The big and pleasant surprise for me (not advertised on the box artwork at all) though is the inclusion of a proper action base. This is something I used to take for granted in Assault Kingdom and which is now making its first appearance in Universal Unit here. The base is actually very similar to the ones used by the Kshatriya and Qubeley in Assault Kingdom, however it has been redesigned a bit making it less flexible with only one adjustable joint where the AK bases had two. It also features storage points for the remaining hands as well and the beam rifle directly on the base which makes this figure resemble a standard Gundam model kit even more.
|The Xi Gundam is absolutely massive when compared to a standard Universal Unit figure.|
|Here the Xi Gundam poses next to the large FA-010S Full Armor ZZ Gundam of the Assault Kingdom figure series.|
The Xi is now being followed by its predecessor, the RX-104FF Penelope, which has an even higher suggested price of a whopping ¥3800. I don't really know any details about that figure yet, but I am guessing perhaps it has some transformation gimmick which would explain why it is priced 50% above the Xi. I guess I will pick one up if I can secure a decently priced one.
I can't help but feel that the articulation is somewhat wasted on a figure such as the Xi, which is so bulky that you cannot really accomplish much with it. Assault Kingdom and Universal Unit work best when the figures have a huge range of movement available to them. Personally I think a dynamically posed Ultimate Operation figure with some nice weathering would have been the optimal way to do this guy justice in 1/220-scale.
Overall I would give the Xi a casual recommendation to Assault Kingdom and Universal Unit fans, if you find one at a decent price you will probably enjoy putting it together and the action base will allow it to pose with your other figures quite nicely.
P.S. If anyone wonders what happened to the Converge reviews lately do not abandon your hopes just yet. I actually have a number of the little suckers en route but for some reason mail from Japan has turned extremely slow as of late. What used to take 3-4 weeks now seems to have crept into the 5-6 week range and the post office is actually blaming the Pope for stopping by two days a couple of weeks ago...