Friday, 28 July 2017

Gundam Converge : Realtype Color Selection

Alright, time for a little blast from the past as far as Converge figures go. The Realtype Color selection revives five older Converge models and repackages them in some rather neat new boxes and also introduces some slight colour variations compared to the original versions. The old Realtype moniker has been hanging around with Mobile Suit Gundam for a while now, and it seems it can pretty much mean whatever Bandai needs it to. In this case, Realtype might stand for "things we didn't get right the first time" or maybe "old stuff we would like to sell to you one more time".

The Converge Realtype selection was released on May 30th 2017 as a standard retail volume. Thankfully the figures are available one by one which is helpful for more recent Converge fans who now get the opportunity to fill gaps in their collections at a reasonable price, since few of the original figures are going to be easily available for the mere ¥500 the Realtype editions go for.

Since the figures are from the era prior to the Converge reboot this means we are returning to the smaller boxes and the transparent plastic supports rather than the current standard with figures attaching on black bases.

You may also have noticed the points-collection campaign currently in effect. Along with other contemporary Converge figures each of these figures earns you 500 points towards a needed total of 3000 points. If you are in Japan you can mail those coupons to Bandai and enter a lucky draw where 150 contestants can win a promotional poster of the coming Converge White Base spaceship. Yes, paying for a leaflet designed to make you purchase a pricey model of the White Base, you read that just right.

GNT-0000 00 Qan[T] (Realtype Color) : First out is the Qan[T] with its striking mix of solid and transparent materials. This is the fourth time it appears in Converge and third time in this particular form. As far as the Realtype treatment goes here, the figure has received an Emerald type of green on the transparent components replacing turquoise and the overall tone of the reds and blues are also brighter than on previous figures. Not exactly a stellar improvement (or is it an improvement at all?); especially when the spectacular Qan[T] Full Saber version appeared as a Converge CORE figure last year.

The Celestial Being mobile suits appear to continue to be popular among the Converge collectors so I suppose this figure will join the others as a rare item before long. The Qan[T] is already the most rarely seen among the Realtype Color selection figures still available for sale, at least that has been my personal observation.

The Qan[T] mobile suit is currently available in three different versions in Converge:

GNT-0000 00 Qan[T]. The original release with darker blues and reds and turquoise transparent parts. Originally released as figure number 81 in Converge volume 14 in April 2014. This figure was reissued unchanged in the Overseas Only Operation Revive which was a Bandai Asia special boxset released in Hong Kong in August 2015 (left).

GNT-0000 00 Qan[T] (Realtype Color). This recoloured figure released in May 2017 (center).

GNT-0000/FS 00 QAN[T] Full Saber. A more detailed version of the original Qan[T] featuring its Full Saber special equipment. Released as a Bandai Premium item (CORE 005) in January 2016 (right).

RX-0 Unicorn Gundam 02 Banshee (Destroy Mode) (Realtype Color) : Next up is the venerable Banshee which is a common face in Converge although not nearly as popular as its white counterpart. Here the Realtype treatment involves yet another colour variation on this mobile suit, the overall coat is changed from the traditional dark navy blue to some strange bronze-green-blue hue I haven't encountered before. We have an entire spectrum of Unicorn mobile suits by now, and it is getting more and more tricky to remember which is which. Other than that the figure remains pretty much unchanged.

I am finding it hard to accurately capture the colour of this figure. The colour seems more blue in these photos than it appears to the naked eye. It is definitely more bronze than blue though.

Since the Unicorn 02 Banshee/Banshee Norn can exist in four different forms I have only chosen the most interesting counterparts for a comparison above. The exact figure has been released twice before in other colour variations, and I have also added one of the Banshee Norns for colour reference.

RX-0 Unicorn Gundam 02 Banshee (Destroy Mode). The original version of this figure appeared as Converge number 39 in volume 7 in May 2012. The figure has a slightly bright dark blue base coat with golden destroy mode features (far left).

RX-0 Unicorn Gundam 02 Banshee (Destroy Mode) (metallic version). This figure was released together with the Unicorn as an "Overseas Only" SP Box Set by Bandai Asia in August 2015. The coating is now shiny metallic and the golden Destroy Mode features are instead shiny green similar to the Awake Mode of the white Unicorn figure (center left).

RX-0 Unicorn Gundam 02 Banshee (Destroy Mode) (Realtype Color). Next in line is the new "Realtype Color" version which has an odd bronze-bluish tint and less bright shining Destroy Mode components (center right).

RX-0[N] Unicorn Gundam 02 Banshee Norn (Destroy Mode). Included here for reference is the Banshee Norn in its Destroy Mode as it appeared in Gundam Converge CORE 006, which was a Premium Bandai figure released in January 2016. The figure is painted in a metallic bronze-brown. The new Realtype figure sort of bridges the gap between the standard colour Unicorn and the CORE variant (far right).

XXXG-00W0 Wing Gundam Zero (Endless Waltz Version) (Realtype Color) : The third figure in this set is another familiar face in Converge, the Wing Gundam has now been released five times. When you consider that there have only been a total of eight Converge figures from the Wing Gundam After Colony timeline you can see why I am starting to feel a bit tired of this mobile suit by now.

One unusual feature of this Wing Gundam figure is that it has separately molded rifles; this was highly unusual in the early days of Converge. For its Realtype makeover this figure has received brighter blue colour and a few different colour applications on the head and V-fin. The grey components are now also metallic.

In the Wing Gundam's defense though, there are three different sculpts for it making it somewhat more interesting to collect. There are a total of four different colour variations.

XXXG-00W0 Wing Gundam Zero (EW Version). The original release as Converge number 57 appeared in Converge volume 10 in April 2013. This is the same sculpt as used for the Realtype Color figure and is darker navy blue and features no metallic colour. There are also some differences in the green paint applications (far left).

XXXG-00W0 Wing Gundam Zero (EW Version). This was a reissue in the Overseas Only Operation Revive boxset by Bandai Asia, released in August 2015. It has the exact same appearance as the original figure (not pictured).

XXXG-00W0 Wing Gundam Zero (EW Version) (Real Type Color). The Realtype Color version is based on the original Wing Gundam Zero figure and introduces several colour changes (center left).

XXXG-01W Wing Gundam. This figure shows the Wing as it appeared in the original Gundam Wing television series. It appeared as Converge number 88 in volume 15, released in June 2014 (center right).

XXXG-01W Wing Gundam (EW Version). This is (currently...) the only Wing Gundam to have been released after the Converge Reboot, and comes with a black base to stand on. It was released as figure number 150 in Converge #06 which appeared in April 2017 (far right).

F91 Gundam F91 (Realtype Color) : Out of all the Realtype Color reissues this is easily my favourite. It is the only figure which in my opinion is a clear improvement over its predecessor. Add to that the fact that the F91 has never been reissued since it appeared almost four years ago and this turns into a pretty versatile figure release.

The new Gundam F91 has a very attractive dull white coat compared to the more toylike plastic white featured on the original feature. All the other colour applications are also more subdued compared to the brighter colours used on the first release. But the best feature is the way the grey components are now metallic, new detail has been painted in the face and just look closely at those menacing eyes. This is a marked improvement over the original figure.

I really wish we could get a couple of the Crossbone Vanguard mobile suits for the F91 to play with. Meanwhile we have to make do with the Vigna Ghina and a total of three versions of the F91:

F91 Gundam F91. The original figure released as number 71 in Converge volume 12. Appeared in October 2013. Notice the bright colours compared to the Realtype version (left).

F91 Gundam F91 (Realtype Color). Here the Realtype treatment has really paid off and made the figure look that much more realistic and overall menacing (center).

F91 Gundam F91 (Mass Production Type). This figure appeared as a "secret" version of the original figure, that is, it could be found in some of the boxes of the original figure, a practice Bandai have thankfully now got rid of. This blue livery is also commonly referred to as the "Harrison Martin Custom". It would have been really nice to see a Realtype version of this figure as well, it would have benefitted tremendously (right).

RMS-141 Xeku Eins (Realtype Color) : The last figure in this Realtype Color series is a real standout and oddity at that. Not only is it not a series titular mobile suit design, but a grunt type suit in use by the antagonists in the Gundam Sentinel storyline. I can't think of any other reason for this choice than the fact that Bandai and FusionWorks are currently spending a lot of energy on releasing Converge versions of other Sentinel timeline design. This could just as easily have been a revisit to the S-Gundam figure or why not the granddaddy RX-78-2 himself. I am really grateful for this choice though, as the Xeku Eins is one of my absolute favourites among mobile suit designs.

On some Realtype releases we have seen the figures getting brighter colours, on others the colours are instead more subdued. The Xeku Eins sits in the latter camp, its bright blue coat is now much darker and as such looks more in line with previous model kits and figures, I think this is a clear improvement of the original figure. The metallic paint on hands and weapons also makes the figure look much better.

The Xeku Eins has only ever been released once before.

RMS-141 Xeku Eins. The Xeku Eins figure first appeared as number 76, released in volume 13 in December 2013 (left).

RMS-141 Xeku Eins (Realtype Color). The new Realtype Color version has a toned down paint scheme which gives it a much more realistic appearance (center).

RMS-141 Xeku Eins (Titans use). Just for fun I've added a custom painted version of the Xeku Eins, pressed into use by the Titans (right).

Historically, we have seen another three Gundam Converge figures bearing the Realtype/Real Type modifier in one way or another. Those figures are perhaps more familiar as the actual Realtype designs from the Mobile Suit Gundam MSV-R suite:

Then we had the recent 7-Eleven Selection set which apart from a Gundam painted in 7-Eleven colours(!) featured a Z Gundam and a Nu Gundam in what was first rumoured to be Realtype colors. In the actual release though, there were branded as Limited Color Versions although in principle they share properties with some of the new Realtype figures in that their colours are somewhat changed or subdued:

Apart from the RX-78 and the Zaku II I have never seen any of the other selected mobile suits in any "Realtype" configuration outside of Converge. I would consider this a mere marketing term much like the Converge Redefinition (CORE) series which it actually resembles to some extent. It seems it can be used to do pretty much anything and I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of the term either.


Overall the Realtype Color selection is a solid set of figures. Although they don't offer that much for veteran collectors they are perfect additions to new collectors who are yet to stumble on the original releases and right now very affordable. Take this opportunity to fill gaps of missing mobile suits in your collection because you are getting a lot for your money in this regard. Seasoned collectors can most likely pass on all of these except for perhaps the F91 and the Xeku Eins.

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