The little "fist-popping" action is nice, and his transformation is quick and easy (although sometimes the Rapidmon head can be tough to twist). He's chunky, he's colourful, he's fun and he's easy - kids especially will enjoy him, but older toy collectors, like myself, will pick holes. I give him:
Rating: 3 out of 5