Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Gundam Converge : "Wing of Light" Option Set

The Wing of Light Option Set is the second premium accessory kit to be featured for Converge. It was sold as a Bandai-only item for about ¥ 2000. The box was released in the end of November 2016 around the same time that the Converge SP08 boxset featuring the Infinite Justice and the Destiny Gundam entered retail. Some sellers have thus been bundling these items, including the source from where I picked mine up.

Presumptive buyers should be aware that the Wing of Light kit is not a simple add-on for Converge SP08. Instead the parts are intended for one of the figures from SP08 only (the Destiny Gundam). The other parts are aimed at the Strike Freedom figure which was released as a regular figure in October the same year (Figure number 138, as part of Converge #04).

The main feature of the option kit is of course for the two mobile suits to enter full bonkers mode with their incredibly cheesy Voiture Lumiere drives. Using this technology for some reason causes mobile suits to convert energy into propellant light... Well, any excuse for adding gizmos on your models is fine I guess. You can read the finer points about this technology on the Gundam Wiki.

The option kit comes in a slim box not unlike the ones we've seen for the SP and EX figures for some time now. And being a Premium Bandai gig we of course also get to deal with the comically large outer packaging.

The box features two sets of components, one for each figure, as well as a handy assembly instruction.

There are a total of eleven components, six for the Destiny and five for the Strike Freedom. Let's take a closer look.

ZGMF-X42S Destiny Gundam

The main feature is of course the two large butterfly-like "wings" produced by the Destiny's VL-drive. The parts replace the standard backpack wings and make the figure considerably more back heavy. The ankle support piece will have to be deployed here to prevent the figure from falling onto its back. The wings are completely rigid with no articulation or optional features, and the "light" sections are attractively modelled in translucent pink. I guess this is a love-it or hate-it kind of thing, it looks stunning but also way over the top for my taste.

Also found in the box are a set of open hands, the type you usually see on mobile suit model kits and figures that don't happen to carry a weapon at the moment. The leftmost open hand also doubles as a decent match for the large M2000GX Long-Range Beam Cannon which is also included in this box, this time in its deployed version. It attaches to the back pack using a special extension arm.

Right hand options for the Destiny. The open hand to the far left is only included in the Wing of Light option set.

Using these final components we are now able to have the Destiny Gundam play the counterpart to the Perfect Strike Gundam which it so painfully copies. The Strike Gundam and its backpack system was alright, but with suits like Strike Rouge and Impulse Gundam around it seems even more cheesy for Destiny to copy this design so blatantly.

Overall this parts set is a real booster for the Destiny Gundam. Your love for angelic wings on Gundam figures aside, the extra beam cannon and open hands parts really belonged with the Destiny Gundam figure inside the SP08 box. It feels suspiciously like they have been lifted out of the box to steer customers toward the Wing of Light kit although that might just be a conspiracy theory on my part.

Just to get an idea of how large the figure is when deploying the wings, here it is next to the Neue Ziel.

ZGMF-X20A Strike Freedom Gundam

It is interesting to notice the differences between the Converge Strike Freedom figure and the Destiny. Being one of the rebooted Converge figures, the Strike Freedom comes with a proper base. This is easily keeping the figure upright despite the massive weight now on its shoulders. One can only assume that the Destiny Gundam was modelled way earlier than the Strike Freedom, even though it was released later. We keep seeing these anomalies in the EX, SP and even CORE series, it makes the figure line a bit schizophrenic.

The original Strike Freedom wings were a bit confusing to assemble and here we get to relive that confusion one more time with the new effect parts. Using the attachment pieces from the original figure the new wings are put in place in this not entirely self-explanatory way. The second accessory included for the Strike Freedom is the combined form of its two MA-M21KF beam rifles which are also normally wielded one in each hand. I dunno, I find it a bit lackluster although it is perfectly design accurate.

The Freedom/Strike Freedom evolution in Converge is indeed following the bigger and better mantra. The figure feels pretty complete at this point and I hope that if Bandai and FusionWorks decide to revisit SEED in the future we might get some entirely new mobile suits in the Converge line-up (although I have a sneaky feeling that a "pearl" or "metallic" color variant can't be that far away...).


Overall the Wing of Light kit is a nice component set that increases your options for these two high-profile figures. The price is quite steep though, and unless you are really into this wing-thing, the asking price for the other extras might be a bit hard to swallow.

The base figures are very good in their own right so this set feels like a thing for the hardcore followers and collectors only. Bandai were correct in making the wings optional but I wish they would have put the other components with their respective figure right away.

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