Wednesday, 4 July 2018
SD Gashapon Senshi Forte 04
Gashapon Senshi Forte volume 04 was released in September last year and is to date the only set to have included seven different figures instead of six. They were sold individually in Gashapon machines at a price of ¥300 each. This particular set is focused heavily on the Mobile Suit Gundam Side Story suite featuring five figures from The Blue Destiny and Pale Rider. The remaining two figures are your typical oddball SD Gundam appearances.
F019 : GGS-001 Phoenix Zero One
The poster figure for this set is the very rare and oddly shaped Phoenix Zero One. I don't know anything about this particular mobile suit except that it has a predecessor - GGS-000 Phoenix Zero - which appears in a computer game SD Gundam G Generation Spirits. It probably belongs to the E.F.S.F. like the Phoenix Zero which is piloted by humans as well. It still doesn't look much like something the E.F.S.F. would manufacture though.
As far as I know, the Phoenix Zero One has not been released as a figure ever before, although one of its other variations, the GGF-001 Phoenix Gundam can be found in the SD Gundam Warrior NEXT figure series.
F020 : RX-79BD-1 Blue Destiny Unit 01
We're moving on to the Universal Century timeline. The Blue Destiny figures are definitely more familiar faces although they are also located on the fringes of the U.C. storyverse with the first appearances in a Sega Saturn title launched in 1996.
F021 : RX-79BD-2 Blue Destiny Unit 02
Next up is Blue Destiny Unit 02. What is it with those pesky Zeon ace pilots always stealing Federation mobile suits and using them as their own? Here we get the Unit 02 figure in the colours adopted by Zeon pilot Nimbus Schterzen (I suppose you could repaint the figure into E.F.S.F. colours if you wanted to).
F022 : RX-79BD-3 Blue Destiny Unit 03
Coming up last is the final evolution of the Blue Destiny line; Unit 03. Pressed into service its colour scheme never got updated from white and it resembles a Ground Type Gundam in this aspect.
F023 : MS-08TX(EXAM) Efreet Custom
We still have one more figure from the Blue Destiny story to cover; the EXAM System equipped Efreet Custom. It is a pretty obscure mobile suit, intended as a replacement of the Gouf it quickly got surpassed by the MS-09 Dom. There are a total of four different Efreet designs, most of them appearing in obscure titles and games except the Efreet Schenid which was lucky to be featured in Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn.
F024 : RX-80PR Pale Rider
The last U.C. figure in this set is also my definitive favourite of the bunch, the Pale Rider. It is an advanced mobile suit design and a further development on the EXAM System, using its own HADES System. HADES interlinks with the pilots brain and enhances the capability of the pilot however it also comes with unwanted side effects such as gradual memory loss and a tendency to override the pilot input when threats are detected.
F025 : Knight Gundam
Trailing at the end of the set is a warrior style SD Gundam character, just like in the other volumes released to date. Here the Musha Mk-II, Musha Nu Gundam and Musha Psyco Mk-II get the company of the Knight Gundam. The next two sets we will see the Musha ZZ Gundam and the original Musha Gundam itself.
I have been a great fan of Senshi Forte ever since its introduction and volume 04 finds the series still in great shape. The series has so far featured several rarely seen mobile suit choices and with this volume things have been taken to the extreme. In fact volumes 05 and 06 wander back towards the more commonly seen faces mostly from Zeta and Double Zeta. If you like Senshi Forte or other super-deformed figure series I can heartily recommend this crowd as they still remain fairly easy to find.