Friday, 26 May 2017

Gundam Converge CORE 010 : RX-93 Nu Gundam & MSN-04 Sazabi (Metallic Ver.)

In August 2015 Bandai released the first Converge Redefinition figures in what has become a rather odd breed of pricey minis. Now with ten releases down the line the series seems to have found its identity. Basically CORE is all about reissuing old figures with new tuned up colour schemes and decals, although they usually take a step away from the original mobile suit design. CORE 010 is no exception to this pattern.

The two figures come in a greyscale box which is so typical (and dull) for CORE. I thought it a bit strange that the Nu Gundam is introduced first but placed to the right in the background photo. Could it be a case of Japanese reading from the right slip-up? The positioning of the text could also have been a bit better. Right now it seems to suggest that only the Sazabi features metallic paint.

Anyway, CORE 010 returns to the tired old dancing pair of the Nu Gundam and the Sazabi from Char's Counterattack. These two evergreen mobile suits have had quite a lot of exposure in Converge as of late, with two sets appearing in 2015 after the initial release in 2011. Add the recent MSN-04II Nightingale on top and suddenly my shelf is starting to crawl with Sazabis.

CORE 010 released in April 2017 as a Premium Bandai exclusive with a price point of ¥ 3200 yen. Quite the mark-up from the basic ¥ 550 figures that they are based upon. Neither figure introduces any new parts; they are simply repainted variants of the two figures that premiered the rebooted Converge series at the end of 2015.

RX-93 Nu Gundam (Metallic Version)

First out of the two combatants is the RX-93 which is rapidly closing in on the Unicorn Gundam as the most commonly featured mobile suit in Converge. Not counting the Hi-Nu or the HWS versions this is the eighth time the Nu is released in Converge format although only the second time to feature metallic coating. The Nu comes loaded with a beam rifle, a bazooka (which can be equipped or attached to the back) and one shoulder's worth of funnels. I wonder when a figure will appear with two funnel sets, it can only be a question of time.

The RX-93 figure uses the new mold from the rebooted Converge #01 which is shared in part also by the FA-93HWS (Nu Gundam Heavy Weapon System) figure. The mold contains four peg holes on the shoulders and legs which are used by the FA-93HWS, so we get a mini-sprue with two sets of plugs that can be inserted into these holes to cover the gaping holes. Something unique for the RX-93 Converge figure. These be tiiiiiny pieces but at least we get a very helpful instruction sheet to explain what needs to be done.

There isn't really a whole lot to say about the new RX-93 figure. The metallic paint looks really great although I am not really convinced that all the grey blotches added to the body (seemingly for the heck of it) are really adding anything of value to the figure. Still no beam saber for the RX-93, this would have been a perfect fit for this figure. (If you also own the FA-93HWS you can of course consider borrowing its saber).

MSN-04 Sazabi (Metallic Version)

I mentioned earlier that CORE figures allow themselves some creative freedom and this becomes even more apparent on the Sazabi. Here we get a stark ruby-red shiny metallic coat which looks really awesome although it doesn't necessarily look like the one sported by the actual Sazabi. Come to think of it, are there even two Sazabi figures sharing the same red colour? This guy always seems to get the latest red, always staying in fashion.

Just like the standard Sazabi figure we get two main armament options and both are really good looking although the rifle cannot really compete with such a beautiful translucent saber. Notice also how the figures now come on base plates with their names printed on them. This seems more like a "what can we do to convince people to pay three times as much?"-feature, rather than something really useful.

Apart from metallic coating, the CORE version of the Sazabi mainly adds some small silver markings all over the head and body. Whether this enhances the look or just looks like bad paint chipping on a rusted up ol' Saz is up to you to decide.


As you can see above, the CORE versions of the standard figures don't really differ from their predecessors all that much. If you enjoy bling you will enjoy the new look but if you prefer the more show-accurate look you will probably find the base figures more to your liking.

A selection of Converge RX-93:s and the FA-93HWS, from left to right: The very first RX-93 from Converge volume 3 (June 2011), the shiny blue "Fully Equipped" version from the SP01 Overseas Only Limited pack (released February 2015), the "Limited Color Ver." released as part of a 7-11 promotional set in November 2016 (still using the old mold although the new figure had already been released almost a year earlier), the redesigned RX-93 from the Converge #01 reboot (released end of year 2015), the FA-93HWS (CORE 004 released January 2016) and lastly the new CORE 010 Metallic Ver. RX-93 from April 2017.

Not counting the MSN-04II Nightingale the Sazabi has had half as many appearances as the RX-93; from left to right: The original version Sazabi from the SP01 double pack (released August 2011), the metallic paint version from the SP01 Overseas Only Limited pack (February 2015), the resculpted Sazabi from the Converge #01 reboot (end of year 2015) and the new CORE 010 metallic version from April 2017.

CORE 010 definitely belongs in the completist only segment among Converge collectors. Unless you are only just starting out your collection chances are that most readers will have several interpretations of these mobile suits in their collections already. That money could probably be better spent filling more acute gaps in those collections. On the other hand, the figures are really nice looking and I doubt you will be disappointed if you choose to acquire them

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