Thursday, 1 August 2013

Gundam STANDart vol. 7

If recent eBay trends are anything to go by, the early STANDart models seem to have become ridiculously rare. This is as far down the history I have been able to complete a set, the seventh wave, dating back to August 2010. As we near the beginning of the series the prices seem to race exponentially toward the sky, so don't expect to see any earlier sets here any time soon... :)

Right... wave seven. Three "white gundams" might not exactly tickle my fancy but then again I came here simply for a Zaku-fix. And oh-boy, STANDart 7 delivers here, with the hopelessly unusual custom Zaku III monster. Having said that, the rest of the figures are really nice too, especially the GP04, but I am getting ahead of myself...

The figures of wave seven come in the early large boxes where each accessory or part has a separate slot in a large plastic blister. This was later done away with as the boxes became smaller and the loose parts found their place into the main blister, or inside a taped-on multi-compartment plastic bag similar to the ones used in the Converge line.

Personally I think the move to smaller boxes was an excellent move. The STANDart figures rarely have more than a few additional pieces to assembly, the plastic bag system works alright and the smaller boxes are a real blessing when it comes to saving storage space.

025 : First out is the oddly named GN-0000 00 Gundam of Mobile Suits Gundam 00 fame. It looks a bit like a souped up Exia and has an attractive blue and white colour scheme with some nice looking details and features in other lively yellows, reds and greens. The figure is armed with a GN Sword type II, in its rifle mode. There is no optional mode for the weapon, and since it is molded directly into the figure's only right hand this is what it is going to use. The figure has fully rotating arms and waist, the shoulder armor being fitted to a backpack. The head can also be tilted sideways but due to the shape of its chest armour movement is rather restricted. Overall a nice looking figure, which is good, considering there are two of them...

025 (special) : Yep, the set also contains a colour variation of the GN-0000 known as the 00 Gundam (Trans-Am). This is not a separate machine or paint-job, but an effect of the use of the mobile suit's Trans-Am System, which generates increased power output and causes the unit to pulsate in a purplish tone. In model terminology, this means that the white colour has been replaced with a faint pink, and the blue parts with dark purple. Although attractive it doesn't really look convincing as a glowing effect. Note that this figure is not a special limited version even though it has a "special" suffix to its catalogue number. It can be somewhat confusing since most of the time, the STANDart "specials" appear next to a set of four figures, and not inside the set.

026 : Now here is the main attraction of this set, the AMX-011S Zaku III Custom, a two-tone green behemoth which looks a bit like a cross-breed between a Zaku II, a Dom and the Sinanju Stein. Although a mass production unit, the S-version is kitted out by ace pilot Mashymre Cello. The figure is massive in all aspects, with beefy legs and body, large armour and a huge skirt which covers the entire legs. On its back sits a compact backpack with two external propulsion tanks. Even the beam rifle looks meaty. As can be expected, articulation suffers a bit from it, the head is stuck in place but the arms rotate freely (the shoulder armour moves independently) and the figure can swing a bit at the waist as well. A really great looking figure which I hope we will see more of in the other product lines as well.

027 : Last figure is the awesome looking RX-78GP04G Gundam GP04G, or "Gerbera" as it is also known. Being a prototype unit it was later developed into the bright red AGX-04 Gerbera-Tetra but the GP04G itself is also a looker even without such unorthodox colour application. Everything about this figure just comes together very nicely. It has attractive colours, lots of interesting and good looking details such as massive fins, a nice shield, lots of colourful vents, thrusters, decals and a mean looking face. It comes armed with an impressive looking long beam rifle which is again molded directly into the hand. The figure has a rotating head, shoulders and waist. If it weren't for the fact that I am a Zaku-lover (and as such biased toward the Zaku III) this figure would easily be the best of this set.

In conclusion, I feel that STANDart set seven has a couple of really outstanding and unusual models worth seeking out, if you come across a good deal remember that you might not get that many chances on this set and go for it!

Comparative size between the three types of figures in STANDart seven. From left to right, 00 Gundam (ca 8 cm), Gundam Gerbera (about 10 cm) and Zaku III Custom (ca 9 cm).

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