Friday, 21 July 2017

Gundam Converge EX 16 : AMA-X7 Shamblo

2017 has seen a steady stream of Converge EX-releases. The Shamblo is the third to appear in roughly four months (fourth if you count the CORE reissue of the Deep Striker) and after a quick summer break EX 17 and EX 18 sit on cue for release in September and October. Either Bandai and FusionWorks are upping the game or they are just clearing out all the planned high profile releases like they did with Assault Kingdom last year.

The Shamblo mobile armor is a pretty risky business proposition for an EX figure. Mobile Armors in general don't seem to attract as much interest as mobile suits, and the Shamblo is a pretty odd bird at that as well. It seems someone is hell-bent on getting out as many high-priced figures out of the Unicorn series as possible, you'd think there would be more money in all the remaining mobile suits though.

On top of that, the Shamblo figure is a standard retail release as well, meaning it should be expected to sell more units than its pricier P-Bandai cousins, a feat you got to wonder if it will be able to achieve. With a Bandai suggested retail price tag of ¥3200 the Shamblo definitely has an uphill struggle in front of it. I picked mine up from Mandarake just a few days after its release, at a price of ¥2500. I hope Bandai has a huge margin on these things otherwise it probably stands to be a disappointing performer. Still, I hear Japanese business practice is based on quantifying everything so someone must have made a calculation that it will be a profitable product.

The Shamblo figure is primarily made from the same type of hard plastic as was used on the recent Neo Zeong figure. It allows for crisp detail but turns a sturdy candy toy into a somewhat brittle statue in the process. I can't say I am a huge fan of this concept; I much prefer the soft plastic used on the average Converge figure myself.

The Shamblo is a rather straightforward build, there aren't that many parts involved and an instruction leaflet has also been provided. Just like on the Neo Zeong there are many nice paint applications that go mostly unseen once the figure has been completely assembled.

I have never really got my head around the Shamblo mobile armor design and pictures of it normally don't help either, so for me it was very informative to put this figure together to finally realize just exactly what its actual shape is like.

The overall concept design of the Shamblo mobile armor poses some challenges for the toy designers at FusionWorks and as a result the end result is rather rigid, there is not much articulation to speak of here. Basically the only moving parts are a neck which can move from left to right and a pair of gripping claws that can open and close. I have to say it is a bit disappointing that the arms cannot move in any direction at all.

It looks like it is possible to open up the head and adjust the facing of the monoeye, but I haven't bothered to try as I prefer not to mess with parts too much.

The figure also includes several transparent stands to help prop up the arms and the head which is a good thing for preserving the shape of the figure if you intend to display it for longer periods of time. I will most likely partially dismantle the Shamblo and keep it in its box since it is quite demanding of space.

The main gimmick and accessory of the Shamblo is the gigantic Mega Particle Diffusion Gun which sits concealed within the figures massive head. To expose the gun you actually dismantle the head and replace the centerpiece that attaches to the neck, and then reattach the armor pieces. It is a quick conversion but it would of course have been cooler if the figure could actually transform.

The mega particle gun part has been painted in a nice black finish with some silvery detail which gives it a very convincing metallic and somewhat rugged look. The spooky blue glow from the gun is also beautiful but a bit hard to see when hidden under the figure's head. It helps that the "real" Shamblo is 32 meters tall; it is much easier to see from your diminutive and helpless vantage point beneath it,

While the particle gun is definitely a cool component I think that the figure looks better with the head covering it up, the sleek shape of the mobile armor's face is definitely its best looking feature.


The Shamblo figure is surprisingly small for what it is supposed to depict. The mobile armor has a listed height of 31.8 meters, which is roughly equivalent to one and a half times the height of a standard mobile suit.

The Shamblo looks rather small when compare to your average Converge figure.
On one hand I think it is good that FusionWorks kept the dimensions of the Shamblo in a smaller and more manageable size, but its imposing effect is kind of lost in the process. When standing next to an average Gundam Converge figure it doesn't look very threatening at all. Then compare this to the massive Neo Zeong figure and the effect becomes very clear.

The Shamblo next to its recent EX cousins the Nightingale (EX 14), the Neo Zeong (EX 15) and a regular size Unicorn (here the CORE 009 version).
One way to make the Shamblo look a bit more threatening is to do like any short president would do; wear high heels and stand on a podium when addressing the masses. Still I do wish that the Shamblo would have been a bit larger and thus more menacing.

The 1/400 Unicorn from Gundam Collection is almost scared of the Converge Shamblo...


As I mentioned earlier in this review I would be very surprised if the Shamblo performs well in the retail market. It is a large and pricey figure and with a pretty niche appeal in what is already a niche market I think it has a tough career in front of it as a shelf warmer. I could easily recommend it to Neo Zeon or Mobile Armor aficionados like myself though - the Shamblo is a very rare design that has as far as I know only ever made this appearance as a collectable figure (there is an even smaller one available in the Mini Kit Collection range as well).

However, when you consider what you get for your money, 2500 yen will currently get you either a Shamblo or a Neo Zeong the competition will remain tough within the Converge figure range as well.


  1. Huh, in the picture where you compared the size with the Neo Zeong, it almost looks as if its from a different figure line.

    1. That was my impression as well. I just put in another comparison with the 1/400 line; better but still not big enough to threaten them.