Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Gundam STANDart vol. 11

Somehow, the eleventh wave of STANDart seems to be dedicated to bazookas, three of the four figures are equipped with them. The set features (another) two white Gundams and a couple of Rick Doms, the latter two always a highlight in my book. The figures come in the revised smaller cardboard boxes with plastic blister and a tiny piece of gum.

Although the wave is quite old by now (by Bandai shokugan standards anyway), having appeared in October 2001, the two Gundams in particular appear to be readily available and easily found online. The Rick Doms are a little more unusual and my advice would be to grab them if you stumble over them. Right, over to the detailed look on each figure in the set...

040 : The set-opener is also the odd one out. While the other three figures go for bazookas the Gundam AGE-1 Normal is content with its beam rifle. The rifle looks quite nice, a shame then that the poor sod can't lift his arm to point it at anything. This AGE-1 is not getting the love from Bandai, it's shoulders are pegged on to the torso's topside making them unmovable, so the figure is left standing to attention forever. It can't even turn its head. As if to compensate for this the torso sits on a waist-level peg, so that you can turn it a couple of degrees to the left and right. Not terribly exciting since if you grip the figure by its waist it'll typically come apart with the legs still standing on the ground. Sorry AGE-1, maybe they'll give you a break in the Assault Kingdom line.

041 : Behaving more like a typical STANDart item is the bazooka wielding RX-78-2 Gundam. It has the moving shoulders, swinging head like you would expect from items in this line. The figure has strong colours and attractive White Base decals and some excellent details like the multi-coloured shield which has a lot of features also on its backside. Perhaps this is the reason why the shield visor is not see through. A solid representation of the RX-78-2, but of course you have to keep in mind that it was already released in the STANDart line back in the third wave (which in itself is a bit odd because the RX-78-2 typically gets to open most toy lines), albeit with A.E.U.G. decals but still pretty much the same. The old one had both a beam rifle and a bazooka (which clips to it's back) and of course this is where the STANDart line comes out a bit lacking compared to the action figures or the more expensive models. Is it really so much to ask for a few optional items to equip? An extra beam rifle hand or even just a fist would have added more character to this figure.

042 : Alright, here is the figure I was really excited about. The awesome looking MS-09R Rick Dom. There's just something outrageous about the Dom design which makes it really funky looking, and the STANDart version is no exception. If there is one figure that will never fall over, it is the Dom. This figure has arms that rotate at the shoulder, the bazooka is attached to the hand and the head does not turn. Unusually for this version, the monoeye is not modelled, so the cross shaped visor is all black. This seems a bit odd for such an iconic detail, but the figure does not suffer from it. It has a nice crisp colour scheme and some very fine metallic painted thrusters hidden under its various skirts. Just like on the Converge version, the Heat Saber is relegated to being clipped to its back. An optional hand to wield it would have been much appreciated. I hope they will finally get this right in the Assault Kingdom series once the figure debutes there. It is worth noting that the arms are a little bit loose in their shoulder sockets, the heavy bazooka tends to wanting to kiss the ground, but if you squeeze the shoulders a bit you can usually get a pose to stick.

043 : The custom MS-09RS Rick Dom as used by the fine gentleman Char Aznable rounds off this set. Painted in his trademark red colour this figure also differs from its brother in having a different logo on the left shoulder and an even meatier Giant Bazooka. Other than that the figure shares the same features as its blue brother, it can't wield its heat saber and the arms are also a bit loose. Still I had no trouble making it raise its giant bazooka even though it is a bit heavier.

At the time of writing STANDart eleven is still one of the easier sets to find out there. While the two Gundams can be safely skipped (especially if you have the previous RX-78-2 version with a beam rifle) the two Rick Doms are absolutely essential to the STANDart collection, and should be hunted down. Note also that so far, there have been no other Dom variants released for the STANDart line, so the two Rick Doms should be a high priority target for you.

Comparative size of the three figure types in STANDart volume eleven from left to right; RX-78-2 Gundam (ca 10 cm), Rick Dom (about 9 cm) and the Gundam AGE-1 (ca 8,5 cm).

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