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…
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!