2018 marks the ten year anniversary of the Mobile Suit Gundam 00 timeline and Bandai is marking the occasion by releasing some special figures (and no doubt model kits as well). Gundam Converge is being blessed with two releases, first we have the odd one out Gundam Virtue which is on review here, the second is a pricey CORE boxset which reissues all four Celestial Being figures that have come out during the Converge Reboot phase over the past years. Those figures carry special markings and gimmicks and will be looked at in more detail once I manage to secure a set.
On display today is the strange release that is the Gundam Virtue. The figure was sold as a Premium Bandai item priced at a whopping ¥2160, which is four times the price of your average Converge figure. And as we shall see, this is rather ludicruous. Right now the figure stands alone outside of the regular Converge series; it is not a basic figure, not a CORE refinement, not part of an SP or EX-set and kind of exists almost like a promo item.
Once the box is opened we are treated to a fairly standard Converge figure, hardly warranting n oversize box. My guess is that the Virtue is being produced in significantly smaller numbers than the Exia, Dynames and Kyrios, and that Bandai compensates by fleecing the completist collectors out there.
As you can see from the parts count, this is hardly riveting. We don't even geta hand separated from the GN Bazooka which is a common feature on many of the new Converge figures. A rather poor show.
The figure itself looks rather nice. Once you get around the fact that it has no face (OMG, what happened to your face?) it looks pretty menacing. The detail is fine but nothing special and certainly not warranting any special release. Notice also that the action base is transparent rather than the typical opaque black which is featured by the other figures to make sure it doesn't fit in with them... how did anyone think this was a good idea?
The articulation is your bog standard Converge, the head can move but it is locked in pace by the constraints of the mobile suit's body, the arms move and are rather loose, the Bazooka arm on my figure even has a tendency to fall down due to the weight of the weapon. The two GN Cannons hanging over the shoulders can also rotate on their pegs.
The main purpose of the Converge Virtue figure is apparently to complete the line-up of the Celestial Being mobile suits. For a figure four times as pricey as your average figure it does a pretty poor job at standing out any other way, even the box art is ugly and they didn't even bother to print the mobile suit statistics on the backside which is just lazy.
The odd choice of action base means that the Virtue displays better with its brethren once the base is removed.
All in all the Converge Gundam Virtue figure is a decent entry into the series and a good alternative if you don't feel like shelling out double for the CORE 00 box set. It is definitely overpriced and undersupplied for what it is. It is hard to shake the feeling of being ripped off as this would have made an excellent basic figure.