The State of the Gunpla Union – 021010

 Ahem, a second post in less than a week?  Could I truly be getting back on the ball?  Well, poking fun at myself aside, I am planning on finally getting some of this backed up content over the next week, so look forward to it.  No really, I mean it!

Anyways, let’s get on with the Gundam talk for this month’s State of the Gundpla Union address.  First off, guys, some great responses over the HG/MG/PG rant I did last month, you all kept that going despite the fact I wasn’t around for a week or 3, much appreciated.  Today I’d like to go over a slight follow up on some of the things I talked about. 

The Unicorn OVA SP Pack @ 7,875 yen – While still pricey, the updated info turns this Unicorn into a 1.5 version beast, with a ton of bonus swag.  Still a tad pricey, though.  Had they thought to included the first run novel only gatlings as well it’d be a sweeter deal.  With the OVA finally set for release this month, and with five more episodes to go, I can only imagine what comes next.  Full Armor Unicorn? Banshee?  Safe to say yes on both?

Sinanju Titanium Edition @ 12,600 yen – The price is still a freaking hell no, but I will admit nice blingy red there.  Unfortunately you’re going to pay an arm and a leg for something that’ll have splotches from where you snipped the pieces off the runner.  I’m happy with my twilight colored SInanju, thank you very much!

New to this month of I can’t believe they’re going to screw us over is the announcement of not one, but three(!) special editions of already released Perfect Grade kits!  While no pictures are yet available, the information Ngee Khiong has put up calls for a Clear version of the PG Strike (21,000 yen) along with Extra Finish versions of the RX-78 Gundam and Mass Production Zaku II (Both 23,100 yen).  Let the Gunpla 30th anniversary whoring begin!  While I can kind of see charging a premium for the “extra finish” for the Gundam and Zaku II (albeit an additional 100 dollars seems excessive), charging an additional 70 bucks for what is simply clear plastic, is simply outrageous.  I mean it’s f’n clear plastic, how much more money does that cost?  I’m going to call it, this year is going to be the year in which Bandai tries to one-up themselves each month with in over-valuing their goods new and astonishing prices.

On a side note, I will admit that I am, sadly, intrigued by the extra finish Gundam PG.  It’s the only PG that I technically don’t have, and to be honest with you, the HGUC Extra Finish version I have is really nice looking.  I think it’s a matter of how bad would sprue damage be on a PG kit.  The bigger the piece, the bigger the cut, right?

So on to the HG kits, you know, I am really finding myself pleasantly surprised time and time again.  Due to my not paying attention to what’s available in the HG line, every time I casually glance at the store I find something new.  I don’t think I mentioned this last time, but to me, one of the major pro’s of having a low cost is that allows Bandai to put out kits that they simply can’t, or won’t do in MG or bigger sizes.  In particular you’ll find a ton of Zeon/Axis/Neo-Zeon kits in the HGUC line that are variants or experimental units, or just even the regular grunts.  ESF also has a ton of kits, and I’ve got my eye on the Hazel as a potential quick build.  I did pick up just one Zeon kit the other day that I’m looking forward to putting together this weekend maybe.

Z’Gok Experimental and, yep, the ReZEL

I realize that with my picking up of the ReZEL kit that I’ve gotten every Unicorn Gundam kit put out so far to date save for the HGUC Unicorn mode Unicorn Gundam.  I guess I really really like the design of the mobile suits in UC 96!  I haven’t really planned to get the Stark Jegan, but I just might now considering my line up.  One other thing I also realized I’ve done with most of the kits in this era is paint them.  While I said I was done painting, we saw what happened with my Geara Zulu, so what does that mean for the ReZEL…?  We’ll have to see!

Moving on to non-Gundam stuff, as you all know I did head back to the states for a while.  It’s always an eye opener to head back after such a long period… but as Bon Jovi said, you can always go home, so it was good to be back, eat real pizza and lots of Tex-Mex food, while snagging stuff that’s hard to get here.  That said, this time a couple of things I noticed going back to my own country.

  • Americans are generally nicer.  Granted I’m from the south so that may have something to do with it, but the Japanese idea that American nicety is “just for the tip” feels so misplaced.
  • Things are much more slower paced.  Again, this is the southern mentality here, but not so many people in an absolute rush.  Downside was that I noticed that extends to the register and checking out. 
  • More green, more space!  Yeah, that goes without saying, but even in Dallas, it didn’t feel anything like the concrete Jungle that is the Greater Tokyo region, or even Kansai. 
  • More expensive.  While the strong yen was good to me for buying things, I notice how things are getting just a little more expensive.  Again, I go home every 15 months or so, so it jumps out at me a little more I guess.  Also, I notice how stores don’t discount games or anything like that.  Everything is retail, or a shoddy 5 dollars of if used.  Still snagged some good deals, and retail America price for games/movies is still cheaper than Japan but I guess that “gotta find the best deal” mentality that Japan drilled into me is coming to the front here. 

Overall it was good, and there was a definite “twinge” coming back to Japan.  I love Japan, but the social interactions just aren’t the same… 

Anyways, what are your thoughts on the Gunpla news of the day?

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16 thoughts on “The State of the Gunpla Union – 021010

  1. As part of the 30th anniversary of Gundam, Bandai is putting out a titanium finish MG RX-78-2 Ver 2.0! It will retail for 8000 yen! I used an exclamation mark even though I don’t really care! Also, it appear there will be a cheaper MG Unicorn coming out at the same time the Special Pack hits (they have changed the name of that to HD Color + MS Cage, btw which is listed as ‘Titanium parts, white parts and HD colour parts included’. ) The cheaper Unicorn is listed as ‘White Parts, Normal White Color’. I don’t yet know what that means…

  2. Heh, that PG news had me shaking my head. In your previous rant, you mentioned the logic behind the pricing of the PG had become inane and all the prices listed for the PG items pretty much proves your point. It feels like Bandai is allowed itself to get carried away with the pricing of the PG items simply because they’re PG.

    As for the new releases, nothing’s really caught my eye yet. The cage for Unicorn SP looks pretty snazzy, but the price… >_> I’ve been wanting a Sinanju, but I don’t have space for a MG and the Titanium Finish is out of the question, so I hope to see a HGUC version soon.

  3. zgok experimental is a nice pickup. along with the re-zel as well but i’m thinking of waiting for the commanders version. extra finish pg rx78 could be nice… from a distance. there’d be a lot of blemishes on there though from the nub marks.

    i feel you on going back home. both have their good and bad points though right. itd be awesome it we could combine the two but… its just a dream…

  4. -I don’t want rush buy unicorn kit this time I just wonder if bandai released HGUC unicorn with gatling gun since the RD version included
    -for MG unicorn they released 2 set one sp pack and one normal that not included with cage and cost the same with ver.ka @_@ and announced that kit late so everyone will buy(pre-order) the overpriced unicorn for cage only good if they want the cage but if not? I have ver.ka so I will wait for banshee
    -for sinanju titanium that’s robbery
    for your home trip impression that’s happen everywhere around the world nowdays

  5. The PG Strike comes with the Aile/Skygrasper parts..I see that usually going for 60-70, so that might explain it. I was originally WTFing pretty hard too, still am at the PG Gundam/Zaku prices.

  6. @GaiGun: Ugh, 80 bucks for Titanium? I have to say I didn’t find the Titanium finish for the Unicorn that impressive, so I doubt I will for the RX-78-2. As for the tidbits on the special and regular editions for the OVA Unicorn, that’s news, because till now the only difference was going to be the cage, which was making me think if that was worth another 2,000 yen. HD color means it’ll be like the Zeta kits put out last year, which weren’t too bad. The SP pack is on my maybe list right now.

    @evangelisque: I wonder if a HGUC version if the Sinanju is possible? I know they did the Sazabi, but I wonder how the Sinanju would work out. I can see that one being tough to find a balance between cost/price and quality.

    @Buster: Yeah, I think about it now and if Bandai let’s you end up making both the commander and regular version with the Commander ReZEL kit, then I might feel gypped, but I’m feeling this design, so I might just double dip. Building the Z’Gok now so I’ll probably put up some pictures on it, since I’m not doing anything special with it. On the ExF Gundam, seriously, if they could minimize on the nub mars, I would really consider it…

    And home, yeah, the only thing to do is go back and forth, but unfortunately just too young to have the kind of job or economic situation that would facilitate that on a say yearly basis…

    @moemoekyun: Considering how many versions of the Exia/00 Gundam there are now with simply different weapon kits, I can’t say that another HGUC Unicorn kit with the gatlings included isn’t a possibility. In fact it’s more like a certainly if you think about it…

    @lupes: That’s news to me, if so then that’s not too bad of a markup then. Now the question is if this is colored clear, or crystal clear? And would you want a giant clear Strike to begin with?

  7. If they’re crystal clear parts then I’ll use a few like I did on my PG Red Frame, though since strike has a nice black/grey frame I’ll do some extra work on it to make it a little more special. If it’s colored clear…well, barf.

  8. if bandai really cruel they will released HG oo ultimate pack that include OO gundam,O raiser,GN sword III and 7 swords system
    that’s ultimate variant that will make everyone cry I have fellow blogger that have 5 HG OO kits

  9. oh yeah as I heard bandai make agreement with hobby store and online store to keep selling their product(but they will got 50% discount maybe) so popular or not bandai will released more and more gundam variation,titanium,or even old kit with new clear parts

  10. i’m seriously reconsidering getting the Unicorn Cage Edition, but every time that notion comes to mind, i wonder if it will be a limited edition that i’ll be kicking myself later for. [but considering what you just said about bandai, would they really shoot themselves in the foot?]

    i was also freaking out about the FA Unicorn Conversion that’s available for pre-order at hobbyfan.com but i got over it.

    i’ll settle for making a 1/144 version of FA instead.

    while i wait for Vicious Projects to finis the Kshatriya conversion.

    on some non-gunpla news, i’m kinda mad and happy that they are coming out with an Awakening version of Eva-01 [i already have t he rebuild, which i’m glad i didn’t turn into awakening by repainting it] and guess what, it’s to coincide with the Unicorn release, ugh. i’m sort of tired of building unicorns dammit, i have 3 already [yeah i know it’s my own fault but the 1st one was trashed and the 2nd and 3rd are well, in their respective forms] so if i don’t back out on the Cage edition, can you guess what i’ll convert it to? =b there’s only like 3 versions of unicorn, take your pick.

    also, i’m probably gonna kick myself later but there’s a 20% sale going on at the moment at 1999.co.jp [hobbysearch] until 28th of this month for every damn gunpla, almost!, in their catalog. both 1/100+MG and 1/144.

    try not to make the reservations close on the Unicorn, at least wait until after tuesday for me haha, i’ll definitely know if i’m gonna have a job or not then.

  11. @Tonzo: That could be true. Should probably look at Dalong’s review since he takes photos of like everything and see how they look before jumping into it. If only there was a good method of keeping down damage, or at least being able to cover with a similar cover…

    @lupes: I’m hoping for some pictures to come out. Seems odd that there are no pictures despite these kits being March releases…

    @moemoekyun: That is a possibility: the super duper ultimate 00 Gundam kit, heh.

    @ant1ph0n: Mmmm, while Bandai has done limited regular release kits in the past, the only ones that have been truly hard to find is the White Unicorn Zeta Gundam. Even last years “2009 only” HD color kits still pop up, at least the Gundam Mk II ones do. The Hyaku Shiki sold like gangbusters, now that I think about it, I’ve not seen it again after the first couple of weeks of release.

    That said, I recall some talk about this being a special package, so it may be time release limited. I mean, you can have 8 variations of Zaku II’s because they are different, but 4 variations of the Unicorn is overkill, so they may take them off the market for a while.

    As is, I know prices are bad for everyone outside of Japan with the strong yen, so if you have a chance to get it cheaper now, it’s something to think about.

  12. I just checked a website that sells gundams, and they said the new Perfect Grades are pre-built. What do you guys think about that?

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