Monday, 2 June 2014

Gundam Converge : UC Episode 7 Unicorn Gundam

If there is one thing that the various celestial bodies can all align and agree on, it is that there are a whole lot of Unicorns in the Gundam Converge product line. I already felt I had too many RX-0:s in the collection back when Bandai announced the Revive and EX02 figures a while ago. But when I stumbled on the little fellow we are going to look at closer today, my heart melted for the little Gundam.

If you happen to read this blog around the time of publishing you might know that the Gundam Unicorn saga is drawing to its close, with the seventh and last volume to be released in Japan in the coming days. Leading up to this release there has been a number of advance screenings running since mid-May. People who purchased tickets for the second round of these advance screenings were eligible for getting this little figure, a "pearl clear" version of the Unicorn Gundam in its Destroy Mode.

Since I am not located in Japan I obviously haven't attended any UC7 screening, rather this little fellow is now popping up here and there online. These will probably not last long, so I encourage interested collectors to act decisively.

Anyway, that was a little backstory for the release of this particular version of the RX-0. Unless I am mistaken this marks the eighth version of the white Unicorn to appear in the Converge line (the poor old Banshee on the other hand has only managed three appearances so far). However, if you count the figures available in destroy mode, there were only two other versions available up until this point, the red and white figure from the SP01 two-pack, and the recently released green and white figure from EX02.

The UC7 Unicorn comes in a smart looking black and white box similar to the ones used for the single Converge figures, only taller and a bit wider. This is easily explained once you see the contents of the box, as the Hyper Beam Javelin weapon would not fit into the standard box. The figure comes with three accessories; apart from the previously mentioned Javelin there is also an alternative Beam Magnum rifle and a single shield. As per Converge standard, a support base is also provided in the box. Curiously this is no transparent but milky white. Luckily the figure stands well without a need for support, so you will not need it.

Both weapons are intended for use with the right hand only. The Beam Rifle has a hand molded directly onto it (similar to the Unicorn Mode RX-0 figure) while the Beam Javelin is loose and can be slotted into a gripping right hand, (the EX02 figure shares this feature as well). The shield is plugged into a socket on the left forearm, it can not be placed on the right arm.

The UC7 "Pearl Clear" coating compared to that of the Pearl White Unicorn from the limited 2011 triple-set.
The RX-0 has the typical Converge articulation, the arms rotate at the shoulder and the head can also be rotated freely. This particular figure also has the replaceable righthands, which can be freely rotated at the wrist. Surprisingly, the UC7 Unicorn differs a bit here from the newly released green and white Unicorn (figure EX02). While the UC7 has a replaceable hand with a Beam Rifle attached to it, the EX02 had a loose Beam Rifle which can be inserted into the same hand as used by the Hyper Javelin. The EX02 figure also featured a similar open lefthand allowing you to choose in which hand to display either weapon, so you could opt for arming both hands if you so chose. The EX02 variant is clearly superior in this regard.

Destroy Mode Unicorns, from left to right: Full Armor Unicorn Gundam (Awake Mode) released as EX02 in March 2014, Episode 7 RX-0 (Pearl Clear Version) released April 2014 and Unicorn Gundam (Destroy Mode) from multipack SP02, released August 2012.
Another interesting aspect of the UC7 Unicorn is that it only comes with a simple shield. Looking at the other two Full Armor Unicorns, the first one (from set SP02) included a shield armed with two Beam Gatling cannons and the new EX02 sports double shields, each with a twin Gatling cannon. I guess this is the fate of being a promotional figure, the UC7 figure was probably held back a bit for this very purpose.

There are a few more things to mention about the UC7 figure. Branded as a clear pearl version, the figure mainly looks translucent rather than pearly. The style of the figure comes off a bit more plain and plastic looking than what its name suggests. The pearl coated version of the RX-0 Gundam (Unicorn Mode) for example (which was released in a limited triple pack back in 2011) looks more sophisticated than this figure. The other thing to mention is that the this translucent plastic isn't sticking together as tightly as you are used to Converge figures doing. The arms and V-fin for example like to come off quite easily. However, I have encountered no problems in having the figure keep a pose, so it is not really a concern.

Whole lot of Unicorns. Top row: Converge 07 (with beam rifle), Converge 07 (secret version with Bazooka), Destroy Mode figure from multipack SP02. Bottom row: Unicorn with Beam Gatling gun from Operation Revive Premium Edition, the UC7 pearl clear version, the 2011 limited edition pearl coated RX-0 with Beam Rifle, and the green and white Awake Mode version released as EX02.
Overall the limited UC7 figure is a nice novelty that livens up the collection a bit. However, considering its scarcity and price, if you are simply looking for a Full Armor Unicorn to place in your collection, either of its two predecessors are better purchases. Both of them look more convincing and offer more customization options, the EX02 especially is a monster with tons of custom equipment to play around with. The UC7 figure is mainly a concern for the serious collectors only.

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