Saturday, 11 June 2016

Assault Kingdom EX 08 : AMX-004-2 / AMX-004-3 Qubeley Mk-II Set

The Assault Kingdom line is a bit of a strange beast. It had a moderately short run between 2013 and 2016 where it produced nine regular waves of figures, ten exclusive figures (two of which were released in two different version) and three gargantuan behemoths. The EX 08 twin Qubeley box which we are going to take a look at today is the oddest of the EX lot.

As you can see the EX 08 set is not distributed in the regular fashion. This is kind of strange since it holds a spot in the EX-catalogue number sequence, unlike other oddities like the Neo Zeong or the Queen Mansa which were released unnumbered.

Actually it is not clear to me just exactly how the EX 08 set was distributed. The box seems to indicate this to be a Japanese or Bandai website only release, yet the item I picked up from Hong Kong is stickered with a Bandai Asia note. So it seems while this set is more of a limited run, it was still distributed outside of Japan.

Well, I won't bore you more with musings on availability. Suffice it to say that this is somewhat of a rare bird. You will not find this set as easily as for example the regular Qubeley or the Hyaku-Shiki, so exercise a bit of caution if you are trying to locate a box. Bandai priced the box at a whopping ¥3800 which compares quite well to the EX 07 Qubeley which sold for ¥2000.

The box art comes in monochrome black and white with a kind of dithered effect similar to what we have seen on the large out of sequence figures, which further makes this set stand out from the rest of the EX line.

The contents are perhaps not nearly as exciting as the packaging. Inside you will find two plastic bags with the components for each Qubeley. They are pretty much reruns of the regular white AMX-004 Qubeley, minus the effect parts.

As you can see you are really getting the bare bones in this package. Each Qubeley comes with one beam saber and two choices of hands and that's it.

The dark purple AMX-004-2 Qubeley Mk-II is the initial prototype of the upgraded AMX-004. As far as the figure is concerned, it is a recoloured AMX-004 with only two notable differences. The first is the Neo Zeonic logo sported on the right shoulder binder (with a similar one on the mirrored component on the left shoulder flip side), and the second is that the beam saber hilt is painted in dark purple to match the suit, whereas the original Qubeley figure's two sabers were all translucent yellow.

The action base in these pictures is *not* included with the Qubeley Mk-IIs.
The upgraded paint scheme on the Mk-II is also a nice glossy finish which looks really good. However, the original Qubeley figure still outperforms the Mk-IIs by having an action base and funnel effect parts. This is a real drawback for the EX 08 set; the lack of at least one action base almost seems negligent on Bandai's part. I guess the alternative would have been two separate Qubeley Mk-IIs figures with extra components which would have cost even more, but this lack of an action base is a first in the entire Assault Kingdom series and a total flop.

The second prototype of the mark-twos is the AMX-004-3 Qubeley Mk-II. This figure is a colour-swapped clone of the AMX-004-2, so you get the same features when compared to the bog standard AMX-004 also with this one. The red and yellow is a bit garish but faithful to the original, but it makes the figure look decidedly more plastic.

No, the action base in these pictures is still not included with the Qubeley Mk-IIs...
As you can see from all the photos the action base is really a requirement if you are to create any spectacular poses with these figures. You can always buy a couple of extra regular figures (pick those that come with transparent bases) to round out your armoury I suppose.

Overall the Qubeley Mk-II set completes what it intends to do, it is just a little sad that we don't get more accessories for them. I mean, couldn't you at least include two sabers for each figure?

Size-wise the Qubeleys are on par with the Full Armor ZZ Gundam making them suitably taller than the average Assault Kingdom figure.

Haman Karn gets all the goodies...

Borrowing the funnels and base from the regular AMX-004. The pink funnels work reasonably well with the purple Qubeley Mk-II but would need a repaint for use with the red one.

So, should you grab the Qubeley Mk-II set? Well, I would give a casual recommendation to do so. The figures are certainly not must haves as far as Assault Kingdom are concerned, but it should be noted that there are no other representations of the Mk-IIs in the 1/220 scale. STANDart featured no Qubeleys and Ultimate Operation only has the white one, so if you like this quirky ZZ design I would say go for it, just be careful of the asking price.

If you are a DIY-collector, you can also consider grabbing some extra EX 07 AMX-004 Qubeley boxes and repaint those figures yourself, that would net you more equipment and action bases for display.

No comments:

Post a Comment