Whoa, an actual State of the Gunpla Union address? Yeah, it’s been that long. As you may have already noticed, updates have been (un)surprisingly lacking in the previous couple of months. Bluntly put, I literally have no life now thanks to my beautiful son. But I’m sure my fellow parents out there know how that is. So by no means am I unhappy about it, but the reality has set in that the time that I now have is extremely limited. So that means things just aren’t happening, like gunpla and gaming. But that doesn’t mean I can’t stop thinking about it and talking about it. So let’s talk about Gundam stuff.
First up, Gunpla stuff. As Gaigun already posted, there was another 7-11 Gundam campaign similar to the one done about 2 years ago. This time around not just an updated Gundam figure, but a 7-11 Zaku II and Beargguy as well! Suffice to say these things sold out pretty much the day they were lined up in 7-11 stores around the country. It doesn’t help that each store only got like 2 of each kit. But somehow I managed to snag a full set at Akihabara on a business trip thanks to a cool 7-11 manager. There was some other nifty stuff like another lucky draw for Gundam stuff, as well as a tie up with Nissin Cup Noodle too, so I snagged things here and there. I actually have another set of the cup noodle gundams, which would be cool to use for a contest…. I am trying to build my 7-11 Gundam but I’m literally going at a pace of one part per night, so I’m still an arm, leg and head away from completion.
For other gunpla news, I have to say that the MG Sandrock is looking better and better, aside from the ridiculous amount of decals (Thanks Katoki!). To be honest, Sandrock and Shenlong Gundams were never my favorite and I found them quite bland next to Heavy Arms, Deathscythe and Wing, but I’m liking the look of this design. After Heavy Arms, all that is left is TallGeese (and honestly, I never liked TallGeese, I don’t understand all the love it gets) and Bandai will have milked a majority of the GW mobile suits. There are still the EW versions though… Leave to Bandai to take all your money!
In other MG news, this year’s big December release is the MG FA Unicorn. Honestly, I’m kind of up in the air on this. I’ve already built two MG Unicorns, and two HG Unicorns, and I still have another one sitting around. Toss in the… inflated… price for all the extra weaponry and I have a hmmm, going to have to pass on this one feeling. The green psychoframe is cool, though, but not worth the price of admission. I keep looking at it and thinking, why is this call (F)ull (A)rmor Unicorn? It gets just another shield and really no more armor, shouldn’t this be the (F)ull (W)eaponry Unicorn?
The next RG Freedom looks good as well, but since I have only built 1 of the 3 RG I already have, I’m in no rush to pick it up. With RG’s coming out at a rate of 1 every 3 or 4 months, I figure the next one will probably be around February or March. While early to speculate, I wonder if we won’t see something from Gundam OO next? There is always Gundam Age, but they will probably release the MG long before moving to the RG line.
But as you all know this year’s hobby show is from October 13th, so we should get quite a bit of info for the next six months or so of Gunpla releases. I’m sure it will be dominated by Gundam Age materials, with a section given to the GW MG line up. But perhaps we may just see the next PG in store?
Speaking of the hobby show, applicants to the Gunpla World Cup Japan Round who pass the first round of picture submissions will have their pictures displayed at the hobby show for the second round of judging. As you all know, I submitted my GP01. While not going all out, I did a paint job, panel lining, and water slides followed by a flat coat. Sad to say I did not pass the first round. I had hopes that Bandai wouldn’t take all bling bling kits, but would take some more.. solidly done kits to even it out. Probably they did take some average kits to make it look fair, just mine wasn’t one of them. So here are the pictures that I submitted. Will need to do a full photo session soon because I am quite pleased with how the kit turned out.
So I guess the next couple of days should have some exciting news if we are lucky.
Moving onto other thing Gundam, what’s hot in the blogosphere is Gundam Age. Having watched it real time on Sunday, I must say I’m not sure what to think. The general reaction seems to be positive, but that it’s definitely aimed at the younger generation. I think that’s quite true as a lot of the jumps in logic simply don’t allow for deeper… interaction so to say as other series have. As an aside I have read that some people think that all Gundam series are aimed at kids, but I think that is not so true with some recent series (especially regarding UC timeline series.)
Anyways, back to the subject at hand, GA Ep 1 was your standard enemy attacks colony, hero gets in Gundam, and fights off first enemy stories. The style of design quite reminds me of old Super Robot anime series which definitely is not quite Gundam, but still good. Stereotypical design? Yeah, but vibrant in the colors and music is decent. But we still come back to the fact that GA is aimed at a much younger crowd, as we again see how things are glossed over, such as the actual horrors of what the attacks do. Aside from Frit’s mother dying in the opening scene, I get the feeling that this will be a much lighter death free Gundam. As for design, the Gundam Age itself is decent, but not feeling everything else. I’m pretty sure when we get to the part swapping power ranger/super robot style episodes things may get pretty lame. I can see it already, with the heavy mech style Frits going to move in to close range and punch the crap out of his enemy… hmm…
Anyways, first episode is decent, but the series will require a certain turning off of expectations that previous series have for seriousness and more adult themes. The good thing is that Bandai is at least giving the older crowd some UC love based off the plans to take the Origin and animate it.
So what are the thoughts on upcoming gunpla, the hobby show possibilities, and lastly Gundam Age?