Starting the review on another gashapon set (technically a shokugan) after Kaiyodo's Capsule Q Fraulein Yotsuba & Monochrome Animals which came before the review on Revoltech Queen's Blade Rebellion Sigui. ^^
And it's a return to Gundam-type trading figures after a long, long hiatus. ^^
MS Gundam Assault Kingdom 2
Production company: Bandai (Candy Toy)
Release date: Early June 2013
Price: All four types, 380 Yen each (exclusive of tax).
Since its debut in early March 2013, releases from the MS Gundam Assault Kingdom shokugan series have been steady from Bandai, with many special sets as well. I think the product concept of small-scaled gashapon-type Gundam figures with good articulation really appeals to the market, and that cntributes to the series' popularity. Size and simplicity are the key attractions I suppose, because in terms of detailing, gimmicks and articulation, the Gunpla lines from Bandai Hobby Division, particularly the High Grade series and the Robot Damashii [Sie MS] line from Tamashii Nations are definitely more superior in comparison. However, I believe there are fans out there who just want some simple, good-looking action poses with their Gundam figures that doesn't require prior assembly, or are too complex in terms of gimmicks and features. The success of this series can perhaps be treated as a testament that there are many fans with such preference out there.
Of course, everybody's reason for buying something is different, and I can see the series appealing to a much wider Gundam fans. As someone who builds Gunplas and collect Gundam action figures as well as collectibles, the idea of flexible action poses on gashapon-type figures is interesting. ^^ It's definitely not new, since past series like the Humable Model series from Banpresto features awesome posability for their releases. However, I'm very interested to see how the articulation design is handled on much smaller figures under this MS Gundam Assault Kingdom line. ^^
Size is also a positive factor for super-huge MSs or MAs from various Gundam universes to be considered for merchandise release and not having ridiculous price tags at the same time. ^^ Its limited release status notwithstanding, Neo Zeong is a good example of the series' potential in this area.
Side, top and bottom views of the whole set.
Each figure has its individual introduction on the back of the box.
Furthermore, there are many creative display stand designs since the series' introduction. ^^ Vol. 1 features the MS Cage for Unicorn Gundam [Unicorn Mode]; Vol. 3 the front section of the METEOR unit that can dock with Strike Freedom Gundam from that set, and Vol. 6 two units of D-50C Loto. ^^ Since the extra goodies can only be obtained by combining all the display base parts from a particular set, the creative design serves as a good strategy to attract folks to get the whole set instead of just certain figures. ^^
Due to its limited release outside Japan, I was unable to get Vol. 1 - I really love Sinanju from that set. ^^; I was able to get hold of Vol. 2, which features the original Red Comet, Char's Zaku II, so I'm very happy with the purchase. ^^ Besides Char's Zaku II, Ground Type Gundam, which doesn't get many merchandise release in the past is another figure I really like in the set. ^^
Comparison with another gashapon set that I have in my collection, Evangelion Welcome to NERV Base Set.
The Evangelion set is much bigger in comparison. ^^
Following the product numbering, Unicorn Gundam [Destroy Mode] will be the first to be reviewed. ^^
Front view of the box.
A photo of Unicorn Gundam [Destroy Mode] in action and part of a 3D model image of the Gundam can be seen on the front view of the box.
Side views of the box.
Merchandising seal of "MS Gundam Unicorn".
Top and bottom views of the box.
Introduction of the figure on the back of the box.
All four figures in the lineup and the display base set's gimmick of forming a weapon rack are also shown.
Instruction on the weapon rack's setup is printed on the inner face of the box.
No knife is needed to open up the boxes since all of them have easy-to-tear edges.
The box folds out and turns into a manual. ^^
The figure's parts are stored in different sections of the plastic bag.
Closeups on the parts.
Numbering for the figure.
Rear view of the plastic bag.
All the parts removed from the plastic bag.
The main figure of Unicorn Gundam [Destroy Mode].
Two pairs of hand units yet to be removed from the runner are included for Unicorn Gundam [Destroy Mode].
(Left) The hand units, as well the the runner that contain them are made of soft plastic.
(Right) The runner's labelling shows "1".
The four hand units include a pair of open fists to hold the bazooka and a pair of spread palms.
The hand units can be pegged onto the wrist joints of the figure very easily.
The completed figure of Unicorn Gundam [Destroy Mode].
Weapons included for Unicorn Gundam [Destroy Mode]: hyper bazooka, shield and a pair of beam tonfas.
Closeups on the details.
The open fists shown earlier on can be attached to the main and supporting handles.
Closeups on the details.
The beam tonfas.
Length comparison between the weapons.
Unicorn Gundam [Destroy Mode] has six peg slots in total to be used by its weapons and display stand: one on each forearm, one on the backpack, one behind the waist, and one on each sole.
The weapons can be mounted onto the figure according to the MS's design by using the peg slots shown above. ^^
Of course, since they are of the same size, the peg slots can accommodate "alternative" display options for the weapons.
Two parts for the display base set.
Plenty of launch pad-esque molded details on the base.
There are five peg slots designed for the display base: four on top plus one on the side.
Bottom view of the base.
Factory info molded on the bottom face of the base.
The display stand.
Two hinge points for the stand.
The hinge joint in the middle is connected to the top and bottom halves via straight pegs that allow them to be swivelled around it.
Simple peg-on design for the other hinge joint.
(Left) The side of the stand has some molded mechanical details.
(Right) The other stand segment has a peg slot of the same size of those on the Gundam.
The display stand is attached to the base.
Two different configurations for the display stand's positioning.
By default, the connector between the figure and the display stand is situated behind its waist, but the slot on its sole can also be used if needed. ^^
The stand can be connected to the slot on the side of the base as well.
Using the joint's swivel, the stand can be collapsed for the whole base to be stored.
The stand can be separated and connected to different slots on the base.
Together with the stand, the two display base parts have more than enough slots to hold all the included weapons.
With Unicorn Gundam [Destroy Mode], the fully loaded weapon rack forms a nice display without any action needed from the Gundam.
The modular display stand is a pretty creative accessory for its flexibility in display options. It works very well as a display stand for the shokugan figure itself, but it's also versatile enough to be used as a mounting rack (and customizable at that) for all the weapons included. ^^ As indicated in the introduction on the back of the box, the base can be merged with those included in the other three packs, offering even more display options for the figures and their weapons. ^^
It's supposed to be an accessory, but the display base's gimmicks seem to make it more interesting than the shokugan figure, which is supposed to be the main content. ^^
Speaking of the figure, I need to use a hair blower to treat the bent V-fin before carrying on with the review. ^^
The V-fin looks fine in the image above only because it's being held by the bazooka, but that's not good enough for other action poses. ^^;
More images of a weaponized Unicorn Gundam [Destroy Mode] to be shown in the next posting. ^^