Sunday, 17 June 2018

SD Gashapon Special Edition Figures

In this post we are going to examine closer a couple of special edition SD Gashapon figures that collectors may have missed out on. These figures were special promotional items associated with various hobby shows and as such were typically obtained by visiting those occasions and participating in some activity. As such, they are typically only going to be found on the second hand market.

SD Gundam Warrior NEXT - RX-0 Unicorn Gundam (Destroy Mode) (Clear Red Ver.)

This pinkish red Destroy Mode Unicorn is a special for the yearly All Japan Model and Hobby Show which opened up in October 2013 in Tokyo. The figure was apparently given out to visitors who answered a questionnaire. 3000 figures were supposedly made, 1500 of which was handed out per day for two days. Of course how many were really produced one cannot be sure of. I paid a massive ¥3000 for mine from Mandarake in late 2017.

The clear red Unicorn is a tweak on the existing Unicorn Destroy Mode Unicorn figure which was released in the very first Gashapon NEXT set in December 2010. It does not alter the mold or introduce any new accessories.

The material is a slightly softer plastic than what is normally used in the standard NEXT figures. Even the joints (made of harder plastic) have been given a transparent makeover. Transparent figures often have real issues with loose joints and while this figure seems to hold up alright I would avoid excessive messing with it.

Here the clear red Unicorn poses with its evolutions from SD Warrior DASH 08 (September 2016) and FW SD Gundam NEO volume 1 (February 2017). I cannot yet make the comparison with the actual NEXT figure it modifies since I have yet to pick one up.

SD Gundam Warrior DASH - RX-93 Nu Gundam (Clear Green Ver.)

Another figure exclusive to the All Japan Model and Hobby Show is this green transparent Nu Gundam which was made available during that show in September 2015. While I don't know the exact circumstances or edition it would probably be something along the lines of the NEXT Unicorn from two years before. The Gundamguy blog has a page about this figure as well where it is claimed that this figure was sold as a limited edition at ¥1500. The promotional picture seems to suggest a price of ¥0 though, so not really sure what went on. I found my figure at Mandarake in 2017 where it ironically also cost me ¥1500.

This figure comes in a matching clear green Gashapon ball complete with a little paper insert which promotes the next DASH set to be released; volume 03 which appeared in October 2015 after the Hobby and Model Show had been held.

The clear green Nu Gundam comes armed with a curved beam saber, a shield and one set of funnels. Notice also how all the joint parts have been molded in transparent green. The Nu Gundam is again a transparent colour swap of a basic DASH figure; the Nu in this configuration was released in August 2015 just prior to the Hobby Show. Pictures comparing the two will come up when I eventually get around to putting my DASH volume 02 set together.

SD Gundam Warrior DASH - GN-0000 00 Gundam + GNR-010 0 Raiser (Red Clear Color Ver.)

The next figure (or actually figures) also comes from the Gashapon Warrior DASH line; they are the 00 Gundam and 0 Raiser which can combine into the 00 Raiser. This set appears to have been made available exclusively at the C3 Hobby Hong Kong show in February 2017. According to information I have seen online this figure was supposedly redeemable with other purchases. I purchased mine from a seller in Hong Kong; a pair cost me $20.00.

The 0 Raiser in this picture is sitting on a makeshift stand made by Assault Kingdom components.
The original white and blue 00 Raiser set appeared in DASH Volume 07 in June 2016. This red colour variation is a basic colour swap (I guess some would label this Trans-Am mode but there is actually a full-colour version of that mode available as well). The figures come in your typical DASH figure plastic bags with promotional sheets for DASH volume 08 which were released already half a year before in September 2016 (but DASH 08 was also the last regular figure set).

The parts of the mobile suit are made of softer bendy plastic while the joint pieces are made of harder and slightly more brittle plastic.

The GN-0000 00 Gundam is equipped with its signature GN Sword as its single armament option.

Notice that the GNR-010 0 Raiser has been provided with a little triangular stand which pegs into the underside. This is a nice touch although it makes the figure a bit clumsy as it becomes hard to tell apart figure from stand.

And here we see the bulky 00 Raiser combo. The 0 Raiser's wings attach to the mobile suit's shoulders and the forward part of the fuselage is stored on the back. I found it necessary to rest the 0 Raiser's nose against the little stand to avoid the figure toppling over backwards. This makes the figure look rather clumsy. I would do something using transparent action base parts if I really wanted to display it like this.

Using two sets of C3 figures here to show the 00 Gundam and the 0 Raiser separated, as well as combined as the 00 Raiser.

Gashapon Senshi Forte - RX-93-v2 Hi-Nu Gundam (Clear Blue Ver.)

The All Japan Model and Hobby Show pops up with a figure again, now we are in September 2017 and Gashapon NEXT and DASH have been replaced with Gashapon Senshi Forte. So naturally the exclusive figure this time around will be a modification of an existing Senshi Forte design.

Released as the eye catcher for the very first Senshi Forte volume, the RX-93-v2 Hi-Nu Gundam first appeared as a full color figure in January 2017. The Hobby Show version replaces the mobile suit components with transparent blue versions but all the joints and the action base retain their original dark gray colour. The figure was sold at the hobby show at a price of ¥300. I purchased my figure from Mandarake shortly after the hobby show and paid ¥600 for mine.

The figure comes in a transparent Gashapon ball and contains a promo sheet for the Senshi Forte Queen Mansa EX figure, which was due for release in February 2018 about half a year after this figure was released.

This figure retains all the components of the standard volume 01 figure, which means it comes equipped with a beam saber and a beam rifle as well as its shields and fin funnels. The action base has some sort of item number printed on it (2418440), regular Senshi Forte figures do not have numbers stamped on their bases. Notice also that the transparent blue version figure has the revised Senshi Forte action base which was introduced with Senshi Forte volume 03.

Here the transparent version figure poses with its full colour counterpart from Gashapon Senshi Forte volume 01. Notice the different designs on the standard Senshi Forte action bases which changed in between these two releases.

Overall, there isn't really a whole lot to say about these figures. I know that transparent figures can be popular with some collectors while I am not really a big fan myself. I think of them as completist items mainly. You can of course also mix and match pieces from these figures with the standard figures for some interesting customizations. I would say it is a good idea to go for the original full-colour figures before these.

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