Thursday, July 4, 2013

Pokepla Pikachu Part 1

The simplest in my record

Looking at the "practice" of reviewing figures from quite a few new product series on this blog in the last two months, including Extended MSIA, 3.75 inch Star Wars action figure, Dream Tomica mini car model and Voice I-doll Superior figurine, I guess I shouldn't let Mechanic Collection Mazinger Z with God Scrander be the only entry from a new plamo kit line for me this year. ^^

Here's a very interesting model kit from a new plamo kit line for me to begin the blog in this second half of 2013: ^^

This is Pikachu from Bandai Hobby Division's Pokemon Plamo Collection (Pokepla) series. Released in July 2011, Pikachu is the 19th from that plamo kit line. Contrary to the three aforementioned product series by Bandai, the Pokepla line is still ongoing today. The number of kits released has slowed down since its introduction with Feraligatr Evolution Set back in September 2011, but it's definitely not stopping down. No. 31 Red Genesect just came out last month, and No. 32 Mewtwo is slated to be released some time this month.

For the record, I've no interest in Pokemon. ^^; Still, I do like Pikachu as an anime character because of its cute appearance. I was well aware of the Pokepla's launch in September 2011 since I was still running my old news blog back then. ^^; Given the popularity of Pikachu in the entire Pokemon franchise, I was surprised it took the series close to two years before Pikachu was released. ^^; Looking at the character through my limited knowledge of the Pokemon universe, I feel that Pikachu's importance can be equated to Gundam RX-78-2 in the world of Gundam. ^^ Most of the earliest Pokepla sets did feature a tiny complimentary model kit of Pikachu to perhaps invoke interest among fans using Pikachu's popularity, and to encourage them to collect all of kits. Since the Pokepla line didn't start with Pikachu, I almost felt that the character should be designed as part of a deluxe set of some sort perhaps. ^^ As it turned out, Pikachu being the 19th entry in the entire series was a rather normal release. ^^ Then again, I find the kit to be rare in availability here in my place. I was hoping to get it since its release in 2011, but none of the local hobby stores I know of back then seemed to have this kit in their collection. ^^; I eventually found it in a newly discovered local hobby site a couple of months back. ^^; Late as usual, but I'm glad I don't have to wait another few years before getting my hands on it. ^^;

The Pokepla series is generally a model kit line to cater to younger customer base. For that, the kits are colorful and extremely easy to assemble - even easier than BB Senshi Sangokuden I believe. Each kit also features some sort of linked movement gimmick on the completed model to add elements of fun and enjoyment to the entire assembly process. ^^ For Pikachu, his special gimmicks lie in his head and ears - the ears will move automatically when the head is turned from side to side.

The effectiveness in introducing modelling through this plamo kit line to kids who are new to the hobby is an interesting topic to think about, but personally, I'm not exactly interested in discussing that issue right now, simply because I'm no longer new to the hobby, and I certainly don't need another plamo kit line to incite that interest anymore. ^^ Then again, because of my liking of the character, I'm very interested in this model kit of Pikachu. ^^ The expected simplicity of the work for this kit is going to make it "consistent" with that theme as seen through the other two model kits I worked on last month, High Grade 1/144 scale Tieren Taozi and Mechanic Collection Mazinger Z with God Scrander. ^^

Pikachu's owner, Satoshi, or Ash in the English dubbed version of the cartoon series is shown in the background.

Image of the completed kit and product label on the front cover of the kit.

Introduction of the kit on the sides of box.

Unlike most other model kits, the bottom face of the box is also filled with pictorial introduction of Pikachu and a few design points of this kit..

The ease of assembly, and Pikachu's linked movement gimmick are shown.

Preview of the content, and a picture of the production company, Bandai Hobby Division are shown as well.

Comparison of the box with that of a BB Senshi Sangokuden kit (Taishiji Dom).

Pikachu's box is a little bit shorter than Taishiji Dom's. The difference is almost not detectable at all. ^^; Apart from that, the two kits are pretty much the same in terms of box size.


Not enough with just box bottom print, all four sides of the container are loaded with images of previous releases in the Pokepla series before Pikachu. ^^

All runners.

A look at the runners' design:

Just two runners with 28 parts in total. ^^

Large and "fat" parts to form Pikachu's head and body. ^^

The parts are designed to reduce the usage of stickers to the most minimal level possible.
I was thinking to put "to omit the usage of stickers completely", but then I realized there are still parts that require stickers on this kit. ^^;

The silhouette of Pikachu's head can be seen molded as part of the runners' numbering, which I think is a very cute design. ^^

The paper sticker included.
It's similar to those included for Keropla God Keron and not the more common foil stickers in Gunplas.

Very colorful instruction manual. ^^ As a matter of fact, all pages are printed in full color. ^^
The large pictures serve more purposes than merely providing clearer references to the assembly steps actually. ^^

A rather generic customer feedback/survey form is also included.

The parts are removed from their runners.
With part count of just 28, proper organization of the parts using paper boxes is not exactly needed I think. ^^

To prepare for the final assembly (almost right away ^^), a tiny bit of detailing is applied. All except one of the paper stickers are used on two of the parts as well:

A piece of sticker is included for the nose, but given its small size of and the elevated position, I painted it using normal black marker instead to avoid the issue of the sticker peeling off in the future.

Stickers applied to the pupils and mouth area.
Learning from my experience dealing with paper stickers from the work on Keropla God Keron, a bit of super glue is used to enhance the adherence of the stickers to their designated parts. ^^

Moving on to the assembly of this kit in the next posting. ^^

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