This has been quite the exciting year for new High Grade Universal Century releases! This is, of course, mostly due to Gundam Unicorn and its massive fanwank in episode 4, finally gaining us model kits of the GM II, GM III, the Nemo, and, for some reason, the Juaggu; and giving us some fantastic new designs like the Jesta, Anksha, and the Delta Gundam. It’s amazing that Bandai can put all of this great stuff out while simultaneously working on the AGE kit line AND HD Remaster SEED, in just this scale alone.
Some of the more recent releases in the High Grade Universal Century line have been pretty cool, and some you could have been predicted, in a way. Some things like the Base Jabber and maybe the Zaku Mariner took me by surprise (I don’t have to kitbash one anymore! Yay!!), but others I sort of saw coming, like the Hambrabi! The Hambrabi shares its weapons with the Unicorn Marasai, which was certainly a cleverly-placed hint on Bandai’s part. The Hambrabi is just hitting shelves for North American retailers now.
Speaking of hints, I just… can’t believe this actually happened. An honest-to-god GM Sniper II High Grade!! I had a feeling that we MIGHT be getting one of these after the Nemo came out, since the two share backpacks and leg thrusters, but I didn’t think it would actually HAPPEN. This is so exciting! Not only that, the kit even comes with a 1/144 Draken-E, so really, now you can’t say there’s a mobile suit from Gundam 0080 without a kit. Of course, the White Dingo version is a Bandai Hobby Web exclusive, meaning we probably won’t see that in America. Thankfully, my middleman has me covered. This one should be available on American shelves come next month… I already have mine on order!
The one suit that came out of nowhere in Unicorn Episode 4 is also getting an HGUC. Yep, you guessed it: The Byarlant Custom! It’s kind of odd that they’d give us this before the regular Byarlant, but I guess that’s the power of Unicorn for you. I’m quite anticipating this one, but not quite as much the Sniper II. I’ll be getting one eventually, though. Some pictures have shown it with a really big ugly EFF sticker on its shoulder. Yeesh. That makes me glad I use decals. Expect this one on shelves in November, most likely.
At last, we’re getting our first transforming Real Grade… the Zeta Gundam, of course! Now I’ll have to admit, I haven’t seen enough to completely sell me on this thing. I’ll definitely have to wait on the reviews for this, since fully-transforming 1/144s tend to have some issues. Also, the thighs on this kit look… oddly long to be? I’m not the only person who noticed this. The lineart doesn’t have this problem, so we’ll have to wait and see when the actual kit comes out. Still, it’s not a dealbreaker. Expect to see the Zeta launching in November or December.
Bandai sure knows how to keep us on our toes with new HGUC releases! Remember to always check and ask with FPNYC!