Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Gundam Converge EX 19 : JDG-00X Devil Gundam

What is it really that defines a Gundam Converge figure as a Gundam Converge figure? I've found myself wrestling with this thought more and more often as of late, as Bandai continues to experiment with the tried and tested formula. And once again, it is the latest EX figure offering that drives me into this territory.

The Devil Gundam marks Converge's second entry into the G Gundam Mobile Fighter setting, hot on the heels of the God Gundam which appeared in October a couple of months before it. The Devil features two different modes and comes in your average size special box with a suggested retail price of ¥3200. I picked mine up from Mandarake at ¥2500 only a few days after the release date.

The box contains three bags of parts, a detailed assembly instruction and ye olde classic blue Shokugan chewing gum making its big return.

Parts-wise this figure isn't too complicated and as we shall see there are only a few minor differences between the two figure modes.

Mobile Suit Mode

In its traditional mobile suit form the figure stands on two large feet and uses a torso with spread legs.

The figure is assembled around the center torso component which features the thighs facing downwards. Legs, upper body and back armor plate are then attached to it using uniquely shaped pegs. The blue part which is used to attach the oversized V-fin is available in two slightly different shapes, picking the right one is essential here.

Notice how the feet of the Devil Gundam have problems lining up properly with the ground.

A couple of issues presented themselves during the assembly process. The main problem is loose fitting components. The upper body will easily fall off the spine and the legs will easily drop away from the torso. The giant V-fin assembly is not as snug a fit either and will easily come apart if you accidentally touch it. More serious is the fact that my figure's legs were slightly warped; it is not possible to stand it down on the ground without half a foot floating in mid-air. The action base comes in here to save the day, taking care of balance issues and giving you something sturdy to hold on to, this certainly shouldn't be the case with a simple Converge figure.

The size of the figure feels just about right, not gargantually oversized and not too tiny. I do have some issues with the head however. While the head does look like a modern era Converge figure, it feels just a little bit smaller than it ought to be, especially now that the rebooted Converge figures tend to be getting larger heads.

The scale and style of the Converge EX figures really is all over the place these days. Consistency and plastic material choices across the line should be much more synchronized I think. At least with the Devil Gundam it feels like a good match for the regular figures, I just wish the head was a little bit beefier.

Mobile Armor Mode

In the MA mode, the figure makes use of an alternate torso where the legs and feet have been retracted. Alternate feet are attached to the bulky leg armor which is also swept backwards. The armor plating on the back is placed at a different angle and the fiddliest part. The giant V-fin makes use of a slightly differently shaped blue connector piece.

Transformation into this mode is quick and efficient (and not complicated enough to entice me to purchase a second figure to display the two modes side by side). The pieces don't fit together any better in this mode however, and the legs and upper body still attach fairly loosely.

While the overall appearance isn't that different the mobile armor mode is a decent variation and it is definitely more elegant looking hovering around while sitting sturdily on its transparent action base. Still, the mobile suit mode is probably the mode of display I will ultimately go for.

Somehow the legs look a bit tiny in this mode; the Devil Gundam doesn't look half as menacing when paired up with your average Converge figure.


Overall, the Devil Gundam is a fine entry into the Converge EX line, not too pricey and looking the part. The lose-fitting joints are a cause for concern however, I wouldn't be surprised to see people gluing up these figures if theirs are as wonky as mine.

The Devil Gundam as seen in Gundam Collection DX3 (released in 2005), Gundam Converge (December 2018) and Mecha Selection 1 (released in 2000).
One thing I would like to mention however is that the Devil Gundam figure could have been so much more. While it comes with a simple leg-transformation gimmick and a pair of alternate hands there are no other accessories in the box.

While I can understand the difficulty of adding the enormous legs present on the Mecha Selection Gashapon figure it certainly could have been spiced up with a pair of optional grabbing arms as present on the Gundam Collection DX 1/400 Gashapon figure. Or why not toss in a Gundam Head and a pair of Death Army grunts in the box and mark it up another thousand yen? It seems unlikely we will ever get to see any of the Death Army in the standard Converge line-up so this would have been a good opportunity to do it.

As it stands I don't think the Converge Devil Gundam will be much of a hot seller. The G Gundam fanbase will probably love it, but the rest of the fandom will most likely pass it up and not really miss out on much.

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