Thursday, May 7, 2015

Dino Cassettes C-121 Gurafi/Graphy & C-122 Noizu/Noise KO comparison (Part 1)

After prolonged period of searching and hunting, managed to snag for myself the first half of the rare and elusive Dino Cassettes, C-121 Gurafi and C-122 Noizu.

Way before this, i got a set of the KO dino cassettes, for research purposes, wanting to make sure that i do not get a KO piece of the price of an original. I need to know the difference, not only the box, but the toy and inserts as well. I want an 100% original collector piece. As they say, to know your enemy well, is half the battle won.
Some research on the net and great help my my friend HD, (who has all 4 original Dino cassettes), i managed to memorize by heart some differences. So now, after scoring these 2 pieces, i'm showing those differences that one can judge straight by looking at one. No reviews on the original toy itself (well, maybe some praise for the original along the way) as a very good review done by my good friend on C-121 here and C-122 here.

First up: C-121 Gurafi/Graphy (Top = Original, Bottom = KO)
1) Wings must reach the edge of the box
2) The white japanese words at the bottom must be aligned to the right, not nearer to the centre.

There are other differences, but you can't differentiate unless you have an original on hand to compare. i will just name these 2, they are sufficient enough to judge the piece if its a KO.

Side of the box: Front = Original; Back = KO
1) Arm of Decible extends to the front of the box for the KO. On the original, the picture fits nicely on the side flap. This is the same for Noizu as well.

Back of the box: Left = KO; Right = Original
1) The artwork of Decible for the KO touches the edge of the box. For the original, the artwork is well within the white background.

Top of the box: Top = Original; Bottom = KO
Picture of Gurafi covers the top of the box, edge to edge.  i.e the wings touch the top edge and the feet touches the bottom edge. On th KO, the picture is not touching the edges at all. If you noticed, the angle of the photo then is different as well..

Bio Card: Left = KO; Right = Original
Significant difference in size of the Bio card. It should be almost the size of the box itself, near to credit card size. For the KO, about the size of the cassette.

Instructions: Left = Original; Right = KO

 Left = KO; Right = Original (apologies for standardizing the photo order!)
Instruction sheets are clearly identifiable, with the KO version having very pixelated pictures. It appears that the KO makers do not have an original piece to achieve a high definition scan. It looks like the instruction sheet was printed out from a picture downloaded from the net. It looks very unprofessional, even for a KO.

Inserts: Left = Original; Right = KO
The compartment for the accessories should be square. On the KO, both are rectangle, almost identical in size. Also there should not be grooves to "hold" onto the cassettes in the compartment.

Weapons: Top = KO; Bottom = Original
 The weapons are almost identical, very difficult to judge just by looing at the chrome. Look at the insides where chrome paint can't be applied. It seems that on the original, the base plastic is red and it's black for the KO. This is also noticed for Noizu. Not sure if this can be used to 100% judge an original.

Cassettes: Left = KO; Right = Original
 Rivets are bigger on the original. on either side.

Level of details are significantly lacking on the KO.

Cassettes: Front = Original; Back = KO
There should be a groove on the forehead of the dinosaur.

 Left = KO; Right = Original
Lack of details on the dinosaur head for the KO as shown in blue circle.

The KO piece has the Takara'87 Stamping as well. So we can't judge it by stamping, though there are some difference in the font used, no way to verify without an original.

All these being said, when you handle the KO piece, you will know the difference. Loose joints, not so easy to click in parts etc. The handling feel is totally different, this is unlike the KO Japanese Headmasters. But fortunately, the KO headmasters do not have the Takara stamping which makes it very easy to identify. (KO headmaster Lione comparison here)

But unless you have the opportunity to inspect at point of transaction/purchase, you have to base on the pictures provided. Very often the not, we make our purchases online, via forums, Facebook groups, ebay etc. You have to ask for actual photos of the item and not photos from the forums, other collectors etc. Push the seller to provide, you are paying premium for such stuffs anyway and we would rather be safe than sorry. Opportunities will come, i'd rather pass on a rare item (but unsure if it's original) then to jump into it without verification.

Next: C-122 Noizu comparison.

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