This time last year, if you told I was writing an article solely on upcoming Master Grades, I would’ve thought you were crazy…
Bandai’s Master Grade line has been interesting this year, to say the least. We started the year off finishing off Katoki’s Gundam Wing line after almost two years, and then Bandai went on their next big project: the initial SEED Gundams. While I would have preferred Bandai give us the rest of the Endless Waltz designs, it’s good to see them do something kind of special for the show’s 10th anniversary. Aside from the HD Remaster line, that is.
Out this month is the Buster Gundam! Buster isn’t my favorite of the SEED Gundams (that clearly goes to Blitz), but I like it all the same. What can I say, I’m a huge Yzak/Dearka fan (but hey, who isn’t?). There seem to be some liberties taken with the design here. It all seems more… dynamic, overall. I wouldn’t say it’s as extreme as the Duel, but still pretty cool nonetheless. I’m very curious to see how the gun’s mechanism works. Hopefully this version can hold it all properly. Buster should be on shelves some time next month.
After that, we’ll be seeing the Aegis Gundam get a release. I’m going to be brutally honest here… I kind of hate the Aegis Gundam. It’s just so ugly and busy, and clearly built around a transformation gimmick that doesn’t even look that cool. Heck, most of the time the damn thing doesn’t even have a torso. With the liberties Bandai has been taking, though, I might end up liking this one. I’d just like to see some color photographs before passing my final judgement. Aegis should be available in either October or November.
Hot on Aegis’s tail will be the AGE-2 Dark Hound from Gundam AGE. Again, I can’t comment too much on this design since I have yet to actually see AGE, but this thing is just too cool for words. It’s like the Zeta Gundam had a sexy baby with the Crossbone Gundam. How can you NOT love it? The color scheme even looks like the Trombe colors from Super Robot Wars. I’m a little worried about the transformation on this kit, but well, I’m always that way. I don’t think I’ll be jumping over this one until I see the series, though. Dark Hound should be out in either November or December.
And of course, the one we’re all waiting for will be out for Christmas, hopefully: Nu Gundam version Katoki. Yeah, who saw this coming? I’ve got to say, I’m glad I didn’t pick up the regular Master Grade at Otakon. Now I’ll have something much better to go with. We still haven’t seen pictures of the actual kit, so we’ll just have to hold off with some sketches until then. If only there was a modernized Double Zeta; then we could have the “big three” (Zeta, ZZ, and Nu) in shiny, up-to-date Master Grades.
I don’t know how Bandai did it, but they managed to complete the SEED lineup incredibly fast. It’d be cool to get Providence or Justice, but I won’t hold my breath just yet. The real prize here is Nu Gundam, of course. Anyway, once these puppies are out, make sure to check for them or ask FPNYC to get your own!