Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Mobile Suit Gundam: ASSAULT KINGDOM...Part 2

Part two in my photo assault on Assault Kingdom!  Assault!  ASSAULT!

Series 6

Series 6 is pretty strong, partly because there are cool suits, and partly because they're all STRONG!  First up is the Shining Gundam, one of my favorites from Mobile Fighter G Gundam (which you should be familiar with).  It's stuck in super mode, but that's okay (though I kinda like the normal mode better).

As you'd expect: This one is a fighter, so the articulation follows suit.  It goes a bit farther than the others, in that respect, with absolutely no restrictions in the hips and more than 90 degrees of bending in the elbows and knees.  The elbows even have a swing-hinge that allows the arms to move inward.

The Shining Gundam comes with standard hands AND, of course, the green hand for the SHINING FINGAAAA attack.  It's solid and painted a shiny green (rather than being translucent) and it gets the job done.

Along with that, there's a beam saber, though it's stuck in the Shining Finger Sword form.  Kinda wish there was a normal saber too, but I'm not complaining about this BIG 'OL BEAM, 'cause that's still cool.

Overall, this figure REALLY kills it, considering the source material.  I thought I was happy with the MSiA figures until I got this guy (though I'm sure the Robot Spirits version is even more awesome).  This one can pull off anything you want - from the show or not.  If you're a fan, I'd get 'em.  Otherwise, it's just fun hand-candy as well.

Now this is one of my favorite Gundam designs!  This is the Gundam MK II, which is supposed to be the Federation's next foray into upgrading the original RX-78 Gundam, until new shows were made and you find out about all the other Gundams before this one.  Outside of the show, this was the next Gundam anyone saw after the original.  It takes the same idea but beefs it up a bit.  It doesn't break ground, like the original, but it does bring a lot of technical updates that I won't go in to.

The one we're looking at is the first version that we see, in Titans colors (the Titans being a faction in Zeta Gundam, the show).  It comes with a beam rifle and shield, and one other item:

In the show, when you first see the MK II (there's three of them, actually), you see them with these head-mounted vulcan guns.  The RX-78 was built with vulcan cannons in the head to take out smaller targets, but the MK II lacked that.  The "headphones" are a way to remedy that, though I don't get why.  They don't stick around, and when the "good guys" of the show steal the MK IIs, I don't think they ever end up using the headphone vulcans.  Cool to have it, but I could have used a beam saber instead.

I wouldn't be surprised if this one didn't stand out to most of you.  It's a little "plain Gundam" in the grand scheme of things, but it remains one of my favorite basic Gundam designs.  I'm always happy to get different figures of it.

Moving on to - hey, the Zeta Gundam!  The titular suit from the series of the same name.  This is the real improvement over the original Gundam, in that it changes up the idea completely.  New weapons, totally different design, and it can transform in to a "wave rider" mode that allows for speed and the ability to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere all on its lonesome!

...of course, this figure can't, but I'm cool with that!  I've only got a few transforming Zetas, and I rarely bother to transform them.  You'd think it wouldn't be complicated, but allowing it to transform always weakens the figure overall, for me.  I'm glad this one is just the basic figure.

The Zeta comes with the big 'ol rifle, the "shield" thing (that I'm never convinced is actually any sort of shield), and two sabers.  Both of the sabers are white, sadly, but I can still sorta light them up.

The second saber is for the rifle, because the rifle can form a beam saber from the barrel to make a sort of bayonet.  A LONG one.  Sadly, the way it's done is by removing the barrel of the gun and replacing it with the saber - which is both the saber and the barrel you just removed.  But...since it's all white, the barrel is the same color as the saber.  I don't mind the missing colors on a majority of these, but this, in particular, is kinda annoying and makes me not want to use it.

They make exceptions on paint every so often, and I think this would have been an important one.

The Zeta is nice, and it looks cool (like always) but it rarely makes for a good figure.  Too many things get in the way, even when it doesn't transform.  All of the figures I have - including this one - end up bashing the shoulders into the wings on the back.  With my original MSiA figure the wings just pop off all the time.  With the second MSiA version, the wings just get in the way.  With this one, once again, the arms can't move forward without bumping into the wings.  It's one of those things that works great in animation because of the famous bendy-metal in the older shows.  Things just...bend.  Because they can draw them how they want.  In physical form, though, it doesn't always work.

I wouldn't let it stop you from getting it if you like the Zeta, though!  It's great.  It does everything that any Zeta I've owned does, so at least it's on par!  I just need to find a Zeta Gundam that works with the design as a toy, instead of just making it as accurate as possible to the animation and to hell with the consequences of the original design.

Series 6 has stands that fit together to build this chunky mobile suit, which I believe is a Loto, the evolution of the Guntank.  You can mount weapons on it and all that, but I didn't mess with it too much after building it.  It's cute, but doesn't do much.

You can rearrange the pieces to make the tank form, but that's about it.  It's neat, and they give you enough parts to build two of them (if you get the whole series) but I need stands for the figures more than the Lotos, so they end up getting taken apart to be stands again.

Series 7

This is the other series where I went and bought ALL of 'em.  Not a dud in the set, and all favorites of mine.

We start with the "Krillin" of the original Mobile Suit Gundam team - the Guncannon!  Not so much the "Krillin" because it gets its ass kicked, but because I feel like it's ignored as a powerful contender.

The Guncannon is a support suit, so it has long range weapons and heavy armor, but not much else.  That's awesome, though!  It takes out a LOT of opposition in the course of the show, and even steps out and kicks the crap out of some suits - literally.

The Guncannon doesn't have many accessories, but then, it rarely does.  It has the standard beam rifle and a pair of hands palm-out for kneeling down and firing the cannons.

The Guncannon often comes with alternate missile launchers for the shoulders, but they are in no way required, so this Guncannon has everything it needs.

One thing I remember the most about the Guncannon is a scene where it jumps up and KICKS A ZAKU IN THE FACE.  It's so iconic that the Guncannon in the "MS Gundam vs Zeta Gundam" game even uses the crazy kick as a melee attack (which makes for some hilarious fights when you decide to do a flailing jump-kick straight into a pair of Guntank cannons).

The kick to the face ends up knocking out the pilot, so the Guncannon drags the suit back to White Base.  It's pretty clear in my mind, and I figured it was iconic enough for someone to isolate it, but I can't find it!  Not even a picture!  Bah!

The Guncannon does everything it needs to, and I love it.  No problems here!

Next is Quattro Bajeena's Rick Dias!  I believe I mentioned in a previous post about the ridiculousness of those two names together.  Who's the pilot and who's the mech?  The other fun part is that Quattro is really Char, who is really Casval!  So many names!

Regardless: This is a standard Rick Dias, in red.  This was one of the earlier suits you see in Zeta Gundam and is much more powerful that it looks.  The thing is made of the same armor that Gundams are made of, and it sports some great basic weaponry in the clay bazooka and two beam guns stored on the back.  It's maneuverable, armored, and imposing (and looks like a Dom, which stokes my love for it).

Another thing about the Dias is its ability to store all its weapons!  There's the two beam guns on the back, and the bazooka can store back there as well (there's also a beam saber, but this particular figure doesn't have one).

I like Doms, so I like the Rick Dias.  Also, like the Guncannon, it has a bit of a "Krillin" thing going on in that I had no idea how badass these things were until I looked up the specs.  This figure works out really well, which is great, 'cause the Dias tends to be a little stiff in figure form.  This one improves upon the MSiA, which was already pretty good!

Does it diminish my opinion if I keep saying "the next one is a favorite?"  'Cause the next one is a favorite!

I had mentioned (in the first part) that the Jegan was an improved GM and looked cooler, but there's always gona be a soft spot in my heart for the regular old GM.  The "GM" stands for "Gundam Mass produced", and it really plays the part.  Everything about the GM is a stripped down Gundam, with lesser armor, weapons, and maneuverability.  Heck, they were rolled out en-masse at the end of the One Year War and only won against Zeon's superior Gelgoogs because Zeon didn't have any skilled pilots left.

That's why I like GMs - it didn't matter how crappy they were, it just mattered how good of a pilot you were.  Plus, though the gun the GM was packin' is technically lesser than the beam rifle of the Gundam, it was still devastating in close range.  That's a "beam spray gun" which does just what you'd expect.  It's a "buckshot" of weaker beams sprayed out.  Not much at long range, but at close range the spray is enough to destroy an enemy suit in one shot---

---okay, I think I'm getting too in-depth with the nerd details.  Lets move on.

Last one in this series is the RX-78-2 Gundam itself.  This was released in the first series (that I missed) and is pretty much just a re-release of the figure with new weapons.  This would be great, if I had the first one, but since I'm missing that: this version has no shield, and neither version has a beam saber.

On the other hand: This one is just BRIMMING with weapons, when compared to other figures!

There's the standard beam rifle and hyper bazooka, which is a must.

...and a beam javelin!  Which...isn't a must, but a neat addition all the same!  Just feels a little odd to include when they haven't even given the Gundam a beam saber yet (not that I can't grab one from someone else).

You know they're going all-out when you see the beam actually painted!  You can tell this figure goes the extra mile all around, though:

That's right: You also get the GUNDAM HEEEAAAMER!  *ahem* Gundam Hammer, I mean.  Other Gundam figures have come with the hammer before, but I never expected it to come with this little guy - and with a metal chain, no less!  This one really surprised me.

The Gundam Hammer holds a special place in my heart for being one confusing weapon among scores of futuristic beam weapons and swords.  It originally came with - of all figures - the MSiA Turn A Gundam, which is supposed to be way, way, WAAAAY in the future of the Universal Century (supposedly).  Back when I got that figure, I had no idea what Gundams were beyond cool toys, so the inclusion of a spiked ball-and-chain was hilarious and confusing.

Later on I figured out that it was originally shown with the RX-78 in its cadre of crazy-ass weapons that people named by throwing darts at a wall of synonyms:

"So we can't just call it a about a javelin?"

"Why can't we call it a spear?"


"I said WHY.  Why can't we call it a spear?  The Gundam Spear."

"Eh, because we need some pizazz!   Javelin rolls off the tongue."

"No it doesn't.  Next you'll tell me you want the flail to be called a hammer..."



Granted, I'm pretty sure the ball-and-chain is indeed called a "hammer" in Olympic events, but I always felt the names were a, when first encountered.  Now I see they're kind of...Olympic?  The Hammer, the Javelin, I think there's shooting competitions in the Olympics, and Fencing.  The Gundam is a one-man Olympic event!

My love for the hammer came, once again, from the "MS Gundam vs Zeta Gundam" game.  You can face off against three computer-controlled suits in 1-player, if you like, and then set the intelligence of the suits from "Shoot me!" to "I'LL KILL YOU AND EVERYONE YOU LOVE."  As a challenge, we would pick three Gundams, arm them with the hammer (to give us a chance), set the intelligence to "kill", and then pick a suit to take them on.

...they were monsters.  Pure, rage-fueled monsters.  The highest intelligence level made it so that they would zero in on your location the moment you respawned.  You had seconds to figure out how you would defend yourself before the beasts zoomed in and beat you to scrap with their ever-swinging hammers.  They had a special attack where they would swing the hammers around, but they tended to use it over and over once you were dead, like some bloody victory dance.  The only good thing about that attack is that it would also hit themselves, so you had a few blissful moments where they would knock each other down and you could get away, if you were lucky.

I managed to defeat them once, in a Gabthley.  The whirling of their hammers will forever haunt me.

In lighter news actually pertaining to the toys:  Series 7 came with more build-a-thing parts, but this time they didn't double as the stands!

It's the Ball!  Each figure had a piece, and the directions show how you can...use those pieces and stick them to the figures, or put them together to make the Ball.

...far be it from me to make fun of mix-and-match abilities, but I was excited to build the Ball more than anything else.  Not that there wouldn't be PLENTY of Ball wreckage around the battlefield to warrant using parts of them as armor, if you wanted, but what can I say?  I built the Ball and I never took it back apart.

The Ball looks like something you'd see out in space, repairing a satellite or a colony, and you'd be right!  These were originally worker vehicles re-purposed into fighters with the addition of a cannon.  On it's head.

That's it.

Needless to say, these were emergency additions to the war, and they were generally there for support and space coffins.

I like the Ball not because of Gundam vs Zeta Gundam (for once) but because of "Gundam Battle Assault 2"!  That's a standard fighting game like Street Fighter, only with limited ammo and cool battle damage as you fight.  Speaking of that battle damage: If you pick the Ball, your standard quick attack is with the little snippers on the front.  SNIPSNIPSNIPSNIP!  A few good snips and you'll see why most suits that face the ball are missing their shin armor.

...also the Ball is made of tissue paper, so get those snips in QUICK, because you'll be dead with only a few good hits.

This series, above all, is totally worth the whole set.  You get a bunch of classic Universal Century goodness and a Ball thrown in for good measure.  You can't go wrong.

Series 8

Series 8, on the other hand, had only two I was interested in (though I'm sure the others were good as well).

First is the Goddamn Master Asia's Master Gundam, in all its OP glory.

It is just as articulated as the Shining Gundam so they can face off and scream at each other, well into the night.

Its accessories mostly consist of hands.

The wings can also fold open for some crazy Darkness Finger poses with his shiny pink hand.

The only real accessory is the Beam Cloth, because the Goddamn Master Asia only towels off with the finest of microfiber beam water-vaporizing technology.

The Master Gundam is totally on par with the Shining Gundam, and you would be remiss to pass up one if you get the other.  They need each other.

And finally, our last stop, and my personal favorite above all: The Dom!  Or, more specifically, the Rick Dom.

I'll just call it a Dom from here on out, though, 'cause there's very little difference between the Dom and Rick Dom.  Basic thing is that the Dom is for planet-side and the Rick Dom is fitted for space-use.  They look the same.

The Dom comes with the standard Giant Bazooka (that is the offical name) and a heat saber (un-heated, though that's just because it's unpainted, but it IS white when it's not on, so I guess it counts).

The Dom was built to DOM-INATE, because it's fast, armored, carries a big stick and a big boom-stick, and has a blinder on the front to mess up your see-balls.  It made its debut in triplicate, piloted by the Black Tri-Stars, a team of ace pilots.  The Black Tri-Stars' color scheme is black and purple, and they donated that color scheme to all standard Doms when they...well...when they died in the first three.

You can watch one of 'em die here, if you like.  In all their southern-accent glory.

...don't watch the English dub, folks.

Here's the Japanese version, in case you want to hear what it sounds like without all the added horrible mechanical noises that you could find on a stock sound effects site.

The Tri-Stars come back later to avenge their fallen comrade, but in the shortened movie version of Mobile Suit Gundam, they all die there on the spot.

Beyond that, though, the Dom goes on to be a great success!  Not only in the lore of the series, but also because I love it so.

I'm not really sure why this is such a top-favorite, considering I usually like the quicker, melee based robots 'n such.  This thing is bulky and is mainly known for the slow-firing (but powerful) bazooka.  I guess it's just the design!

That about does it for my Assault Kingdom collection, thus far.  I'm still looking for more, but I'd say I've got a good number of my favorites in widdle-biddy form.  Especially the Dom!  That one is yet another must-have even for general robot enthusiasts.  Or people who like robots.

These can be a cheap way to get some of your favorite Gundam suits in tiny and space-saving form, assuming you can find them for the normal prices.  You don't even have to sacrifice the fun of posing them, either!  Each one has more than enough articulation for multiple poses, and the accessory count is usually enough to cover the iconic items (though, not always everything).

If I had to say anything against the series as a whole, it's that the lacking paintwork sometimes leaves something to be desired.  It's few and far between, though, since they tend to make good choices on where to leave out paint so that it's not very noticeable, save for the plain sabers (which I suppose you could paint, if you were so inclined).

Even as a Gundam fan with an already extensive collectin: I knew I had to have these.  I haven't been disappointed yet.  Grab 'em if you see 'em!

Also, if you want a nice, handy list of everything and the series they're in, I was using this archive to keep track of it all.  Very useful!


  1. Now I'm seeing the Guncannon fire off hundreds of shirts in one burst. Also, there seems be a trend of you jumping into heavy cannon fire when we play these games.

    Ah, always loves me some RX-78. Except for when we set them to KILL ALL mode on the game. I'm sure not going to take all three of them on again. ...poor little Hambrabi never stood a chance. Maybe could do it with a Grablom.

    So could that tank work as an upgrade to Tank Legs' tank legs?


      Yeah, I think I tend to jump into cannon fire 'cause I'm always trying to melee everything. Gotta get in close to attack - even when I've got a damn gun! Also I'm an idiot.

      The Grablom would just recognize the Killer Gundams as the master, like the raptors with the dominus rex. You'd lose control and that would be the end!

      If there was a hole in the top, then that could be new tank legs for Tank Legs, but as it is, I don't think there' room for his torso. It could be his friend, though!

  2. Yeah, Assault Kingdom's pretty neat. Managed to pick up a bunch of 'em dirt cheap on Amazon. Sadly, wave 7 was never up for a decent price, but considering what all I got, I can't complain.

    Not as detailed as the model kits, but fun all the same.

  3. Ugh, did they change the sound effects in the English dub of MSG? That is the worst. 70s-80s-90s anime mecha sound effects are like aural candy for me. When some dub team replaces them with flat-sounding stock stuff it's like opening a box of Mike & Ike only to find, I dunno, moth balls, and like, a photo of an elderly lady flipping you the bird.

    Similar thing happened with the Rhino DVD releases of the G1 Transformers cartoon. They didn't dub over the original sound effects, but for some reason they dubbed in lots of sound-library noises which didn't fit at all. Glaring example, in the first season intro, right as it opens you hear this loud "BOOM" that doesn't go with anything on screen. I MEAN WHY

    OK rant over.

    Further thoughts on Zeta Gundam: I quite like the mecha's design in animated form, but it doesn't always translate well into three dimensions. For example, the HGUC model does transform, but you have to basically remove the entire torso and set it aside to do so. I think the RG model kit also transforms, but it's such a fragile and fiddly kit that it's almost not worth it at all.

    I haven't played MSG vs. Zeta Gundam, but I've sunk a ton of hours into Super Robot Wars, a game which I've likely mentioned here before. In MX, you get the G Gundam team, and late in the game you can execute the series-end techniques (such as the Erupting Shuffle Alliance Attack and the Love Love Tenkyoken), all accompanied with extra-long and bombastic cinematics. As long as you have enough energy and troop morale, you can basically do these attacks over and over again, which was amusing as hell to do against minor enemies. Like summoning Bahamut Zero against a bee or something.

    Also that game caused me to inadvertently memorize Domon's "about to use the God Finger" speech (in Japanese). Simply because I wanted to use it against so many enemies.

    1. Oh yes. Yes they did add sound effects. YEE GODS did they add effects! And they didn't replace them either; there's just these horrible chain-and-gear noises when the suits move. Like, what are these things, clock towers? And the best sound in the universe - the Gundam's Beam Rifle's trademark BO-SHEEEWWW - gets this stupid 90's stock laser noise added to it. The English dub is the hardest thing to watch. The English dub of the movies weren't terrible, though.

      ...and I would still buy that box of Mike&Ike, if only to start my collection of Old-Ladies-Flipping-You-The-Bird trading cards.

      Anyway, yeah, that's my same problem with the Zeta. I like it well enough, but it so rarely translates well to figure form. I'll have to check out reviews for the Robot Spirits version to see how that worked out. The best one I had was the MSiA 2.0 version, and even that was kinda finicky.

      I've wanted to check out SRW, but I never got around to it. Closest I came was back before my Dad's old computer died and took all my roms and emulators with it - I used to download just about everything, and I got a few of those to try them out, only they were in Japanese. I managed a few battles here and there, but it was a lot of guesswork. I was excited when they started coming to the US...but I just never checked them out! Which one is your favorite, so far?

      Oh, and I do hope you've used Domon's speech at some point in your life, outside the game. Preferably while following up with a hand to someone's face.

    2. The SRW that I've played:
      SRW Original Generation/Original Generation 2 for GBA - Two of the only three that were ever released in the U.S., since they only feature Banpresto original characters/mecha (no licensed characters). If you have a vested interested in the dynamics of mecha anime and you like games like Fire Emblem, FF Tactics, etc., these games are awesome.

      SRW Original Generations for PS2 - Remakes of the above two games with new features, etc. In Japanese only. I haven't gotten all the way through them.

      SRW MX for PS2 - The one mentioned above. Has G Gundam, UC Gundam, the typical 70s guys (Mazinger, Getter Robo, Raideen, etc.) as well as others like Evangelion, Nadesico, Machine Robo, Gear Fighter Dendoh, RahXephon, and Zeorymer. I loved, loved, loved this game, although it was notably easier than some others I've played.

      SRW Alpha 3 for PS2 - Haven't finished it, but it's bigger and crazier than MX. Has Gundam SEED, Gundam Wing Endless Waltz, Gaogaigar, Evangelion, Ideon (an older Tomino series that is totally bugnuts - seriously look it up).

      SRW Advance for GBA - Also haven't finished it. Has many similar characters to MX (G Gundam, Nadesico, Dragonar, etc.). Also has one of my favorite Banpresto originals, Soulgain.

      It's not too hard to play these games once you learn the menu layouts and get a printout of the items, pilot skills, and seishin (spirit techniques). Most SRW entries also have story translations or story walkthroughs posted on GameFAQs. You may also learn some Japanese (I learned how to read katakana and hiragana basically by playing these games).

    3. Oh, I forgot one. I played SRW III, a SNES game, since it had an English translation patch (though, the translation was pretty bad). The game was really damn tough! I didn't get all the way through it. A few other SRWs have English patches as well.

    4. MX sounds interesting - was it in English? I'm not the best player when it comes to tactics games, so I don't want to put to much work into it. Just wanted to check one out. Chances are, SRW III was one I played on emulator, at some point (downloaded a few for the SNES).

      And yes, I've heard of Ideon! Tomino feeds on the sadness of his fans. I suppose it's not as bad as Zambot 3, where people are turned into freakin' bombs! Tomino gives you a handshake with one hand and slaps you with the other.