Tagged: Bandai

MG Blitz Gundam Build Log part 1

Very rarely does Bandai put a kit out that makes me want it immediately, especially when it’s not from Unicorn in any way, shape, or form. There are some designs to which I’m weirdly attached, yet never actually bothered to buy a kit of. Sometimes it’s just laziness, or I meant to actually get one when something came up and I lost interest. Of course, with the stupid decisions I make regarding how I build kits, you never know. One minute I’m building SEED 1/144s left and right, the next I’m going on about how much I hate doing non-UC 1/144s.

The Blitz Gundam is a suit I’ve always loved for some strange reason. It’s one of those rare suits from SEED that just oozes originality. Yeah, the whole “black stealth Gundam” thing was kind of done with Deathscythe, but Blitz actually did things DIFFERENTLY, in a way that just made it awesome. The basic Gundam may be kind of generic, but you have to love that color scheme and weapon selection. Heck, the thing pretty much has its own cloaking device! The Romulans would have been proud.

Also, this thing was my main for awhile in SD Gundam Online, which just made me like it more…

So yeah, I was pretty excited to get this kit. I figured I’d build it last out of my Otakon MG bunch as sort of a “save the best for last” mentality. And you know what? I’m glad I did, because this kit bas proven to be a lot of fun so far.

Much like the AGE-1 Titus, this has felt a bit simplified, but less in a “they wanted to make it easier” way, and more of a streamlining manner. The kit still has features everywhere, with all sorts of moving parts that really don’t need to move, like the shoulders. Continue reading

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HGUC Marasi (Unicorn Version)

Before I started working on this kit, my friend and I were discussing some of the mobile suits from Zeta Gundam just aren’t cool. Sure, everyone likes the major mecha, but what about some of the less-known ones like the Dijeh, or the Barzam? I personally like the Dijeh for some reason, but I never cared for the Barzam. Both suits have some fantastic redesigns (I LOVE the Dijeh SE-R) so one has to wonder what happened in the initial design process. Chances are, there were some disagreements in the design departments, as evidenced by the fact that I’ve never even heard of the Barzam’s designer before.

Still, one thing we could both agree on was how awesome the Marasai was… and here we are.

The Marasai was introduced fairly early on in Zeta Gundam as a replacement for the Hizack. Like many of the other Titan suits, it has quite a few Zeon elements, so doing the suit in Zeon colors fits all too well, like it w as meant to be this way. The shades of green used are pretty cool. They feel very military, and when I’m painting I’m probably going to use an olive drab instead of a lighter green.

Being a kit from 2005, this one isn’t as complex or intricate as the other suits I’m reviewing in this batch. However, I will say that it is still a decent enough kit, since 2004 is when Bandai really started ramping up the quality of their High Grades and stopped messing around (for reference, other kits released around this period were the Mass Production Type Guncannon, the Psyco Gundam, and the Hazel; the precursor to the modern GM frame).

As such, the construction of this kit is quite sturdy, but it doesn’t offer much in terms of gimmicks. It doesn’t have any double joints or special ports for stands/action bases. It’s just a decent standalone kit. That being said, it does have a few problems. For one, the head’s design is… awkward. It looks cool, yes, but it doesn’t do much in terms of articulation. It has no chance of ever looking up without being modified. Continue reading

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Master Grade Gundam Epyon Review/Preview

By Loran

Okay, well, I said I was going to buy all of them in order (ie, Gundam Wing, then Deathscythe, then Heavyarms, etc) but I lied. I couldn’t hide my anticipation for Epyon. It’s just so cool! I couldn’t hide my excitement for this thing last year and I certainly won’t hide it now. Naturally, I wish the Epyon Master Grade was something anticipated, otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered to put so much effort into the original 1/100. However, I guess that was a good thing in the long run, since it managed to prepare me for this project, learning how the design works and getting me more used to the colors.

Despite its almost unwieldy box size, this kit doesn’t have as many runners as I expected. In fact, including doubles, it manages to have less than the Wing Gundam! Yet it still costs more for some reason. I suppose it has something to do with the engineering. Not that it matters to me. So long as this kit ends up being just as fun if not more fun to build as the Wing Gundam, my money will be well-spent.

Surprisingly this kit uses just a few polycaps. Yeah, I’m sure this doesn’t surprise those who build MGs regularly, but the last new Master Grade I built was in 2008 and was during the “nah, we don’t need polycaps!” era. I’m glad that passed, personally.

ABS joints are used for the whip. This looks like it’s going to be tedious, but I can guarantee it won’t be as bad as the whip on the old kit was. These can at least be separated and dealt with one at a time, unlike that snake-like monstrosity. Continue reading

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I hope you like Tiny Avengers

by Chris Troy

Alright so Marvel has literally dropped the release mic this past week, unleashing a plethora of new product related to the upcoming Avengers movie (go look at that extended Super Bowl trailer now!) and I want to talk about them, because they ARE RAD. But we’ll get back to that later.

Alright, so the next wave of NECA Gears of War 3 figures is in stock and again, I’m a fan of them. NECA’s female sculpts aren’t always the best, but their angry buff guys and monsters are usually solid toys. This applies to the 2nd wave of Gears figures, which are some of their most articulate figures to date (what with 30 some-odd points or articulation each). The wave consists of Dom Santiago, Damon Bard (my personal favorite!), and Augustus Cole aka THE COLE TRAIN BABY WOOOOOOOOOO! I’m assuming anyone who’s played any of the Gears games got that reference. Anywho, each figure goes for about $18 bucks a pop for each 6″ figure, which also come with various weapons from the games. For less than $20 bucks it’s a solid deal.

Continue reading

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Kitbashing the GM II Semi-Striker

I’m sure you all know one fact about me by now: I love stupid, obscure crap, especially when something is designed specifically to BE stupid obscure crap to drive people like me nuts. Fortunately and unfortunately, I take the bait almost every time. It really helps me add to my ranks, even if I tend to make these in lieu of cooler, more recognizable suits. But hey, I guess me buying all this stupid stuff helps pay for new stuff coming out. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

For those who have yet to see it, episode 4 of Gundam Unicorn was a smorgasbord of obscure mobile suit designs and variations. I believe the official term for this is “mecha porn”. It seems as though Bandai’s using this opportunity to crap out as many kits as possible since they’re fresh in the public’s mind again, but there are some I won’t hold my breath on, like the one we have here: The GM II Semi-Striker.

I was never that big on the GM Striker as a design. It was interesting, but I always found the weapon kinda silly. For some reason, I don’t mind it as much here. Either way, my post-0083 Earth Federation needed more ranks, and I figured this would be as good of a suit as any to add to my forces. It had also been a few months since I’d done any kitbashing, and I figured this would be an easy way to get me back into the swing of things. Continue reading

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A Plethora of Arts

So remember last week when I complained about the severe lack of new arrivals post-holiday and there was barely anything for me to talk about that WASN’T comic book related? Well don’t fret folks, that’s not an issue for this week. Our import section got a HUGE shipment in this past week, and we now have a plethora of new stuff in to discuss. As well as some new merch that falls under both the comics and anime sections.

Leading off the new arrivals is the Bishoujo Mystique statue, and a pair of repainted Ami-Comis statutes: White Canary and Star Sapphire Wonder Woman. The Ami-Comis are kind of whack, basically just being repainted versions of the previously released White Canary & Star Sapphire, but hey, they may be someone else’s thing. Mystique, on the other hand, is a damn find low end statue, and the painting and sculpt is very well done, especially when it comes down to the skulls on her belt. In addition to Mystique, we also have the black costume variant Batgirl Bishoujo statue in stock, which  looks a ton better than the original release thanks to the new paint scheme/job.  I would easily recommend the 2 Bishoujo statues over the Amie Comis if you interested in picking any of them up.

After what seemed like forever, Square Enix finally released the first set of the Super Street Fighter IV Play Art Kai figures.  And it’s worth the wait, because these figures are MASSIVE! Chun Li and Ryu make up the first wave, and each of them come with a variant head, another set of hands, a  trademark fireball, and a stand for said fireballs. Again, I think it’s bull that Squenix doesn’t package figures for their figures anymore, but they’re fairly sturdy figures as is. Much more so than the previous Final Fantasy releases, as their exaggerated designs lend itself to this look well. They go for about $55 each, which is the average Play Art Kai price these days. If you’re looking for some colorful additions to your collection, and really dig Street Fighter, these figures are meant for you.

The biggest arrivals of last week have to be in the insane amount of new Bandai arts figure. We finally got in some new releases, and man, it’s nice to have something that’s not Shonen Jump related to talk about. The first new D-Arts is from the cult PS2 classic/new hit anime Persona 4, and is the main protagonist’s Izanagi.  The first D-Arts based on Persona 4 (there’s at least 2 more on they way), Izanagi comes with a stand (obviously), a plethora of variant parts and effects, and a massive bladed weapon. The other new Figuarts of note in is Rock Bison of Tiger and Bunny fame! He’s a massive figure, easily overshadowing Tiger and Bunny in terms of scale. What’s a little beat about the figure is the fact that he really doesn’t come with much outside of some variant hands. Still it’s well sculpted and has a ton of articulation. So it’s not like it’s a bad figure. We also got a few older mecha-releases in stock, specifically Gundam F-91, and Eva Units 0-1, and the Berserker Unit 0-2. And a ton of Kamen Rider figures. Possibly a literal ton. A lot regardless. Prices for the figures start at $45 and go up from there. With the rate most of these have been selling out, I advise you come by ASAP if you want em.

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The first new releases of 2012

By Chris Troy

Well okay, the title’s kind of a lie. Most of the new stuffs we’ll be looking at came in towards the end of 2011, but you know, I was busy playing catch up with the best of list and attending MAGfest (which again, was awesome). However most of the awesome new arrivals are STILL in stock (for now!), so we might as well go over what those things are just in case you the reader are interested. Which hopefully, you will be.

On the left, you’ll see a picture of the Robot Damashii Wing Zero Custom (from the Gundam Wing OVA “Endless Waltz”) from Bandai. I’m not exactly how new it is on the shelves of Japan, but we finally have it in at FPNYC, so that’s all that matters right? The Winger Zero Custom joins the Tallgeese 3 as the 2 Wing-related Robot Damashiis we have in, as well as the Gouf Custom and the Gundam Unicorn from the Universal Century line. All 3 of these figures are super articulated, come with a nice selection of variant parts and weapons, and are 2nd only to the Revoltech in overall mecha quality, which is impressive for a line that hasn’t been around as long. We’ve sold out of the One Piece/DBZ/MegaMan/Tiger and Bunny releases super fast, so if you want yourself a super articulated Gundam figure, you best come get them as soon as possible. Continue reading

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HGUC EWAC Zack Review

By Loran

While the Schuzrum Dias may have been a bit of a pointless variation to begin with, Double Zeta Gundam thankfully has a few more interesting ones. I believe I covered a kitbash of the ReGelg, a Gelgoog variant, some time ago, which is one of my personal favorites. However, there was one story arc in the series that had some variants that just stroke my fancy: yeah, I’m talking about the Africa Arc. Ignoring that one strangely-colored Gelgoog (what was a Gelgoog in Char’s colors doing in Africa??), we got some really cool Desert Zakus out of it, along with one of my favorite “ace units:” The Blue Team.

The EWAC Zack (also known as the “Eye-Zack”) is one of the new suits that were introduced during this arc. In a sense, it’s the Hizack’s answer to the Zaku Recon or the Zaku Flipper, though where those two were designed for taking photographs; this was more made for jamming and listening. It’s the type of suit you don’t see too often in Gundam, or mecha in general. They’re quite common in Macross, but the closest thing I can think to one of these only showed up in mangas. There’s also Dragonar-3 from Metal Armor Dragonar, but that’s Gundam in pretty much everything but its title… Continue reading

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New Arrivals: The Society of the Walking Vocaloids Revolutions

by Chris Troy

Yeah, even I’ll admit the title for this article is a bit weak.

Anywho FPNYC faithful, if you haven’t been by the store lately, you should probably check out the new display we have set up in the front window. While FPNYC has been slowing down on keeping Gunpla kits in stock, we been working to getting the best of Bandai SH Figuarts in stock! We have some Kamen Rider and One Piece figures currently in stock, but expect to see such legendary series like Dragon Ball Z & Gundam on our shelves during the coming week, as well as Megaman, and the newest anime hit on the block, superhero epic Tiger & Bunny. Really looking forward to reviewing those Figuarts over the next couple of months, as the show is fantastic, and the Wild Tiger we have on display look amazing. And speaking of import figures, I’d like to point out that we currently have the 100th Figma in stock, Miku Hatsune of Vocaloid fame in her Append version. And no, I have no idea what “Append version”, means, although it makes for a completely different look than the Miku Figma my wife has in our living room. Loran probably does though, which is why he’ll be reviewing this figure in a few weeks and not me. Either way, I think it looks neat, and Vocaloid stuff always flies off the shelf,  so if you want her, come pick her up ASAP!

Let’s move into some toys I’ve discussed in the past, but now we have in stock to I can shed a little more light on them. Square Enix’s Deus Ex: Human Revolution Play Art Kai figures are in stocks, and damn, they look good. The first time the acclaimed series had any sort of action figure tie-in, the series consists of main protagonist Adam Jensen, and 2 of his mercenary arch enemies Federova & Lawrence Barret. While I haven’t put the most time into the game,  the figures look amazing, are fully articulated, and come with variant hands, and a good selection of weapons. For $50 a pop, Square definitely delivers. We also have the 19th wave of DCU Classic in stock, which consists of Justice Society of American figures. I’m not too crazy about Kobra or the Golden Age versions of the characters, but Magog and Stargirl are definitely nice additions to the previous released JSA figures.

Wrapping up this week’s new releases, we have a line of comic booked-based  action who DON’T wear spandex. Image’s Walking Dead has been a huge in print and on TV, and McFarlane Toys has the rights to do figures based on both the comics and smash-hit live action AMC TV series. The first line of toys is based on comics, and consists of Officer Rick Grimes, the deadly and awesome Michonne, and 2 flavors of zombies, Lurker and Roamer. Both Rick and Michonne are fairly articulated and come armed with a variety of weapons (Rick with a ton of guns, Michhonne with a sword, knife, and some tools), while the 2 zombies have removable limbs and exploding parts. That’s awesome! Either way, each figures goes for about $15 a pop and this is the part of the article where I would say you should drag you corpse over to FPNYC to pick them up, but I’m better than that. At least I like to think so.

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Countdown to NYCC part 2

by Chris Troy

Hey FPNYC faithful, in a few short hours, yours truly will be at the Javitis Center, fan-gasming over the nerdfest that is the 2011 New York Comic Con. Despite being a show veteran, this is my favorite convention of the year, and I’m really excited to see what the likes of Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Image, Bioware, & Capcom have to offer to the attendees this year. And depending on security, I may decide to stalk Captain America himself Chris Evans come Saturday. For you know, article research related reasons. REALLY!

Last article we focused on a lot of the comic goodness that will be at NYCC. I’m not saying I won’t be talking about the onslaught of Marvel Universe figures we received over these last 2 weeks later on in the article, but I decided to  focus on something a little more animated first. Cartoon Network & Adult Swim will have a large presence at NYCC once again this year, hosting a ton of panels with sneak peeks of a lot of their new and returning program. Regular offenders Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer will be in attendance, talking about their hit show “The Venture Bros“. And in case you want something other than DVDs signed by the duo, FPNYC currently has in stock the 8′ Venture Bros classic Mego-style figures (or dolls, if you’re up for the particular debate). The 1st 2 waves in the series consist of the likes of Hank  and Dean Venture,  their old man Dr. Venture,  Brock Samson, the (mighty) Monarch, and “humorless #$@!” Phantom Limb. These retro style-figures go for about $15-$20 a pop, and probably wont be around long, given the show’s rabid fanbase.

We also received a ton of product from Cartoon Network’s newest revival hit, the Thundercats! Bandai-Namco will also be at  NYCC, but I’m none too certain if they’ll be much of a push for the show at the convention. That doesn’t mean a trip to FPNYC to check in on these figures isn’t warranted. Bandai has released 2 different toy lines based on the new show (as well as some toys based on the 80s versions as well!). There’s a line of 6″ figures consisting of the likes of Lion-O, Panthro, & Mumm-Ra (The Ever-Living!), as well as 2 different 4″ figure lines, one standard line that covers most of the show’s cast, and a deluxe one that comes with big-honking accessories. Prices range anywhere from $10-$20 depending on the figures, so keep an eye out for them on our shelves the new time you come by. Continue reading

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D-Arts Mega Man Zero review

By Loran

I guess I picked a good time to get into Mega Man, huh?

It’s hard to believe such a great franchise went so long without toys that were both good and affordable. Now we have Kotobukiya making the kits for the original series and Bandai making the D-Arts figures for the X series. Of course, the games seem to be going on a hiatus, but that’s alright. I’ve got 25 years worth of games to catch up on… and I need to learn how to get good at them. I grew up in the wrong era of video games…

Much like the previous X figure, Mega Man Zero sports his look from the first X game. This is a welcome surprise, since I’m sure most people were expecting him to look like he does in his own game series. I’m really glad they went for this look. It’s good to have the one from the game I actually played!

Pretty much all of what I said in my review for X holds true here. Unfortunately some of the flaws from X still persist (namely in the legs) but a lot of other ones, namely those associated with the elbow and knee covers, seem to have been ironed out and not as problematic.

I didn’t notice this at first, but Bandai actually made him a little taller than X! Great little touch. Also, the white parts on Zero (namely, the hands) have a reddish tinge to them as opposed to X’s bluish parts. Continue reading

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More Fall Gunpla Releases

By Loran

It’s a new quarter, and that means new Gunpla! Actually, it’s ALWAYS time to look at new Gunpla, but what the hell, let’s take a look at some new stuff coming out in the near future. As always my focus will be on High Grades and Master Grades will be clearly marked.

OK, here’s one I’m REALLY excited for, the Dra-C. This suit originally appeared in Gundam 0083 and never got a kit. Heck, I can’t even think of any resin kits at this scale of this thing. It’s a pretty obscure, almost ridiculous suit, and honestly, I’m amazed we’re getting this before some of 0083’s far cooler suits, like the Gerbera Tetra. In fact, now that I think about it, the Gerbera Tetra is the ONLY suit from 0083 that doesn’t have a new kit planned. Maybe they’re planning on sharing its parts with a Gundam GP04? A girl can dream, I guess. Anyway, I’m sure the reasoning behind releasing a Dra-C now is because of Gundam Unicorn, as you can see a few of these fly around during some of the battles, a similar case to what happened with the Dreissen from ZZ. The kit will come in the more famous 0083 colors, but knowing Bandai we’ll probably see the pink one from Unicorn somewhere down the line. The Dra-C will include a stand, since well, it can’t stand on its own, and will be released in November. Continue reading

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HGUC Guards Type Geara Zulu Review

By Loran

Yes, yes, I’ve been sort of slacking with the Gunpla reviews. But don’t worry, I’ve got a good one this time! Yep, it’s the Geara Zulu, one of the kits I won at Otakon this year. Normally I don’t build kits like this. I much prefer to paint and stuff as I go, but I felt like doing a “rough build” this time around for the purpose of the review. I figured this makes it easier to tell what needs to be painted, especially when you consider that with a design like this… you’re going to need a LOT of paint.

The Geara Zulu is the primary grunt of Gundam Unicorn. This variant is called the “Guards Type”, which I believe is used by Neo Zeon officers. The kit itself is mostly made up of parts from both the standard Geara Zulu and Angelo Sauper’s custom unit. As a result, it has a bunch of spare parts, namely the sleeves, collar, and even the legs. I’m thinking of using some of them to construct a custom suit, maybe perhaps some blue and silver.

Also, I’m not one to complain about Katoki’s designs, but is it just me or do the legs seem REALLY long here?

There’s nothing too impressive as far as poseability is concerned. Bandai kinda peaked with their standard-issue HGUC poseability a few years ago. I do have some complaints, though. The skirt armor is a fused piece, which I’ve come to expect but it’s especially annoying here… it has to be cut down the whole seam. This could get messy.

Like all of the other Zeonic suits in Unicorn, the Geara Zulu has all sorts of little lines on it. Obviously this can’t be represented in plastic without any sort of paint applications, so this kit comes with TONS of stickers. I’m not going to bother with them of course, so I’m going to get myself a really, really thick paintbrush. I’m thinking of doing these details in silver instead of white, to better align the suit with the Sinanju. I might do those ugly yellowish details in gold, too. Continue reading

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New High Grade Model kits for August-October

By Loran

It’s that time again! Yep, I’m going to be looking at some of the upcoming Gunpla releases for the coming months, namely the stuff I’m interested in. That means one thing: It’s mostly gonna be HGUC stuff. If you prefer Master Grades, well, I struggle to wonder why you even read my reviews since I’ve only done… what, one or two of them? Yeah, they’re nicer kits, but they don’t really interest me… though I do plan on getting myself all five of the Gundams from Wing (Version Katoki, of course) plus Epyon once they’re all out. That’ll be a fun project.

With the release of the HGUC GM III and GM Cannon II earlier this summer, I’m actually really surprised Bandai is giving us another GM so quickly, and it’s none other than the GM II, one of the suits I thought we’d never see. So far the only pictures we’ve seen are uncolored resin hardcopies, so it’s difficult to tell if they’ll be giving us the Federation or AEUG colors first. Personally, I’d prefer the AEUG one myself. This leaves us with only two anime-original GMs that need HGUCs right now: The GM Sniper II and the GM Ground Type. Get on it, Bandai! The GM II launches in October.

Here’s one I’m excited for—the Jesta from Gundam Unicorn. I can’t quite explain it but I LOVE this design. It’s basically the sexy baby of the ReZel and the Jegan. It has this feel that reminds me of one of the GINN variants form SEED that punches for its melee weapon in the game. When I look at this suit I don’t see it shooting stuff or using its sword, I just see it running around punching other suits. And that’s awesome. The Jesta will start punching stuff in September. Continue reading

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HGUC Gouf Custom Review

By Loran

Man, was 2001 really ten years ago? I remember back then, the 08th MS Team Gundam kits were showing up on American toy shelves. I got the Gouf Custom in the fall that year, and boy did I love it. I remember back then we still considered kits from the 0080 line–released twelve years ago at that point—to be good kits. I guess we never expected to see them outdone. Technology started improving drastically, and kits were getting better and better. The time to replace your old 0080 and 08th Team kits with their shiny new HGUC counterparts had come. And personally? I wasn’t willing to reject it.

The Gouf Custom is technically the second 08th MS Team suit to get an HGUC update, since I don’t think two versions of the Ground Gundam should be counted as two. It was a bit of a surprise to see this one before we got an Ez8, since that one would just reuse parts from the Gundam. Besides, what’s the fun in having a Gouf Custom with no Ez8 for it to beat up? I guess my old 08th Team one will have to play the role of punching bag for the time being. Continue reading

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