Monday, 26 March 2018

Gundam Converge EX 21 : FA-010S Full Armor ZZ Gundam

The Full Armor ZZ Gundam is the latest in a growing range of Converge EX-figures. The EX-line premiered in December 2013 with the Kshatriya. 2014 saw a further two releases, 2015 featured four (five if you count the red and blue colour variations of the Hummingbird), 2016 deployed six and last year there were also six EX releases. 2018 thus far seems to follow this new pace with three releases during the first half of the year.

The FA ZZ Gundam will also be followed by the FA-010A FAZZ colour conversion later this May. The latter will be a Premium Bandai Converge CORE release with a price tag of ¥2300. The standard Full Armor ZZ Gundam is a regular retail item though, with a suggested sales price of ¥2300 as well. I picked mine up from Mandarake where it is currently sold at a price of ¥1800.

This slightly lower price of an EX figure can perhaps be explained by the tiny box the figure is delivered in. It is not much larger than your average Converge figure box, which is a real departure from the usual EX-products. Notice also the somewhat lazy box art where the back cover just features a couple of pictures, devoid of the usual brief mobile suit technical specification. On the front side we read that the figure is transformable, but the Converge figure features no such technology so this text might be a bit misleading.

As tiny as the box may be though, it is jam-packed with a lot of small pieces in a total of three plastic bags, as well as featuring a tiny instruction booklet and the old blue chewing gum.

If you have built the Assault Kingdom Full Armor Gundam you will be familiar with some of the design concepts here. The Converge figure feels a bit more solidly designed as it was a pain in the neck to pose the Assault Kingdom figure without uncoupling the beam cannon from either the backpack or the arm.

You can display the Full Armor ZZ in two modes. In the basic mode it is armed only with its signature double barrel beam rifle, which pegs into a slot on the right arm. It is not possible to attach it to the left arm however, and it also cannot be attached to the optional right arm with the trigger finger (used in conjunction with the heavy Beam Cannon). If you look carefully on the front cover you can see that the figure can wield both weapons since it is not using the arm not intended for holding the beam cannon which dangles in mid-air.

While putting the FA ZZ together I noticed it is liberally sprinkled with paint smudges here and there. This is not something I am used to from Converge figures and it certainly does not reinforce the use of an "EX" tag. Notice also how the feet have trouble touching the ground. Pretty poor show overall.

The main feature of the FA ZZ is of course when it is loaded with the massive Beam Cannon. This weapon is attached to the backpack as well as to the right hand, and the belt feeding uh... (power? ammunition? E-pacs?) whatever it feeds should also be plugged into the left side of the Beam Cannon and into a hole on the optional back-skirt piece included with the figure.

Let me just say that putting this figure together was very frustrating as all these connection points need to sit at very precise angles to prevent them from popping out. It doesn't help that many of the joints are very loose on the FA ZZ, the arms and backpack in particular are very prone to falling out of their sockets. I'd consider gluing the "ammo belt" into the back skirt but the other pieces you really don't want to lock into position.

Converge ZZ Gundam family: MSZ-010 ZZ Gundam (Converge vol. 12, October 2013), MSZ-010S Enhanced ZZ Gundam (Converge #09, January 2018) and the FA-010S Full Armor ZZ Gundam (EX 21, February 2018).
The Converge ZZ Gundam family has certainly developed into more spectacular and imposing looking figures. While I kind of miss the simplicity of the early figures there is no question that the refined sculpts and more detailed paint applications are a significant improvement on the new figures. Now they just need to get the quality up a few notches as well.

The Full Armor ZZ is getting ready to face off against the Queen Mansa, review coming soon... : )
Overall the Full Armor ZZ Gundam is a beautiful but fiddly figure. There are however a bit too many imperfections (at least on the figure I own) which bring down the overall impression. Honestly, I don't really look forward to doing this assembly process one more time with the FA-010A FAZZ, but there is no question that these two figures will look gorgeous in your Converge collection.

1 comment:

  1. The FA ZX has gained many notoriety for its shoddy build quality. A video reviewer have received units with wonky face pieces (uneven, facing to one side)

    Some pictures also show the figure had missing paint applications (totally white feet), and there's also one that got a Wing Gundam's V-fin.

    Its a good thing that you had minor paint smudges and standing problems. Ican only hope the one I'm ordering wont be a shoddy copy.