346 : ZGMF-X56S/b Sword Impulse Gundam
The set opens with figure number 346 (yes, this series had been going for 8 years already) which together with the next two are collected from the Gundam SEED Destiny television series. While I was no big fan of the rather generic Impulse Gundam design the Sword Impulse mode is rather nice with its signature red colour and large double bladed sword. (I am also a fan of the rather similar looking Sword Calamity MSV design, here's hoping they will both be featured in Converge one day...)
347 : GAT-02L2 Dagger L
The Dagger L design replaced the GAT-01 Strike Dagger from Gundam SEED as the main Earth Alliance army builder mobile suit. It comes armed with a beam carbine rifle and this weird anti-ship penetrator armor which mainly looks like an oversized spear. The intended pose can be altered a bit since both arms sit on round pegs.
348 : ZGMF-1001/M Blaze ZAKU Phantom (Rey Za Burrel Custom)
Sticking a Zaku (oh sorry, a ZAKU) into SEED's Cosmic Era timeline is one of the aspects I like the least about this sad sequel to my favourite Gundam series. Still, the design turned out really badass and spawned a lot of outlandish and colourful variations, such as Rey Za Burrel's white Blaze ZAKU Phantom here. And SD Full Color Gundam does do it full justice... almost. Come on now, where is your rifle? Geeze, talking about skimping on the grunt suits even when they are piloted by named characters.
|Rey's Blaze ZAKU Phantom compared to the new sculpt of Heine Westenfluss' armed version from SD Full Color Custom 04.|
349 : ZGMF-X10A Freedom Gundam
Ah yes, speaking about the Freedom, this mobile suit can also be found plastered all over the various SD Gundam figure series. To my knowledge this is the 6th version of it to pop up in the SD Gundam Full Color series and it was followed by a seventh as well as another three in the Full Color Custom range (not counting transparent figures). Then we have half a dozen of Strike Freedoms in there as well.
350 : XXXG-01SR Gundam Sandrock
Having come this far we leave the Cosmic Era timeline for a dip into the After Colony era from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing. With Stage 54 serving up the Sandrock and the Shenlong you have of course already figured out that the more popular machines from the pretty boy mobile suit brigade were already released earlier. The Sandrock Custom did show up already back in SD Full Color Stage 24 in April 2001 though. But unless I am mistaken, this is the one and only appearance of the Shenlong in SD format. Nobody likes Wufei...
351 : XXXG-01S Shenlong Gundam
The Shenlong Gundam figure also takes its appearance from the main television series. Its evolution, the Altron Gundam, can be found in its Endless Waltz variation in SD Full Color Stage 23. This figure also has a decent enough painted frontside while the the backside is aaaall white.
352 : MBF-P02 Gundam Astray Red Frame
The last figure in this set is yet another Gundam, and now we have swerved back into Gundam SEED MSV territory again. The very popular Red Frame needs no special introduction and its transition into SD Full Color format has really succeeded in retaining its fearsome appearance. Just look at those eyes.
The Red Frame has a couple of appearances in SD Full Color and Full Color Custom (and the same goes for the Blue Frame and the Gold Frame as well). This was its first appearance and it was later followed by a blade and rifle wielding figure in Full Color Custom 02 and the Powered Red variant in Full Color Custom 12.
Overall I think that SD Full Color Stage 54 is reasonably successful. There are a bit too many Gundams in it for my personal taste but all the designs work nicely and the only glaring fault I can think of is that the Blaze ZAKU Phantom really deserved a gun. As with all the other SD Full Color figures the availability tends to be somewhat limited. I would say your best bet of finding these is to go on a prowl in dedicated secondhand Gashapon market (which is mainly a pipe dream for us not located in the Far East...). When purchasing secondhand figures, SD figures of all types often come with incorrect (or missing entirely) parts such as weapons, backpacks or the like. I've dragged home a lot of figures over the years only to discover later that... wait a minute, this isn't right. So remain vigilant out there and be prepared to hit a few duds every now and then.