Gunpla Expo 2012 part 1-High Grades and Real Grades

Oh yes. It’s time for Gunpla Expo again.

Gunpla Expo World Tour has come, and there are some pretty interesting reveals this time around: some kits getting announced that I thought we’d never see. Images for this article came from gundamkitscollection.com.

Five years ago, we got our first RX-79 kit in the HGUC line: Blue Destiny Unit 2. Shortly thereafter, we received the other two Blue Destiny Units and the Ground Gundam. Curiously, they never gave us an Ez8. I was worried we were going to get one right after I made mine back in 2008, but I guess a four year wait isn’t bad. Whether or not it uses the older frame remains to be seen; I know I want an appropriate Ez8 to take on my Gouf Custom!

In a move that surprised nobody, the HGUC line is getting a Jesta Cannon. I knew we’d be getting one of these sooner or later considering how the mold gates on the Jesta were set up.

Bandai seems set on continuing the SEED HD Remaster line, and we’re getting at least two more releases in it: Perfect Strike and Blue Frame 2nd L. Perfect Strike is… well, it’s Perfect Strike. It’s hilarious. It unfortunately looks like it uses the old kit from 2002, which is hasn’t held up very well. However, it will be a good way for builders to get all of the weapon packs at once.

Blue Frame 2nd L is a HUGE surprise, and certainly one I welcome. The Astrays were sadly underrepresented in the 1/144 line, with only the basic forms of Red, Blue, and Green getting kits, and Gold Frame with next to nothing. While I’m more interested in getting this suit in 1/100 scale, I think a 1/144 is LONG overdue.

In a very curious move, it looks like Bandai has plans for a pair of Real Grade Zeta Gundam variants, both based on the Gundam Evolve 9 short. These are the White Unicorn and Red Snake Zeta Gundams, with the former the unit Amuro Ray used and a personal favorite of mine. A third Zeta Gundam also appeared in this short, the Gray Wolf “Buster” Zeta (piloted by MSV’s Shin Matsunaga), which, despite its name, is actually yellow. I have a sneaking suspicion these will all be web shop exclusives or something, however.

But for me, the big announcement of the event was clearly the High Mobility Type Zaku II.

Leading with the Black Tri-Stars once again, this kit looks like it’s based on the recent Zaku Mariner kit. This is great for several reasons: 1) the Zaku Mariner was incredibly well-designed; 2) the old HGUC Zaku II was never very good; and 3) Holy crap we’re actually getting more MSVs in the HGUC line. Of course, I know feel like a moron for stocking up on so many MSV kits, but whatever. If the old kits in the background are any indication, we’ll be seeing HGUC GM Cannons, GM Sniper Customs, Zaku Cannons, and more High Mobility Zakus in the future. Yeah, I’m ready.

A few other Real Grades and High Grades were previewed at the event, but I wanted to focus solely on what had a prototype and wasn’t being shrouded. Really, I’m pumped for most of these, and I hope you are, too. Make sure to get yours from FPNYC when they’re out!

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