Monday, March 18, 2013

Gundam Nonsense

Now, some of you may be under the assumption that I've got a toy obsession.  This is true.  I have many toys.  Sometimes I swim in them like Scrooge McDuck and it causes me great pain, because there are many sharp items.

*ahem* Within that obsession, however, lies sub-obsessions.  One of those is Gundam toys, of which the majority are MSiA, or Mobile Suit in Action.  This is their story.  Names and dates have been changed to protect the identity of the toys.  Wait, no, the names and dates are fine, but I did add captions because toys are hilarious.

Anyone know anything about Gundam?  Show of hands? 

None of you are cooperating. 

Well fine: Mobile Suit Gundam is one of them animes.  You know, Japanese animation 'n all that.  It's an 80's anime that BLEW UP and became a major franchise in Japan.  You may have noticed that Gundam had tried to become a franchise here as well, but, every time Gundam tries, it never seems to do well for very long. 

Now, Mobile Suit Gundam is actually a specific show - the first one.  That spawned sequels in the same universe called the Universal Century, or the UC timeline.  Eventually they decided to use the Gundam name and look and feel, but retell the stories in various ways, usually centering around a young kid and how he is SO good at piloting giant mechs.  That created different timelines completely unrelated to the original UC timeline - other universes, basically.  That's where you'll find shows like Gundam Wing, or Gundam X, or Gundam SEED.  All of those are unrelated to the UC timeline and also unrelated to each other; simply sharing the same theme of youngins piloting mechs in a war usually involving people on Earth and people in space hashing it out (but not all the time). 

Now that you got the very basic of gists, I wana go back to that toy obsession thing: I got into these figures before I knew a single thing about Gundam.  I just saw the figures in the local import shop and checked some things off the stuff-I-want-in-a-toy list:

 - Robots?  Check.
 - Tons of accessories?  Check.
 - Swords?  Check.

And so I bought whatever this "gun-damn" was and fed my addiction!  Eventually I'll go over my very first one and my thoughts at the time, but for now we'll just keep on with the random pics, 'cause I can't do anything new at the moment.  Point is: These are awesome toys first and foremost (though I totally got into the shows after the fact). 

These first few pics are depicting figures from the show 8th MS Team.  It was a story set near the end of the war in the original Gundam series (UC), but made in the 90's so the animation is real slick.  The figures are as down-and-dirty as they look, and they stand up to some good play, though the joints may vary in looseness over time.  The first pic at the top is the three Gundam Ground Types together from the show, and the second depicts the changes that are made in the course of the story: One Gundam gets trashed and completely rebuilt, and another gets it's head knocked off by an Acguy; which is that little brown guy with the claw hand.  They replace the head of the Gundam with a GM head (stands for Gundam Mass Produced; that probably speaks for itself). 

There's the GM, pictured with a "Zock".  The badguys in the original series - The Principality of Zeon - made some awesome mechs and some real butt-ugly freaks.  The Zock is one of those two.  You decide which one.

The Zock is supposed to be a heavy weapons platform - and I'm sure it is - but sadly I've never watched through the entirety of the original series and have only been able to watch the three movies they condensed the series into.  In those movies, the Zock does two things: jump out of the water, and get shot dead-center so the Gundam can pretty much jump straight through the wreckage that used to be the Zock. 

Obviously I find the Zock hilarious and I love it.

These are Gelgoogs!  Yes, Zeon also named everything by gargling jello.  They came in near the end of the UC timeline in response to the mass-produced GMs from the Federation.  The Gelgoogs are actually more powerful than GMs, but the pilots in the GMs had much more training than the pilots for the Gelgoogs, so the Federation won out in that department.  These are some of my favorite MSiA figures and they usually come with the best stuff!  Huge shield, cool rifles, and a double-bladed saber with two styles of blades (curved and straight). 

These are mechs from the Gundam Wing show I was talking about.  It was the first Gundam show I was able to catch, and (at the time) I didn't understand why it didn't feature any of the toys I had bought (the store I was buying from was only getting UC stuff around that time).  Still, I loved it!  Also, the show is ridiculous.  The obvious Gundam is the Wing Zero (second version of the Wing Gundam) and those screaming guys are Leos, which are the standard grunts of the show.  They get torn apart by the dozens, and the pilots love to scream "IT'S A GUNDAM!" before dying spectacularly.  A big joke between my friends and I has always been that Leos just explode when they even see a Gundam.

And once again, I love them.  One of my favorite suits!  So rarely represented in toy form, though they got a recent release in the Robot Damashii toyline that I'm drooling over.

Now this is a Zaku II command type (you can tell by the fin on it's head) from another toyline by Banpresto called SCM EX.  They're a tiny bit bigger than MSiA, but acceptable for me.  They are CRAZY ARTICULATED, and not to an annoying degree, either!  Every move you make puts them in an awesome pose.  They're sadly hard to get 'cause they're actually prizes in crane machines.  Insane, right?

I can't believe they put such great toys in crane machines!  Because of this, I've only got a few of these. 

Here's a short fight between a Robot Damashii Turn A Gundam and this Zaku to display the articulation:

Not the best action shots, but I took these in 2010 (I think I'd make some different choices now, in terms of photography). Anyway, like I said, that crazy thing is the Turn A Gundam from another series that is actually WAY far in the future of the UC timeline...somehow. It's from the Robot Damashii toyline, which is made by Bandai, who also made MSiA figures (and possibly owns Japan as a whole).  Essentially: MSiA is a dead toyline and Robot Damashii is what took over in it's place.  I've got mixed feelings with it, as the Damashii toyline is a tad brittle when compared to the solid MSiA figures.  I'll go over that some other time.

That's the original RX-78-2 Gundam being held by some Doms (and a GM beating the crap out of said Doms).  The "Jetstream Attack" is something that the "Black Tri-Stars" perform.  The Black Tri-Stars are an elite team of pilots that use black and purple as their personl color scheme, so when the Doms show up for the first time, they're painted up in the Black Tri-Stars' custom colors (though, all Doms from then on out use those colors, in reverence to the Black Tri-Stars, whose Jetstream Attack totally failed and got them killed).  This "Jetstream Attack" is just the three Doms lining up and attacking an opponent head on.  I guess you can't see the other Doms behind them when they're attacking, so the one in front attacks, making the opponent retaliate in such a way that leaves them open for the Dom directly behind to shoot 'em and blow 'em up.  I guess the third is there to mop up in case the second can't do the job.  It worked great, until they met the Gundam.

And no, GMs probably wouldn't stand a chance but DANG I love 'em!

Didn't I say Zeon made some real freaks?  That's a Zakrello, and it goes REALLY fast in one direction!  Can't turn for shit.  Also it has blade arms!  I hope I don't need to explain why I had to have this horrible beast.

You've heard of the Zaku II, now take a look at the Zaku I!  Somehow the exposed pipes on the Zaku II make it stronger than the streamlined Zaku I (I have no idea why).  From the left to right we have: Standard Zaku I, battle damaged Zaku I, and Ranba Ral's Zaku I.  Ranba Ral likes blue.

This is another Zaku II command type.  It's an MSiA, but from a sub-line called EMSiA, with the "E" standing for "extended."  They're just sporting a better paint job and more accessories; sometimes more articulation depending on the figure. 

And from left to right: Zaku II 2.0, EMSiA Zaku II, and then two Zaku II 1.0 figures.  The 2.0 rocks so much more than the originals, but there's something to be said for the simplicity of those old ones. 

Those are GM ground types getting their shit kicked.  Obviously mass produced versions of the Gundam ground types you saw earlier. 

These are EMSiA versions of the Nu Gundam and the Sazabi - I'm sure you can guess which is which.  These are the suits used by the main protagonist (Amuro Ray) and main antagonist (Char Aznable) of the original series in a movie called "Char's Counterattack."  Fantastic figures, and totally worth it to get these and skip the original MSiA versions.  There are new Robot Damashii versions of both of these suits, but I can't vouch for them against these 'cause I don't got 'em. 

Now, finally, speaking of Robot Damshii: here's the Damashii version of the RX-78-2 Gundam with a message on how you defeat your enemies in many giant robot animes...push forward on the controls and scream!

If you're interested in the Robot Damashii Gundam, be sure to get the hardpoint version, because the one shown above is the first version, with ridiculously tiny hands.  They fix that in the second one.  THANKS BANDAI.  Great figure, but I think I may still suggest the MSiA Gundam 2.0 or EMSiA version over this one.  I will say that this Damashii figure is one of the least brittle I own, however. 

Alright, that's it for another post-old-pics session!  Still waiting on the fixes Photobucket.  Come on buddy.  You can do it. 


  1. Photobucket problems aside, this is like going through a treasure trove.

    Or Dr Venom's brainwave scanner of your mind.

    Sadly I have no Gundam action figures of any kind, I do however have a bunch of HGUC kits I love to build. Got to big up your GM love btw, especially the OG GM.

    1. Thanks! I really got a lot of pics randomly all over the place, so I guess I can keep going. I just dug out some other pics from Photobucket even if they aren't fixed yet. It's hilarious that ANYONE at Photobucket thought it was a good idea to change from viewing your albums on different pages to viewing them by scrolling down and waiting for more thumbnails to load. The pics I dug out were WAAAAYYY down there, so the screen was just full of thumbnails and the screen crashed constantly from slowdown. Each link I copied took a few seconds from clicking on it, copying it, pasting it to a notepad, then going back to the window to do it again. Just amazing. I wana slap the programer who thought of that.

      Anyway, I got a TON of models from back in the day that I swear I'll paint someday. Someday...and yeah, GMs rock! I've always been a fan of the grunts; dunno why.

  2. My favorites have long been Guncannon - love those shoulder cannons - and Hygogg for his crazy wavy arms. And I love all of the ridiculous one-shot Zeon mechs, especially Big Zam. Apparently Tomino was never happy with a lot of those one-shots because he was going for a more serious show. I also heard he hates KITTENS and PUPPIES.



    1. I heard Tomino put a puppy and a kitty together, waited for them to become friends, then killed one of them off in a dramatic battle so he could feel of the cries of despair from the survior.

      But yeah, without those one-shots it just wouldn't be Zeon material! What I don't get is how stuff like those gigantic Hygoggs are SO much faster than the thinner humanoid GMs! It's like the Federation just trains thier soldiers to stand there. Also doesn't help when you want to protect something important and you always equip them with normal solid ammo firing machine guns...

  3. So I've been on a Gundam/mecha kick lately and I'm now about 3/4 of the way through the original MSG (heh) TV series. And I finally got the episode with Zakrello! You've probably seen the clip, but the ridiculous thing shows up spewing beams out of its mouth and grapples with the Guntank for a few seconds until Amuro flies out with the Gundam and wastes it pretty much immediately.

    And then when the Zeon lieutenant reports this to Char, Char's like "I didn't even know we had that thing on the ship. Oh, well."

    I said it back in March, but I feel I need to reiterate that I love the wacky stuff that's present in the TV series but absent in the movies, like Zakrello, Bigro, the G-Fighter, etc. Maybe I'm just a total sucker for merchandise-driven media...

    1. Yeah, I LOVE that Zakrello! I always assumed that he would appear somehow formidable when I finally saw the clip, but NOPE. Just as stupid as he looks! I love it! Why did Zeon even bother with that trash? I just friggin' love the Zeonic Company. They're goddamed INSANE.

      Anyway, I agree. I love the side stuff that barely shows up and is wacky as hell.

    2. As a side note, today I found this Japanese site that reviews MSIA figures and it has some pretty great photos of the Zakrello and the Biggro, each recreating its battle with White Base's MS team from the TV show.

      My favorite is the pic at the bottom of the combination of Biggro and Big Zam, appropriately named "Bigbig."

    3. Ha! Bigbig. Reminds me of the Grablaum me and a friend came up with. Er well..the name, at least. Can't remember what it was supposed to look like. We just like making up Zeon mobile armor names.

  4. love the pics! can i know which optimus prime is that? i have been looking for an optimus that is in scale with my robot spirits gundam!

    1. That is a Japanese figure, from a Transformers line called "Robot Masters."