Dougram Soltic H8 – Random Toy of the Week
This week’s entry is from one of my favorite giant mech toylines, Dougram. Join me as we take a look at the Takara reissue from 1999 of the 1:72 scale dual model Dougram Soltic H8
Fang of the Sun Dougram was an early 80’s miltary anime featuring combat armor mechs. Takara released a number of models and figures for the series in Japan & the US. Unfortunately the anime was not released over here so not many people knew what Dougram was back then. I personally never had heard of the name Dougram until I found an incomplete 1:72 Soltic at a Savers thrift store back in 2003.
The item we’re looking at today is the 1999 reissue of the 1:72 scale dual model Soltic H8 (Also known as Round Facer) Takara’s dual model consists of a zinc-diecast endoskeleton that is covered with plastic model armor pieces. Takara released these dual models in two different scales, 1:72 & 1:48 The 1:72 scale dual models stand about 5 1/2 inches tall.
There are a lot of removable pieces to the Dougram Soltic H8. The chest and torso armor are made up of 6 pieces alone (4 main pieces and two pieces that hold the skirt together) then you have various arm pieces, lower leg armor halves, multiple hands, guns and pilots. Add in the removable helmet and cockpit and it’s easy to find incomplete versions of this toy given all of the pieces. The Dougrams come with stickers that are water slide decals and add a nice touch to the detailing on the mechs.
When put together, the mech is quite impressive looking with a classic 70’s-80’s boxy robot look. The articulation in the arms is very nice with swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows and rotating wrists. The legs have a good amount of articulation that is almost completely hindered by the armored “skirt” that goes around the hips. The waist rotates easily, probably due to the fact that the torso armor is separate from the hip armor. In this picture you can see the scale of the mech next to it’s standing pilot.
Like many Japanese mech models of the 80’s Soltic comes with two pilot figures, a standing version and a seated version. Both are highly detailed. The standing pilot has the classic standing next to his vehicle pose that all of the model pilots usually are captured in. The seated pilot easily sits in the cockpit, but can fall out if the helmet is not on securely.
While both of Soltic’s hands are sculpted as fists, he comes with one hand in a gun grip position. This hand is the only one with a hole in it to plug either gun into. I’m not sure why it is a completely different color than the other hands.
The two guns are the same color as the gun hand and both feature removable ammo clips. I’m more a fan of the machine gun styled gun on the left rather than the rifle styled gun seen on the right. For the longest I wished Soltic had two gun hands so he could dual wield but since seeing some of the anime episodes on YouTube, I’ve seen that the ridges on the forearm armor are guns themselves
You may have been reading this thinking “I’ve seen this robot before but I’ve never heard the name Dougram or Soltic or any of this” Well, you’re not crazy. While some of the Takara diecast toys made their way over to the US with the name Dougram, The fully plastic models were imported as Revell Robotech Defenders model kits (Which had an accompanying 2 issue comic published by DC) and the design of the Soltic itself (Along with many other Dougram designs) was used in BattleTech and is known as the Griffin (The Dougram designs along with many other mech designs like Valkyries from Macross are part of the group known as the Unseen due to the legal issues FASA dealt with in the 90’s )
The Dougram toys can be found on eBay and I’ve seen a 1:48 scale dual model at a local toy show once, but most of the time you’re more likely to find the newer merchandise like Gashapons or the Revoltech figures. While the Robotech Defenders models were my first introduction to Dougram, the dual models hold a special place in my heart for the sheer coolness of highly detailed mechs that you can take the body armor off of.