Monday, 5 December 2016

Gundam Front Converge Ver. GFT Limited - RX-0 Unicorn Gundam 03 Phenex

So, I finally received my silver Phenex after it had toured the international postal system for almost two months, which is some sort of new record. Mail from Japan usually takes about three to four weeks to arrive here in Europe, although packages from some areas in Japan consistently arrive within a week only. These guys were released as Gundam front Tokyo exclusives already back in August, but I also had to wait for a couple of weeks before some suitable (read: within my accepted price range) units popped up in the mailorder market.

The two Phenex figures are supposedly sold for ¥1600 a piece if you go to GFT. I ended up having to pay ¥2500 per figure through a mailorder, which is still a decent price when you see what these guys are sold for on the overseas market.

The two Unicorns come in some nice looking mini-boxes similar to the ones used for the GP00 Blossom and some of the CORE:s, and is only marginally wider than the redesigned boxes used for the standard figures. Since these are Japanese imports they will also have the classic Converge chewing gum inside.

Parts-wise the two figures are similar to each other. We are basically getting a repurposed Destroy Mode Unicorn with some tweaks like the new V-fin and a new backpack designed for the two shields. And speaking about the shields, they are in turn drafted from the bronze-coloured CORE Banshee Norn Destroy Mode figure although they have been redesigned from having had a peg to now feature a peg hole instead. (May I also take this opportunity to point out that we still haven't seen a bog standard navy blue Banshee Norn Destroy mode figure with this shield? Bandai, this is low hanging fruit, I'm sure you know what to do...)

The two Phenex figures are pretty awesome looking in their spiffy metallic colours. Neither the hands nor the beam rifles have been given this treatment though, which make them stand out a bit against the rest of the figures, which is perhaps not ideal, but not really an eyesore either. Notice also the hole in the left arm where the shield was originally supposed to go.

Due to their backpacks now being laden with two heavy shields the Unicorns are quite back-heavy and coupled with the tiny feet this makes them inherently unstable. The ability to pose them without use of the ankle support will come down to the exact slant of the surface they stand on as well as the general mood of the soft plastic in their legs. A little bit of warping there is all that is needed for them to keel over constantly. How I wish that a few more yen had been spent on upgrading the figures to the new Converge base plate system.

Unicorn Destroy Mode Development History...

Joining the team of unusual Unicorn versions.
In spite of a couple of quirks I think that overall the two Phenex figures turned out great. I can easily recommend them to any Converge collector out there, although if you are a casual fan one of them is probably going to be well enough. The price point is a cause for concern though, while they aren't entirely easy to find keep looking for a figure that isn't too crazily priced.

Slightly off topic but if you are planning a visit to the actual Gundam Front Tokyo center in Odaiba, be aware that it is currently rumoured to be closing down in early April 2017. The lifesize RX-78-2 figure has also been scheduled for removal in March next year, presumably to make way for a new mobile suit with movable limbs, speculated to be completed in 2019 (in time for the 40th Anniversary perhaps?).

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