Friday, 30 March 2018

SD Gashapon Senshi Forte EX 02 : MRX-009 Psyco Gundam

In November last year we reviewed the Gundam Converge Psyco Gundam here on the blog so it comes as little surprise to me that we now see (yet) another incarnation of this black mobile suit in Gashapon format. And it is only two years ago since a gigantic one appeared in the Assault Kingdom assortment too.

Although I don't know just exactly how much information swapping is going on between the different development teams (this is something I am really curious to know) my buest guess would be that they start out with similar blueprints otherwise we would have a much more widespread plethora of mobile suits in the different figure series rather than the same ol' suits popping up again and again.

The Gashapon Senshi Forte variation of the Psyco Gundam is a short and stubby figure which mainly resembles an upscaled standard Senshi Forte figure. The parts count and part types are quite similar to the average Senshi Forte even including the same skeletal structure.

The figure was released in October 2017 (just a month after the Converge counterpart) as a Bandai exclusive and comes with a Premium Bandai price of ¥2500 (the Converge figure had a suggested retail price of ¥2800). Since the mobile suit can transform between mobile suit and mobile armor modes I decided to pick up two copies of this figure to be able to display it in both. I purchased mine from Mandarake where I also had to pay ¥2500 for each one of them.

Mobile Suit Mode

This is the main mode of the figure and you can clearly see its Gashapon Senshi Forte kinship here, basically it is an upsized SF figure retaining the very same proportions.


The articulation also remains exactly the same as a regular SF figure. The head and feet sit on ball joints, the shoulders on double ball joints and the arms on bending swivels. The waist and skirts can twist independently of each other as well although the stumpy character design makes articulation a bit limited overall.

The Psyco Gundam comes with no real accessories. Apart from the parts needed to swap it into MA mode and a DODAI Kai atmospheric craft for other mobile suits to use the only other extra is a pair of optional hands.

I moaned about it in the Converge Psyco Gundam review and I will moan about it again here, why no effect parts for the hand or chest beam cannons? It is a nice figure but not EX grade as far as I am concerned.

"Now what!?"
The size and dimensions of the Psyco Gundam feels just right when paired up with the smaller Senshi Forte figures, they go together very well.

Here the Senshi Forte Psyco Gundam poses with its Gundam Converge counterpart. As you can see the two figures don't really have that much in common, as the art direction has taken different routes both regarding colours and sculpting choices. Still, the black and red colours appear to be nearly the same.

Mobile Armor Mode

In its infamous flying tank mode, the Psyco Gundam retracts its head, arms and legs and grows a pair of stubby wings for no particular reason. Clearly this suit has mastered the concept of anti-gravity...


The actual parts conversion involves removing the hands, heads and legs and then replacing the head and leg pieces. Slap on the stumpy wings and you are done:

Interestingly the Psyco Gundam features the same action base peg hole on its groin as the smaller Senshi Forte figures but no stand or action base is included with this figure. This is simply pathetic since a mobile armor is supposed to be flying around. You can try using a stand that comes with a regular Senshi Forte figure but as you can see it is too short for the mobile armor to even lift above the ground.

Attempting to fly using a borrowed stand from a regular Senshi Forte figure is no success...
Again we have to make a comparison with the Gundam Converge mobile armor mode of the Psyco Gundam. See that nice transparent base? It is pretty unforgivable not putting something similar in the Senshi Forte box.

The art direction and sculpting choices actually differ a bit between the Converge and Senshi Forte figures. Especially noteworthy is the very different head types.

DODAI Kai

The box also includes one extra cool accessory from the Zeta Gundam show, the DODAI Kai. This is another of those mysterious craft that defies gravity but with the Psyco Gundam mobile armor zipping around you, I kind of wonder why the other mobile suits need flying help...



The DODAI Kai comes fully assembled and painted and is ready to go out of the box. It also features the Senshi Forte standard peg hole to allow for it to utilize the standard action bases that come with all common SF figures but it is still lazy of Bandai not to include a base in this box. They good for example have made a multi-part base that would have allowed us to tilt the aspect of the flying DODAI Kai, this was standard in the SD Gundam Warrior NEXT and DASH figure series for years.

The DODAI Kai is a neat accessory for the Psyco Gundam as it allows your SF figures to come face to face with it. I wish there were more of these kinds of accessories readily available as stand alone figures so you could use them for army building purposes.

Conclusion

All in all the Senshi Forte Psyco Gundam has a few shortcomings but it is a really solid Senshi Forte design. if you love the other figures in this series this feels like a no-brainer to add to your collection. While it is a bit pricey it is still not crazy expensive as say the Mobile Suit Ensemble figures although availability will likely become a problem over time.


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