Friday, 20 May 2016

Gundam Converge : Gundam Front Tokyo Limited Color

On the very rectangular island of Odaiba in Tokyo Bay, a full size RX-78 stands vigilant guard at the waterfront. You would think this alone would be a reason for devoted Gundam fans to flock here for a peculiar pilgrimage, but Bandai know better. Setting up shop nearby, is the Gundam Front Tokyo Gundam museum with attached café and (wait for it) gunpla store. And to make sure the punters will come and visit, Bandai are churning out lots of GFT Limited kits and items, colour variations and clear kits seem to be a recurring theme. As of April 2016, Gundam Converge has finally got a limited GFT set of its own. However, thanks to the marvels of ecommerce I did not need to actually perform the Odaiba pilgrimage myself.

If you have been keeping up with Converge lately, the Limited GFT set will be a rather familiar sight. Bandai certainly didn't go into any creative excesses here, we've already seen the Char's Zaku and RX-78 duo featured as limited items twice recently.

If you have any of these figures before, the box set will be familiar territory for you. My box did come with the shokugan chewing gum, which seems to indicate this being a Japanese import to Hong Kong and indeed not distributed locally.

As you can see, the RX-78-2 Gundam has been given the calamari treatment, with its translucent plastic, something we have rarely seen in Converge before (to my knowledge only on the UC limited Unicorn but it wouldn't surprise me if there are more clear figures floating about).

There are no surprises in store for you here. This is the same old figure which has serviced Converge fans since 2010, you get exactly one beam rifle and one shield as accessories and that's it. Although we've seen some variations on the Gundam equipment over the years, nobody bothered to update the figure here. You'd think it would have been worth the effort to design a beam saber for this figure, translucent plastic just begs for it. What we do get though, are some new markings on the body. There's a White Base sticker on one of the shoulders which is completely superfluous since it doesn't stand out well enough against the body.

Three faces of the Converge RX-78-2. The most detailed version in basic white from CORE 003 (released in December 2015), the metallic paint version from the Overseas Only limited pack from March 2014, and the new translucent figure from the GFT pack.
There have been so many RX-78-2 figures in Converge now that I can't be bothered to dig them all through, I thought it would be fun to line up a couple of them in the above shot though, to show just how little is really done with this figure. Not really that impressed here.

The Zaku II does fare a little bit better. Although the MS-06S Zaku II (Char's Custom) figure used to be a somewhat rare item, all the recent revisits this figure is getting means that we now have an army of red Zaku II:s to be commanded by the only green one from 2011 (not counting the Jaburo set version from 2012). Gundam memorabilia are funny that way, it is often difficult to do any serious army building...

The calamari Zaku II is a rehash of the recent Operation Revive Zaku II which is good news, because it means the figure includes both the Zaku Bazooka and the Heat Hawk (these were originally found on two different figures) so you are at least able to do a little fiddling around with the weapon of choice. We also get some nice new logos on the figure and here they stand out nicely against the red backdrop and so make a lot more sense here.

Although not intended, it is possible to feign a stored bazooka by carefully placing it on the figure's back. The illusion is not fully complete (certainly not when viewed from the backside) but I found it to be decent enough for display purposes.

Some select comparisons: Char's Zaku II as it appeared in Converge Vol. 5 from 2011 (with bazooka), the Overseas Limited Edition figure from 2014 (with metallic paint) and the new calamari version from the GFT package.
As I mentioned before we are starting to get a lot of red Zaku II variations in Converge now, and that is not even counting the two new The Origin versions from Converge #02 (which will be reviewed shortly), which is a bit annoying when there are so many other Zeon aces, MSV or not, still waiting for their hot rides.

Overall, the GFT Limited Color set is a nice gimmick but hardly a requirement for your Converge collection. If you lack the MS-06S or RX-78-2 there are far better versions released recently floating around the market right now. And if you are a sucker for translucent plastic you will most likely have purchased this set already anyway...


  1. Can you share some tips on how to get the bazooka stored in the back? I couldn't get it to work. I'm guessing you try to slide the side-handle on the bazooka under his left armpit or something like that

    1. Yep, that's how I did it but it wasn't very cooperative and fell out easily. Try sticking the handlebar into the right armpit, this seems to work a bit better: