Friday, 10 August 2018

Gundam Converge CORE : Psyco Gundam Mk-II Option Parts Set

The purple Converge EX 22 Psyco Gundam Mk-II was recently released and also reviewed here a little while ago. Today's review focuses on the limited edition Option Parts Set which was sold through the Premium Bandai portal and which has been sorted under the CORE brand. This seems a bit disingenuous because CORE is usually reserved for redefinitions of existing figures and everything in this set is new, as well shall see.

I tend to harp on the Converge CORE boxes from time to time but this feels like a new low. Looking at this box, where exactly are the Psyco Gundam components? That's right, there's a tiny little picture in the corner of the back cover and it appears again on the front cover obscured by a Qubeley. In fact the entire box art is clearly focused to the Qubeley but without even clearly indicating which colour it is. Granted this package is not intended for retail exposure but even selling this kit in a plastic Ziploc bag would have been more informational for the customer...

The Psyco Gundam Option Parts Set was released in June 2018 and sold for ¥2100, almost as much as the Psyco Gundam itself. I picked my figure up from Mandarake in July and there it was already selling for ¥3500 so I would advocate caution for collectors interested in this set as it seems to be a bit scarce at the moment.

This box is really stuffed to the brim although when you actually go through the components there isn't really that much going on here.

The parts contained in this set can be arranged under three headings, so we'll look at each of these separately.

Psycommu Arms and Beam Swords

While we don't get much stuff for the Psyco Gundam in this very box we still get a couple of useful components that can be used to greatly enhance and customize its look.

The new psycommu wire controlled arms intended to be controlled by Newtype pilots replace the arms of the standard figure. The new shoulder and forearm pieces are connected via a flexible wire which is attached to the shoulder on a ball joint. Since the wires are made of soft plastic it isn't really possible to make much aggressive posing with the arms - gravity will just send them to the ground.

To remedy this Bandai have included two transparent stands which the forearms can snap on to. This works well although it is not possible to modify the pose, you will get what you see above with minimal variation. Just like with the wire controlled arms of the Zeon Neue Ziel mobile armor I am not really a great fan of this type of accessory. Fortunately there is a better use for these stands as we shall see.

The best part of these new components is that they are compatible with the existing arms of the Psyco Gundam. You can attach the new forearms to the existing shoulders of the Gundam and suddenly you can have the beam swords being emitted directly from the arms. This looks soooooo much better. You can also just simply take the new balled up hands and replace the existing open hands. This is where the customization options become interesting. I should point out that the new left forearm does not have an attachment point for the shield, so these two accessories are not compatible. One beam emitter arm plus the shield on the other is also a very viable option.

AMX-004-2 Qubeley Mk-II (Elpeo Ple use)

I can't help but feel that this Qubeley Mk-II is the main selling point of this "option parts kit". This is basically the red mark two figure that I was missing in the Converge #07 figure set, which only came with the white Mark 1 and the other Mk-II. I actually purchased a second red Qubeley figure with the intent of modding it if necessary which fortunately I can now forget.

Unsurprisingly, the new Qubeley Mk-II figure is a re-colouration of the existing figures. The only apparent new engineering feature here is that the base was made in transparent plastic. We have had the occasional transparent base before and I hate this one just as much as the previous, why mess up the unity of the figure display, it feels like a poor attempt at trying to boost this figure's value. Luckily I have a spare Mk-II figure so I can simply switch the bases and get myself a black one for this figure as well. : )

During the climactic battle at Dublin, the Psyco Gundam Mk-II goes up against the partially disassembled Qubeley Mk-II. During this battle the machines duke it out with bit and reflector bit weapons and the Qubeley also wields a beam saber. While it would have been a bit much to hope for bit weapon accessories the beam saber is a long overdue addition for all the Converge Qubeleys and an optional hand holding one sits at the top of my Qubeley wish list.

Still, it feels good to finally have the entire Qubeley team transferred over to the new Converge mold. Of course there is also the mass production Qubeley and its grey re-colouration but I doubt they will ever show up here.

Comparing the original Converge Qubeley Mk-II (released in November 2013) with its modernized counterpart.

I've said it previously; the new Qubeley sculpt is so much better than the old version. The original Qubeley design looked more like a mosquito and it has several oversized attributes which have been toned down to create a much more formidable looking machine.

The Converge Qubeley family on display. While I would really appreciated the mass production variant to also be transferred over to the new family I am not going to hold my breath.


The last individual component of this package is the DODAI Kai subflight system, basically a support aircraft intended for mobile suits that lack flight capacity within the Earth's atmosphere. There are many different designs for this concept in the various Gundam source material but this is the first time we get one of them in Converge format. Considering that FusionWorks are releasing a new Gouf figure in October, wouldn't it have been awesome if they also made a Zeonic DODAI YS aircraft for it to stand on? Hey, a guy can dream, right?

The Converge DODAI Kai first appeared in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam but is also carried over to the ZZ Gundam television series. It would also have been a natural inclusion with the Psyco Gundam Mk-I figure, and then I could have had two of them scooting around with some various A.E.U.G. or Karaba mobile suits onboard... : )

Above is a comparison shot of the DODAI Kai as it looks in SD Gashapon Senshi Forte, Gundam Converge and Gashapon HG EX appearance. The Converge variant strikes me as a bit small considering the size of the figures. Unlike the Senshi forte figure, the Converge DODAI Kai sits on a little ball joint which offers more choice in how to display it.

To be blunt though, the Converge DODAI Kai is much too small. Take a look at that ZZ Gundam screen shot again and it just seems way too tiny. While functional as a figure base it should have been allowed to look a bit more spectacular I think.

Overall the Psyco Gundam Mk-II Option Parts Set is pretty good value even when you consider its steep price. The DODAI Kai is a nice accessory and can be used with most Converge figures of your choice, the Qubeley Mk-II is such an important cast member for your ZZ Gundam collection to feel incomplete without it, and the few parts actually intended for the Psyco Gundam itself do a great job of making it look that much more interesting. While not an essential purchase, I think there is a lot of value to be had here.

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