Tagged: Gundam

HGUC GM III Review

by Loran

Like its younger, better-looking Gundam brother, the GM II has gone pretty unappreciated in the model kit world. There was one plastic kit back in the original Zeta Gundam line, and at least one conversion kit made for the HGUC GM. While I do like its design overall, it’s really not that much different from a regular GM. Even technically, some of the GM II units are just upgraded One Year War stock, and even the new units aren’t that much better than the original suit. Still, it’s a GM, and every series has to have its lovable “redshirt” good guy unit.

Chances are, the average person won’t be able to tell a GM from a GM II if they just saw them in passing, aside from maybe differences in the color scheme. It’s not a very exciting design, especially if you already have a regular GM. Maybe Bandai just wanted to see what the kitbashers came up with for stuff based on the regular GM. Or they just wanted more money for B-Club, who knows.

By and large this is just the GM III kit with a few of the runners changed. Nothing wrong with that, but one thing does end up a bit odd: the hip armor. The hips still have the holes for mounting the missile launchers from the GM III, but there’s nothing to go there. It seems like a bit of an oversight, but maybe Bandai’s planning some new variant that will actually use them. What that variant is, I haven’t the slightest.

As far as articulation goes, everything that was said about the GM II holds true here, so no complaints in that department. However, while the GM III got two four extra hands (two fists and two open hands), the GM II has none of those. Strange considering the GM II is a cheaper kit, but I guess they wanted to make it as cheap as possible. Continue reading

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Best of 2011: Super late edition part 1

By Chris Troy

My 2012 is off to a brutal start, as the first day of the year started with me having no power in half of my apartment for 4 days, but rebounded when I went down to DC for MAGfest 2012 for another 3. The latter was rad, but explains my absence. NO WORRIES, NOW I’VE RETURNED, I CAN TALK ABOUT TOYS THAT CAME OUT LAST YEAR, SEVERAL OF WHICH YOU CAN STILL PURCHASE AT FPNYC!! So without further delay, my ultimately meaningless list:

Let’s start off with some import goodness shall we? While not the strongest year for Figma as a brand (IMO, people who love them some Madoka may disagree), Max Factory managed to pop out a few rad figures this year, one of them being the Figma based on Evangelion 2.2 ‘s Mari. In a sea of Asuka/Rei merchandise, Mari was a welcomed addition and her Figma, which came with a cockpit and a ton of variant parts and accessories, was great. In addition to that, the Dorothy (of Big O fame) Figma dropped as well, and I am bias as hell towards Big O merch, so that makes the list. Also Robocop, because, well, he’s Robocop; why wouldn’t he, right? 2012 looks solid too, as we’re expected to get a Figma based on Guts from Beserk, as well as Samus Aran of Metroid fame. This is best in life. We still have the Eva girls and Dorothy in stock BTW, as well as several other characters I couldn’t tell you about.

Revoltech had a stellar year, especially if you’re into giant robots. Evas? A ton of them, all of them rad. Zone of the Enders finally got some love, with the release of Jehuty, and more are on the way apparently, which pleases me to no end. A ton of American properties got some love as well, including the likes of Iron Man, War Machine, Optimus Prime, and Bumblebee, rocking their Michael Bay designs. 2012 looks to be full of more giant robots AND more movie stuff, including the likes of Pixar movies NOT named Toy Story. In the words of Achewood‘s Ray Smuckles “That’s alright, coz that’s okay.” And wrapping up the super pose-able import toy trinity is SH Figuarts: which, while delivering awesome Godzilla, Gundam, Dragon Ball Z, Megaman X, and One Piece figures, stole my heart with the release of their Tiger and Bunny line. This line is hot, and I think we had the Tiger and Bunny Figuarts in for like a few hours before they sold out. We do have a nice variety of non-T&B Figuarts still in stock though, so hey, it’s not a complete loss if you come in looking for some. We also got a ton of new Gunpla in this year, including kits from the new series Gundam Age. Continue reading

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HGUC Gundam GP01fb Review

By Loran

I feel really weird building and reviewing the older HGUC Gundam kits these days. I remember when these things were the best kits you could buy at the scale. Back then, the only prerequisites for a “good model” were “doesn’t need glue” and “isn’t from the original 0083 line”. We had no double-jointed elbows, no ABS plastic for joints that wouldn’t work for polycaps, no Action Bases. Things were simpler then. But were they better? Hell no, we’ve gotten so much awesome crap that nobody needs those old kits anymore! When the HGUC series started revisiting the suits that got kits in the original 0083 line, things were changing. It was time for the kits to start getting better and better.

Ah, the GP01. For those who weren’t aware, this suit was designed by Shoji Kawamori of Macross fame. In a sense, this is his answer to the RX-78, in the same way that the Gundam NT-1 “Alex” was Yutaka Izubuchi’s answer to it. This is, of course, the GP01fb, or “Full Vernier” version of the Gundam Zephyranthes, which was essentially the space type version of the regular suit. Originally I had planned to get all of the “GP” series suits in order, but I figured I’d grab this guy to bolster my Federation Space Force.

From a construction standpoint, there isn’t anything too remarkable about this kit. However, it does manage to share several parts trees/runners from the regular GP01 and not end up with a single spare part. I can’t think of any other kit that does that off the top of my head. This kit was engineered during a time where Bandai, possibly to cut costs, produced kits that had identical parts; meaning, instead of building a left arm and a right arm, you build two completely identical arms. I personally found this process to make the building frustrating, like it felt like you were just backtracking through the instructions.

Articulation-wise, there isn’t much to write home about either, but I do have a few complaints. One, the backpack is fixed in its position—it can’t move up and down, which kind of limits dynamic poses. You can’t do a good “blasting off” pose. Second, it has unsplittable skirt armor (without modification). This is what I hate about old kits… Continue reading

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HGGS Buster Gundam Review

By Loran

Every once in awhile I’ll buy a kit for the “why the hell not?” factor. They usually end up being kits from shows that I’m not too into, or ones that “just look cool”. My modern philosophy with kits is to either start with the main robot and work from there (even if it’s not the first one I’m building), or to build up an army of grunts for the hero to fight once I actually get to it. Rarely do I get side character mecha first unless I’m planning on customizing, but once in awhile, I just say “screw it”.

The Buster Gundam is one of those kits. Originally I was going to get this alongside the Duel Gundam so I could have Yzak and Dearka together, but SD Gundam Online made me just go for Buster for some reason (hey, it was fun to use). I like Buster’s design because while it may be SEED’s answer to Heavyarms, it manages to feel new enough without seeming like a rehash. When I threw this kit together I wasn’t expecting much considering the kit’s age, but I actually found myself pleasantly surprised in a few areas.

From opening the box, I didn’t find anything special at all. Same old polycap runner, three normal frames… nothing out of the ordinary whatsoever.

What floored me with this kit were the hips. From a 2003 HG kit, I was honestly expecting to see the typical “ball-and-socket” joint I’ve grown so tired of. In fact, I got to see the modern Master Grade style that more of these kits need. Yes, the joints with a pivot and a hinge! I didn’t take too many pictures like this because the pegs on my kit are cut down for gluing/painting, but I hope this gives a good enough illustration.

However, there are three flaws with this kit that bug me.

The first is the face, and this is really a minor thing. The eyes are molded onto the same piece as the face, which is going to make painting difficult. However, I might just use the sticker this time around.

The second is the missile covers. They aren’t on hinges or anything and fall off really easily.

The last is the waist… or lack thereof. Because of the hinges the guns come mounted on, this kit has zero waist articulation, which is really counterintuitive if you think about it. Wouldn’t added waist articulation HELP posing with the guns? I mean as cool as the hip articulation is, it doesn’t do much when the kit can’t turn its body… 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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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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Gundam AGE kit releases

By Loran

Next month, Gundam AGE will be hitting the airwaves in Japan. I’ve made my thoughts on the show pretty clear in my last article on the series, though I think my opinion is starting to change. While I have no plans on actively following the show while it’s airing, I don’t feel as resentful towards it. Even if the show ends up being completely awful, a theme song by JAM Project will leave at least one good thing for us to enjoy. It’s nice to see them finally doing a theme for a Gundam series, especially one that looks like it might have a bit of Super Robot Spirits.

Like SEED and 00 before it, Gundam Age will be having an entry-level kit grade for the little kids. These kits have very simplified construction, often offering very little poseability and require a lot of paint to look nice. These ones seem more along the lines of the SEED no-grades, with the only poseability in the neck, waist, ankles, and shoulders. These are typically priced at less than $10 a piece, and are good for impulse buys to build on rainy days or while you’re watching TV. Continue reading

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Ai no Senshi!

Since it is with daily frequency that I am asked about this, chances are you are one of the customers who have inquired about the whereabouts of the Sailor Moon manga at Forbidden Planet, otaku Mecca of Union Square. “How could you not have Sailor Moon? Everyone knows Sailor Moon!” you may have wondered with an air of frustration, not sure why something so iconic would be so rare. To be fair, there are a lot of older classics that have become uncommon, like the original Gundam, or Star Blazers, Saint Seiya, and the like.  Unlike Sailor Moon, however, none of these were responsible for the spawn of an entire “too-young-for-Akira” generation of anime fans worldwide. Sailor Moon was the first of its kind; a magical girl show that featured a team of heroines fighting evil. Despite its young target audience, it catered to a wider variety of fans with its short skirts and smartly written storyline; incorporating far more mythology than most people realize at a glance. Sailor Moon was, without a doubt, the anime induction-rite for pretty much any youngling of the early 90s, keeping it in such a special and nostalgic place for so many of us.

But in case you haven’t heard, the Sailor Moon drought is about to end come September. Kodansha, who holds the rights to the Sailor Moon manga, is returning the beloved magical girl series to us at last with English imprints of Naoko Takeuchi’s touched up version of the manga. And for the first time ever, they are releasing Code Name: Sailor V, the prequel that gave way to the Sailor Moon (and Sailor Venus!) we know and love. That’s not to say that Sailor Moon merchandise will necessarily resurface though, so expect prices for those retro art books and toys to skyrocket as Sailor Moon regains momentum with fans both new and old. There are also no plans for a rerelease of the anime, which hasn’t been in print for quite some time; so that will still be a bit hard to come by. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of other Sailor Moon nonsense to satiate you in between! 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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Real Grade Aile Strike Gundam Review

By Loran

When Real Grade started out with the original RX-78 Gundam I was… kind of upset, really. It was less than a year after we got the 30th Anniversary High Grade Gundam. It just felt a little premature to be giving us “the ultimate kit” so soon after that. Time went on and I grew a bit more interested in the whole Real Grade concept. After all, everything great about Master Grade, High Grade, and Perfect Grade in one package sure did sound pretty cool! Actually getting one for free at Otakon meant I could finally take a look at this new concept, even if it was on a SEED suit. 😉

The Strike Gundam is the third mold in the Real Grade series. I find it odd that they went for this so soon after the Gundam and Zaku—I was really expecting something like the Zeta Gundam or Nu Gundam, but whatever. I will say that the Strike did need a new 1/144 kit as the old High Grade was… lacking a bit. I personally wanted an updated kit based on the Strike Noir’s frame, but this is much better than that would’ve been! 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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Otakon 2011 Wrap Up

By Loran

Otakon has run its course once again, and I’d say it was pretty good to us this year. I got to see lots of people, work autograph sessions for Bandai Entertainment’s booth, and get my feet all cut up by boots that were two sizes too small for me. Whoops. All in all it was a pretty good con; not the best but very very enjoyable, despite finishing it off with a migraine Sunday night. But I’m not here to talk about all that stupid stuff! I’m here to talk to you guys about Otakon’s Model Kit Contest and the Gunpla Builders World Cup!

Unlike previous years, the contest wasn’t held in the Artist’s Alley—it was held in the dealer room at Bluefin’s booth, something I see as a VERY smart move. More people who are interested in Gunpla are going to look in the dealer room, and where they kept them in the Artist Alley always felt kind of far away from everything else. I personally wish they did a better job stating which ones were contest entries, though. They kind of just blended in with all the other merchandise. Continue reading

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The Road to Otakon & BAKUC prelims 2011

By Loran

Otakon is almost upon us once again, and that of course, means many things: cosplay, buying stuff, and general nerdery… but for me, the most important part is the model contest once again. Good ol’ BAKUC Earlier this year I was so pumped up for what I was gonna build. I had them all planned out: I was gonna do G-Savior, I was gonna do my G-Falcon Gundam Double X, I was gonna do a Full Armor Gundam kitbash.

Well… a few things happened.

I started on the Double X right after finishing my Zaku F2. I’d had the kit for about two years; I picked it up at Otakon in 2009. It’s an awesome design, and, let’s face it—that thing isn’t getting a Master Grade anytime soon. I was ready to tackle one of my favorite designs til I realized something.

“Wow, there’s a huge jump when you build something made in 2010 versus something made in 1996…”

Needless to say, that one got shelved for now.

I wanted a non-Gundam entry, too… so I picked up this Armored Core kit I won at Otakon in 2008, with this set of weapons I got from FPNYC that same year. This project ground to a total halt when one of the pieces flew off into the oblivion of junk in my basement…

My next goal was a kitbash. There was the Full Armor Gundam kitbash which I started a few months ago… and quickly shelved because it was turning into a disaster. There was no way for me to get replacement parts in time, so I turned to something else. I wanted to put the parts to use, so I remembered this amazing kitbash I saw a few years back: The original Xabungle kit plus the HGUC Gundam.

I was all ready to throw this thing together, when the drive just… stopped. This had nothing to do with the project itself; I’ve been wanting to do this for ages. The drive was stopped thanks to my current Zoids obsession, brought on by finding a boxed Liger Zero at a thrift store for $5. So hey, it’s just like last year!

Enough of my rambling, however. What WILL be coming with me to Otakon this year? 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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Shortpacked: Familiar Faces

By Chris Troy

I’m sure by now, you, the  Forbidden Planet blog reader, are dying to know what I think of the Green Lantern movie, as well as the DC Reboot this upcoming September (If not, please humor my frail ego). Well I saw the GL film  this past weekend and I thought it was a very mediocre flick (I’m not alone apparently, as of this previous Monday, it’s yet to make it’s budget back). Despite a solid cast and some good CGI work, the script wasn’t very good, and that ruined my overall enjoyment of the film. Despite under-performing though, it seems Warner Bros is going ahead with a sequel, which hopefully will have a better plot, and some decent villains (and more cool toys!). Although it’s pretty much a safe bet for the sequel we’re getting Sinestro (it will be nice to see him in the film for more than 5 minutes). As for the “new” DCU this September, I’ll read anything written by Peter Milligan, Gail Simone and Grant Morrison, and it seems the Green Lantern titles are relatively unaffected, numbering aside. That’s good, because man, I’m not even going to get started on what’s wrong with this new Suicide Squad book. However Geoff John and Jim Lee are way overdue to handle a Justice League book, so it’s going to be nice to see that title being readable again. That being said, let that be a clever segway to our first new items this week: The Justice League classics Series 1. Based on the iconic versions of the characters, DC Direct’s 1st wave consists of Green Lantern Hal Jordan, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. Granted these are all re-releases with new painted jobs, not to mention characters who’ve all have had many a figure before, it’s a welcomed release for any potential new collectors who want a vanilla Batman figure for their desk for book shelf. At $20 bucks a pop, what’s there to complain about right? Continue reading

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