Saturday, 12 March 2016

Gundam Converge Limited : 3 in 1 Box

Bandai have a very busy release schedule set up for Gundam Converge this spring. Still the blog seems to have fallen into peaceful sleep for a couple of weeks now, while I have been waiting for items to arrive, and for some favourable light conditions. Curse this dark winter.

Anyway, we have a long list of releases to look forward to this year. And as if that wasn't enough, Bandai's Asia division decided it was time to spoil us with an "Overseas Only" limited edition pack. This, as far as I understand it, means that this pack was prepared especially for and distributed by Bandai's "Overseas" divisions in Hong Kong and Taiwan. These "Overseas Only" packs tend to be old repainted figures, often in metallic or pearl-coating, and this set is a perfect illustration of this practice.

Released in February 2016 the cryptically named "Gundam Converge Limited Metallic Version 3 in 1 Box" set is similar in execution to the triple pack we saw in 2012 which featured three repainted Unicorn series-figures, and this time the turn has come to my favourite chapter in the Universal Century saga; Zeta. It was released as a special limited item for the C3 Hobby Hong Kong 2016 trade fair which was open for three days in February. After that, this set was mainly available through various local retailers.

Inside the box we find the expected three bags containing the repainted figures, each packaged in the same fashion as when the original figures made their respective appearances. There was no Shokugan chewing gum in this box, instead the contents are rounded out by a little assembly instruction and something brand new; two custom made figure display bases.

Let's walk through the three figures individually.

RX-178 Gundam Mk-II (A.E.U.G.)

Both the Hyaku-Shiki and the Z Gundam have been re-released already so it seems prudent that the RX-178 is made relevant again. Out of print for almost four years already I imagine it is missing from several collections and here is a good chance to pick it up.

As far as Converge figures go it is a rather basic early Converge design. The head sits on a shaped peg, so you are not able to move it from side to side, the only articulation you find is in the shoulders. The way the Hyper Bazooka attached to the hand though, makes it optional which is a nice touch. The shield also sits on a discrete peg so it doesn't look bad if you decide to leave it out. Not that I see why you would want to do that, as the shield is perhaps the best thing about this new figure, the paintjob on it is really up to CORE standard and makes the figure so much cooler. You will also find some nice paint details added to the main body of the figure, including a very hard to see "RX-178" detail on the left shoulder.

FXA-05D G-Defenser

It is no coincidence that the G-Defenser support craft was originally released next to the Mk-II figure. This has been a tradition in Gundam Converge where the two are typically intended to combine by rearranging some of the parts. Therefore the support craft tend to be more parts intensive than their mobile suits brethren and the G-Defenser will probably have you scratching your head a bit at first, as you try to figure out which piece goes where facing what direction. As usual the photographs of the finished design tend to be just as helpful as the assembly instructions...

The G-Defenser figure comes with no overflow parts, so once it is completed you will have no leftover pieces, which is otherwise often the case. The craft is reasonably sturdy although you may have to fiddle a bit if you want yours to be lined up symmetrically in all dimensions.

It is no coincidence that the G-Defenser support craft was originally released next to the Mk-II figure, since the two figures were intended to combine. As you can see in the above picture, the cockpit is removed from the main fuselage of the craft, and the pieces are then scrambled around and reattached onto the Mark II's back to form the Super Gundam variant.

RX-178+FXA-05D Super Gundam

I think this is one of the easier to grasp Gundam+Support Craft combinations available in Converge, not complicated to build, looks convincing and most important the pieces stick together and feel reasonably stuck in place. The only bad thing about this mode is that it forfeits the beautiful shield, but you can always donate it to the old RX-178 figure if you have it or just do as I did, stick it to the figure's arm anyway, which makes it look even more hardcore.

RX-178 Gundam Mk-II (Titans)

The Titans Unit 03 version of the RX-178 is in many ways a superior figure to the Converge A.E.U.G. figure I think. Although it doesn't get any nifty transformation option its equipment is much more interesting. Let's face it, a beam rifle will always look better than those bazookas, and the wrap around Vulcan gun assembly stuck to its head looks way cooler. The original Titans' figure had a nice blue tone to it, but this metallic version looks even more imposing. And the logo on the shield is superb.

The original Titans RX-178 figure was offered in two versions, armed with either a Beam Rifle or a Hyper Bazooka. It would have been really great if we could have got an extra bazooka wielding arm to complete this version of the figure. And let's face it, if Bandai had put two Titans figures in the box, one armed with each weapon (and one labeled Unit 02) most of us would likely have purchased the box without a second thought about the increased price.

New Display Base

Finally there is one more thing crammed into this box, and it is something that really surprised it, as I had seen no mention of it on the outside. Basically we are getting two highly detailed bases to use with the figures as we see fit. Made in the same transparent colour as we've seen on some of the EX-series figures, these also have pretty detailed designs printed on them in white and gold. Not counting the dull black bases that recently made an appearance in Converge #01 this is something we have not seen in Converge before.

There is also no special adaptation to the figures in this set, there are no pegs or indentations for where the figures are to attach to the platforms, so you can simply do with them as you please, including repurposing them for other figures that you may have. This is a cool idea that I wonder if we will be seeing more of in the future.


As mentioned earlier, all of the figures in this set are repaints of their original counterparts, all of which appeared as regular boxed figures in the standard regular figure line. The A.E.U.G. Mk-II and the G-Defenser both appeared in Converge Volume 7 as figures 40 and 41 respectively. The set released in May 2012 making both of them fairly rare today. The Titans' version of the RX-178 is even older, and was released as figure 15 in Converge Volume 3, back in June 2011. This is usually a very expensive and not very easy to find figure. Below you can see the initial versions paired with the new metallic versions from this set:

There are a couple of other versions of the Mk-IIs that should be mentioned here as well. Below is the A.E.U.G. line up, with the new box set figure displayed in the Super Gundam combined mode). Notice the figure to the far left, which is an alternate white A.E.U.G. colour version of the early blue Titans figure. The white figure was given the number 19, and was one of two special figures that were sold exclusively in 7-11 stores from September 2011 and is considered very rare today.

The original Titans version also had a variation of its own, equipped with a bazooka and with the unit number changed from 03 to 01. This figured appeared as a secret version of the standard figure, and was found in the same box.

And here, of course, we have the entire family crammed up in front of the camera:


Overall, the "Overseas Only" packages are usually a very good deal for Converge collectors, and the "3 in 1 Box" Mk-II set is no exception. This is a really good value set compared to trying to find the original versions of the figures, and you don't have to pay through the nose as if they were CORE reissues even though the paintjob standard is easily up to that level here. The Mk-II set should please Converge collectors of all sorts; there is lots of useful parts and pieces in here. My recommendation is to grab it while it is still hot.

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