Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Random post : Zeon amphibious strike team

Bad news: A Zeon amphibious Z'Gok strike team led by a Hy-Gogg has just emerged from the ocean. The Z'Gok on the left belongs to the Ultimate Operation "U.C. 0079" series from December 2006. The right hand Z'Gok is the STANDart model released in the ninth wave in March 2011. The Hy-Gogg was released in June 2005 in the tenth wave of Ultimate Operation.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Gundam Converge 22 : MSN-06S Sinanju

Since I suspect it is going to be quite some time until I will be able to complete the fourth wave of Gundam Converge we're going to take a look at one of the figures which appeared in this set in September 2011. We'll also do a comparison to the more recent Sinanju which popped up in the special pack SP 02 together with the Unicorn (Destroy Mode), released in august 2012.

This is really one of those stand-out figures that are just unmistakeable. It comes in a striking bright red (almost bordering on fluorescent) colour scheme with black and golden insignia and some grey and white parts for good measure. There are lots of extravagant shapes and smoothly rounded details in its armor design which are carried over nicely to the figure.

As you can see from the parts configuration above the figure has an elaborate support pack on its back. Two wings and two external fuel tanks are attached to a single piece which is then inserted into the figure's back. This works reasonably well, except that the tanks on one of my Sinanjus have a tendency to come off the second you accidentially touch them. Mildly annoying. The only other accessory to the Sinanju is a Beam Rifle molded directly into the right hand which makes it a mandatory assignment since no extra hands are included. Articulation is very limited. You can rotate the arms at the shoulder and the weapon hand can be adjusted though its arc is limited due to the large wrist guard.The head sits on a shaped peg and so is not moveable at all, which is a little bit disappointing.

In summary though, it is an excellent figure for the Converge collection, yet -as we are about to see- it is easily outshined by its more recent improvement which appeared in the double pack with the Unicorn.

Just check out those two mobile suits! In an instant the original version has been made obsolete by the clearly superior double pack-figure. The most obvious change is the dark red glossy finish which makes the previous version look just like the plastic toy that it is. The second major improvement is upgraded armament. The new Sinanju is using the same Beam Rifle but with a Rocket Bazooka extension, and on its left hand sits the iconic and extravagant shield. To this end a hole has been drilled on the figure's left hand wrist which is absent on the earlier version of the figure.

If you wish to grab a Sinanju for your Converge collection it is definitely worth it to pay up for the Unicorn double pack. Ironically, since the original figure is now quite rare whereas the double pack is still pretty common you may also end up getting the new pack cheaper than the original one. Eventually though, the set will disappear of the shelves (just like the SP 01 set has), and at that point the price could be an entriely different and nasty surprise of course...

Friday, 26 July 2013

Gundanium Gossip: Latest news from Bandai

Yep, it is time for some Gundam related news posted on the official Bandai Shokugan page yesterday.

Assault Kingdom 3 : With the second special package in the Assault Kingdom series (the Black Tri-Star Zaku II triple-pack) just a few days from being released the third installment in the regular line has been revealed. If you were hoping for more non-hero mobile suits (like yours truly...) you'll have to make do with some more Gundams, this time mostly from the Seed-series. The figures come on white action base pieces which assemble into the gigantic Zaft METEOR support system. Scheduled release is October 2013.

Gundam Converge SP Qubeley : With the eleventh wave in the Gundam Converge series out since a couple of weeks we are already waiting for the twelfth set of standard figures (due September 2013) as well as the fourth special package (SP 04, due August 2013). Bandai have now added another special package to the list, which currently goes under the name SP Qubeley. Unsurprisingly, the set contains three Qubeleys; two regular AMX-004s as well as a grey AMX-004G. The set is expected to be released in October 2013.

Operation Revive: Voting in the second round of the Converge Revive mission has just started. Among the contestants in the first round the Hyaku-Shiki dominated the poll, followed by the several older Gundams; the Nu Gundam, Exia, RX-78-2 and the G-3. For the second round the top 30 mobile suits remain in the competition.

Lastly, the Bandai page also plugs what appears to be a reference book published by Kadokawa about all the figures that have appeared in the Converge line. Presumably (read: hopefully) this will also include information on oddball rarities. The most interesting thing about this announcement is that it depicts a Converge Rick Dom in Char Aznable's red livery, perhaps something we can look forward to in a later wave this year (please don't tell me it was released as a ridiculously difficult to find rarity a long time ago...).

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Mobile Suits Gundam Ultimate Operation Plus 2

This will be the first detailed look on a complete wave of figures from ye olde Ultimate Operation series. Basically these figures appeared in ten waves over a couple of years, which were then followed by another five "plus" series extending the line considerably. Finally a couple of extra mobile suits popped up after that, and some were repacked (the separate check list-tab lists all known figures). The number of figures differs in each wave, as does the occurrence of repaints.

Right, with that out of the way, as can be seen here the Ultimate Operation Plus 2 series contains five mobile suits, consisting of four new moulds and one repaint. The set is extremely varied and features some really awesome looking figures. All of the originate from the Zeta Gundan series except for the Dreissen which follows in ZZ. The figures themselves appeared way back in December 2005 which makes them quite old by now and consequently not neccessarily that easy to find. The two Gabthleys appear to be the easiest ones to locate. Let's take a quick look at each figure in the set:

AMX-009 Dreissen : Described as future distant relative to the old MS-09 DOM, the Dreissen mobile suit operated by Zeon looks wonderfully mean and can strike up a couple of interesting poses. Despite wielding the world's largest toothbrush (which is so long that it has to be assembled from two pieces) the mobile suit also has some excellent looking guns attached directly to its arms, and the left arm can be manipulated to show a truly menacing posture. The legs are fixed into place but the arms rotate at the shoulder, underarm and wrist. The head rotates and tilts a bit and the waist can rotate freely as well. The striking colour scheme has some nice weathering effects which gives an already excellent model an extra touch of rugged realism. An absolute highlight in the Ultimate Operation series!

NRX-044 Asshimar : The curiously odd-looking Asshimar (who could really do with a single 's' in the name btw...) is an E.F.S.F. transforming mobile suit design which in the anime will convert into a doughnut shaped flying object. Here in Ultimate Operation service it remains steadfastly on ground however, stuck in this hesitant pose. Just exactly what the pilot is about to do here is anyone's guess. The limited articulation does not give very many options to tweak it either, As you can see in the above images the left arm rotates both at the shoulder, underarm and wrist. While this holds true for the right arm as well, the arm will remain pointing straight out. The waist rotates fully while the head is pretty much stuck in place between the shoulders. A nice feature is the spare beam rifle included with the set, which can be pegged into a hole on the figure's back. Since the rifle is molded into the left hand an extra hand without weapon is also available. It is not possible to equip any weapon for the right hand. Can't wait for this figure to appear in Converge or STANDart.

RX-110 Gabthley : The Gabthley is an advanced transforming prototype mobile suit fielded by the Titans, carrying a massive Feyadeen rifle (a weapon that also showed up on the STANDart Neo Zeon Marasai). Can't wait to see a STANDart version of this spectacular figure. As can be seen in the pictures this Ultimate Operation figure strikes a very dynamic pose, ready to open fire. There is some limited articulation present but you will never get around the fact that this guy is hellbent on destroying some poor sod in front of him. The waist, elbows and shoulders rotate, as do the hands and the two guns on top of the figure's shoulders. Since the rifle is molded directly to the right hand an optional right hand in fist-mode is available if for some reason you'd like to see the Gabthley go toe to toe with some hapless victim.

RX-110 Gabthley (Navy Blue Colour) : And this of course is a colour variation of the brown Gabthley, here in the classic two tone blue colour scheme as used by the Titans. The surfaces are smattered with some brownish weathering which looks relatively convincing and gives the figure a more rugged look than the brown version. Again a fine job on the many little colourful details present here. Other than the colours, the two figures are identical, wielding the very same Feyadeen rifles. Another really sleek and menacing highlight in the Ultimate Operation family for me.

RX-178 Gundam Mk-II : Together with all these wildly different looking suits we also find a classic white Gundam, which really stands out from the others by not looking outrageously weird. More specifically this is the Gundam Mark two, as used by the A.E.U.G. The figure is armed with a beam rifle and shield, and can carry a large Hyper Bazooka on its back. The Bazooka has no handle but only a peg which is intended to plug into a hole on the figure's back. Although my figure came sealed on its card, the time spent shackled up in the blister saw its beam rifle being slightly bent, and the bazooka just doesn't fit very well into its slot and tends to fall off unless you let the figure's backpack rein it in. Although the legs are molded in place the arms and waist offer enough articulation for it to strike up various offensive and defensive poses.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Gundam Converge vol. 11

Still hot off the mold (released in the end of June 2013), the eleventh set of Gundam Converge items has arrived. I was pretty enthused about this set considering it consists of a very diverse bunch of colourful and unusual mobile suits.

Apart from the Z-Gundam rehash this is a brand new set of never before seen designs in the Converge series. There are several high-profile figures in volume eleven, and they continue to build to the steadily growing depth of the Converge figure line. Let's take a closer look at each model.

63 : As usual for Converge, the set opener is a Gundam, in this case the A.E.U.G. MSZ-006 Z-Gundam equipped with a sizeable Hyper Mega Launcher (yeah I know what you are thinking, the name is stupid...). We've already seen this Gundam way back in the line, appearing in the second wave back in January 2011. This is however a good opportunity for us latecoming collectors to pick up this colourful Gundam, in my opinion one of the better looking ones. Unusually for Converge the figure comes with an outstretched right arm. The palm of the hand has a little peg onto which the weapon is fixed, so you don't have to fiddle with balancing it. It would have been quite neat if there was a second place on the weapon where it could be attached, to allow the figure to carry the launcher with the arm hanging down. The fixed pose looks quite nice though, and is a welcome variation on the standard appearance of the Converge figures.

64 : Next up is the bright red RMS-099 Rick Dias of the A.E.U.G. faction. Although Char Aznable piloted a red Rick Dias in Zeta Gundam a red mass-produced variant was also produced. The figure has great details and a stylish red/brown/gray colour scheme. You arm it with a clay bazooka by sliding the bazooka handle into the clenched fist. However, if you raise the arm to point forward the bazooka will be pushing at the fin on its back but they mange to coexist without the fin falling off. The mobile suit has a weapon rack on its back with two Beam Pistols. Now the really nifty thing is that if you unequip the bazooka you can place a beam pistol in the figure's right hand (see the pictures for the black figure). It is not a perfect match, since this was probably not an intended design, but it works. If only the Rick Dias had had a similar gripping left hand it would have been even better as you could have mixed and matched weapons to your preference. You can't have everything I suppose.

65 : Added recently to the STANDart series, Converge now gets its very own Crossbone Gundam. Figure number 65 is the white XM-X1 Crossbone Gundam X-1, with its characteristic cross-shaped thrusters. Armament consists of a Zanbuster beam rifle attached directly to the right hand, which is then pegged into the wrist socket. The shoulders rotate, as does the head and the right wrist. In spite of its small feet the figure is very well balanced. The colour scheme has many fine coloured details which makes this a really great looking figure for any Converge collection.

66 : Following its brother comes the dark blue/violet-coloured XM-X2 Crossbone Gundam X-2. Apart from the colour variations this mobile suit is equipped with the Shot Lancer melee weapon. The dark colour scheme, while staying true to the source of the figure, still comes off as a bit bland and would probably have looked better if the contrasts between the blue, violet and gray had been improved a little. It looks great when paired with the white XM-X1 though. Other than its weapon, it shares the same articulation and features as the previous figure.

67 : A true oddity is the MSM-08 Zogok, in service with the Zeon Remnants. Designed for amphibious use and close combat its origin can be traced back to the old Z'Gok amphibious suit. The figure has a great looking colour scheme though it feels just as static as the previous Gogg and Z'Gok figures. The figure is armed with a large heat sword which is attached to the right hand. When placed into the right wrist socket it can rotate freely, which gives some extra poseability. The arms also rotate at the shoulder  but here the issue with the Zogok becomes apparent; it is extremely unstable. The figure will tip over very easily, extended arms will lead to problems. The figure slouches forward even when keeping the arms at its sides. Not really impressive for such a great looking figure.

68 : A figure that won't be having issues with balance any time soon though, is the compact G-Bull tank. In the Gundam mythos, this vehicle is assembled from parts of the RX-78-2 Gundam and its support unit the G-Fighter. The Converge item has a very compact feel to it compared to the original model, but is quite cool looking in all its outlandishness. Apart from the old Guntank of the first wave this is the second time a ground vehicle has appeared in the Converge line and hopefully we'll be seeing more of them. The G-Bull can be combined with the G-Sky fighter which appeared in the following Converge volume 12 set.

Secret : The secret item for this wave is the black colour version of the RMS-099 Rick Dias. Personally I love seeing the mass-produced lesser mobile suits being included and hope to see more of them in the future. As for the figure itself, it shares the exact same features as its red counterpart. Here would have been an excellent opportunity to equip it with the two beam Pistols instead, all that is missing is a little hole in the lefthand fist, maybe something for the enterprising modder out there. The figure is very worthy of receiving the secret item honours, I hope we will continue to see more mass produced mobile suits filling these slots.

Before we wrap up this look on Gundam Converge 11, one additional item must be mentioned. Because released almost simultaneously as this set, a third version of the Crossbone Gundam X-0 is now available as a Gundam Ace magazine giveaway. This figure is dare I say essential to any Converge collection because of its attractive colour scheme, and with its unique crossbow weapon it simply belongs next to the X-1 and the X-2. A detailed look on this figure is available here.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Ultimate Operation : MS-06S Char's Zaku II (Nintendo Gamecube promo)

Here is an interesting promotional item that surfaced on eBay recently. Basically it is a colour variation of the MS-06J Zaku II which appeared in the very first Mobile Suits Gundam Ultimate Operation line back in June 2003. The Zaku II was available in the standard green colour and there was a blue "cold district" version as well as a sand coloured "desert" version. As far as I am aware there was never any red version released in this series.

On the other hand, the Ultimate Operation 2 figure suite which appeared in the same year had a total of four Zaku II variations (but this time the figure is sculpted in a different pose); standard green, "cold district" blue, "desert" brown and Char's red one, so it is possible the original line may have featured this particular figure as well, though I have yet to find any evidence of this.

Anyway, this particular figure is date stamped 2004 and comes in a small cardboard box with the Nintendo Gamecube logo. The figure is wrapped in a plastic bag but there is no collector card or gum included in the box, which is the common practice for the ordinary Ultimate Operation figures. Also on the box is the logo for the game it promotes, the Japan-only third person shooter "Kidō Senshi Gundam: Senshitachi no Kiseki" which was released in March 2004. The game has a stub article on wikipedia here.

Talking about the figure itself, it has a very attractive colour scheme though it is not particularily remarkable. It has the weathered look which many of the Ultimate Operation figures has, and disregarding the colouring it seems to be pretty much identical with the first wave of Zaku II:s. Although branded as the MS-06S commander type it does not feature the typical antenna on its forhead (and amusingly all the Zaku II-figures of the Ultimate Operation 2 line do have the antenna, even though they are listed as standard J-versions... collectors were less fussy back then).

The mobile suit is armed with a machine gun and the Mark VIII Sturm Faust rocket propelled grenade. The RPG is made from soft PVC and like many other thin accessories for the Ultimate Operation figures it will bend easily if not stored in a proper fashion. The figure has articulated wrists and shoulders, and the torso can be twisted at the waist.

Zaku II hero team: Char's MS-06S Zaku II seen together with Dozle's MS-06F (Ultimate Operation 7, September 2004) and a Black Tri-Star MS-06R-1A from Ultimate Operation 6, June 2004).
In conclusion, Char Aznable's custom red mobile suits always look great and so if you happen to come across this figure you'll probably want to include it in your collection.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Gundam Converge vol. 6

It is time for another look at one of the Converge releases, this time we look at the sixth wave which was released in February 2012. These figures are still reasonably easy to find online, even though they are already one and a half years old, an eternity in the rapidlymoving Converge world. As usual there is aheavy domination of Gundam units, four of the six figures are various Gundams (five out of seven counting the secret version) but the set is still reasonably successful with a couple of really interesting models.

33 : Considering that the fifth wave was opened by the AGE-1 Gundam it seems logical that this sixth wave is started by the Gundam AGE-2 Normal. This is a pretty exotic looking figure, mainly because of the large fins it carries on its shoulders. In the anime, the figure transforms into a fighter called the G-Strider. Unlike a couple of the other Gundams released in Converge the G-Strider has not been modelled which is a pity, as the fighter planes always liven up the series a bit. There's not much more to say about this figure. The head can swing a little, and the arms move at the shoulder, but it makes little sense to rotate them as the figure looks very odd with the big fins moving about at the same time.

34 : The second white Gundam in the set is the GAT-X105 Strike Gundam. This very attractive figure has a classic and plain appearance but many nicely coloured details. The head turns, the arms rotate at the shoulder and you can also rotate the shield on its peg. The beam rifle is not attached directly to the hand, but is pegged into the figure's fist. A conspicious hole is left on the figure's back, this is because it can be combined with various parts of the Skygrasper figure to create the Aile Strike Gundam. This might be covered in more detail in a separate post.

35 : FX-550+AQM/E-X01 Skygrasper + Aile Striker. Alright, with all those letters out of the way, let's try giving a more colloquial description; this is a model of an awesome looking fighter jet! FW haven't messed with its dimensions all too much, so it comes off looking really sleek and capable (especially when comparing to the G-Defenser which ended up looking very harmless and cute in comparison). The model is made up of several small parts which have to be carefully conjoined, however once it sits on its peg it feels sturdy enough. There are several nice details and the colour scheme is very attractive, easily the best fighter to have come out of the Converge line so far. Again I would have preferred a clear stand, especially now that the various fighter models sit on wildly different looking stands.

36 : Next up is the familiar concept-only FA-78-1 Full Armor Gundam. Although considered a failed design, that hasn't stopped it from popping up as a model in various sizes. Here is the compact Converge version, in the attractive olive colour with many fine details in various colours. Like most figures its head turns and the arms rotate at the shoulders. You can also tweak the angle of the shoulder mounted rocket cannon a bit.though this was probably not intended. This figure is hampered a bit by the slightly rounded soles of its feet, it will wiggle back and forth before coming to rest. If the surface underneath is not flat, FA-78-1 will most likely have issues standing up without help of the support.

37 : Breathing some life into the set is the lively red coloured MS-06R-2 Zaku II (Johnny Ridden's Custom). Basically it is similar to the High Mobility Zaku II (Converge no. 56) except it has the leader's antenna on the head and enlarged armor plating on its legs. The excellent colour scheme with the cheecky yellow and black detail makes it a real stand out on the among the other figures and is an excellent addition to the collection. Just like the High Mobility Zaku II, only the arms rotate, and it cannot really do much as the shoulder armor and giant bazooka gets held up by the figure's helmet. The helmet appears to be removable (so that you can adjust the monoeye) but I am not going to test it.

38 : The weirdo at the end of the set is the Zeon MSM-04 Acguy. A novelty and oddity, but it doesn't hlep it from looking really ugly. It has some really nice sculpting and a well done two-tone brown colour scheme. The feet stand firmly on the ground even when the heavy arms are pointing forward. Similar to the other Zeon mobile suits of this type, it doesn't do much. The arms can be extended a bit but it doesn't make much sense to move them around very much. The monoeye is sculpted into place in the head, and while the head can turn on its peg, its assymetric shape means it will quickly get stuck on the shoulders and gently slide off the peg if you continue to force the rotation. It is a fine collection rouding out item, but honestly makes me think more of a care bear than a mobile suit.

Secret : The secret item for the sixth wave is a colour variation of the FA-78-1 Full Armor Gundam. The secret figure has a base blue/white/orange colour scheme instead of the standard figure's olive/grey/orange which makes it a good complement and a failry interesting secret item to collect. Other than that its features are the same as the standard Full Armor Gundam.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Random post : A.E.U.G. Rick Dias team

A pair of Ultimate Operation RMS-099 Rick Dias of the A.E.U.G. are teaming up with the new figures from Gundam Converge volume 11 released in June 2013. Their big brothers appeared in the Mobile Suits Gundam Ultimate Operation Plus 1 series, back in September 2005.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Assault Kingdom vol. 1

With the Assault Kingdom line Bandai unveiled a new line of figures in early 2013. The figures match the popular 1/220-something scale which was used for both the STANDart and Ultimate Operation lines, which makes them perfectly compatible. Where Assault Kingdom takes it further though, is in the extreme articulation of these figures, making these resemble action figures more than display pieces.

This is also true for their overall finish and level of detail. These figures look decidedly more spartan than their STANDart counterparts, though nothing is stopping enterprising users from adding some detail to the figures themselves. In addition the figures come with decorative supports which can be assembled together into something larger by collecting the entire wave. These supports are pegged and offer each figure a chance to be attached directly to the base, which enables them to pose in various creative modes. With a bit of manipulation you can have mobile suits displayed in flying mode in interesting poses.

Not terribly expensive these figures should be considered a cheap alternative to the more advanced action figures, and the small boxes are not much bigger than the once for Gundam Converge. Retaining its shokugan heritage, you will also find the same ol' blue piece of gum in each package.

Wanting to get the series a great welcome it comes as no surprise that Bandai has gone for some very iconic figures to launch the brand, we'll be taking a closer look at each of them below.

01 : Well, not exactly high odds that the ol' RX-78-2 Gundam gets to open the series, it would have been extremely surprising if it did not. Available here with a beam rifle and its iconic square red shield, the figure also comes with two sets of hands; open and closed. The beam rifle can be place inside either fist. With multiple joints and extreme articulation this figure will be happy to do the ballet for you. It features five places to peg it to a base, under the soles of the feet, on the butt and on each elbow. The figure is well balanced without support and generally delightfully poseable.

Note: The clear action base above is not included with this figure.

02 : The second hero unit is the all-white RX-0 Unicorn Gundam, seen here in its unicorn mode, armed with its Beam Magnum rifle and a shield which is decked out with a pair of massive gatling guns. You can snap the shield onto either elbow or why not peg it onto its back. Two sets of hands are included, open and closed, and the Beam Magnum rifle fits into either fist. The Unicorn has the same attachment points as the RX-78-2; soles, elbows and butt, as well as on its flightpack. It is worth noting that the Unicorn has also received soft PVC for its horn which makes it much more likely to survive play or drops than if it had been made from the same hard material as the rest of the figure. This feature is used for the other Gundam V-fins as well.

03 : And in the right corner, representing Neo Zeon, ladies and gentlemen the awesome MSN-06S Sinanju. This massive looking mobile suit carries a very nice paint scheme with fine black and golden detail, which makes the other figures in the wave look a bit plain in comparison. The Assault Kingdom version of this massive mobile suit comes off as a bit slim, not surprisingly considering its articulation would probably require some small sacrifices in this regard (it will be interesting to see how Bandai will deal with other massive figures). Equipped with its standard beam rifle and a shield, the figure also has a massive thruster pack on its back complete with two external fuel tanks. All this makes the Sinanju pretty back-heavy, and balancing him on his tiny, pointy unsupported feet is a challenge. The only way you'll get it to stand up without support is to let it slouch forward, which is not the most intimidating of looks. A dual set of hands, open and closed are included, and there are attachment points to base support under its feet, on the butt and on the elbows. A great looking figure though with some balancing issues.

Note: The clear action base above is not included with this figure.

04 : With many things similar to the Sinanju, the equally impressive looking GAT-X105 Aile Strike Gundam comes with a large set of wings on its flight pack It also features the nice pointy shield which pegs to either elbow and a small beam rifle which can be inserted into either hand. As usual you receive both open and closed hands for this figure. In spite of the large flightpack it is easier than it seems to pose this figure without base support, without giving a slouched impression. Its flight system has many delicate parts though, and these are not made from the soft plastic like its horns. Care must be taken to ensure that the figure will survive a fall if you intend to display it on a shelf or similar. Base support can be pegged into elbows, footsoles and butt, which makes it par for the course.

The image below shows the various base support parts you will receive with each figure. These do combine through snapping together into a cage-like mobile suit bay which you could place a figure inside as well as snap the remaining ones onto it. Personally I think this looks a bit silly but it gives many creative options for you to incorporate wildly gesturing figures into your displays.

To summarize, this is a great start for the Assault Kingdom line, though I am hoping Bandai will not take the easy way and pump out a myriad of slightly different looking white Gundams.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Gundam Converge : Crossbone Gundam X-0 (Gundam Ace magazine promo)

Now here's something absolutely essential for dare I say almost any Converge fan. With Gundam Converge volume 11 released in the end of June 2013 this figure appeared shortly thereafter. Intended to go with the Gundam Ace magazine the X-0 Gundam began popping up online in the last few days of June, even though the box print reads August 2013

While the two Crossbone Gundams X-1 and X-2 were great figures of the eleventh round of Converge, the promotional X-0 easily outshines both of them. With a glossy metallic appearance and an attractive colour scheme this figure also gets a cool crossbow which looks much better than the measly weapons that shipped with its two brethren.

As with some previous  promotional items the X-0 Crossbone comes in the standard Converge plastic bag folded into an oversized cardboard box. No gum was included, so technically this is not a shokugan figure I suppose. As you can see from the pictures there are only a few pieces to assemble, the engineering solution of the crossbow being particularily elegant.

Once assembled though, the figure doesn't do much. You can rotate the heads and shoulders, and the hand holding the crossbow can be tilted (since it is part of the weapon and not the arm). If you have more than one of the Crossbone Gundams I suppose you can trick them out and mix and match a bit for some mild entertainment.

If you only plan to get one of the Converge Crossbones, the X-0 is the one to get. At the time of writing it is readily available on eBay but probably not for long, so best not to wait for too long if you would like to get your own.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Random post : E.F.S.F. RGM-79SP Sniper Team

An E.F.S.F. sniper team consisting of three RGM-79SP mobile suits. On the left is the Gundam STANDart model from the 15th wave (released October 2012), followed by the two figures which appeared in the old Ultimate Operation series wave 10, released back in June 2005.