Tagged: Gunpla

Even more upcoming Gunpla!

By Loran

Boy, I sure have the worst timing, don’t I?

Shortly after I wrote the article on the HGUC kits Bandai has coming out this summer, bam, they announce a few more! And knowing my luck, they’re going to announce like two or three more a week after this article gets published. But hey, that’s just how it goes, and it’s always good to see new product coming out, especially when it’s something that seems to have taken them a bit long to put out. Since only two new Universal Century 1/144 scale kits have been announced so far, I’m gonna take a look back at some of the kits I showcased last time

July’s HGUC release is going to be one that a friend of mine and I were discussing about a week before the announcement-the GM III! This poor guy got little to no exposure when it was first introduced, only appearing a handful of times in Double Zeta and in the climax of Char’s Counterattack. It didn’t even get an old no-grade kit during the 80’s! Stupid Bandai and their GM hate. Much like the Dreissen, appearing in Unicorn seems to be this guy’s second wind, and I have a strong feeling it’ll be released under the Unicorn banner. Saldy, it seems like it won’t use the “universal GM joint system” that all GMs released since the Powered GM have used. Still, it looks to be a great kit, and I’m glad we’re finally getting some more post-Zeta grunts that aren’t Jegans! Now, Bandai… give us the GM II! Continue reading

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Short Packed: Old and new arrivals at FPNYC!

By Chris Troy

Happy delicious candy-season at your local Rite Aid/Walgreens/CVS/Duane Reed FPNYC faithful! As yet another commercialized holiday approaches, let it be known that Forbidden Planet has received a ton of new toys and collectibles over the last 2 weeks, so instead of week old Peeps, why not get someone (or yourself) something a little more memorial for their Easter basket?

Coming in this past week were 2 figures based on Oni Press comic series turned beloved-but-underperformed movie Scott Pilgrim! And because no one wants a Michael Cera figures (NO ONE!), Mezco Toys decided to base the 2 figures on the graphic novel’s art style instead. These 6″ figures have limited articulation, yes, but seeing how there’s a severe lack of evil exes to interact with for the time being, it’s safe to say that the 8 points of articulation they sport will get the job done for display purposes. Final Battle Scott comes with his Love Katana (not an innuendo I swear), while Rock Showdown Scott comes with his bass. I’m fairly certain those aren’t the real names of the figures, but hey, it’s like 11:35pm, I’m tired, cut me some slack. Google’s failed me twice. 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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The Challenge of BAKUC 2011

By Loran

So it looks like the BAKUC competition is going to be returning to America again. I gotta say, I’m pretty excited about this. I thought bringing the competition to America was going to be just a one-time thing in honor of the hobby’s 30th anniversary, but I guess not. It’s really refreshing to see Gunpla getting a bigger presence in America again, especially at cons. Once again, the competition is going to be in the hands of Bluefin distribution. I unfortunately don’t know anyone that made it to the finals last year, and I doubt I’ll actually make it there, but hey, who knows. Continue reading

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A Unicorn-y build log part 3

By Loran

The kit building has been progressing quite nicely! ReZel is pretty much complete though he needs a bit of touchup work still (I need better lighting in my bedroom). Today I also received a huge box of Gunpla that will pretty much be supplying the next few reviews-a GM Kai, the Ball Twin Pack, Deltaplus, and Unicorn mode Unicorn Gundam (Fodder for the next few weeks of articles! Woooo!). I have to say, though, I’ve been pretty impressed with the Unicorn lineup so far. The only issue I have is how long it’s going to take us to get everything, what with the episodes coming out every six months…

The ReZel is a damn nice piece of work. Its joints are nice, and while they don’t have the flair of some of the more simple kits, it works. It has a nice, tall presence with a badass Mega Beam Launcher to set him over the edge, which comes on a series of hinges that work rather well.

The kit comes with your standard dual beam sabers, but there’s one small problem-I can’t, for the life of me, find out where they go! There seems to be no space on this suit that can hold them. Apparently the Master Grade kit stores them in the wrists, but I’m not sure if that was created just for that kit or if it was always designed that way. Either way, it’s a bit annoying. However, you do get plenty of blades for this kit-one molded in green and two molded in pink. I much prefer the green-gotta love Luke’s lightsaber! Continue reading

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A Unicorn-Y Build Log part 1

By Loran

Today I’m going to do something a bit different and go for a build log. Recently my reviews have featured a lot of poorly-assembled and poorly-painted kits from my youth. That’s mostly because I haven’t been all that into Gunpla lately. Thankfully, the release of Unicorn episode 2 has gotten me to finally sink my teeth into my backlog, and now I’m taking on my Unicorn kits-ReZel Command and Unicorn Destroy Mode. For the time being, I’m focusing mainly on the ReZel, but I there’s some special background work I’ve been doing on Unicorn to make it awesome.

As you can see, I don’t have too much done on the ReZel so far, but you can see what I’m doing with a custom color scheme. Initially I planned on going with the stock colors, but I thought that because it’s an officer’s unit, I could give it an “ace pilot” color scheme. My first plan was to paint it in green and black, going for a Green Lantern Corps look, but I decided against it when the plain green I was using didn’t want to behave. I removed all of that and looked for a color I rarely use on kits, and there it was-Intermediate Blue-at least I think it is, it might be the stuff I used on my Rick Dom II kit. Whatever it is, I made a great choice here and it looks great against the base black of the kit, giving it a very “stealth ops” look.

For the head, I used my typical technique when dealing with translucent visors, but I was able to change it a bit here. Because there’s actually solid plastic behind the visor, I was able to paint that silver instead of the back of the visor itself. This makes it look more realistic and makes the visor pop out more. Continue reading

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Weapon Pack Spotlight: Launcher and Sword Strike

By Loran

While all the rest of you were out enjoying yourselves with NYCC, I was at a friend’s house staying up until 5AM playing Gundam SEED Destiny: Alliance vs ZAFT II Plus (geez, what a mouthful) at my friend’s house. Despite the subject matter, it’s a great game and it’s tons of fun. Well, I don’t know what exactly it was, but something just seemed to spark my interest in kit building again. Too bad all I want to do is from SEED now. Oh well.

But enough of that. Let’s talk about some goddamn Gunpla.

One of the few “innovations” That I’ll actually give the SEED franchise credit for had to be the swappable weapon packs for some of the units. It hadn’t really been done before-usually it would be something simple like a new gun, or a completely different unit altogether. Regardless, it got us to buy even more kits and feed the Bandai war machine. The first mobile suit in the series to get this treatment was the Strike Gundam, the hero’s mech of the first series. I like the Strike, honestly, and the additional weapon packs made it much cooler in my eyes.

Unfortunately, the High Grade kit only came with the Aile Pack, the one most commonly used by the suit. In order to get the Launcher and Sword packs, you’d have to buy the ugly, unposeable “No Grade” kits. They’re cheap enough, but man it feels wasteful just chucking out the extra Strike or using it as a paint guinea pig…

First up is the launcher pack. As you can see, I don’t have it equipped to the Strike Gundam-instead, I have it on a 105 Dagger. Yes, all of the Strike packs are fully compatible with any variant of the Strike and the 105 Dagger, which allows for some really fun “mix and match” potential. Continue reading

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Review: HGUC Gaza C Haman Custom

By Loran

In the Zeta Gundam movies, only one new mobile suit was really recognized. Sure, we got the occasional custom-colored GM Custom or GM Cannon, but those were really just brief cameos. Heck, even the rarely-seen blue Hizack from the series got a ton of appearances, but my guess is that’s because Bandai wanted to push the new HGUC kit they just released. Only one fully-new got considerable screentime, and because of the pilot, it got a kit-I’m talking about Haman Khan’s Gaza-C.

The Gaza-C is a really odd suit that I could never quite figure out. It’s ugly, that’s for sure, but it’s got a certain charm to it. I guess it looks that way because Axis didn’t have the resources to make nice-looking suits so they just made a ton of ugly ones. Haman made her debut in the series piloting one of these, but hers was the same color as all of the other units. For the movies, they changed it to her Qubeley’s lighter pink color scheme, probably to give her a more suitable mobile suit, but we know the real reason was just to sell more toys.

The head and body of this kit are all one unit, due to both the design and the transformation gimmick. Unfortunately, neither of them have any side-to-side movement as a result. The backpack (if you could call it that) is really tall and has a large fin sticking out of the back which makes displaying this thing pretty annoying, and getting it all to fold down all the way is a pain. Also, the mass of tubes on this kit have a tendency to pop out a lot. However, it’s always nice to see clear green parts and they’re used pretty damn well here on the monoeye and… other camera thing. Continue reading

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Review/Build Blog: Eva 0-1

By Christopher Troy

Fun facts kids: Bandai makes kits for other mecha franchises that don’t contain the word “Gundam”. Macross Frontier, Dragon Ball Z, Escaflowne, and of course, Gainax’s Neon Genesis Evangelion have all received the Gunpla treatment, and today, we’ll be looking at the EVA o-1 from the 2nd Eva movie “Evangelion 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance. Spoiler alert: It’s awesome, yet complex as hell.

Series Origin: The Eva 0-1  originates from Gainax’s 1997 mega-hit “Neon Genesis Evangelion”, a 26 episode series which spawned 2 movies, another 4 movies which retell the series (or at least we think they 2. So far only 2 of them have been released and things aren’t exactly the same. Remember the Mari review from a few weeks back), and a ton of merchandise, including countless manga, video games, figurines, and stuff I can’t mention here.

Legacy: The Eva 0-1 is probably the most popular of the mecha from the series, although Asuka and Rei have gotten a lot more of merchandise as fan service has made Gainax a lot of money. Aside from the various merchandise, movies and manga (aka the Gainax tri-fect  of  money) ,  the 0-1 has cameo-ed/been re imagined for the Japan-only Super Robot Wars game, has appeared on postage stamps, and recently, had a amusement park built at the base of a Japanese mountain with a 1:1 scale bust of the Eva 0-1 as well as a to scale entry plug. That’s all kinds of awesome in my opinion. Continue reading

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Review: HGUC Char’s Z’Gok

By Loran

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the amphibious mobile suits were a staple of the Principality of Zeon’s arsenal during the One Year War. They’re quite an ugly bunch of critters that seem to have gained a following of their own, but tend to be disliked by most. I tend to be indifferent towards them, for the most part, although this guy is actually the only amphibious suit active in my collection right now… Continue reading

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Review-tech: Makinami Mari Illustrious Fraulein

By Christopher Troy

If you follow the child-pool depth continuity of this blog, Loran’s off at Otakon this weekend. I like video games, drinking and not dealing with a city where “The Wire” took place, so I’m home this weekend, posting an additional article. But we’re not talking Gunpla today, or even Gundam. Instead, we’re going to focus on the overlooked import toy section of Forbidden Planet NYC! I’m hoping to turn this into a new feature on the blog, as man, I love me some Revoltechs.

Revoltechs, as some of you may or may not know, are the Japanese equivalent of Marvel Legends/DC Universe Classic line, only Revoltechs aren’t limited to just one brand. You’ll find properties such as Street Fighter, Sengoku Basara, Gurren Lagann, Trigun amongst  dozens of others represented in the 100+ figures produced, including some American properties such as Batman Begins, Jurassic Park and Aliens. Today I’ll be focusing on one of the newer figures from the Fraulein: Makinami Mari Illustrious from the 2nd Neon Genesis Evangelion remake movie.

Yes, she has a pink plugsuit. Japan’s empowering to females like that. SARCASM! Continue reading

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Review: AMS-110 Geara Doga

By Christopher Troy

After what seems like forever here at the FPNYC blog, we actually have a new Gunpla to discuss! We’ll be looking at the 1/144th scale AMS-110 Gear Doga Neo Zeon Mass Productive Mobile Suit, which aside from a long-ass name, is actually a pretty nifty kit. I’ll also be trying a new review format, so let me here what you think of it in the comment section.

Series Origin: Char’s Counter Attack. The 1998 finale to the Amuro/Char saga, the film is based on a novel written by Tomino. It eventually made it’s way to the States in 2003 and was shown on the [adult swim] programming block. The plot has Char returning after self-imposed exile, due to the events from the original series and Zeta Gundam, now leading the force of Neo-Zeon. He now fights to bring forth an apocalypse on the  planet Earth, by dropping an entire colony on it. Char’s a bit of an over-achiever like that. Continue reading

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Loran’s Otakon Adventure!: Prelude

By Loran

Well guys, Otakon is drawing near. And by near I mean way too close. It’s funny, up until today it didn’t feel so close, and I wasn’t particularly excited up until today. I’ve gone for several years, but for once there was no actual buildup. Now of course, I go to cons all the time but I never talk about them here. Well, this time is an exception, because as I mentioned before, they’re holding the preliminaries for BAKUC, along with their own model contest.

BAKUC is Bandai’s world-wide Gunpla competition. It’s something I’d only heard about in passing a few times. I never thought I’d actually see a competition in the US considering how little interest there is these days in Gunpla. Otakon only gets a handful of entries in their contest each year, so it’s nice to see a bit of attention added to it. I actually entered back in 2008 with my HGUC Gelgoog Cannon, and surprisingly won “Best Small Scale Gundam Kit”. I won a Kotobukiya Armored Core kit, a limited edition one, no doubt. Unfortunately, like 70% of kits I get, it has sat unbuilt in the corner of my room for the past two years. I didn’t enter last year because I was in a masquerade skit and way too busy to do, well, anything related to Gunpla. Continue reading

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History of Gundam part 4: The Double 0’s

By Loran

The History of Gunpla comes to a conclusion in the modern era, when Bandai placed most of their money in the HGUC and MG lines, with lines just for the two Alternate Universe series occupying most other slots.

First Grade: 1999

A 20th Anniversary special line, of sorts, consisting of 3 1/144 scale kits-the Gundam, Zaku, and Char’s Zaku at 1/144 scale. All of them have the proportions and details of their Perfect Grade counterparts, but they lack polycaps, and instead, are constructed like the original kits from the 80’s. As such, you get three very inexpensive, nice-looking kits that, unfortunately, break easily.

High Grade Mechanics: 2001-2002

A small line consisting of the three mobile armors from Gundam 0083. These were all produced at 1/550 scale and included similar scaled mobile suits from the series. However, the GP03 Dendrobium is out-of-scale, coming in MUCH larger than the Neue Ziel by comparison. Continue reading

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The History of Gunplay part 3: the Late 90s

By Loran

With Gundam’s popularity waning after Gundam Wing’s success, the model kit lines died down, and Bandai began to focus more on their “nostalgic” lines like HGUC and MG. As such, there weren’t as many individual model lines in the late 90’s.

Gundam X: 1996-1997

Largely the same as Gundam Wing, in terms on construction. The 1/144 scale models included every Gundam in the series save for the Ashtaron Hermit Crab, and the 1/100 scale kits had every hero Gundam plus the Gundam Virsago. Aside from three of the four “evil” Gundams, no enemy mecha were released in this line. Of note is the 1/100 scale G-Falcon Unit Double X, a repackaged Gundam Double X kit with the G-Falcon fighter-very impressive kit.

Limited Model: 1996-1998(?)

A line developed my Bandai to include kits from many of its series (Evangelion, Escaflowne, etc), this line naturally featured a few Gundam mecha. However, these kits were limited in almost every sense of the word-limited colors, limited poseability, limited edition. The line included suits the Ball K-Type from 08th MS Team, the Leo and Taurus (which can’t even transform) from Gundam Wing, and the Daughtress, Jenice, and G-Falcon from Gundam X, all at 1/144 scale. They’re all primitive, unremarkable models, with the only decent one being the G-Falcon, which of course, can combine with the 1/144 Double X. These kits fetch absurd prices on the aftermarket, and I certainly hope we’ll see these designs in the current High Grade line…

Gundam Wing Dual Story: G-Unit: 1996

One of the very few model kit lines being based on a manga, G-Unit featured only five models, all at 1/144 scale. They have the “HG” label on the box, but aren’t that much better than the Wing line aside from clear beam sabers and better transforming gimmicks. Not much to say about them, but if you want yourself the Hydra Gundam we all came to love from Gundam Battle Assault, this is where you have to look.

Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz: 1997-1998

The Gundam Wing OVA spawned its own line of model kits that took a strange departure from the established norm: releasing the 1/100 scale kits before the 1/144 scale ones. Thankfully, both scales got the same kit lineup of the five Gundams, the Serpent, and the Tallgeese III. All 1/100 scale kits came with 1/20 scale character figures, and the Tallgeese III is extremely notable because it includes parts to make the first two Tallgeeses. The 1/144 scale kits all included “fighting action” pieces-alternate parts like repositioned torsos that allowed you to put the kits in specific poses from the anime. Conversely, the Tallgeese II kit is the one you want to avoid in this scale, because it’s just a modified Tallgeese from the Wing line, molded ENTIRELY in white. It doesn’t hold up well to the kits made for this line.

Turn A Gundam: 1999-2000

The oddly-lovable designs from the far-future got a small line of kits, with much nicer details than the kits from previous years. Six models were released at 1/144 scale, and two at 1/100 scale. The 1/144 scale kits are all fairly decent, with the Turn X being very nice, although requiring a lot of paint. The lovable Kapool that first appeared in Double Zeta made its model kit debut here, and displays well amongst its UC brethren. The 1/100 scale Turn A is rather unremarkable, now dethroned by its superior MG counterpart, but the gold-chrome SUMO is VERY nice, and one any fan of the design or series should own.

High Grade Universal Century: 1999-present

Refer back to the “guide to scales and grades” for information on this line.

G-Savior: 1999

Yes, the infamous live-action movie spawned a single 1/144 scale model kit of the titular mech. And you know, it’s a pretty impressive kit, featuring engineering better than that of the early HGUC kits. The skeletal frame is partially recreated and looks very nice, and it even comes with a clear plastic beam shield. However, if you want it to look more like the rendering, you’d have to paint it a more silver color. Overall, if you like the design or are one of the two people that enjoyed the movie, definitely pick this up.

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