Tagged: Gundam Unicorn

Gundam Unicorn Episode 6

The latest episode of Gundam Unicorn made its digital download debut last weekend, with its blu-ray release coming within a few weeks. The episode was long awaited, with the last episode being released in May of last year, and with one more episode still to come. Naturally, I was pretty excited for the episode, dashing to my Xbox as soon as I heard that the new episode was out. After all, the last one was fantastic. Surely, Sunrise has resolved the pacing issues with the earlier episodes of the OVA, right?

Well… nope.

First off, while the episode’s story was great, the pacing again felt off. We’re introduced to a great rivalry between the Londo Bell and Sleeves soldiers onboard the Nahel Argama, but it doesn’t last as long as it should. The opening battle, with Full Frontal tearing the mobile suit compliment of the General Revil to shreds was awesome, but it brought up one problem I’ve noticed with the series:

The openings of each episode should be the finales of the previous ones!

Like, okay. The end of the last episode was Full Frontal and Angelo tearing up Jegans and ReZels, and well, that’s where this episode started. Why not just show the entirety of the battle in episode 5, then end with Full Frontal’s line? That’d be an excellent cliffhanger and get people really hyped up about the next episode! Cutting the battle in half just delays gratification and makes things frustrating for your audience.

But what made things especially frustrating for me were the mobile suits. Early production material showed us the Unicorn Gundam in full-armor configuration everywhere. The last episode even had it glow green for the first time in the series. However, I found myself a little concerned after noticing that the only new kit of the FA Unicorn was the Unicorn mode one, with no Destroy Mode version in sight. My worst fears were realized when at no point in the episode, did we see it go into Destroy Mode with the full equipment.

To make things worse, the Banshee Norn, a suit I thought was made as an MSV, appears as the OVA equivalent of “Final Battle Banshee”. This, too, only received a kit of the suit in Unicorn mode, so hopefully that design will feature the awesome green NT-D frame of the novel version.

But aside from those two Unicorns, and the Jesta Cannon, Bandai didn’t seem that interested in marketing new suits with this episode. It almost makes me feel like they’re winding everything down for Unicorn in favor of doing HGUCs for MSV and the like. It’s a shame, because I could always count on Unicorn to deliver the goods, especially in the wake of Gundam AGE’s colossal failure.

Whatever the case may be, the last episode is due to be out next spring. It’s going to be a long wait, so let’s just hope the final episode is what we’ve been waiting these four years for.

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Upcoming HGUC Releases for the 4th Quarter

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!

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HGUC Nemo Review

Like I’ve said many times before, Gundam Unicorn really opened the doors for a lot of mobile suits to get kits. But this one here is one that’s always been a bit of frustration in HGUC form for me: the Nemo. It has the bizarre distinction of being the only suit from Zeta to get a Master Grade before some sort of High Grade. Not only that, this isn’t even the one from Zeta! I guess Unicorn opening the door for more unloved/obscure HGUCs to get made has a bit of a bad side. At least this one isn’t covered with all the silly Sleeves emblems.

The Nemo isn’t one of my favorite Feddie grunts. It isn’t my least favorite, either. It’s just… there. Don’t get me wrong, I was sure as hell excited when this thing got announced, and as you can see I bought it pretty fast, but that was mostly the whole “Unicorn Episode 4” rush. There’s a bit of irony to this, too; I’m always complaining about my collection’s lack of AEUG mobile suits, and Bandai finally goes and makes another one, and it’s in Federation colors. Oh well.

In terms of its structure, the Nemo shares a lot of similarities with the GM II and GM III HGUCs, mostly the former. However, despite this, there aren’t any shared runners between the two. It’s a little surprising, really. The two do share the same polycaps and joint structure, but it seems as though that one is becoming standard for kits these days. Not that I’m complaining, though; it works and moves great.

Still, this frame just isn’t as good as the 0083 GM frame to me. There aren’t any double-jointed elbows, and the knees don’t have much movement, either. It’s unfortunate, because everything else moves so nicely.

However, it does have an extra joint in the shoulder that I really like. I hope we see these more often.

Once again, crystal visor with silver paint behind it. A delicious combination.

Now, I enjoy this kit quite a bit, but it has two glaring problems. The first is the color distribution. It’s pretty bad. This kit has a lot of yellow details that aren’t molded in any way, and are a REAL pain to paint, especially on the dark blue pieces. I can understand needing stickers for some parts, but for a High Grade kit, this one needs a LOT. 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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Gundam Unicorn Kit in a Box Preview

By Loran

As I mentioned a few articles ago, my favorite part of Gundam Unicorn Episode 4 was getting to see all those old mobile suit designs again, with a few new ones thrown in. Naturally, I went for a bunch of them the second I was able to. I’m still holding out hope that we’ll see all of the designs (or at least, all of the really cool ones) in kit form at some point, but for now I’ve got plenty here I can work with. Oh, Unicorn. You make it able for suits nobody cares about normally to get kits.

First up, the Jesta. I love the Jesta. It’s basically a special ops Jegan. I was all over this design when I first saw it. I imagined this thing running around the battlefield carrying no weapons at all, just punching other mobile suits in the face. That’s how cool it is.

From what I can tell so far, this kit seems to be standard fare for modern GM-descendants. It doesn’t explicitly share any parts with the GM II and GM III (save for the hands that come with the GM III), but the basic structure is similar enough. Chances are, I’m really going to enjoy this one.

I find the moldgates for this one to be very interesting. It looks like Bandai is planning on released a kit of the Jesta Cannon, which I believe appears later on in Unicorn. I hope they do, because let’s face it, the Jesta is awesome, and I’ll have no problem with buying additional versions of this kit.

Here we have the Marasai, Gundam Unicorn version. Of the three kits here, it’s technically the oldest, being made from a kit initially released in 2004. As such, its engineering doesn’t really hold up to the others, but 2004 was when HGUC kits started getting really good, it at least gets a pass. It’s not like the Schuzrum Dias or EWAC Zack, which were basically first-year HGUCs reissued in 2009.

Thankfully, to keep this kit from feeling like a total rehash, Bandai included new weapons with the kit including the rifle/sword combination and some kind of grappling hook? I’m not entirely sure what it’s supposed to be.

I like how this kit has a green monoeye. It kind of drives the “Captured Federation Suit” point home. It makes me wonder if these were part of the MS compliment of the Pegasus the pilots shot down…

Pretty sure I’ve said this before, but never in a million years did I think we’d get an HGUC Juaggu. It works for me cuz this would’ve been one of the harder ones to kitbash. Still, it’s a pretty impressive kit, all things considered. The thing looks EXTREMELY poseable, and the “snout” is made with a wire! A few years ago I bet Bandai never would’ve thought of that.

Interestingly, the kit has both the standard HG polycaps, and some I typically only see on First Grade kits. I can’t think of any other kits that do that.

Also, it doesn’t show up in any of these pictures, but a small plastic “window” will guard the monoeye. I wonder how well this will work, and if it does work well, I hope we see it on more kits in the future.

Well, these three kits should hopefully keep me occupied along with my slew of kitbash projects. These three help me get a number of fixes through, with the Jesta for late-first-UC, the Marasai for Gryps Era, and the Juaggu for One Year War. Remember, you can always get your kit fix at FPNYC!

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Upcoming HGUC Releases for Summer 2012

by Loran

Summer is almost upon us once again, and of course, that means new toys.

It seems like Bandai tends to fill the earlier and later months with stuff that’s basically repacks, from what I’ve noticed; simple kits that use parts from earlier ones, like the Marasai, Kirks’ Zaku Sniper, the GM II, etc. This isn’t always the case, I imagine, but from my experience the big “blockbuster” kits seem to come out in the summer, like the Master Grade Epyon. Heck, the HGUC line started in the summer of 1999 with the release of the Guncannon.

This summer, from what I’ve gathered, is going to be even more Unicorn stuff to coincide with the release of the OVA’s fifth episode. A lot of it is suits we’ve seen in other animes, likely because the “Gundam Unicorn” label makes these obscure Zeta-era suits more desirable for the collectors in Japan. Frankly, all that matters to me is whether or not the design looks cool or is useful.

Speaking of designs that look cool AND are useful, one of the confirmed upcoming releases is the Zaku Mariner. I have a bit of an attachment to this design; my first old-style kit even was the old Zaku Mariner kit from the 1980’s. It came out terribly, but it gave me an appreciation for the design. Now, I can finally own a proper one without having to kitbash! Nothing against kitbashing, of course, I just like it when I can cut out the middleman.

Now here’s a surprise: also confirmed was the Base Jabber! Well now, I never thought we’d get a support craft like this again. It saw a ton of action in the last episode of Unicorn, and I was actually expecting to see one of these included with the Unicorn version of the Marasai. It would’ve made a cool pack-in item. It appears that Bandai has actually made the decision to release this separately, though I’m not sure why. I guess they’re banking on people buying a lot of these? Either way, something tells me it’ll end up really cheap like the Ball did.

There are several unconfirmed new HGUC releases, though! All of which greatly excite me.

The first is the Byarlant Custom. Remember how I was really bummed that we weren’t getting a kit of this after how prominently it was featured in the last episode of Unicorn? Well, now I’m really hoping it gets a kit. Still no sign on anything for the Efreet Schneid, though. But still, getting this could possibly lead us to getting a kit of the classic Byarlant, which would fill a hole on the shelves of many Zeta Gundam collectors.

Another rumor is the Aqua GM, you know, the Federation’s only notable amphibious suit. I really hope this is true as well, because with some Aqua GMs, I could finally get motivated to buy some Zeon amphibious suits, since they’ll have something to right.

But most important of all is a suit that greatly needs a new kit… one with a bit of a cult following due to its pilot…

…the Hambrabi.

Yes, if this one turns out to be true, Yazan fans all over the world will be rejoicing. Personally, the Hambrabi is a design I can just take or leave, but oh man would it be great to have a proper suit for Yazan that isn’t the Gaplant. Yes indeed. I hope this leads to a Bound Doc or a Barzam, myself.

Once again, this summer looks to be promising for High Grade releases. All of these possibilities and announcements don’t disappoint me in the slightest, and I intend on adding all of them to my collection if they prove true, especially the Byarlant Custom. Remember to watch for them at FPNYC as the summer starts!

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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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New Arrivals: Model kit and Video games edition

By Chris Troy

SHAMELESS PLUG OF THE WEEK: From January 5-8, 2012, my ass will be at the MAGfest X (Magfest.org, which stands for Music and Games Festival) down in Maryland, and I highly encourage you hit the festival up as well! Nobuo Uematsu, the genius behind many a awesome Final Fantasy soundtrack, will be there performing with his new band, Earthbound Papas, as well as many other talented folk (like John St. John, the voice behind Duke Nukem!) , and most importantly, an 8-player X-Men arcade cabinet. It’s a good way to start up 2012, so make sure you register online before the 16th!

So it’s now December, which means shelves everywhere are filled with toys. Forbidden Planet NYC is no exception, as we have a ton of new merchandise in stock, most likely relevant to your interests if you’re reading this website. And yes, after selling out a few times, we currently do have My Little Ponies in stock again.

First and foremost, new model kits, we got them in stock! We’ve restocked Gundam SEED, WING, Unicorn, and Zeta kits, and we finally got the first wave of Gundam Age kits in. In addition to all the new Gundam stuffs, we also have a few model kits based on the various ship from the Shonen Jump hit One Piece. These kits are more Gunplay-like in assembly than say actual model boats, and offer something different to build instead of more mecha (although there is nothing wrong with building mecha. Nothing at all). Kits start at $25 and go up from there, depending on the kit and scale.

Since my shameless plug of the week was video game related, it’s only fair that we discuss some new VIDEYA GAME toys that have been released. The first wave of Gears of War 3 figures in, consisting of main character Marcus Fenix, supporting character turned Gear Anya Stroud, and the 3rd brother of the ill-fated Carmines, Clayton. Each figure is about 7″ in height and has about 30 points of articulation  and comes with a small selection of weapons packaged with them.They’re good figures, but Anya’s face could use some work. That aside, they’re still pretty good figures for less than $20. The 2nd wave should be hitting shelves soon. Continue reading

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End of the Year Gunpla Releases

By Loran

With episode of four of Gundam Unicorn just around the corner and Gundam AGE having just premiered a few days ago, it’s time to look at some new upcoming kits! Let’s see what we’ve got this time around…

First off, we have colored pictures for the GM II. I’m a bit sad that they went with the Titans colors for the GM II first, since the AEUG colors are WAY cooler and they’re still kind of outnumbered in terms of HGUC kits. But hey, that’s what paint is for.

It looks like Gunpla Builders is going to be continuing in some form or another, though I haven’t heard anything about a new OVA. The first of two new kits is the Beginning D Gundam, which I really, really like. A lot of people didn’t like Beginning G, saying it looked too “kiddy”. I didn’t mind it that much myself, though it was far from perfect. I like this take on it because it has more of a hardened real-robot “Commando” look to it. I’m really not sure what the color scheme for this thing is, though. It’ll probably end up with the traditional Gundam pallet, but I think it deserves better. 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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Summer HGUC Releases.

By Loran

Summer’s almost here, folks, and that means one thing-a lot more time to work on Gunpla! Yeah, screw going outside and being social, it’s time to build some PLASTIC ROBOTS! Bandai seems to release kits at a rate of about one a month when it comes to their biggest “cash cow” lines; that is, the High Grade and Master Grade lines. While I know this model would NEVER work in the United States, it’s very collector oriented, if you think about it. No need to search high and low for all of the new stuff released in the wave, or having to resort to buying an entire shipping case. Plus, stuff never seems to get outright canceled because of retailers not ordering enough. Man, Bandai really has their collector market figured out…

Starting with this month, there are a few nice HGUC releases coming out, one of which I’ve been waiting for years for.

This month’s release is the ECOAS type Jegan from Gundam Unicorn. Initially, I ignored this one. Jegans are awesome, yeah, but at first glance, this one didn’t really appeal to me. That was, of course, before I watched episode 3 of Gundam Unicorn. We didn’t get to see them in much action, but I really liked what I saw! I don’t own any HGUC Jegans, but I’ve heard good things about the kit. It’s an awesome suit, how can you go wrong? Plus, the assortment of weapons is very neat, especially that bazooka, and there’s something about that head I really like. I might get myself one of these after all. Continue reading

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