1) Stop reading. Immediately.
2) Locate a full STANDart 21 set at your favourite dealer.
3) Purchase said set.
4) You may now continue reading, if you so desire.
The previous releases this year, although very nice production-wise, did feel a bit lackluster in the content area. With STANDart 21 though, we get both awesome mobile suits and excellent execution. With this set Bandai also plugs some very important holes in the mobile suit inventory, and the introduction of a damaged Gundam is both novel and superbly done.
81 : From the flashy Exia we dive deeply into the history of Mobile Suit development and land on the truly vintage Zaku I (Black Tri-Star Type) bad boy. The Zaku I is quite a rare bird overall, we've seen a version in the Ultimate Operation line (which I am aching to purchase since a long time by the way) but this is the first time it crops up in STANDart. Converge have been commendable in releasing no less than three types so far.
|The new STANDart Rick Dias (right) compared to the old Ultimate Operation Rick Dias from FWUO Plus 1, released September 2005. Hopefully we can add an Assault Kingdom figure to this comparison shot soon.|
83 : Continuing on to the last figure, unsurprisingly we discover the RMS-099 Rick Dias (Dark Gray Color) in the last slot of the set. I don't know from where Bandai got the idea of dark gray, the figure clearly has a navy blue tone and in the manga it seemed to be pretty much all black. Interestingly the Converge and HCM Pro figure were both blackish, while the old Ultimate Operation figure was also dark blue. And I can't wait to see what the rumoured Assault Kingdom figure will look like. Although both STANDart figures are the same except for the paint job, you can see the alternate hand with a Beam Pistol dangling from its fingers in some of the shots above. It really does not seem that the hands were designed for this purpose, which makes the optional hand even more mysterious. All things considered though, still an awesome figure and I am so please that Bandai stayed true to form and gave us both the black and red versions of the Rick Dias.
|Black, blue, gray, whatever you wish to call them, they are still awesome. From left to right: The blue Rick Dias from FWUO Plus 1 (September 2005), the new STANDart Rick Dias and a mighty black Rick Dias from the HCM Pro line, also released in 2005.|
|Size comparison: The Exia Repair stands about 8.5 cm tall, the Zaku I comes in at about 8 cm and the Rick Dias' fins reach around 10 centimeters.|