Sunday, 11 December 2016

Universal Unit : G-Bit Set

The G-bit Set is the second Premium Bandai expansion into the quickly expanding Universal Unit product range. It was made available in October 2016 through the Bandai webshop at a price of ¥1200, which seems cheap for a UN² package containing three figures. Especially when you consider that your basic figure sells for ¥500. Quite the bargain... or so I thought.

As is typically the case with Premium Bandai shokugan figures the packaging is a bit Spartan and does a rather poor job of explaining what exactly is contained inside. Looking at these pictures you'd be hardpressed to make a correct assumption. Especially since the GX-9900 Gundam X is the main figure on both the front and back pictures. There is a good reason for this, as we shall see.

On opening the box you will find three identical plastic bags, each containing the parts needed to assemble a FX-9900 GX-Bit (or G-bit as the box suggests) autonomous mobile suit.

Gazing at a bag like this for the first time you will immediately see a kinship with Assault Kingdom figure series. The first thing I noticed was the hexagon action base making its return, a direct modification of the Assault Kingdom base although here it is not transparent. In fact, almost everything here is basic gray plastic, save for a few blue blotches on the torso.

As you can see on these parts pictures the GX-Bit figures are extremely basic. Where a standard Universal Unit figure has a leg consisting of around 10 parts there are only two snap together parts here. As a result the legs are perfectly rigid with a minimum of flexibility at the hip. In fact, the way the legs are positioned, the figure cannot even stand up and has to use the action base.

Because the figure is so utterly plain and gray looking I had to do some limited colour applications. I simply used a blue and a black marker pen to colour the feet, face and some panel lines. I also applied the two red stickers to the torso and the reflective stickers (which are very nice) to the solar panels. As I have mentioned before, the 3D-style stickers included with Universal Unit figures are a bit finicky to apply and even with very basic skills you should be able to do a better work yourself.

Notice also the horribly hollow arms; we didn't even get some extra pieces to cover up those holes. And the left hand with an expressive gesture features webbed fingers as if it were a mobile suit made for a duck. These things are clearly made to sit in the background. Did you notice how the Gundam X figure is the point of focus on the box? Clearly to draw your attention away from the limited features of the GX-Bit figures themselves. The only thing these can do is dangle their legs around and move the left arm a bit to the sides and up and down. The right arm connects perfectly with the Satellite Cannon, but the whole assembly is not meant to move at all.

GX-Bits mounted on Assault Kingdom action bases.
The GX-Bit figures are the first Universal Unit figures I have seen which feature action base support. Since they are similar to the Assault Kingdom figures in this regard I tried them out on the (obviously much nicer) transparent AK action bases. They work fine together with the basic AK figure action base, but not with the larger bases (that you would find with figures such as the Kshatriya and Qubeley), which they would only slide off.

Look mom, webbed hands!
The GX-Bit figures were really only made as cool backdrops for the Gundam X figure (released October 31 as part of Universal Unit Wave 2) but I am still a bit disappointed with them. I had expected these figures to be fully articulated and was looking forward to doing some cool poses for them. I almost went ahead and bought a second box before even the first one arrived, but I now know that it would be pointless since they would only end up sitting in a straight line looking pretty much identical.

Overall one or two make a nice backdrop to the Gundam X figure (which I do not yet own by the way). If you are planning to skip on the X there is obviously no reason to pick this set up either.

1 comment:

  1. Why did they make something that terrible, anyway? I was considering getting a few of these when they were first announced, and then I saw non-promo pictures. Killed the impulse in a hurry.

    For the same price as an assault kingdom figure, say, the Rick Dom with its massive bazooka and heat saber, you get a barely articulated, underpainted turd in a box. For the same price as the whole set, you could pick up Carta's Graze or a Gyan.

    Just odd.