New Gunpla from the Shizuoka Hobby Show

By Loran

Occurring right now in Japan is the Shizuoka Hobby Show, a yearly event where many of Japan’s model kit companies get together to show off their upcoming releases for the summer and beyond. Think of it as Toyfair for model kits. I sadly have not had a chance to go myself (it would be awesome, though!), but pictures have been flowing in from various sources. Bandai once again decided to strut their stuff, showing up everyone else with a Gundam 1/1 scale Zaku II head. Much of what was shown is stuff we’ve seen already, but there were a few new releases that certainly caught my eye!

First, we now have some full color pictures of the two GMs we’ll be seeing this summer: the GM III and the GM Cannon II. While the design of the GM III is clearly the Unicorn incarnation, it seems as though they went with the colors of the ZZ and Char’s Counterattack version. I like this choice. It also looks like it comes with double-jointed elbows, something I was afraid it was initially lacking. The GM Cannon II looks great-the green they chose for most of its body has an almost olive tinge to it. I think I’m going to do mine up in AEUG colors, though. 😉

…really, I could do an entire damn article talking about the Master Grade Gundam Epyon. I mean look at this thing. Katoki’s designs have come under fire a lot recently for some reason, but it’s almost impossible to argue the sexiness of this thing. Typically, I’m not one for the “over-decaled” look, but the ones on this kit really just… work, and add to the overall experience, in my opinion. I wasn’t planning on getting any of the Ver. Ka Wing Master Grades until they were all out, but the more I see of the Epyon… the more I just need to have it.

The High Grade Future Century series continues with a pair of iconic releases. First up is the Shining Gundam, which seems to be the first 1/144 scale kit of the suit that can properly go into Super Mode without needing a secondary add-on kit. It comes with translucent green Shining Fingers for both hands AND the Shining Finger Sword! Good to see that finally get made as a kit accessory.

But let’s be honest here. Yeah, Shining Gundam is something we all expected. And so was Master Gundam! But did ANYONE think we’d actually get Shining Gundam WITH Fuunsaiki?? I think not! I’m getting this just for the damn horse. It’ll even come with a 1/144 scale Master Asia to take on all of your other 1/144 kits.

Some people have been asking about the Real Grade Strike Gundam’s weapon packs, and judging by this picture, we’ll be getting them, but as Dengeki Hobby pack-ins. Get ready for some $20-$30 suit upgrades!

But not everything has me all giddy… there’s this Master Grade Delta Plus that just isn’t sitting well with me. It looks… off. Like its torso and shoulders seem fat, and its head seems too small. It doesn’t look as cool and streamlined as the HGUC does. Even if I did Master Grades, this would probably be a pass for me.

The Shizuoka Hobby Show is still going on right now. For all we know, Bandai might have a few more kits up their sleeves. Maybe we’ll see a few more from Kotobukiya. But for now, just take some solace in the fact that these guys should be making their way to our shelves at FPNYC!

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