Tuesday, 19 April 2016

The Demise of Gundam STANDart (and possibly also Assault Kingdom)

-So, you two were the last ones to make it out alive?
-Yes, although barely. Tell me Maester, will he recover again?
-Son, I have to be frank with you. At this point there is nothing more I can do for him. I cannot even save myself.
-But... but I don't understand... we had the best technology, the superior piloting skills...
-You cannot go up against Bandai's executive team and expect to fight your way through. You need to be eloquent and very articulate about it. Besides, how else can they get away with releaseing yet another 1/220 RX-78-2 figure?

I think it is pretty clear at this point that there will be no STANDart revival and no further excesses in the form of massive limited edition figures. The last STANDart figure to be released, the mighty Sinanju, arrived for Christmas in 2014 but even though that year was very active with three figures waves and both the limited mega-figures everything went quiet after that. It was like the FusionWorks development team burned all their remaining fuel in one last mighty assault.

The final hint appeared in the end of March 2016 when the Bandai Shokugan website launched two new figure series and sneakily changed the product categories at the same time. Compare the old and new Category quicklink pages below and it seems that not only STANDart is being relegated to history, but Assault Kingdom appears to be going the same way.

Girl power!
While there are still a couple of Assault Kingdom EX figures to be released, the telltale sign that there has been no wave 10 announced ever since volume nine hit the market back in July 2015 does make the situation seem rather grim.

The final nail in the coffin for both STANDart Assault Kingdom though, is the advent of the Universal Unit figure collection (or UN2 for short). These figures are made from a harder type of plastic which allows for more detailed figure sculpts (while at the same time making the figures more brittle or fragile one would suspect). The UN2 figures with their roughly 85mm height will be reasonably comparable in size to the present 1/220 collection so it would seem unlikely to have multiple series of articulated figures going in parallel. The first UN2 figures will hit the market in August 2016.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the dev teams at FusionWorks and Bandai for a beautiful run with Gundam STANDart, it was fun while it lasted and there are still so many awesome mobile suits it could have featured.

1 comment:

  1. AH, dangit! I'll be sad to see Assault Kingdom go. On the other hand, I suppose it's a semi-small line for me to complete, now.