Thursday, 5 September 2013

Gundam STANDart vol. 15

STANDart volume fifteen occurred in October 2012 and is truly a set to my liking. It contains a vivid selection of figures and colours, and a good mix between hero units and standard grunt types. This is the type of balance I would like to see in all sets, though of course it should not be expected more than occasionally. At the time of writing, almost a year after the set was made available, several of these figures are still readily available through the online market. The GM Sniper seems to be the most easily found at the moment, and there is where you can probably strike a good deal if you act soon.

As with the later STANDart volumes these figures come in the smaller type cardboard boxes, sandwiched in plastic and with the few loose accessories kept in a plastic bag taped to the plastic container. And since these are shokugan items you can of course look forward to your four pieces of blue gum.

Let's take.a closer look at each figure in the set.

056 : Set opener is the one hero unit of the set, the Sword Strike Gundam (or if you want to be more obtuse and use its full designation, repeat after me; GAT-X105+AQM/E-X02) which is taken from the Mobile Suit Gundam SEED series. It is basically a white gundam with a blue shoulder pauldron and a gigantic sword slung to its back. The figure's articulation is slightly more advanced than a regular STANDart figure but won't exactly impress you. The head tilts from side to side, the arms rotate at the shoulder and the shield arm has an extra rotating joint underneath the shoulder, which allows for some very basic stances. The sword is attached to the backpack and that is where it is going to stay. This is perhaps the most disappointing feature of the figure, as it is just going to stand there silently with its fists clenched at the side. Overall though an attractive and fairly detailed figure.

057 : Next up is the RGM-79SP GM Sniper II, an upgraded and refined version of the standard GM and intended as a cheaper replacement of the original Sniper Custom machine. The Sniper II certainly looks the part with a very attractive blue and cyan colour scheme and a number of small details and stickers in other colours. It resembles the figure issued in the old FW Ultimate Operation series very much and looks great beside it. The figure has some basic rotating features of the head and the shoulders, the shield is pegged to the left arm and the rifle is moulded into the right hand into a carrying posture. Overall a really beautiful entry into the STANDart series.

058 : Rounding out the set are two awesome and imposing looking versions of the Neo Zeon AMS-119 Geara Doga. The green mass production type comes equipped with a beam machine gun and a stowed away beam saber fit on the skirtback. The left arm also has the large shield which is supposed to be able to carry up to four sturm faust rockets on its backside. Just like the old FW Ultimate Operation figure though, the STANDart version somewhat sadly ignores this feature completely, there are no indications that such rockets would even exist. You will have to look to more advanced figures such as the HCM Pro or MSIA action figures for this equipment. Besides this drawback though the Geara Doga looks massive next to the other figures in the set and it weighs almost twice as much. As for articulation you get the standard rotating head and shoulders. One other odd feature about the green version is that the helmet has the hole for the commander unit antenna, surely it would have been easy to make a proper version of the helmet for this figure.

059 : last in the set is the red AMS-119C customized version of the Geara Doga in bright red livery as used by Neo Zeon ace pilot Full Frontal. Apart from the obvious colour cheme change it differs from the green version in that it has a leader type antenna on the forehead and it is wielding a larger beam machine gun. In spite of their shortcomings I feel the two Geara Dogas are absolute requirements for a nice STANDart collection and can easily recommend them. If you are looking for a more advanced (or blue...) Geara Doga though the slightly larger HCM Pro version might be more up your alley.

In conclusion the fifteenth installment of the now long running STANDart series is an easy recommendation, since all figures are really good looking and add variation to the series. As mentioned earlier, do not linger too long, as they are still readily available online but probably not for long.

Comparative size between the three types of figures in STANDart fifteen. From left to right, GM Sniper II (almost 8 cm), Sword Strike Gundam (about 10,5 cm) and Geara Doga (ca 9 cm).

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