Saturday, 25 March 2017

Gundam Converge EX 14 : MSN-04II Nightingale

With all the special releases we see in Converge these days I was actually surprised that half a year passed already since the release of EX 13 (the Thunderbolt FA Gundam). It just goes to show how many colour variations and gimmicky releases we have these days. However, Bandai are planning to pick up the pace with EX 15 due for release already next week and EX 16 scheduled for June. We won't be getting any time to catch our breaths here.

Converge EX 14 is at least a brand new sculpt and of a pretty rare bird as well. The MSN-04II Nightingale is an alternate universe representation of everyone's favourite mobile suit the Sazabi which makes its appearance in the hopelessly named manga Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack - Beltorchika's Children where it hangs out with the RX-93-v2 Hi-Nu Gundam. Spawned from this series are also two other notable powerhouse mobile suits; the Xi Gundam and the Penelope. Considering that the latter two recently popped up in the Universal Unit figure line this leads me to speculate if we might also be seeing them down the line in Converge.

The Nightingale was released as a retail figure in the end of February 2017 with a recommended price tag of a whopping ¥ 3000 (and that is also precisely what I ended up paying for mine). When you consider that both the Dendrobium and the Neue Ziel sold for ¥ 3200 each this is quite the heft price for a figure only half their respective sizes. Obviously what we are paying for here is the complex detail work taking part under the hood, or more specifically, the cool stuff going on under the mobile suit's armored skirts.

As you can see from the parts count this is a very easy build and the included assembly guide isn't really needed here. Indeed, the figure does have a couple of features that are not covered on the leaflet which seems a bit odd but we'll get to that later. As you put the pieces together you will be very pleased to see how everything fits together really nicely.

The Nightingale is a pretty special design, there really isn't anything quite resembling it out there. I would classify it as a bit of love-it-or-hate-it, and the Converge makeover makes its odd features all the more exposed. I think the engineering work is first rate here but the esthetics leave a lot to be desired as far as I am concerned. The main issue here is that all the spectacular detail is hidden from view when you look at it from above, from that angle everything just looks like a heap of red plastic.

In spite of its gargantuan footprint my figure does have some issues with the legs not lining up properly with the front and back skirts. The latter two extend slightly further than the legs and the feet don't stand firmly on the ground which is something you might experience with your figure as well.

The basic figure comes with two closed fists and a hole in each arm where the included shield will fit. We also get a single clenched fist for the left hand and three options for the right; a clenched fist and two weapon holding hands. It is actually possible to remove the hands from the weapon handles which enables you to change the angle the weapon is held. Another feature not mentioned in the manual is that the mono eye sits on a cylinder which can be rotated to simulate the eye looking in different directions. As is often the case with Converge eyes though, the mono eye disappears in the shadow of its large brow anyway.

Considering that we can choose which arm should carry the shield, it would also have been nice to get at least one weapon holding left hand. Considering that the weapons aren't attached to the hands that would have opened up for some cool dual wielding.

Then we have the ten funnels. They are all removable which is completely glossed over in the box art and instruction leaflet. Perhaps because you can't really do anything cool with them. No effect parts are included with the THREE THOUSAND YEN figure which is a bit of a missed opportunity. Even just one or two extra pieces of a funnel shooting out on a transparent stick would have been much appreciated.

Converge Sazabi evolution: MSN-04 Sazabi from Converge SP01 (double pack with the RX-93, released August 2011), the redesigned Sazabi from Converge #01 (basic figure, released end of year 2015) and the new EX14 Nightingale. Not pictured is the metallic painted version of the original figure (Overseas Only limited edition from February 2015) and soon we will have a metallic version of the redesigned Sazabi as well. How long before a metallic colour Nightingale? :)
After reigning supreme for four years, the original Sazabi figure now has to share shelf-space with three variations and we have a fourth repaint coming soon as well. Out of all the variations I still like the original one the best, although it is nice to have some variety.

As I mentioned earlier, the Saz... uh, the Nightingale costs almost as much as the Neue Ziel mobile armor. Which one would you rather have in your collection?

One cool gimmick with the Nightingale is that it can share equipment with the new Sazabi figure if you are willing to forgive the differently coloured hands. I really like that Converge figures are becoming slightly more modular, opening up for easier conversion and a bit of parts swapping here and there.

Overall, the Nightingale is an excellent figure with a bit of a troubled appearance, which we cannot really fault the Converge for accurately depicting. At ¥3000 I can't really say that this figure is an essential item for your Converge collection. Being a retail figure though, it is possible you might find it at a reduced price in the future; we're already seeing Neue Ziels selling for as low as ¥2000.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Banpresto DXF Mobile Suit Gundam UC Vol. 1 & 2

While this blog may be profiled against Bandai's Gundam-related Shokugan offerings -that is, candy toys- there is so much more to Gundam figure collecting that only the most stringent and disciplined collector will manage to avoid straying into new territory. Let's face it, the Shokugan fix can only take you so far.

No matter which Universal Century era or alternate timeline you are invested into you will quickly come to the conclusion that there will be serious gaps in your mobile suit line-up. And it doesn't matter how seriously the manufacturers commit, they will never come close to covering everything you want from a show even if they try their best. So, we either end up with incomplete collections or start picking stuff from different figure lines to mix and match. In the 1/220 scale this can translate to displaying figures from STANDart, Assault Kingdom, Universal Unit and Unifive Stardust Memory next to each other. But even that won't net you a simple Hizack; you'll need to go either up or down in scale. And grabbing that single 1/200 HCM Pro or 1/285 HG MS Selection Hizack will of course risk you snowballing into another figure line. I think we have all been there... : )

So, what does all this have to do with the Banpresto DXF UC figures? Well, I have a continuously expanding Gashapon MSG character collection by now, but there simply aren't any characters from the Unicorn era available (unless you don't mind deformed minis like Banpresto Gundam Series World). With the decision of either skipping on UC completely or scaling up, you of course know exactly which path I chose to walk...

The Banpresto DXF line is actually neither Gashapon nor Shokugan material, but pretty sizable prize figures. They were not sold in retail at all, but developed for the domestic gaming arcades. The boxes are adorned with both the Craneking and JAMMA (Japan Amusement Machine and Marketing Association) logotypes, indicating they are the frustrating type of toys you have to try to pick up using a fiddly toy crane, wasting money in the process. Thankfully they are also quite prevalent on the secondary market... While not terribly unusual they do seem to be in demand and tend to go out of stock quickly. Expect to pay around ¥1000 to ¥2500 (per figure) for them in Japan.

While doing research for this article I also came across this interesting website which lists other Craneking releases chronologically which can be an amusing diversion to browse.

Two waves of figures have so far been released, each consisting of two figures. Banagher Links and Full Frontal appeared in April 2013 and were followed by Marida Cruz and Suberoa Zinnerman in June of the same year. When the figures were officially announced in 2012 there were also demo figures indicating the line was supposed to be twice as big, if you search the Internet for Banpresto DXF figures you will also see that Banpresto had sculpts ready for Daguza Mackle, Riddhe Marcenas and "Audrey Burne" as well as a placeholder for an eight secret figure. As far as I know these figures never made it to market, which is a damned shame.

Lately there has also been a separate Banpresto DXF release for the Gundam EXA character Sthesia Awar, which is a pretty abysmal bikini girl for the more depraved Otakus out there.

Volume 1 - Banagher Links

Considering the flood of RX-0 Unicorn Gundam kits and figures that have inundated the marketplace it is pretty strange that its pilot is almost nowhere to be found. Apart from this prize figure I only know of one other variety, that also being a deformed mini in the aforementioned Banpresto Gundam Series World figure line, which was also a prize item line. The same actually goes for all the figures in this set, retail seems to have been a no-go. I can only assume that recent market research must have ruled out enough interest in Gundam characters. Kinda sad considering that anything that flickers past in a frame or two in a Star Wars movie will be released countless times.

The Banagher figure is the shortest of the figures in this set, standing 17 centimeters tall. Add one centimeter to that if you are pegging him onto his large and unwieldy hexagon base. He is also the only figure that comes fully assembled as one rigid piece, the other three figures are taller than the box allows and so come with separate heads or even legs.

There are no accessories included with this figure and it has exactly zero articulation. It is simply a nicely painted statue. The style of the figure means he is easy to pose without his clumsy base, as long as you have not received a slightly warped figure that is. I like it although I would have preferred a figure in flight suit; perhaps that was actually what Banpresto had in mind for their secret figure.

Volume 1 - Full Frontal

Significantly taller than Banagher our UC-era masked character Full Frontal is so imposing that Banpresto had to ship him as a three part figure or the box would have had to increase considerably (into the useless format we see for the Megahouse Excellent Model figures for example). There is something slightly amusing about a large figure like this coming in a Shokugan style plastic bag with separate compartments.

Being the only figure of this set to actually do something else than just standing around, Frontal's dynamic pose is pretty excellent and intimidating. It is also perfect for creating interesting displays (more on that later). An excellent figure hampered only by its size and shelf-space consumption. : )

Incidentally this figure reminds me of all the missing characters in the SEED and SEED Destiny figure lines. Pretty much anything female has been modelled multiple times (even Aisha has multiple kits available for crying out loud) but epic characters like Raw Le Creuset and Mu La Flaga get absolutely no love. I wonder if it would be possible to use this DXF Frontal as a basis for a Raw Le Creuset conversion. For now though, I keep looking for Bandai's tiny 1/20 figure...

Volume 2 - Marida Cruz

Interestingly, Marida Cruz is the only female figure in the DXF UC series, which is highly unusual; it is typically the other way around for collectible figures. Marida herself is also available in many variations in other figure lines and resin kits. Banpresto have for example made a flight suit version as an Ichiban Kuji lottery prize figure which we'll take a look at later on the blog as well.

While all the DXF figures are very sturdy the Marida figure feels quite lightweight in comparison. The pony tail looks like it can easily be bent out of shape or broken if handled or stored carelessly. The pose with feet tightly together also means it will be tricky to have her stand up without the use of the base.

I think that of all the UC figures Marida easily gets the best looking outfits. Both of her flight suits are superb and this Neo Zeon uniform is not really reaching quite the same level I think.

Volume 2 - Suberoa Zinnerman

I was really amazed that Suberoa Zinnerman, the Captain of the Garencieres was included in such a small figure set. I really love less obvious characters like this getting to be included in the line up. And the figure itself is really great. Unlike the diminutive Marida figure this is a bulky and heavy figure with an amazing presence. It is also the only figure to include an "accessory" if you will.

The pistol carried by Suberoa comes wrapped in protective cardboard (much like a V-fin on a Converge figure) and can be inserted into the right hand where it sits relatively stable. It feels a little bit out of place having him armed when you compare this figure with the others in the set and I would really have preferred him to be unarmed, or alternatively coming with an optional empty hand.

Both the Marida and the Suberoa figure have separately molded heads, but they also come with shaped pegs, which means it is impossible to move the head in any direction lest you start modifying the pieces.

Size comparison

Selected Gundam character figure sizes: Mr. Bushido (Bandai Desktop Mini), Marida Cruz (Banpresto UC DXF), Quattro Bajeena (EF Emotive Figure Collection), Wang Liu Mei (Banpresto DX Ichiban Kuji: MSG 00), Natarle Badgiruel (Bandai MSG SEED Heroines) and Cagalli Yula Athha (Megahouse Excellent Model RAH.DX Gundam Archives).
The Banpresto DXF figures are very large when compared to regular Gashapon character figures and only slightly smaller than other high quality figures in the Banpresto DX and Megahouse RAH.DX series. All figure series are slightly off scale too so you need to make use of 3D effects if you want to pose figures from different product lines together, which is a bit unfortunate.


I really enjoy the Banpresto DXF figures (or maybe they should be called statuettes) and it is unfortunate that the series seems to have ended halfway through what was originally planned. Remember, we have to work with what we have after all.

Compared to regular Gashapon figures they are of course a bit pricey although they don't quite reach the astronomical levels as some of the Megahouse and Ichiban Kuji characters do. The figures are still relatively easy to find on the secondhand market although you may want to shop around since prices can vary quite a lot. If you really like them I think your main concern right now is that they will consume a lot of shelf-space, especially if you plan on using their included bases. And that gets even worse when we come to the Ichiban Kuji UC characters up next... : )

Extended Gallery

Although the DXF figures are quite large you can still pose them with Mobile Suits of considerably smaller scale if you fiddle around a bit with the display. I had a lot of fun arranging these set-ups.

Banagher Links with the STANDart RX-0 Unicorn (Destroy Mode).
Char... ahem Full Frontal, with the STANDart MS-06S Sinanju.
Suberoa in front of the Cosmo Fleet Collection Garencieres and its Kshatriya escort.
Marida with the Kshatriya from the Digital Grade UC collection.
The Rewloola from Cosmo Fleet Special; for when you need to dress to impress!

Friday, 10 March 2017

CORE wa kore wa, ano mobiru sutu...

Oh boy, somebody is kicking the corpse again. Big time...
If you worried about not having enough premium Shokugan figures to buy this year Bandai and Fusion Works have some good news for you. The crew has been down to the labs at Mendel Colony and decided to resurrect the STANDart brand from its two years of defunct slumber in some liquid filled vat. Naturally the team looked for a cheap way to maximize profits and they settled for picking one of the two pricey premium figures and put some new colours and decals on it. Et VoilĂ ; STANDart CORE is born!

The COREd out Ex-S Gundam is planned for release in July 2017, two and a half years after the STANDart brand was laid to rest. The figure will be a P-Bandai release with a planned price of ¥4167. Considering that the original figure went for ¥3600 back in 2014 it isn't that bad of a mark-up though. Perhaps good news for STANDart collectors who still haven't managed to snag the first edition of this rather popular mobile suit.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Introducing GKassiday...

Howdy Gundanium Visitors!!!

My name is GKassiday and I thought I'd waste your time for a moment and introduce myself as I am going to be posting some reviews along side Sgt. Shokugan in the not too distant future. Unlike the Sgt. who found Gundam through shokugan, I found my obsession with tiny plastic candy toys through Gundam.

A child of the 90's I obsessed over Toonami and Wing Gundam, never really understanding what I was watching or what the plot was. All I knew was that I loved giant robots fighting and God Gundam's burning rage was the best thing to watch on VHS tapes rented from Blockbuster!

Over the years I lost track of this passion until around 2014 when walking through a Barnes and Noble I saw the most adorable/awesome looking Gundam I had ever seen. I bought that Converge figure on the spot and unfortunately re-ignited a passion for giant robot violence that I have not been able to quench. Since then I have been a fairly steady collector of Converge, focusing on Zeonic suits, and have caught up on all the Gundam series I missed/never knew about. Being an "adult" with a disposable income I can now buy all the dumb stuff my parents rightfully denied me.

Having depended on this site for a long time to help with my own collecting (and wanting to contribute something) Sgt. Shokugan has graciously allowed me to help out by reviewing some of the new FW SD Gundam Neo figures. It being a completely new series I decided to hop on early in hopes of having a 100% collection; we'll see how that goes. Do not fret, Sgt. Shokugan will continue to do his amazing reviews of Converge, Universal Unit, and whatever else he sees fit. As no one could ever replace the awesome work he does, I will only be covering this new series. I hope you enjoy my reviews and I look forward to reading your comments.

I'll be seeing you around!

Sunday, 5 March 2017

FW SD Gundam Neo 01

With the start of a new year comes the start of a new Gundam shokugan series. This time around it is the adorable synthesis of the FW Converge and SD (super deformed) series known as FW SD Gundam Neo (Super Deformed Mobile Suit Figure Series).

Exia, Unicorn, RX-78-2, Marasai, Marasai Titans, Woundwart

While the title might not be the best these new figures seem like an interesting idea. They combine super deformed stylings with the detail and color applications of Converge. More than that they also offer colored clear parts on all of their eyes and cameras. Oddly enough they are also a scaled series, meaning that the Unicorn Gundam (21.7 m) is physically larger than the RX-78-2 (18 m); a marked change from both SD and Converge.

Detailed molds, clear eyes and cameras, scaled series

Being significantly smaller than Converge these figures retail for ¥370 as opposed to the ¥500 price range of Converge and SD kits. I pre-ordered mine through an online hobby supplier for ¥3,330. In the past I have never really been into SD Gundams but have been a steady Converge and shokugan collector. Seeing this new line I decided to test out the SD waters having never gotten into gashapon, the traditional home of SD figures. Lets see what we find!

Comparison to Converge

Comparison between the first SD Gundam Neo figure, Exia, and the new Exia figure from Converge #2 
As you can see the biggest difference in these lines is their size and proportions. Converge are only somewhat deformed while this new line has the more traditional Super Deformed look. These new figures as you'll see throughout this review are also lacking in the accessories department. No additional daggers come with the SD Gundam Neo figure as they did with the Converge. Surprisingly however the new figure's detailing is right up there with Converge. And this is even with significantly smaller figures. They also have equally stellar paint apps with many of the SD Gundam Neo even using metallic paint. The other difference is the use of clear plastic in the new series. While some Converge figures have used clear plastic over the years, SD Gundam Neo blows them out of the water on almost all cases. All of this while costing ¥130 less than their bigger siblings. (Keep in mind that the Converge Exia has been panel lined to draw out its details)

What's in the box:

Here is a layout of what you get in each box. Similar to Converge you will find the figures in different amounts of disarray; typically with their v-fins and weapons separated out in connected plastic wrappers. Unlike Converge the bodies of these all come together, no separate arms. Really no building required, however I did end up using glue on two figures. They also come with Bandai's "soda" flavored gun like in all other shokugan series, however I ate mine before taking this picture.

01: GN-001 Gundam Exia 

FW SD Gundam Neo kicks off with a fan favorite the RX-78-.......wait its the Exia! Unlike most Gundam products that begin with the traditional RX-78-2 and Zaku II this series is starting things off with three lead suites from arguably Gundam's most popular series. While one of those leads is the RX-78-2 they decided to begin the series with the perennial favorite, Gundam Exia. I actually started my re-introduction to Gundam with Gundam 00 and am more than happy to see this suit get such an honor.

This figure checks all the Exia boxes as far as color apps are concerned, even hiding those strange chest fins under its enormous head. Its only real lack being the clear green parts on Exia's legs. But given the style of the figure this is an understandable omission. It comes with a GN Shield as well as Exia's classic GN Sword.

The GN Shield attaches to the figure by way of an adapter. A little odd to not have it plug directly into the figure, but this is a feature we will see several times throughout this volume.

The small shield attached to the GN Sword can swivel 180 degrees to achieve the typical GN Sword caring position. It also has a nice metallic paint finish.

This Exia figure is a great start to the series. With tons of detail and color packed into such a minuscule figure I'm sure it will be a popular choice. Its also a great presentation of one of the series' main gimmicks, clear parts. Just look at those gorgeous head and chest pieces. The only down side to introducing the Exia so soon is the slew of Gundam 00, 00 Raiser, Exia Repair, and Quant figures I'm confident Bandai is already preparing.

02: RX-0 Unicorn Gundam (Destory Mode)

Wow, still no RX-78-2. Instead we get the intimidatingly large Unicorn Gundam in its Destroy Mode. One of the most popular Gundam designs of recent years, I think it has more PG and PG variations than any other suit, and a great choice to introduce a new series.

This figure looks great! Not too much color on this predominantly white suit, however where the psycho frame sticks through it is painted with a metallic red that really pops in person. We also get the blue feet and back pack and a hilariously large v-fin.The figure comes with the Unicorn's classic beam rifle and destroy mode shield.

While the shield's mold is great, it unfortunately uses an odd square peg to stick into the arm. Mine never really went in all the way and was constantly falling off. I ended up gluing mine to the left arm. That being said there is an attachment point on the right arm giving you the ability to wield two shields if you have multiple figures.

This picture really does not do the metallic red paint justice. In person it really glitters and shines. That being said this is a phenomenal figure. Its most striking quality has to be its intricate detailing. Look at that maze of panel lines and forms. Given that the figure is so dominated by white I feel it would benefit the most from panel lining to break up some of the monotony. This figure also has exceptional eyes, just look at those clear parts and detail! Minus the finicky shield, maybe it was just mine, this is a superb figure and great addition to the lineup.

03: RX-78-2 Gundam 

And finally the granddaddy Gundam himself, the RX-78-2. While a little odd to include in the third spot, not the first, this is a traditional figure to include in any product launch. An icon all over the world this suite was both expected and appreciated.

Now that is one mean looking RX-78-2. I really think they did a phenomenal job on the sculpt and proportions of this figure. Every single paint app is there, including the forward camera and stunning eyes; the details go down to the level of v-fin dents and circular bolts. Coming with the traditional beam rifle and classic shield, I can't wait to see a re-issue wielding clear beam sabers!

Like the Exia the RX-78-2's shield can swivel 360 degrees and is connect to the arm using an adapter. This adapter is different than the one used on the Exia and appears to be unique. Again why the shields could not plug directly onto the figure is beyond me. Especially given that they all have the same sized holding holes for their guns, which are interchangeable.

From the vulcans to the perfectly painted shield and clear red camera this figure has it all. Just look at the painting detail in the face under the eyes and on the chin. For a figure this small that level of detail is phenomenal. While this could have easily been the first figure in line, it also sits well as the third. A nice reminder half way through the volume of the classic designs that make Gundam such an endearing series.

04:  RMS-108 Marasai

After leaving the world of lead suits our first figure is the classic Zeonic grunt the Zaku......wait, That's no Zaku!! Unexpectedly the first non-Gundam suit is the RMS-108 Marasai from Zeta Gundam. While a lovely change of pace from the traditional pairing of Zaku II and RX-78-2 it is odd to see this grunt suit with no Zeta Gundam (in this volume). However, given the fifth and sixth figures in the set the choice does begin to make a little sense.

Looking at the figure itself we see a lovely sculpt with plenty of detail, a nicely large gun, and following in the footsteps of Converge a slightly too large commander antenna. All the colors on this figure are spot on with a nice contrast in the reds and oranges and even including its green energy cables.

Although the Marasai doesn't have any gun or shield gimmicks, no it cannot grab or use the secondary gun handle, it does have a movable mono eye. I was very surprised by this feature as I do not remember them advertising it and to have this ability on such a tiny little guy was very unexpected. It also gives them a chance to show off the bright clear plastic and intricate molding used on the eye.

Please ignore the unoriginal eye glare from the side pose and keep in mind how gorgeous this figure is. With all the detail of a Converge figure this guy is a real stand out. Not to mention his Converge brother is hopelessly rare and exceedingly expensive. While not what you would expect from the first Zeon grunt suit in a series, the Marasai is a welcome addition to the SD Gundam Neo line up and a breadth of fresh air.

05: RMS-108 Marasai (Titans)

And here it is folks, one of the main reasons to by this volume, the Titans colored Marasai! Much like the newest Converge releases the SD Gundam Neo figures do not include a hidden figure but rather a sixth suit which is a simple color swap. Which in this case is greatly appreciated. Do keep in mind however that while there are two of each of the other suits, there are only two total Marasais in a box of ten, one of each color. This does make these two figures somewhat rarer than their lead suit brethren.

While only a simple repaint of the Marasai this thing looks amazing. Instead of the different colors of red and orange this suit sticks with the bold pairing of blue and yellow. The part I particularly enjoy is the yellow stripe going from shoulder to shoulder. This really breaks up the figure and just goes to show the level of detail and care put into this series.

Again this figure only has the mono eye gimmick. However, this time it reveals a lovely sapphire colored eye. A nice change from the typical green.

What can I say, this is the way the Marasai was meant to be painted. Mean and menacing this figure is a clear standout in the set. The only real complaint being its overly large antenna and rather small shoulder spikes. On the Converge figure its shoulder has a really nice dimensionality to it because its spikes are so over the top. That being said Converge can eat its heart out as even it doesn't boast such a gorgeous Titans version of the Marasai.

06: RX-124 Gundam TR-6 (Woundwort)

Speaking of things Converge doesn't have, the final figure in this set is the completely unexpected Woundwort. A real stand out in the volume, this suit comes from a series of manga made as a collaboration with Dengeki Hobby titled AOZ: Advance of Zeta. With only a few HGs, no MGs/RGs/PGs, and only a couple figures in Converge it is fantastic to see this series getting some love so early in SD Gundam Neo.

This figure is super tiny and yet look at all that lovely detail. For someone who loves to panel line this is Christmas for me. Keeping with the strange and incomprehensible proportions of the AOZ series this figure boasts an enormous weapon that the Gundam Wiki calls a Long Beam Rifle/Claw. Its feet are also oddly proportioned being very tiny and very long. One of the best parts of this figure its dynamic hand which really gives it an elegance and movement that is sometimes lacking is the SD department.

This time the shield/long beam rifle/claw does not connect to the arm with an adapter but rather to the hand. Being held on a swiveling peg attached to the hand the weapon actually has a good bit of movement and can be more dynamically posed than the other figures in this set.

The level of detail on these figures really is breath taking. Hidden under that silly visor cone and v-fin is actually a fully detailed Gundam face. That is going above and beyond! However, that detail does come at a price. The little v-fins actually come on a baby runner and mine never really stayed all the way in. I ended up having to permanently glue them to the visor.

I'm showing off two final poses for this figure to demonstrate the amount of pose-ability that comes with that enormous weapon, something I really didn't expect from this figure. Beyond the sheer awesomeness that is including AOZ suits and specifically the Woundwart in the first volume of a new series; I think this figure's most impressive feature is its size. Being significantly smaller than even the other SD Gundam Neo figures in this volume, the Woundwart truly shows how far the molding technologies of Bandai have come; not to mention the precision color applications and clear parts.

Final Thoughts

I'll say it now, I'm hooked. Being a solid Converge collector for so long, and never really being interested in SD these figures have won me over. They really are technically impressive. The amount of colors and details they are able to pack into figures half the size of Converge is mind boggling. More than that however I enjoy the risks Bandai are taking with suit selection in this series. Rather than stick to the boring and typical choice of RX-78-2, Zaku II, and maybe a Guntank and Guncannon; Bandai instead chose outside of the box suits from several different series. Including lead suits from the most popular series along with niche favorites from the Titans Test Team and AOZ, this volume was able to deliver a little bit of something for everyone. Very rarely do I get a volume of shokugan where I sincerely enjoy every suit, and that's exactly what this set delivered. If you enjoy Converge, SD, or any combination of the two these figures will not disappoint!