Gaijin Gunpla

This past Friday I ventured once again to the huge complex that is known as Makuhari Messe (seems like I’m there almost every second weekend these days) for the 53rd All Japan Hobby and Model Show. It was there I wanted to get a good look at all the new Gunpla goodies that will be arriving at the end of this year and beginning of next. This show was even better than last thanks to one big item, and a few surprises.

The first place I went to once inside the building was, or course, the Bandai booth.

And look at the banner. Bandai had presentations for two of their upcoming releases, one an MG and the other an RG. First off, that big red thing.

All tucked away safely behind glass here was the star of the show, the 1/100 MG MSN-04 Sazabi Ver. Ka. Words cannot do justice when it comes to describing this thing, so I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking. I took far more than I usually would at these types of shows. Check out this box!

And now a series of shots showing the awesomeness.

It was tough to get in close and show some detail on the display kit behind the glass but fortunately, Bandai had one out in the open among a display of other MG kits.

There was a nice flat-coated Nu there too.

But enough about anything other than the Sazabi! Let’s talk details. Or, rather, let me show them to you in pictures. Looks like the shoulders, like those on the Nu Gundam Ver Ka, will open up to reveal some frame.

Hands look to be the 3.0 type but bigger, thank goodness.

Similar to the Sinanju the Sazabi shield has some arms folded up underneath. Maybe we’ll be getting huge effect parts too.

The pods on the back open up.

Love the detail no the bottom half of the suit.

And you can see the resemblance to the later Sinanju in the feet.

And elbows

And the head will be removable and take an LED.

There is only one thing that seemed could be cause for concern when it comes to this kit. The use of poly-caps for joints. At the show they had a built leg assembly which you could pick up and look at and the first thing I looked for was the joint connection which was a very large poly-cap. Something this heavy could start to sag once those Poly-caps loosen.

Also on the wall next to the Sazabi was this awesome artist’s rendering.

I will try to do that pose with my Sazabi come December.

Right next to the display Sazabi was this kit, which is even more expensive! The 1/100 MG Nu Gundam Ver. Ka Titanium Finish Ver.

Normally, Titanium Finish kits don’t do much for me though I will admit that finish looks awesome in red as seen on both the HG and MG Sinanju kits, however the Nu Gundam looks beautiful in Titanium. Gone is that vibrant, yet awkward, yellow we find on most Gunpla kit and instead it’s replaced with gold.

The other kit with its own presentation was the 1/144 RG ZGMF-X20A Strike Freedom Gundam.

Reminds me of the presentation I saw at the same show two years prior where they were showing the PG Strike Freedom, though this was, of course, much smaller.

It’s hard to tell from these pictures but the gold on the Dragoons is Mekki while the frame is the normal, ‘lame’ gold.

I can understand why it is this way, I mean how could they mekki coat an RG frame?, however, the one area where there is fail is the hands. The fixed-pose hands that come with RG kits come on a different runner from the movable RG hands and so doing a Mekki on that would have been possible, yet it does not seem that was taken into consideration. Despite that, it still looks really, really good (as all RGs do).

I kind of feel sorry for the RG Strike Freedom at this event. Well, I definitely feel sorry for the person who had to present it. He was standing at a podium placed between the displays for the Sazabi and the Strike Freedom both of which had their own, very loud, video presentations. When he was trying to speak loudly enough to be heard over the looped video to explain about the RG Strike Freedom everyone was essentially ignoring him and looking at the Sazabi. Tough gig.

Around the corner from that was a diorama with two of the three Gundam Thunderbolt HG kits.

Then each kit was displayed on its own with some other materials referencing that storyline.

Here is the 1/144 HG FA Gundam (Thunderbolt Ver.)

So much stuff!

FA Thunderbolt and FA Unicorn; who wins?

Then the ‘Big Gun’ as it’s more than appropriately called though the official name of the kit is 1/144 HG Zaku II & Big Gun (Thunderbolt Ver.)

And the other heavily-backpacked guy, the 1/144 HG GM (Thunderbolt Ver.) was right there too.

Around a second corner was a shelf showing the upcoming System Weapon 005

As well as more Builders’ Parts; MS Pipe 01 and MS Spike 02.

And also the latest batch of Gundam decals.

And next to that was the display showing kits being sold at the Gundam Expo.

That Heine Destiny.

Because orange!

Some people are likely to mention that I’ve not shown the MG Full Armor Unicorn clear version. Well, that’s because it wasn’t there. It appears that Bandai kept a lot of stuff out of site until the first public day such as the FA Unicorn and the just announced Bandai online shop kits. I don’t have pictures nor know much about I’m always late to the party but they do look pretty sweet! Dat Noir!

Right beside the Gunpla Expo case was the shelf with the three newest HG Zaku IIs

Johnny Ridden’s ride is looking pretty good.

And there was the Desert Color Nemo as well.

Looks pretty good in not-crazy-green.

Next to the Nemo, it was very hard to stand because it was the display for Gundam UC and they had (another) very loud video playing. But it’s nice to see the UC Gundam kits all displayed together because they’re all awesome.

Hey babe, we gotta talk. I have to be honest with you and say that recently my heart has started to waver. Someone else is in the picture now and, though I don’t know if what I’m feeling is the real thing or not, if I don’t pursue it I would regret it forever. I think we need to see other people. I also think I’ve got a thing for redheads.

They also had a very nice 1/100 MG Strike Rouge Ootori Ver.RM which looked to be using the new waterslide decals and had a very nice top coat on it. Kit looks great all done up.

Next to the Rouge was a prototype. Coming in February is a HGUC ARX-014 Silver Bullet.

Hey Americans, grab yourself a Silver Bullet!

Next up was Wing.

It’s nice to see those other MG kits again. They were all pretty good.

But the new one! My.. Gawd..

And look at that box art!

I don’t need model (at this time), just let me assemble that box!

The next display featured a couple shelves full of random MG kits.

There didn’t seem to be any order.

But no one was paying attention or cared because we were all looking at this!

An MG Gundam X!

There is an MG Gundam X coming soon!


Across from that display were the High Grades and the All Gundam Project kits.

1/144 HGUC Victory Gundam
is looking great and ready for its release next month, while the 1/144 HGUC Gundam F91, a December release, looks pretty much set and might even make the MG look bad. But check this out!

A V2!!!! It looks like it will be great and also gives me hope maybe we’ll see an MG release. I would settle for an MG V2 Gundam Ver. KA.

And the big surprise of these HG displays was this guy.

An Aile Strike RM in HG. Maybe the older HG is a little too dated now and Bandai wants to capitalize on the SEED anniversary.

There were a couple exclusives along this wall as well, such as this 1/144 Build Akitsuki Gundam but it’s a Pro-shop kit, unfortunately. And there was a sparkle version of the 1/144 HGBF Build Strike Gundam Full Package, but they also had a promotional poster showing a clear Freedom for those who purchase the CD by the band Infinity who do one of the songs in the Gundam Breakerz game, I think.

Gundam Build Fighters was also there (but can we pretend it wasn’t?)

The 1/144 HGBF Wing Gundam Fenice. Kinda like it.

The 1/144 HGBF Sengoku Astray Gundamu. Bandai’s given it the samurai warrior look so I have to be interested by default.

Beargguy III

The most popular kit out of the old Gunpla Builders series of kits was the Beargguy and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Beargguy III be the popular kit out of the Gundam Build Fighters line. That’s what happens when you have only one original kit in the bunch.

Bandai had a Gundam Breaker booth set up featuring four PS Vistas and so you could play the game. As the day I went was the industry day, it was mostly old dudes in suits who didn’t seem to interested.

Of course, Bandai had more than just Gundam kits at the show, though because the only new thing was a prototype of a Figure-rise 6 Barnaby Brooks Jr the only other thing that was interesting came in the way of Valvrave.

Yup, another Hito, but this time it’s the Valvrave I Full Impact.

The other big kit that got its own presentation was the new Space Battleship Yamato.

Okay, this thing looks awesome. They even had a computer set up with the CAD which you could rotate around using the mouse to get a good appreciation for the detail.

Check out this display.

Not kits, of course, but Robot Damashii. I already knew about the Hi Nu, which looked awesome, and the Robot Damashii (Side MS) Sinanju (Animation Edit.) looks great

but check out that big green thing in the back.

A Robot Damashii Kshatriya?!?!?!

Speaking of big stuff, look at Bandai’s 12 inch Perfect Model (12 PM, get it?) Tiger and Bunny figures.

Absolutely massive in both size and price. 25,000 yen!

And I’ll take a moment to bask in the glory of the Metal Build Destiny Gundam.

The detail in the wings is jaw-dropping.

And while we’re talking about big and expensive things why not show the G-strict PG Gundam.

Man that thing is hard to photograph. It’s like a black hole sucking in all light when instead it’s just a black plastic model sucking you out of 30,000 yen.

Bandai wasn’t the only place to see gundam models. Both Hobby Japan and Dengeki Hobby had booths with some Gunpla on display.


Hold on. what’s that?

A Gundam Build Fighter kit that looks fantastic?! I call Shenanigans. It’s always amazing to see what the pros can do even with less than stellar stuff to work with.

Hasegawa also had some plastic robots.

Or in the case of that last one they had a decal sheet with some plastic parts attached.

Kotobukiya had rather a small display area but showed off some big kits.


And some Frame Arms prototypes.

A samurai warrior? I’m interested by default.

And as I close this mini-report I want to show the bigges sci-fi snap-fit plastic model I have ever seen, the 1/72 RBOZ-003 Gojulas (Limited Production).

They had a small area set up where two people were assembling it during the event and during the almost 7 hours I was there they only managed to slog through this much.

The stack of runners next to them was almost as tall as the dude.

Normally, I’d be thinking this is the uber-coolest, most awesomest thing I saw at the show, but I actually was thinking that, just about the Sazabi.


Categories: Events, Life in Japan

18 Responses so far.

  1. Christian says:

    nice coverage 😀

    and that Temjin really is colorful.

    poor sinanju, Sazabi is there to steal all of her show.

  2. Hypnos says:

    That Sazabi…. my god, i was thinking on preorder it next month, but im afraid that this beast will weight a ton and then i will not be able to pass it trough customs without leaving my paycheck there 🙁

  3. Hypnos says:

    That Sazabi…. my god, i was thinking on preorder it next month, but im afraid that this beast will weight a ton and then i will not be able to pass it trough customs without leaving my paycheck there 🙁

  4. seaslugs says:

    “Endress Waltz”


  5. Huey says:

    Oh Sazabi, you make my heart all a-flutter.

    And Syd, what do you say about the recently announced PG Blue Frame that’s also a Bandai Online Shop Exclusive (rrobbert has a video of it)? Some say it’s just a recolored Red Frame with some extra parts, but I do hope it has that massive Tactical Arms, even if the Square-Cube law is very much against it.

    • syd says:

      As I didn’t see it I don’t know exactly what to think but any new PG is cool news, though I would have liked to see a different suit. Something not using a strike based frame perhaps.

  6. Bocalt says:

    Thanks, just when i wasn’t feeling quite hyped about the Sazabi your enthusiasm picked me up as well.

    Dude cmon Build fighter hate that early 😀

    Don’t forget to try out the MG next year, a few of those Age MGs did grow on you and already the show has more positive feedback.

    • syd says:

      Maybe I just hate the concept. I want my Mobile Suits big and capable of destruction, not being put together and played with by little kids.

      • Woodfish says:

        It’s a weapon of destruction meant for killing but at the same time it’s cute, painted in pink, with Hello Kitty prints all over…
        It’s like a pink Ferrari, some things you just don’t do and yet, it’s there, looking all perdy an all.
        However, with the new show being kiddy, more than anything from Gundam universe, it’s still fun to some extent. If you can block the kawaiiness and all. Good thing, this will probably bring more fans into GunPla, bad would be, well, everything else. Can’t be much worse than AGE anyway.

      • Belades says:

        Think of it this way, it gives Bandai an excuse to release kits from older series that they never were able to get around to making due to the fact that there’s a new setting every few years (We’re getting Gundam X stuff all of a sudden and it is very likely because they don’t have to focus on a bunch of grunt MS!) AND, we get some really cool variations. I’m not a big fan of the build strike, but the X Mao and the Sengoku Astray are really cool. Some of them are improvements over the initial design too, rather than just things meant to sit there and look pretty. My one gripe about the show is that the main MS is the Strike. I feel like I see the Strike WAY too much.

      • Bocalt says:

        After having watched the first 3 episodes, I can say that I will stick to this show. Its simple and fun, its even funny, fight choregraphy looks good, gunpla is wonderfully put forward, and the kits and cameos are simple fun all over the place.

  7. Bocalt says:

    And only in your pics did I notice : Casval Deikun :O

  8. Bocalt says:

    Anyone knows what’s the story behind the new gun?

    • Darth Mingus says:

      The painting with the Sazabi and the new gun dates back to the release of Char’s counterattack and was one of the unused concept art pieces. The standard Sazabi gun is a beam shotgun, the new gun is the Sazabi’s beam rifle. I hope it comes with the kit and not a a web exclusive.

  9. Archer says:

    I save all my fortunes for those sexy wing gundam prototype zero, don’t let me down this time bandai, i really hope the joints is strong enough and of course flexible, sorry justice you have to wait a little bit longer

  10. Yzak says:

    Hey Syd,just wanted to ask for the gundam campaign held a couple of months back.When will Bandai send out the prizes?I received a email from then stating i won the pg sp set,but until now i do not have any notification or emails coming from them about the shipment of prizes.I live in singapore btw,and do you think the gogulas with be a worth of money?Thanks.

  11. Andrew says:

    Hey Syd,

    Any idea on the Sazabi’s release date? I’m considering picking one up for a friend for Christmas, but not sure if it’ll release early enough in December to give it enough time to ship overseas. Thanks!

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