Last Friday I hopped on a ridiculously crowded morning train to get my ass to the All Japan Hobby and Model Show. Unlike previous years when it was held in Makuhari Messe in Chiba (I seem to spend a lot of time there) this year’s event was held in Tokyo Big Site in Odaiba. That meant catching the Saikyo line from Saitama to Tokyo. That line is nuts. And so is Tokyo Big Site. Have you seen that place?
I got there at 8:30 so I had plenty of time to submit my business cards to the young lady at reception and watch her stare at it like it was some kind of relic from an alien world until she went to ask her supervisor if it was okay to allow a foreigner with a Japanese business card into the venue. It was.
In past years before the first day of the event there would be a little ceremony with the heads of various model companies giving little speeches but this year there was none of that. At 9 am on the dot some guy came out and yelled, “okay everybody, come on in!” and that was it. So I walked briskly straight to the Bandai booth and scoured the whole section looking for the kit that had been rumoured to be there. The Perfect Grade Unicorn. I couldn’t find it. Disappointed I turned around and this stared me in the face.
Awesome! I’m going to talk about this in a lot of detail at the end of this post. Before that I’ll list the other things I saw at Bandai’s booth that interested me (and maybe some that didn’t).
First thing I want to talk about is the RG Wing Gundam Zero Custom EW.
The news had come out only a few days before so I was really excited to see it up close.
Even though this is a December release it seems ready to go as Bandai had all the runners there in the display.
This kit looked amazing and I’m so excited for December for obvious reasons. Many people have asked me what I think the next RG would be or if we ever would see an RG Wing Zero Custom. The first question is tough to answer because Bandai has shown they can do almost anything with RG now but a good indicator of what we may see in RG could be found by looking at the PG line of kits.
They match up pretty well. We’ve seen them all, including a transforming Zeta, and only the Astray Red Frame and 00 Raiser have not been released as a Real Grade kit yet. Don’t be surprised if we see either, or both, sometime soon.
But back to the Wing EW!
You so sexy. My concern when I saw the images in the magazine was that those large wings could make the Wing have balance issues. The Strike Freedom suffers from that to some extent and the wings on the Zero Custom look to be almost twice the size or weight of the Strike Freedom’s Dragoons. But at the show Bandai had the kit in several poses and things looked to hold up pretty nicely.
(I hate the lighting at these shows. And I hate that I am terrible at photography.)
They showed off the new frame for the RG Wing.
On the wall behind it you can see some text which states that this new frame is called ‘Zero Frame’ and can be used for four other MS. I wonder which MS those will be… Ha!
Bandai also showed off the extra rifle parts that are available with a future issue of Gundam Ace magazine.
The upcoming Master Grade on display at the show, the only one unfortunately, was the MG Gundam Astray Blue Frame D.
Sure it looks like an Astray Blue Frame with an Aile Striker pack but don’t be fooled. It’s an Astray Blue Frame with an Aile Striker pack with some new parts for the shoulders and side skirts. I’m kind of disappointed. If you’re only releasing one more MG for the rest of the year can’t it be all-new?
Completing the first wall in Bandai’s area was a large illustration of the next RE/100, the Gundam Mk-III.
And beside that they had the RE/100 Nightingale and the magnificent MG Hi Nu Gundam Ver Ka.
Reconguista G had its own section. So far only High Grades have been revealed.
None of those designs really do it for me except for the two prototypes they displayed. The HG Gehennam Normal and Captain Type look really great and intrigue me, more than the other Reconguista G suits have so far.
Maybe Reconguista G will be like Gundam AGE was for me. The anime didn’t really drawn me in but that MG AGE-1 Normal suit was a kit worth building.
Oh look! A kit none of us will get.
The upcoming HGUC Crossbone Gundam X1 looked really good and if it’s like the recent F91 and Victory HG kits, which I am pretty positive it will be, it will be a great kit and make Crossbone fans very happy.
They had a little display for the MS Builders Parts and the upcoming sets look decent though I don’t know how useful they will be.
But you can make your 1/144 suits aquatic!
BB Senshi also had a display.
As did the Gundam Front Tokyo kits.
And the upcoming Gunpla Expo kits.
Wasn’t too blown away but the Titanium Finish Exia does look beautiful.
I’ve built this kit three times so I think I’m good. Very pretty, though.
And here is where I distract you from the fact that I forgot to take images of the Gunpla Builders Display with this picture of the Space Battleship Yamato section which featured this enormous Yamato.
It’s huge! Totally makes you forget about that other thing.
This year, for the first time, I get to talk about something that is close to my heart (maybe too close depending on whom you ask), Star Wars!
Yes, Bandai now has the rights to produce Star Wars items and they had a huge range of stuff ready to go and featured at the show. I spoke to a Bandai representative to confirm that all these Star Wars plastic models (Stapla – that’s the term. I just created it. Remember it.) will be molded in colour and snap-fit.
Here’s a shot of the wings for the Darth Vader Tie-Fighter.
Molded like that on the runner. Will there be stickers as well? We will have to wait for the release to confirm.
If you ever hoped for Star Wars Figurise-type kits well then your wish is now fulfilled. We are getting a Darth Vader in only a couple of months.
They had a runner of parts and I could see that they have mixed on the runner the flat and shiny black armour parts. We can also expect a Storm Trooper and a C3PO.
And a R2-D2 and R5-D4 twin pack!
I was nerding out pretty hard at this point. For vehicles they had the X-Wing, of course.
They had a split version showing how it fits together.
A Snowspeeder and AT-ST are also coming.
And they showed a 1/48 scale version of the X-Wing. This one had the wings opening and closing and the engines lighting up!
Hubba hubba! The stand looks to be the power source and the buttons on it can operate the functions you choose. That will be cool.
They also had a walking AT-AT!
Don’t know if this is what we can expect from a production version but seeing those legs moving took me back to my childhood and the Kenner commercials which caused me to want one so bad and to cry so hard when I was told no.
(I still wanted one when I became an adult. And bought one when the rereleased them. I think I put George Lucas’ daughter through college.)
Okay now let’s talk about the big thing. Not the Star Destroyer. The Perfect Grade RX-0 Unicorn Gundam.
I was the first one in the door at the event and the first person at the Bandai booth. I was also the first person to post the news on Facebook. I showed a picture of the big banner, and a picture of the flyer they were handing out with the details. Although I didn’t know it at the time, within minutes my images were circulating around the internets. How do I know? Because that’s my thumb in the picture. ha! Maybe I should start water-marking. When I checked my Facebook page it stated that the image had been seen by over 10,000 people. Currently it sits at 15,640. That is pretty amazing.
Without any kit at the show, which was disappointing in all honesty, we tried to give as much information as we could when we filmed the Gunpla TV segment. All that information comes from the flyer I clutched in my hands as I walked around the venue. I’ve scanned it and will try to elaborate on it a little further.
The PG Unicorn will retail for 20,000 yen (though no store I can think of sells Gunpla at the list price).
*It can transform between Unicorn Mode and Destroy Mode (including a deployed face mask) (P.S. my Japanese sucks)
*The entire red Psychoframe uses (this gets tricky with all that kanji) a special plastic, likely to make it glow in certain lighting, but the key kanji I saw was 樹脂 which translates as resin. Hmm.
*When transforming the Blade Antennae has a magnetic insert, is beautiful in Unicorn Mode, and gold coloured on the inside.
*Lots of movement in the elbows and knees.
*The armour unit of the knees are linked together so they move when changing modes.
*Comes with shield x 1, Beam Magnum x 1, Ammo for the Beam Magnum x 1, Beam Gatling Guns x 2, Beam Sabers x 4, Beam Bazooka x 1.
*Comes with a display base and the weapons can be mounted along with the Unicorn.
*Markings are a thin transparent film called Detron Stickers.
*The sold separately LEDs (getting to that) lights up under UV light.
*Will stand 361mm tall when in Destroy Mode.
The LED information is on the right side of the flyer.
LED Unit for the PG Unicorn Gundam is 12,000 yen.
*There are 29 individual LEDs for the frame plus 1 for the eye camera making 30 in total.
*Features a light up sequence (uses a switch)
1) Camera eye lights up.
2) Psycho frame grows steadily stronger
3) Psycho frame steadily diminishes then camera eye goes off.
*Light up sequence has an auto-mode.
It will be revealed to the world on 11.21.FRI (Gunpla Expo day!)
I am ridiculously excited for this kit. Not only because it’s big but also because it’s new. It’s not a PG that uses the same frame as many PGs before it (I’m looking at you Strike Freedom). It is all new and Bandai’s chance to blow our minds. Bandai has been at the top of their game lately with releases such as the MG Sazabi, Hi Nu Ver Ka, RG Z’Gok and soon an RG Wing. Bandai can do an amazing job with this kit and I have faith in them. Please don’t disappoint me Bandai. I don’t want to cry again like I did when I couldn’t have the AT-AT.
So who else is hyped for some PG Unicorn?