Saturday, 4 November 2017

Gundam Converge EX 17 : MRX-009 Psyco Gundam

It has been quite a while since we had a Converge figure review but now the pace of releases is increasing after the summer hiatus. First out of the autumn's releases is the Psyco Gundam which is an oversize mobile suit and thus very suitable for an EX release. It is quite the popular release with Bandai and a similar Gashapon figure was also scheduled for release in the Senshi Forte series this October. The Converge Psyco Gundam was released in September 2017 as a basic retail figure with a suggested price of ¥2800.

Now before we continue I just have to stop and address this thing... do we spell it Psyco or Psycho? There are a couple of mobile suits where Bandai can never seem to settle on a canonic spelling and then stick to it. It seemed like we had finally landed on Psycho but here again comes the Converge figure and upsets the balance. We have some other annoying mobile suits like this, for example the Hyaku-Shiki / Hyaku Shiki and the Hygogg / Hy-gogg. It just drives me up the wall...

Moving on... I had my second little hissy-fit when I flipped the package around and notice another unsightly blemish on the box. Keen eyes recognize the light grey Bandai Asia sticker in the righthand corner indicating this particular figure comes from a distribution point outside of Japan, in this case from Hong Kong. I usually do not mind these stickers but here's something new; a large ugly white sticker informing us of the generally bad idea of consuming the figure components rather than using them to assemble the figure. It wouldn't have been that bad if the sticker came off as easily as Japanese price tags usually do. This one had latched on to the box snugly and held on for kingdom and country. It took me a lot of effort to remove it and if this is how Bandai Asia is going to play their game from now on I will become quite reluctant to order anything from outside Japan again.

Inside the box we have the usual couple of plastic bags with the parts separated into compartments. We also get an assembly/transformation instruction in Japanese and had the package been sold in Japan we'd also have found the traditional Shokugan chewing gum of course.

Once out of the box the figure doesn't look all that complicated or intriguing, but there is more to it than what is revealed at first glance. You have the option of displaying the figure in mobile suit mode, or in mobile armor mode. Let's look at each one separately.

Mobile Suit Mode

The parts in the box are all set for assembling the Psyco/Psycho in its mobile suit form straight out of the box. There are just a few pieces to snap together, resembling very much the effort required for your average Gundam Converge figure.

As you can see from the pictures the Converge Psycho Gundam is a very successful depiction of the real thing and its compacted Converge dimensions come out perfectly as well. This thing really looks like an average Converge figure on steroids. Some of the recent Converge figures have resembled model kits more than the softer plastic Converge figures and while the Psyco/Psycho also features some of this hard plastic in places but overall feels very much like a basic Converge figure, which is appreciated. The figure has a tendency to lean forward so that oversize clear support piece may prove to come in handy although it looks really awful. A base plate with a plug would perhaps been a better option here.

One thing you will notice straight away is the way the pieces are connected to each other. The Psyco/Psycho has square pegs for its arms which limit the articulation to a ninety degree jump. The head has a hexagonal hole but the peg on its neck is still round so you can get a little twist out of it. The hands can also rotate at the wrist so overall the articulation and poseability is somewhat limited here. You'd think the clever FusionWorks engineers could have been a bit more generous in the design of this figure (and I am positive that the Gashapon Senshi Forte Psycho Gundam will perform much better in this regard).

One of the greatest features of the MRX-009 is the beam emitters located in its fingers. While the Converge Psyco/Psycho can at least reposition its arms pointing forward the angle looks a bit unconvincing but you can get a serviceable pose out if it. Still, it is hard to shake the feeling of "statue" when thinking of this figure. Imagine the effect if we had got an optional right hand with outstretched fingers and some beam effect parts to stick into the fingers. That would have been EX grade.

With its height of roughly ten centimeters (V-fin included) the Converge MRX-009 stands about twice as tall as your standard Converge figure which seems just about right.

Mobile Armor Mode

The big gimmick of this figure is of course its transformation into Mobile Armor mode (or Mobile Fortress mode as it is also known). The mobile suit retracts its limbs and head and turtles up into a little pyramid designed to withstand a heavy barrage. I don't know exactly what purpose those little stub wings are serving but let's not go there...

Assembly of the MA form requires you to actually start disassembling some of the components that were already fitted together while in the box. This is where you begin to realize the intricacy of the figure design and that there is quite a lot of engineering ingenuity going on under the hood. While it is fun to reconfigure the figure between the two modes, as always with these figures I would caution doing it a lot since the pegs will wear down quickly.

The Psyco/Psycho looks really good in its mobile armor form, and the clever action base it utilizes gives it a nice floating impression. I actually prefer the figure in this mode which has presented me with a bit of a dilemma. How to display it? Of course the only logical solution is to purchase a second figure and have the two displayed together in MS and MA modes respectively.

The Psyco/Psycho is truly dwarfed by the other mobile armors released in Gundam Converge. Here it poses with the Neue Ziel (EX 12) and Neo Zeong (EX 15) respectively. I will add some more figure comparisons to this review once I can remember exactly where I put the other figures of this mobile suit (and hopefully I will also pick up the Senshi Forte variant).


Although the Psyco/Psycho Gundam isn't much of a toy it looks the part and can certainly enhance the line-up of your Converge collection. I wouldn't go as far as calling it a recommended purchase but if you have the funds to spare you will most likely be very pleased with it.

The Psyco Gundam is also sold bundled with the new CORE Gundam Mk-II.

Addendum (Nov-15)

So I went ahead and ordered a second unit from Japan this time. I think it is worth it just so that I can display the two modes of the figure side by side:

And for fellow the OCD collectors out there; notice also how the Japanese box is devoid of stickers and that the ol' blue Shokugan chewing gum is making a return. I noticed this also in another recent EX figure. Bandai switched out the blue chewing gums a while ago and here they are sneaking their way back into the boxes again...


  1. Looks like the wave of oversized MA and other gigantic MS continues. Coming up...GEYMALK. Look at the recent blog entry: towards the bottom we see the silhouette of what is clearly Gaz-L and Gaz-R from the ZZ Gundam anime. More interesting is the blog caption. Loosely it says something like, "if these two units are present, there must also be another", which can only point to the Geymalk, which these two units "escort" in the anime.

  2. All the larger MS makes me think we'll get a Big Zam eventually. I wonder how big they'd make it though.