Saturday, 2 April 2016

Gundam Converge EX 08 : RX-78GP00 Gundam GP00 [Blossom]

As far as EX reviews go, this will be a rather short one. Looking back on the Converge EX line we have seen some spectacularily configurable (and perhaps overproduced) figures with whole slews of accessories and two to three different display modes. Then came the Converge CORE series, which featured carefully repainted basic figures at higher cost. Converge EX 08 lands somewhere in between these and the generic Converge figures; it is a new sculpt with a fairly detailed colour scheme, but offers no transformations, optional accessories or gimmicks. At its heart this is a basic Converge figure elevated into grandeur for no apparent reason. But, I am getting ahead of myself again...

Converge EX 08 released in March 2016 with a suggested price tag of ¥1800 which puts it at the same level as the recent CORE figures, i.e. distinctly overpriced for what it is. It also comes in the same slightly oversized boxes as the other single CORE figures, although without an embarrassingly large brown cardboard box wrapped around it. Kind of interesting when you think of it, if it costs as much as a CORE figure, why does it get less packaging? Or perhaps Bandai are simply correcting a prior packaging overkill.

The contents of the box are not too spectacular; it looks very much like your average Converge figure. Perhaps a more detailed examination will reveal why this figure costs four times as much as a regular figure?

The RX-78GP00 or Gundam GP00 Blossom is something of a dark horse and a really surprising but welcome inclusion into the Converge line up. With the recent released of the GP04 (and the Gerbera Tetra) we can now really flesh out the Gundam Development Project development tree. It is a rather controversial mobile suit from a lore perspective though, starting its life in a hobby magazine and later being written into the universe through unofficial material. The different sources that do mention the GP00 cannot even seem to agree on how it ended its career; was it in a firefight with Zeon forces, a freak accident or a prototype test flight failure?

The GP00 figure itself is a highly conventional Converge model I would say. Sure, we have a really nice colour scheme on this guy and lots of nifty features such as the logo'ed antenna dish (also known as a Minovsky Particle Interference Wave Searcher), a massive long range beam rifle on a swiveling assembly and half of a Core Booster II craft attached to its back.

The articulation follows your traditional Converge pattern; rotating arms at the shoulders and a head that can look from side to side. The aforementioned beam rifle assembly also allows it to be repositioned in various directions however there is no means for the mobile suit to actually wield it, not exactly what you would expect from a Converge EX figure now, is it?

A Converge Gundam Development Project selection, left to right: The GP00 Blossom (EX 08), the GP01 Zephyrantes from Converge volume 8 (released October 2012), the GP02 Physalis (from twin pack SP 05 released in December 2014 which also contains a GP01-Fb Zephyrantes Fullburnern variant), the recent GP03 Stamen from the EX 07 box (released in November 2015, but the GP03 has also been released as a regular figure in volume 13 in December 2013) and lastly the also recent GP04 Gerbera from Converge #01 (December 2015).
Looking down the flight line we can also see the development history of the Converge brand itself. The GP01 figure, released three and a half years prior to the GP00 is still doing just fine in a side by side comparison. Not bad for a ¥350 figure. Most telling though is the comparison between the recently released GP04 and the GP00. These two figures are contemporary to each other (although the GP04 was part of the Converge reboot) and it seems odd that one of them should be four times more expensive than the other.


I have whined a lot about the pricing of the Gundam GP00 in this review, and I guess that is also its main sore spot. Sure it would have been nice to see some more features or gear choices for it, it being an EX figure at all, but it is a lovely (and enticingly unusual) mobile suit that will sit well in your collection. If you can overcome its unnecessarily high price point I think it is a given for the collection.

No comments:

Post a Comment