Tuesday, 20 March 2018

SD Gundam Warrior DASH 01

Today we are doing another Gashapon review and I have selected the first set of the somewhat short SD Gundam Warrior DASH figure series. Volume one premiered in June 2015 as random Gashapon capsule toys selling at ¥300, a mark-up of ¥100 compared to the NEXT figures they replace.

So, what are we getting for the 50% price increase? Well, I kind of think of DASH as a stepping stone or an intermediary evolutionary step between the SD Warrior NEXT and Senshi Forte figure series. The main difference between DASH and NEXT is that the DASH figures are slightly larger and feature enhanced elbow joints.

Since I purchased this set second-hand (paying 650 THB for the full set) all the figures were already assembled by the previous owner. I didn't fancy pulling the figures apart so to give an idea of the anatomy of the DASH figures the below picture of a Crossbone Vanguard Den'an Zon (from DASH vol. 06) will give you a fair idea of what to expect in your average DASH figure.

As you can seem the legs typically consist of a single piece snapped into the lower torso although the very last DASH set revised this by introducing a new skeletal T-shaped piece now found in Senshi Forte figures. The arms are typically made up of a shoulder part and a lower arm and these are connected by standardized joints that you have to snap together. Heads usually sit on a kind of ball joint. All in all, assembly can be a bit fiddly at times and figures can sometimes be plagued by loose fitting extremities and equipment.

Volume 1 contains five different figures, as shown here. Each figure is numbered within the specific set from 01 to 05. These numbers are not continuous so the first figure in DASH volume 02 will again start with number 01 and so on.

There is also an interesting discrepancy between the little Gashapon booklet included with each figure and the promotional poster stuck on the capsule vending machines; the sequence of the figures differs somewhat. On the promotional material the God Gundam and Master Gundam are clearly numbered as figures 01 and 02, while in the Gashapon booklet they are listed as numbers three and four. The reason for this is unclear.

I should also point out that this exact set is also available in translucent colours going under a "Clear Ver." moniker. Those figures were limited exclusives made available during the Art Of Gundam event which took place in Tokyo in July 2015.

01 : GF13-017NJII God Gundam


So, the honors of opening the DASH series appears to go to the God Gundam even when the RX-78 Gundam is featured in the very same set (I am still not convinced this is how it is intended but whatever). The figure features no optional parts or features, the field emitters are fully extended although we don't get any fancy energy ring to go with them. The right hand has a nice shiny colour (not sure which of the many fighting techniques it represents) and an interesting sculpt. The lack of interesting accessories is a common thing with the G Gundam figures and makes the figure slightly less interesting in my opinion.

02 : GF13-001NHII Master Gundam


It is fitting that the next figures is the rival Master Gundam with its immediately recognizable and attractive black, red and blue colour scheme. Again the figure features no accessories and comes with the same type of shiny burning hand as the God Gundam which does seem a bit lazy.

The wing binders on the Master Gundam attach to the back with circular pegs so it is possible to extend the wings to create some variations in the look of the figure.

03 : RX-78-2 Gundam




Next up is the granddaddy Gundam figure which comes armed with a beam saber and a shield. As you can see from the images the saber is made from soft and bendy plastic (like the rest of the figure) so you are bound to get warped components like these from time to time. The Gundam figure comes with two hands able to hold any standard type weapon which also tends to be the norm for this type of figures. It is a solid design and the RX-78's slender body type always makes it one of the more poseable mobile suits.

04 : MS-06S Zaku II (Char's Custom)




It comes as no surprise of course that the Gundam is followed by Char's Zaku II. The DASH version of this mobile suit comes armed with a bazooka only, and just like the RX-78 they avoided the machine gun, perhaps to spice things up a little. It is a little bit sad that they never made a green army builder type figure which could for example have benefitted from said machine gun.

The DASH version of the Zaku II also features decent articulation as it is not too bulky in its design. And like some other versions of this mobile suit the DASH Zaku II figure also has a movable monoeye.

05 : FA-178 Full Armor Gundam Mk-II


The really big novelty in this set is the last figure; the -to me- previously unheard of Full Armor Mark 2. Featured as one of the Z Gundam MSV designs this is a really unusual mobile suit and I absolutely love getting rare figures such as this one into the collection. It would be great to see it in Converge also although it isn't really that different from the Thunderbolt FA-78. As a figure though, this one doesn't do that much, like many Full Armor Gundam figures it carries nothing in its hands which means it becomes a bit static.

Conclusion

Overall DASH volume 01 is a really good set and a nice starting point for the DASH collection. The G Gundam universe was also expanded by one of the limited (and expensive) DASH Premiere sets which add the Devil Gundam with a Gundam Head and also Nobel Gundam and Fuunsaiki into the mix. However, there are no further mobile suits from the UC 0079 timeline in the DASH series which is a bit of a disappointment the closest figure would be the Zudah from MS IGLOO. With the DASH series featuring only eight regular sets and mobile suit choices coming from all over the place this is a general thing to keep in mind if you want to collect these miniatures.

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