Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Gundam Converge : SP Unicorn & Banshee (Metallic Version)

Bandai Namco Asia Co., Ltd., with office address in Hong Kong's busy Kowloon district continues to please Converge fans with its special Overseas editions of popular mobile suits. Most of you probably recall February's impressive reissue of the now rather expensive SP01 pack featuring the Sazabi and the Nu Gundam, and in shiny metallic colours at that, offering something new for the oldtimers as well. And now they are at it again, with a new "Overseas" pack putting two shiny metallic Unicorn Gundams in a box, simple as that.

Although the Unicorn Gundams are likely to be some of the most massively produced Converge figures there always seems to be a market for them. Seriously, I feel like half the posts on this blog are about this or that variation on the same theme, be it Converge, STANDart or Assault Kingdom, they are just all over the place.

I have reached a point where I feel that by now there couldn't possibly be any further Converge Unicorn manifestations left to add, but Bandai keep proving me wrong. So after pearly and semi-translucent versions of course it seems natural to follow up with some metallic versions...

The packaging is the standard two-figure style box, with each figure in its separate multi-compartment plastic bag. And being an "overseas edition", it comes with no chewing gum, so it isn't really fair to call it a Shokugan product I guess.

Assembly is as simple as expected; just snap together the half a dozen components for each figure. There are no optional load outs to consider.

The RX-0 Unicorn Gundam (Destroy Mode) figure should need little introduction, I'm pretty sure most Converge collectors have at least one variation of it on their shelf already. The metallic paint reinforces the three dimensions of the figure and helps transform it from a plastic mini into something more formidable. Considering the many equipment options released for the Unicorn over the years it would have been nice to get some alternative weapons but the basic beam rifle + shield configuration is elegant enough. Articulation is found in the usual places, shoulders, neck and right hand wrist. The shield attaches with a round peg so can be rotated freely or removed at will.

Unicorn Gundam (Destroy Mode) variations: Red and white from the SP 02 multipack (together with the Sinanju) from August 2012. Next up the green and white Full Armor Unicorn Gundam (Awake Mode) with some of the many weapons found in its EX 02 box, from March 2014. Third in line is the semi-translucent promotional figure distributed with advance screening tickets for the UC7 movie (sold in April 2014) and lastly the new figure from the SP Unicorn & Banshee multipack.
The Converge Destroy Mode Unicorn line-up now stands at four variations, all clearly easily distinguishable from another (which certainly isn't the case with the Unicorn Mode figures...). The new SP Unicorn figure mostly resembles the Full Armor Awake Mode figure and is a decent substitute for it considering the Awake Mode figure had a suggested price tag of ¥1800 and probably sells for a lot more these days.

Unicorn Gundam and all, but the figure I was most excited about in this package was its dark cousin, the Unicorn Gundam 02 Banshee (Destroy Mode). Not only hasn't this mobile suit been done to death, but the green colour Awakened Mode is also a first for Converge, I was really surprised to see it premiere on a limited overseas figure (although now that I think about it, this was also the case with the green frame Unicorn Gundam overseas STANDart model that popped up in 2013).

The new green frame Banshee (right) compared to the regular gold frame version, which featured as figure 39 in Converge Vol. 7, released in May 2012.
The green frame Banshee really shines in its new metallic coat which is so dark it looks almost black. Other than that it features no new paint applications or detail, and also inherits the articulation from its predecessor. And speaking of articulation, the Unicorn Banshee has a couple of tricks up its sleeve. Apart from the bog-standard rotating head and shoulders there are also a few less apparent features. Both of its Armed Armor weapons are actually removable. The left arm sits on a square peg and the right arm on a round one. This allows for the left to be rotated in 90 degree increments while the right arm can spin freely. The actual body of the Banshee is also composed out of two parts, connected via a round peg hidden inside its waist. I wouldn't recommend fiddling with these too much, as the joint could easily become loose.


As much as I would really like Bandai to focus their Converge work on new exciting grunt type molds, little treats such as this set in between often turn out to be quite interesting in their own right. The SP Unicorn package is a great way to get the two Unicorn Gundams, even if you happen to own a couple of Unicorns already. And if you are new to collecting Converge, this should be a no-brainer. As is always the case with these type of limited box sets, they tend to appear in abundance, only to turn scarce sooner than you would have expected, so if you are interested in this set do not wait too long to grab that box.

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