Thursday, 14 July 2016

Gundam Converge EX 12 : AMA-X2 Neue Ziel

No doubt turning a few heads and raising even more eyebrows as it was announced, the Neue Ziel is storming into the Gundam Converge universe and demands a lot of space in the process. While technically we have seen large Converge figures before, the Neue Ziel really is in a class of its own. This is also the first Converge figure that is based on a pure mobile armor design, with no matching "regular-size" figure in the box.

The AMA-X2 Neue Ziel (or AMX-002 as it is sometimes known) was released as a regular EX-figure with a suggested price of ¥3200. Together with the Dendrobium these two figures are the priciest figures upon release (of course the second hand market looks quite different). So, is it worth shelling out the equivalent of seven standard figures to obtain the Neue Ziel? Let's take a closer look.

The extra large box is filled up with parts but unlike past transformable figures such as the Deep Striker and the Hummingbird the number of pieces here isn't too overwhelming and most of them are large and chunky components. An assembly guide is included but this figure will not give you much trouble thanks to the clean design.

There are no alternative display modes for the Neue Ziel so all the parts are good to go without having to fuss with pulling pieces apart and rearranging. You just sort out which parts go to the left and right and then you are good to go.

Structurally the shoulder attaches to a small skeletal joint, the arms and binders then attach directly onto the shoulder component via a set of sturdy pegs with matching holes. This makes the figure very stable although I am not sure how quickly these joints will wear out if you mess around with them (this will become more apparent in the Stardust Memory Equipment set review, which introduces alternate components).

Just look at this thing. Fusion Works really nailed it this time! So many beautiful details in the mold and a clean and simple colour scheme make this a real stunner. And it is heavy too, weighing in at about 140 grams you can feel the tremendous power it exudes just by holding it in your hand. :)





The Neue Ziel is held upright by a stand with three clear components that wrap around its lower body and the tip of the body is placed in a hole in the action base, making the figure extremely stable. This guy is not going to fall off his stand any time soon.

Articulation-wise there is not a whole lot going on here. Most components have shaped pegs which effectively nullify any attempt to move parts around. The main arms and claws have a little bit of rotation going on but there is no real reason to bother with it (We will return to this topic in the equipment set review which changes the game a little).

Comparisons

This is probably the most interesting segment of the review. After all, it is a Converge figure, and as such it does not exist in a vacuum but as part of a very long running figure series. Just exactly how good of an idea is it to create a very large Converge figure, when the whole concept is supposed to be a cheap candy toy?

Regular readers know how I like to moan about the direction that Assault Kingdom went with its ultra-large figures, so I had my reservations about this thing as well. The Converge Neue Ziel isn't that much of an abomination though, since it is after all reasonably priced and still a manageable size (about 13 cms tall) for being a candy toy. And speaking about candy; this particular figure is a Bandai Asia Hong Kong import, so no chewing gum is included in this box.

The Converge Neue Ziel together with some of its Gashapon counterparts from SD Gundam Full Color (released 2001), Mini Figure Selection Plus (released 2005 or 2006) and Bandai Mobile Armor Selection (released in 1999).
I guess the most interesting comparison though will be the one made to the Converge Dendrobium, and you will be pleased to see that they display together very well.



Both the Dendrobium and the Neue Ziel also get some optional parts in the Stardust Memory Equipment Set. We will be returning to them in a separate review of that kit.

So, should you fork out the asking price for the Converge Neue Ziel? Well, it will certainly be the centerpiece of your collection if you do, at least until they pump out an even larger Psycho Gundam or a Neo Zeong... I have some very mixed feelings about this. The success or not of the Neue Ziel could open up for more oversized and overpriced Converge figures so this whole topic is really a can of worms.

The Neue Ziel figure itself though is, as you have seen, a very attractive design and I have a feeling most of you have ordered it already anyway. I am confident most of you will adore it just like I do.

4 comments:

  1. Guess the engineers at Bandai found their cash cow. Coming up -- Big Zam, Neo Zeong, Shamblo, alpha-Azieru, Apsalus I/II/III, Psycho Gundam, Quin Mantha

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  2. Replies
    1. A lot of thm were found investigating shops and markets on site in Asia. You can also find most of these on eBay, especially when they are new, although the prices are not so competitive there.

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