Thursday, 4 December 2014

Gundam STANDart volume 10

While waiting for the various December shokugan releases -which have now begun appearing in the market- to appear, we'll continue down memory lane for a look of one of the great STANDart sets of yesteryear, volume ten to be specific. Although three sets of STANDart figures were released in 2014, the future does look a bit pale in comparison to the rapidly expanding Assault Kingdom and Converge lines. With the last regular set (number 21) released back in August we still haven't had any indication from Bandai that they are even working on a volume 22. Instead they have been focusing on putting together a pair of expensive "limited" STANDart figures, the second of which (a Sinanju) is planned for release now in December. Apart from the fact that these limited figures are very pricey I don't even know if they will match the "scale" of the other STANDart figures so I have been skipping on them so far.

STANDart volume ten though, is a classic figure set with everything you've come to expect from the series. Four figures, two of which are variants of the same basic mobile suit, gathered from all over the Gundam timelines. Volume ten released in July 2011 and the figures in this set are all quite rare at this point. You'll need to keep both eyes peeled if are still looking to complete the set.

36 : The set-starter is the GNT-0000 00 Qan[T], a splendid looking machine with lovely tones of light blue and transparent cyan. This figure lives up to the high detail level of the STANDart series. As usual for STANDart though, the pose is quite rigid. The articulation is bog-standard for STANDart, which translates to arms rotating at the shoulder, a head that can turn to the left and right, as well as the possibility to rotate the weapon hand in its socket. The unusual shield arrangement, where the large shield sits on a peg which extends from the right shoulder also allows for some slight tilting of the shield's position.

Although the gundam has rather small feet it experienced no balance issues, even though the feet on my figure are bent slightly inwards (something that can probably be adjusted with a warm water treatment). Overall a very fine entry into the series that stands out nicely among the other Gundams released so far.

37 : Next in line is the MSZ-006C1 Zeta Plus C1. Now, whenever I see the word Zeta in a figure name, I have an expectation that it will be something of the badass variety, and the Zeta Plus delivers in spades in this regard. Just look at that brutal design. A toned down gray base colour with some stand out details in white and blue. This colour scheme is nicely carried over to its massive Beam Smart Gun as well, this screams of a functional machine bred for war.

Due to the figures stylished pose, with the right arm extended out, articulation becomes rather irrelevant for this figure. However, it still exhibits the traditional rotating arms, head and righthand wrist, so I suppose you can fiddle around with it a little bit, thought it feels somehwat superfluous in this case. Bandai saw it fit to include a small transparent support which can be placed underneath the Zetas large dorsal fin. My figure experienced no balance issues thought, so the support remains in the box. As with most Zetas, this one has a commanding presence and should be a given in your STANDart collection.

38 : At slot 38 we find one of the true evergreens of Gundam fame; the MS-06R-1A Zaku II (Black Tristar Custom). It seems that much like Char, the Black Tri-stars enjoy an immense popularity which also shows in the way their mobile suits tend to pop up in so many figure and kit series. This is one of the few to have been released in all figure series currently featured by the Gundanium blog.

The figure itself shares a great deal of features with the standard Zaku II, from which it differs a bit in appearance and equipment. As usual, articulation is limited to the shoulders and the right wrist, though with this large bazooka you won't be able to tilt its position much. Thankfully Bandai somehow resisted the urge of making a triple-set and instead chose to release machine #06 (Ortega's I believe). It also wouldn't have been that difficult for them to throw in a pair of extra shoulder pads with number 02 and 03 on them, as well as an alternate commander type helmet (they did something similar with the Zaku II featured in volume 02). In the end they decided not to, and my wallet lets out a sigh of relief.

39 : The last figure in the set is something of a novelty. As is customary with STANDart we are given a second version of the third figure but Bandai took things a step further this time. The MS-06R-1A Zaku II (Shin Matsunaga's Custom) is in most respects a colour variation of the Tri-star Zaku II, except that Bandai here saw it fit to give the figure a left-handed disposition to correspond with its ace pilot Shin Matsunaga, the White Wolf of Solomon.

This is the only truly left-handed mobile suit that I have encountered thus far. The absolute majority of Matsunaga-kits and equips I have seen of this figure though, place whatever weapon he is carrying in the right.hand. This makes the STANDart version even more of a curiosity (would be interesting to hear some thoughts on this subject). And left- or right-handed, this Zaku II looks decidedly awesome.


If you've been following this blog you'll recognize most of the comparisons below, which just goes to show how many interesting relations can be found between the STANDart 10 figures and their counterparts in other similar figure sets.

Celestial Beings, from left to right: GNT-0000 QAN[T] (from STANDart volume 10, July 2011), the Exia Repair and the GN-0000 00 Gundam (from STANDart 7, August 10). The 00 Gundam is decked out with the GN-Sword III additional components from the Dengeki Hobby Magazine "0 Raiser + GN-Sword III" accessory pack, released October 2010.

Massive Zetas, from left to right: The MSZ-006 Z Gundam (with Z-logo on the shield) from STANDart 4 released March 2009 (volume 4 also features a colour variation, the white and purple Z Gundam Type-3). Next up is the MSZ-006C1 Zeta Plus C1 from volume 10 which was released in July 2011. March 2013 saw a reissue of the MSZ-006 Z Gundam in STANDart volume 16 (this time with an A.E.U.G. logo on the shield). And finally we are at the MSZ-006A1 Zeta Plus A1, released in STANDart 19 in January 2014.

The Zeta Plus (far right) with some of its distant cousins also developed in the Zeta Project, from left to right: The MSN-00100 Hyaku-Shiki from STANDart volume 2 (released in June 2008), its predecessor, the MSN-001 Delta Gundam (STANDart volume 14, July 2012) and the MSN-001A1 Delta Plus from volume 8, released in December 2010.

High Mobility Zaku II:s in Tri-Star colours as depicted in various figure series, from left to right: STANDart volume 10, one of the three figures from the Assault Kingdom EX 02 set (released in July 2013) and lastly one of the two figures featured in the ol' Ultimate Operation series (released way back in June 2004).

High Mobility Zaku II's in STANDart, from left to right: The Black Tristar Custom MS-06R-1A Type (STANDart 10, released July 2011), ace pilot Johnny Ridden's MS-06R2 (STANDart 16, released January 2013) and another MS-06R-1A Zaku II from set 10, this time Shin Matsunaga's Custom


If this hasn't been obvious thus far, let me again point out that I find STANDart volume ten an excellent entry into the series, all the figures in the set well worth seeking out. If you are still looking for figures released in this set, prices online might be something of a cold shower. Here's a tip for the U.S. collectors; check with Ofuda Imports, they've had this set available for quite modest prices. Other than that keep looking for the rare eBay bargain, though you'll probably have more look on the second-hand market in Japan, as in, physically going there and turning over rocks and stones.

STANDart volume 10 size comparisons: The QAN[T] is approximately 9 centimeters tall (tip of shield), the Zeta Plus comes in at 12 cm (tip of Beam Smart Gun) and the two Zaku IIs at about 8,5 centimeters.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome posts as usual! I'm more invested in Converge now but man I wish I had had more space in my suitcase for some of these guys when I was in Japan!