Saturday, 26 September 2015

Gundam Converge CORE 002 : MSA-0011 "S" Gundam

If you have followed the recent Bandai announcements on Converge you will no doubt have been plastered with news about the recent CORE series they've been touting. CORE, or Converge Re-definition, is a brand new concept for Converge designed to milk your mon... to present you with highly detailed and improved variations of the regular Converge figures (although the latest installment also promises some brand new design).

The first two CORE releases appeared in August 2015 and here we will take a look at one of them, the redefined Superior Gundam, which was released once before as a regular Converge figure back in December 2013.

The figure is delivered in a rather large and anonymous looking brown cardboard box. Inside it however, we find the actual packaging for this figure:

That's right... we're paying good money for a lot of air.

I'm not sure exactly what Bandai were thinking here. The ol' trick of "the bigger the box, the more we can ask our customers to pay" doesn't seem to apply here. Perhaps they are going for a standardized CORE outer protective box. Whichever the reason it feels rather silly.

Once inside things start to look familiar again. We have the bog standard Converge plastic bag containing the figure and somewhat surprisingly we also get the iconic Converge chewing gum.

I realize I have been droning a lot about the packaging rather than the figure, itself, but there is, in all earnest, not a great deal to say about it. It is a repainted bog-standard "S" Gundam, with a very basic parts count:

To make this review a bit more interesting we will toss in the original "S" Gundam figure from Converge 13 for some closer comparison. The original figure was priced at ¥400 while the redefined figure sells at ¥1400, so what exactly is it we are paying an additional 1000 yen for here?

I was under the impression that the CORE figures would be featuring some kickass paint job and/or decals, but as you can see in the following pictures, the "improvements" are subtle at best.

Yes the new colour scheme is a bit toned down and stylish, yes there are a few parts that now feature multiple colours where the original figure was less detailed (look at the shoulders and the hands for example). However, with the recent The Art of Gundam figures fresh in mind, I can't say that the CORE "S" Gundam is that impressive.

I sincerely hope the "S" Gundam is not indicative of the level of detail on the other planned CORE figures, because at this price level I would really like to see some more bang for the buck. The "S" Gundam figure itself is awesome, but at the prices it is currently going for, only the Converge die-hard fanatics need apply.

Converge "S" Gundam Family: MSA-0011 "S" Gundam from Converge vol. 13 (December 2013), the basic mode of the MSA-0011 (Bst) PLAN303E Deep Striker (Converge EX03, released June 2014) and the new redefined MSA-0011 "S" Gundam (CORE 002).


  1. It is disappointing that they are charging so much more money for those subtle changes, I'm not sure i will be picking these up

    1. Yes, so far it seems this is a diehard collector thing only. The newly announced wave three figures look more interesting though, especially if they are going to sell them one by one. The FA-93HWS is especially cool I think. Bandai page:

  2. Agreed - the FA-93HWS looks like the highlight figure of that release