Saturday, May 15, 2010

My Opinion on MG The O from Shizuoka Hobby Show

Fans of The O, I salute all of you!

Finally, the dust has settled for the 49th Shizuoka Hobby Show I suppose. ^^ Plenty of Gunplas from Bandai displayed at the event, finished prototype of MG V Dash Gundam and V Core Booster, new HGUC Gundam UC and Gundam Double O movie kits, a new Gundam anime based on Gunpla building, new SD Gundam Sangokuden Brave Battle Warriors kits, MG Figurerise 1/8 Kamen Rider W Cyclone Joker and others from Bandai Hobby Division. You can check out the updates on my main blog, which were focused on Friday (May 13th) and Saturday.

While there are so many announcements from the event, I'll keep to just one item from the event to talk about here: MG The O.

In the very first posting on my main blog about Shizuoka Hobby Show 2010, when I offered my congratulations to this MS for (finally) receiving confirmation of its MG release, complete with release date and price, I really mean it from the bottom of my heart. ^^ It's just amazing to see how long it took for this to happen, but even more amazingly, how strong and determined the fans' will in making this to happen. That will be the story to unfold in this posting.

Down memory lane we go XD

The story started sometime in very early 2002, when Hobby Japan decided to run a duo-survey from its readers on the top 10 MG releases and top 10 MG wish list MSs at that time. Sound familiar? Very true, it's pretty much what Bandai did on the Gunpla 30th Anniversary's official site, through "Master Grade the Best" and "MG Wishlist MS Survey". Bandai initiated the two surveys, but the objective is exactly the same as what Hobby Japan did 8 years back.

The result from the two surveys was published in Hobby Japan March 2002 issue, and you will probably be amazed at who was the winner 8 years ago. ^^

1st place: MG The O ^^

2nd: Guntank, 3rd: Master Gundam. Both already released.

4th: Z'Gok, 5th: Zeong, 6th: S Gundam, 7th: Wing Gundam. All already released - Wing being very recently realized.

8th: L-Gaim, 9th: Rick Dias, 10th: Layzner.

Except for L-Gaim, Bandai had released the MG kits of Rick Dias and Layzner, the latter being the Real Robot Revolution version. While L-Gaim didn't make it, we do have the Real Robot Revolution version of L-Gaim Mk. II, and the Robot Damashii version is currently under development as well, all thanks to the fans' voting again. ^^

And No. 11 to 20 on the most desired MG releases in Hobby Japan March 2002 issue:

No. 11: Xabungle, from "Combat Mecha Xabungle" (戦闘メカ ザブングル) (X)
No. 12: V Gundam (Ver. Ka)
No. 13: Ex-S Gundam ()
No. 14: Noble Gundam (X)
No. 15: Gundam X (X)
No. 16: Griffon ()
No. 17: Shining Gundam ()
No. 18: Wing Gundam Zero Custom (Endless Waltz Ver.) ()
No. 19: Gundam F91 ()
No. 20: Dragonar 1, from "Metal Armor Dragonar" (機甲戦記ドラグナー) (X)

From the top 5 highest ranked MSs voted by the fans in Bandai's "MG Wishlist MS Survey", The O is the only one "inherited" from the Hobby Japan's survey 8 years ago. It ranked first back then, and it ranked second now.

8 years had passed since Hobby Japan's survey and the fans still backed him to be realized as an MG kit, and the support was strong enough to not be affected by newer Gundam anime series after 2002 including "Gundam SEED", "Gundam SEED Destiny", "Gundam Double O" and "Gundam UC". That's the power and will of the fans I mentioned to you earlier on, and that's just pure awesomeness. ^^

I suppose there are reasons why Bandai decided to keep V2 Gundam on their drawing board even though it's the winner from the poll, but selecting The O to be released first isn't doing any harm to the credibility of the poll. Of the top 3 MSs, The O reserve all the acknowledgment it should have gotten since 8 years ago as the fans' most desired MG release.

I suppose even if Bandai decided to ignore the fans' strong request (again) this year, the next round any company comes up with a similar poll, the same result is well expected from The O's fans. If 8 years aren't enough to change a person's desire for a certain item, it's not going to change for a very long time.

Also, the same issue of Hobby Japan featured a scratch built MG The O to commemorate the result of the poll. Thanks to that, we're able to know more about what to expect from Bandai for the actual release.

This scratch built MG was featured on the cover of the magazine as well, as shown at the beginning of this posting.

Size comparison with MG Zeta Gundam

Since it's a scratch built model, there are some details which don't correspond to the mecha design as seen in the anime, but the overall design, size, weapons and the unique sub-arms should be accurate.

But the size is absolutely overwhelming! Not only is it way taller than the other MSs, the proportion isn't comparable to any other MSs. Sazabi is tall, but it's still pretty much a humanoid design, but not for The O. It's like comparing an athlete with a Sumo fighter I suppose. XD

On a separate note, since we're at it, lets have a look at what was going on in the world of Gundam 8 years ago, through this issue of Hobby Japan:

No MG S Gundam yet, as you can see from the poll above. This is another featured scratch built MG, fully transformable, fully dockable.
As a noob in Gunpla-ing 8 years ago, you wouldn't be able to imagine just how astonished I was when I saw it for the first time.

Mr. Katsumi Kawaguchi (川口克己), Mr. Hirofumi Kishiyama (岸山博文) and Mr. Kano Yoshihiro (狩野義弘) were already very actively involved in the development of new Gunplas and possibilities at that time.

HGUC Dendrobium still under development and MG Zeta Plus C1 was the upcoming release.

"Turn A Gundam" was the ongoing Gundam anime at that time. ^^

Glorious days for the Mobile Suit in Action series. ^^;

Max Watanabe, Max Factory's current boss was actively contributing his Gunpla work in Hobby Japan.

Finally, taking my HGUC The O out from the shelves to have a look at its features, in anticipation of the MG release:

Peekaboo! No hand needed. XD

Because of its size, this level of details on parts like behind the armors and the feet was mind-blowing when it was released back in December 2002.
There are plenty of places that will need a lot of designing in terms of details for the much larger MG version.

Even has a complete frame with some details for the leg.

Parts like the giant rear skirt armor, the leg armor and the chest are going to be a huge challenge for Bandai to design. Will it be possible to get the same single-piece parts done for the HGUC version when the size is tripled or more for the MG?

It'll very interesting to see how the sub-arms are designed, keeping in mind its articulation together will affect that of the skirt armors. ^^

Plenty of conductive pipes inside the legs. What kind of gimmick can Bandai come up with for this component?

Plenty of action poses possible with the HGUC version, but how can Bandai improve on that as the size and weight increases (significantly) for the MG version?

Can Bandai design the sub-arms (and the joints of the skirt armor) to be strong enough to maybe hold not just the beam saber (too easy I think), but The O's beam rifle as well?
The O's beam sabers are actually in clear yellow, but I just used the red one because it was the closer to grab and use last night ^^

Comparison with other Gunplas:

Size is totally overwhelming!

Proportion wise, HGUC Gundam RX-78-2 is just about 1/3 of The O I think.

Beam rifle vs Hyper Baz ^^;

Is taller than MG F91 ...

... proportionally bigger too.

And that's why it was shown standing on two Action Display Base 1s obviously. ^^

If you never seen or heard of F91 before, I may be able to get away telling you this is the HGUC version by showing you these images ^^

Since MG F91, Bandai have been working hard developing details and gimmicks for smaller-sized kits, like complete transformation V Gundam, awesome details and inner frame for RG 1/144 Gundam RX-78-2, and we can see how well Bandai is doing in this area. How it's the time for the designer to go back to the days of MG Sazabi, Nu Gundam, HGUC Psucho Gundam, HG 1/144 Meteor and think about how they can transfer their skills and technologies to this one MS with very unconventional size and design.

So yeah, I'm definitely getting MG The O. I love the sense of authority the MS is emitting through its dominating size, but on top of that, I love the unconventional design and the fun of assembling something like that. 12,600 Yen (inclusive of tax) is quite a steep price, but it will be worth it I believe.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm.. interesting. After going through the poll, I realized there's no Nightingale in the list. IMO, I find this MS is quite impressive :)

L said...

Nightingale's like 3x size of The O lol........

Anonymous said...

Before I stopped building gunpla in 2005, I was up to around 135 kits. Out of all of those at that time, HGUC The-O was #1 for how fun I considered the build, later toppled by MG Gundam 2.0.

I can't wait for the MG.

Chris said...

Awesome history lesson, Ngee Khiong. The O certainly deserves its glory in MG form.

Huh? In 2002, I thought Seed was the newest Gundam series instead of Turn A? Or was Seed released few months after that issue...

Now I see where Seravee gets its idea of extra arms from. XD

Q said...

Wasn't there actually a plan for Bandai to release The O MG sometime ago? I remember reading that from your Bandai Development Abyss post that includes it (supposed to be 8000 Yen back then) along with MG Marasai.

Even though I am not into MGs, it's still interesting and cool to see The O getting into development and confirmed finally. It sure is gonna be quite a beast to be reckoned with. The sheer size and weight are sure gonna be something, not at least to mention the price (heck it's almost as expensive as my most expensive PVC figure bought so far)!

Interesting post on the memory lane. It's good to see that people's wishes remain strong all these years (minus those MG fandoms here and there). It will sure be interesting to see how Bandai will pull this off at the end!

Anonymous said...

i was hoping for an mg kshatriya instead...hope it does come to us soon...meanwhile, the O sounds good too

Archi said...

well, to be honest, I don't really into the O...

in my opinion The O is just a so-so MS...

to be honest I prefer MG Nightingale or MG Ksathriya ^^'

but The O really needs to be MGed...

as we can see, Zeta Gundam, Hyaku Shiki and Qubeley were having their MG... but no The o.. I'm not a big fan of The O but I think, If I want to collect those Gryps Wars MSs, I will buy The O for sure...

well, that's a great history of course, with a great money to expense... well, I'd rather buy Sinanju or Sazabi with that money actually ^^'

Anonymous said...

The O get some of my interest. I may like some bulky design with full guns like ex-s, but for some reason can't find the O attractive though.
I look forward to build something epic like this. But I'm waiting for some news about it to build up my desire to get on it :)

Evaritus Lau said...

Well, we kept saying want MG Nightingale or Kshatriya, but do we ever consider the price in 1st place ?

Not to discouraging, 'coz I also wanted Nightingale in MG-fied, but I don't I could effort to get 1 even if I wished for it. =.="

LEon said...

I think for the wait, it is worth the price for it. And with the current advancement, we can expect better MG 0 to come.

Ngee Khiong said...


I think SEED was released a few months after that issue of Hobby Japan. I see nothing about SEED in that issue.


Yeah, I remember that development very well. Apart from the photo from the Hong Kong magazine I posted, I remember seeing images of the actual prototype of The O exhibited at the event - Shizuoka Hobby Show as well, if you believe it. But pairing it with Zeong pretty much "pre-determined" The O not to be released. ^^; Popularity-wise, I think Zeong would be more favorable among the fans, maybe that was how Bandai looked at the three (Marasai included) back then. Also, I remember PG Titans' Gundam Mk. II was out that year as well, maybe Bandai didn't expect the market to be able to accept two expensive kits in the same year, and opted for a 6,000-Yen Zeong to be released instead of a 8,000-Yen The O, with the earlier being expected to do better in terms of sales maybe.

Or maybe they looked at the design again after the display and evaluated that 8,000 Yen wasn't exactly viable for The O. If something as huge as Perfect Zeong would need to be price at 10,000 Yen, I don't believe The O could be priced lower than that, bearing in mind Perfect Zeong is a variation of Zeong, so some developmental cost for the earlier could be saved. And there's no possible variation to derived from The O.

Another similar case would be MG Guntank with R/C feature. Shown at the event (Shizuoka again ^^;) with that feature but omitted for the actual release one year later. Maybe Bandai evaluated that feature and concluded that it was too expensive to be worth it for the average market segment to accept it.

Nonetheless, it's really great that it's being confirmed now. The increase of price might be due to inflation, increase of cost etc, or maybe they are coming up with new features and accessories never planned before - we can never be sure about any of that since we never get to know as much about MG The O till this year. ^^; I would treat it as a completely new design.

Anonymous said...

Well, since Bandai has shown it's willingness to build a larger bout an MG Xamel?

Anonymous said...

The O led to the Development of the Nightingale. Its basically a mix of The O and the Shanel.

Anonymous said...

The O led to the Development of the Nightingale. Its basically a mix of The O and the Shanel.