The State of the Gunpla Union – 093010

It’s that time of the month again, to catch you up on my thoughts on the state of the Gunpla Union. As mentioned last month, August was a bit of a whirlwind month, and while I hoped to settle down in September, I had my father come in for about 10 days, which pretty much put everything I wanted to do on the back burner.  Still, it’s always a pleasure to have family and friends visit me in Japan, so for the most part it was a great experience.  I’ll have some pictures down towards the end of the post.  But first up, my thoughts on this month’s Gunpla news.

Up first, the PG Strike Freedom.  Some good discussion happening over at Plamo Addiction, so I highly recommend reading up here to see what people are thinking.  To re-iterate my stance though, while it’s not PG Unicorn, it’s still better than something lame like a PG Quant or what not, so, yeah, it’s on my want list.  Pricing is… well expensive, but as we’ve discussed before, Bandai seems to be taking the PG line and trying to up the price standard as much as they possible can.  In terms of volume, it’s supposed to be the biggest, but looking at the pictures, it seems up there with the GP01 or the Zeta, and those were both 20,000 yen.  So why the increase in price?  I’m sure there are good reasons, like design cost, or new techniques being more expensive, etc, but overall, it’s probably just because they can.  Still, the Strike Freedom is a fanboy favorite, so I expect this to sell much much better than the 00 Raiser.  Funny enough, you can easily still get the first run bonus stand with the 00 Raiser here, pretty much anywhere.  In the end though, we have only seen one prototype picture and various mock ups, so looking forward to seeing more of the finished product, to help justify my purchase.

As for other releases, here is my current watch list of already released and upcoming kits:

  • HG Delta Plus
  • HG Hi-Nu Gundam (GB Colors)
  • MG Deathscythe
  • HG Sinanju
  • MG ReZel
  • RG Char Zaku-II

So my thoughts on the above?  Well, currently the Deathscythe, Delta Plus, and GB Hi-Nu are out, but I haven’t picked them up yet.  While I was planning on getting the Delta Plus, I wonder if there would be a possible MG version of it 6 months down the line, similar to the MG ReZel.  Thinking on those lines, I’ve decided to hold off on it.  The Deathscythe as well, is something that I may pick up down the line, but there hasn’t been much of the “Build me!” that I had with the Wing Zero. And the Hi-Nu, that’s pretty much a kit I can pick up at any time so I am in no rush to  pick it up as well.

As for upcoming releases, the MG ReZel is definitely one I’m interested with, along with the Sinanju in a smaller form.  Both are scheduled to come out on the same day as well.  RG Char Zaku is on my watch list on principle, but I haven’t even cracked the box on my RG Gundam.  To be honest, my backlog is pretty big, and has gotten bigger with the additions of gentei stuff over the last few months.  I think I may literally hold off on buying anything until I actually finish what I’ve got to build, or at least knock out half of it or so.  I think some of my fellow Gunplars share the same problems, with us jumping ahead without finishing our current problems.  At least I am happy to know I am not the only one!

My next problem now is what to build!  I need to finally finish up a review kit from HLJ as well as step back to do some other kits that I prepped for but didn’t have time to do, like the Musha Mk-II.  But at the same time, I’m actually wanting to jump into my non-Gundam kits such as my Rockman kit (and I have some ideas with this one) as well as my Macross Tomahawk kit.  Kotobukiya’s new deformed kit from Patlabor looks cool pretty too, so I may pick this up down the line.  Lastly, I’ve never watched Zoids, but some of the kits look pretty detailed and bad ass, thusly I’m watching Lupes’ WiSSSP closely to see if it may tip me over the edge.  But again, in the long run, it’s my interest in all these other kits that seem to be pulling me away from what’s right in front of my eyes.

Rockman

D-Style Griffon

Tomahawk

And it’s not just new and upcoming kits that is keeping me busy, but the fall gaming rush, with me having picked up the new Ryu Ga Gotoku (Yakuza) game for PSP, along with FF14 (yeah, now I need to get my computer to run it!).  Throw in Castlevania, Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, Gundam Musou III, and other releases over the next few months, and I’m screwed with free time.  See, now I want all that free time I had when I was in-between jobs!

No matter what though, I’m planning on sitting down and digging into some kits over the next month, my hand has been twitching for my plastic nippers and a hobby knife, so I’m going to get going on that.  Also, while I won’t have an Akiba post this month, I will be hitting up Tokyo in a few weeks to spend a day in Akiba with my fellow partner in Gunpla & Drinking, so look forward to a post in October.

Also, I will be getting some of the HG 00 Raiser ANA kits, and may have some available through the blog, but no promises yet.  I’ll post if I do though, so please check back.

So, some pictures of my last couple of weeks.  And as usual, what are all of you guys looking forward to, and how are you handling your backlogs?

Tokyo – Asakusa

Tokyo – Asakusa

Sumo

Yokozuna Hakuho

Osaka – Dotonbori

Kyoto – Arashiyama

Kyoto – Arashiyama

Osaka – Sky Building

Osaka – Sky Building

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Short hiatus

I had meant to update with some new content this last week, but work and prep for my family coming to visit me in Japan kept me busier than I thought I’d be. With that said, normal updates should (finally) resume from October after my family has left.

So until then, I leave you with these.

Please see GaiGun or Buster’s site for more info on the above. I’ve hooked them, and they have continued to spread the word.

1/1 Real Grade Gundam

As mentioned before, despite having a whirlwind August, one thing I managed to squeeze in was a trip to Shizuoka to see the 1/1 “Real Grade” Gundam.  While I had seen the original Green Project Gundam when it was in Daiba last year, this time was extra special as it was a meeting of Gundam minds.  Buster Beam (Plamo Addiction), GaiGun (Gaijin Gunpla),  Gundam Guy, and myself came together in what some could call a pilgrimage of sorts.  Buster has a good write up of how the day went in his post.  Still, here are my thoughts on the day and how it went overall.

I have two main thoughts on this.  First, yes, the 1/1 Gundam is awesome.  It really makes you think, that on some scale, something like this could be possible in the future.  At the same time, it really makes me respect the Japanese and the country I’m in, because it takes some serious engineering, and most importantly, fan love to get something like this going.  Thinking back to the states, and while we have our comic book heroes, and Star Wars, and so on, I can’t think of anything that comes close to this at home.  Well, maybe Disney, but that is another thing in itself.

To go with my first thoughts, are the pictures itself.  My second thoughts are below the photos.

Secondly, and more importantly, this experience was made all more the better, and richer, by going with friends.  Honestly, going last year was neat, but dragging my wife who was not really interested in it, meant that I was geeking out on my own, and thusly, it wasn’t as much fun.  Half of this trip was the 1/1 Gundam, the other half was Buster, GaiGun, and GG.  As noted by Buster, I stopped in Nagoya to meet up with him and get some good old Miso Katsu, as Nagoya is famous for the red miso style of cooking.  I knew it was going to be a good day when he met me wearing his FixFig Gundam line art shirt.  I myself came prepare with the Unicorn Gundam shirt I picked up at the Gundam Super Expo. We admired each others excellent choice of fashion and hit up the miso katsu and Nagoya gunpla shops.  Chatting about recent situations, gundam, and other things about life, we made our way to Shizuoka to meet up with GaiGun and GG coming from Tokyo.

Despite meeting GG for the first time, it was like we’ve all known each other for a long time, and we all headed off to see the 1/1, while helping GaiGun film for hobbylink.tv.  We ahhed, oohed, and took tons of photos, lined up for the gentei goods, and all the while chatting, laughing, and having fun.  Right before heading off to go do copious amounts of drinking, we discovered that the Tokugawa Musha Mk-II was available at the Shizuoka hobby fair building at the 1/1 Gundam venue.  Rather than all of off dropping the money for tickets to enter, I took one for the team and pretty much ran through the show to get to the goods section, where I bought 3 of the kits.  Suffice to say, a big foreigner buying 3 of the Tokugawa kits took some people by surprise by the looks of it.

After this we headed back to Shizuoka to partake of extreme amounts of alcohol and chatting about everything and anything we could think of.  And before we knew it, it was time to board our trains back home…  To be honest, I kind of wished we just would have found a bar that was open all night, hit up the all you can drink, and chat until the morning trains.  I guess it goes to show that a great experience can be made more powerful by the people you with.  So with that said, I just want to say thanks to Buster, GaiGun, and GG, for a great time.  Looking forward to the next get together already.