Thursday, 6 June 2013

A word on size...

There is a bewildering amount of toy lines and model kits with the words Gundam and Bandai plastered on them. The scales vary greatly from keyring figurines to massive robots with various bells and whistles attached. Some figures come as model kits with or without the need for paint application while others are readymade. Moving parts and articulation vary greatly and the more complex models can also transform into vehicle modes or so.

The figures that will be focused on in this blog all belong to the entry level, and are of smaller stature. There seem to be plenty of blogs and forums for the hardcore kit builders so this page will mainly be devoted to the following series:

Gundam STANDart has been running since 2007 and features figures in roughly 1/200 to 1/220 scale, which means they stand about 8-9 cm tall. The figures are intended for static posing and have a few moving parts, typically rotateable arms, head and wrists. STANDart figures are normally released in waves of four a couple of months apart. Often two of these four will be slight variations on the same figure, with alternate gear and/or colouring. Limited variants with metallic finish pop up from time to time. Apart from snapping to place one or two accessories no assembly or paint application is required.

Gundam Converge features small but still detailed figures that have been morphed and scaled to a similar size of around 5-6 cm. The proportions are wildly exaggerated but apart from their compact height they still look reasonably convincing and more than a little kawaiiiiii. The figures were first launched in 2010 and are released in sets of six a couple of months apart. Each set also contains a secret hidden variation of one of these figures, which will come packed in the box of its standard version. Apart from these standard sets there are some special multipacks and a few limited colour variations. The figures are made of soft plastic, fully painted and require some minor snapping together of typically 3-6 parts. Articulation is normally limited to rotating arms and heads, though some figures offer extra moving parts such as a moveable monoeye for Zeon units or rotateable elbows.

Gundam Assault Kingdom was recently introduced in March 2013. These figures are not as detailed as the previous two lines but make up for it by being extremely posable with multiple fluidly articulating limbs. Each figure also comes with parts that can combine to build stands from which the figure can be suspended into various dramatic poses. Even better news is the fact that they appear to be the exact same size as the STANDart series. The Assault Kingdom figures are made from harder plastic and require little assembly except for the application of accessories such as different hands and weapons. Up until now there have been two waves featuring four figures each, and a couple of special packs with special figures.

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