Monday, 18 August 2014

Gundam Converge Limited : Gundam vs. Zaku II

Right, this will be one of those short reviews. We'll be taking a look at yet another "limited" repaint set, with the underwhelming title "Gundam Converge Limited", a highly imaginative name that it now shares with at least two prior sets.

The set we are looking at is yet another "versus set" pitting the grandfather RX-78-2 Gundam versus the delightfully red MS-06S Zaku II piloted by everyone's favourite ace Char Aznable. It was released in March 2014 and if it was marking any special occasion it is beyond my knowledge. Before we continue, I'll just insert a little image of the two "limited (for overseas only)" sets which preceded it.

Now, I don't know just exactly how limited these sets are, but as far as "overseas only" goes, these were distributed widely in Asia, ending up with the regular sellers in Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea. One thing is certain though, none of these three sets were featured in the Gundam Converge Complete Book, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that there were driven domestic sellers who managed to secure stocks to distribute domestically as well.

Be that as it may, let's take a closer look at the set at hand. Unless you are very new to Gundam Converge you will quickly recognize the two figures included in the set, each has had countless appearances over the history of Converge. The selling point this time is that they are painted in a shiny metallic finish.

As for equipment, there is nothing new here, this is familiar territory from older figures. However, while there have been several Gundams with the Beam Rifle and Shield configuration before, it is worth pointing out that this is the second only appearance of Char's red Zaku II holding the iconic Zaku Machine Gun. The only other time this was featured was on the special limited figure that came with the Dengeki Hobby Magazine back in August 2011.

The figures come in two plastic bags of the same type you would expect to find in the boxes for the single figures. If you have snapped together a Converge figure before this will be completed in a jiffy.

The new silvery-coating of the RX-78-2 Gundam is a really nice variation on the theme, though I wouldn't recommend it over one in the classic white finish, there's a little bit too much Saturday Night Fever about this guy. They look great together though, and can be seen as a bit of collection filler. The Gundam retains the typical articulation of rotating head, shoulders and right hand. The shield can be pegged into a hole on the left wrist only. I've noticed that recent Converge figures become more and more deformed. You can see my Gundam tilting its head and torso slightly to the left, this type of imperfection seems to be more common in the recent figures, perhaps the plastic used has been altered a bit.

Looking at the MS-06S Zaku II, in my opinion it stands to benefit more from this upgrade. The previous Machine Gun version seemed more pink than red, here the metallic touch makes the figure look more like a machine and less like a toy. The figure has very limited articulation, you can rotate the arms at the shoulders, and the right hand can be spun around at the wrist. Converge Zaku II figures sometimes tend to have problems standing upright, I've had a couple which lean forward or had a deformed leg. This particular figure though performed well beyond the call of duty, although you can still see a slight lean of the head, this time to the right.

RX-78 Gundam evolution. from left to right: The classic RX-78-2, here represented by the figure from set SP03, the G3 Gundam from Converge volume 4 (actually the secret version of figure number 21), the Real Type-colour Gundam from the Operation Jaburo box set (a revised Real Type was just reissued, review is coming), the white/violet G3 Gundam included with the Gundam Converge Complete Book, and finally the new RX-78-2 as released in the 2014 limited set.
Alternate versions of figures are always the most fun when you compare them to each other, so here are a couple of family shots of the two.

Zaku II chronology (still missing Char's original figure from volume 5, gaaahhh...) from left to right: The standard MS-06 Zaku II (figure 11 from volume 2), Garma's Custom MS-06SF (which is the secret version of figure 31, the original Char's Zaku II from volume 5), Char's Zaku II as limited companion to the Dengeki Hobby magazine August 2011 issue, a darker colour green Zaku II from the Operation Jaburo set and finally the recent Zaku II from the limited set.
If you are thinking about getting this set it is worth pointing out that there is a brand new mould for the RX-78-2 heading our way. In fact, the figure will be relaunched in higher detail in Converge volume 16 which is set for release this autumn. Not only that, but Char's Zaku II will also be re-issued in the same set. His Zaku II will not be upgraded though, it will simply be a revival of a figure which has been unavailable for a long time now. Char's Bazooka-armed Zaku II was originally released in Converge volume 5 back in November 2011. If you don't want multiple versions of these figures you may want to consider going for the new figures once they are released.

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