Gaijin Gunpla

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?

Categories: Events, Life in Japan

32 Responses so far.

  1. scid says:

    I’m totally hype about the PG syd.but the led..hmmm..maybe have to look at it first to see if they’re worthy

  2. TheDeadComet says:

    Great article Syd. Thank you. Was getting impatient for the announcement of the next RG. I’m an RG junkie. After the PG Unicorn announcement it took all of 2 seconds to decide that it will be the first PG I build. Was a little surprised at the price (being reasonable). Then read about the LED set and it’s price. But I can’t see getting the kit and not getting the LEDs. I’m all in for it. Really excited. Oh, and hockey season, always excited for hockey season.

  3. Nick says:

    I wonder if we’ll see a Banshee (or even a Phenex for ¥40000+). Then if we do retail like the MK-II or Strike Rouge, or P-Bandai like the Blue Frame.

  4. Bernard says:

    Wow, I can’t imagine a red frame astray in RG form… The reason why it’s one of my favourite master grades out there is because of the relatively high amount of details compared to many MGs out there.
    And yes, I am excited about a PG kit for the first time being a big fan of the unicorn ms in particular!

  5. jonas says:

    thanks syd! with the PG unicorn what do u think are the chances of a Rg unicorn?

  6. Syberio says:

    I’m totally wetting my pants for this PG Unicorn but damn… where do i put it…. too many gunpla in my flat T__T

  7. zetaone71 says:

    Totally excited for a new PG, and for the next RE 100. Need a towel….

  8. Sonar says:

    Pumped!Very interested to see how the transformation to NT-D will work in synchronicity with the extensive lighting. Should be an engineering marvel!

  9. Daban says:


  10. ChopperDave says:

    Ha! Can I call em or can I call em? Super excited about this, and it shall definitely be my 7th Perfect Grade kit!

  11. Barristan says:

    Honestly I’m way more excited about the RG Wing Zero than the PG Unicorn. The whole Operation Meteor team in RG… I can’t even… It’s a dream come true.

    • Kiko says:

      Me too, I’m more excited about the RG because I can’t afford perfect grades. Haha

      • Barristan says:

        Haha yeah, all 5 Wing RGs together will still be only half the cost of a PG. I’ve never gotten a PG either, because of price and because they seem like such a time commitment to build. I guess I’ll wait and see how awesome the Unicorn looks. (I’d wait for the green version though.)

    • Imateria says:

      Don’t get your hopes up too much, remember 2 years ago we saw the line art for RG Z’Gok, GM, Gouf and Ground/EZ8 Gundam, yet since then we’ve only had the Z’Gok.

      • Barristan says:

        Oh, I’m getting my hopes up. I loved Endless Waltz as a kid (Wing Zero’s first scene is still EPIC) and the suits are some of my all-time favourites. I’m drooling imagining RG Heavyarms and Nataku.

        And practically speaking, they’ll want to use the frame more than once, so I think there’s a good chance we’ll get the rest of the team eventually.

  12. Paul Robinson says:

    do you happen to have a bigger picture of the little picture along the bottom showing the internal frame? or could you maybe do a bigger scan of it?

    i’ve been looking everywhere for one everywhere but haven’t been able to find one as yet, and I’d really love t get a close look at that frame….

    and do we have any idea at all as to what this “third form” of the unicorn might be?

    • syd says:

      I’ll try to get a scan and put it up on the Gaijin Gunpla Facebook page.

      By third form I think it could mean third itineration. For example, the design of the Unicorn might have seen some changes between Episode 1 and Episode 7 so here I think they were talking about the third itineration as it appeared in the anime series.

      • Paul Robinson says:

        cool thanks

      • Nick says:

        That would make sense, or perhaps it’s talking about the third form of model, either going HG, MG, PG or from Version Ka to OVA version, now the PG version with yet again changed aesthetics.

  13. Bocalt says:

    Thanks for all that precious info, those Star Wars kits look neat, as does this RG.

    Strange there weren’t Gundam Try kits to show :/

    As for the new show, that Grimoire looks kinda nice, don’t know what…

  14. minimad says:

    I would be all over that Unicorn but the customs in my country would annihilate me with charges. I’m more interested in the Mk III, hope it has a lot more surface detail than the Nightingale.

  15. Woooooooot! PG UNICORN!

    Gawd so excited. I’m gonna go have a seizure in the corner now. xP

    Other than that, loving the fact that the RG Wing and HG Crossbone are coming out, will be building both as soon as possible. Those Star Wars (Stapla?) kits look nice too.

    Still don’t like the G-Self or most other Recontuista kits, except for the Gehennams and the G-Arcane. Meh. Would like to pick up the blue Recontuista kit though. :3

  16. Kiko says:

    Hi Syd,

    Do you think the new ‘Zero Frame’ is shorter than the standard frame like the one used for SEED and MK-IIs?

    • syd says:

      It was tough to tell at the show, but that would make sense given that the Wing suits are shorter than most other lines. Maybe that’s why they can only be used for other Operation Meteor suits.

      • Kiko says:

        I see. I wonder how it looks like together with the other lines with taller suits.

        A bit off topic Syd. Did you know that Girls’ Generation kicks out one of their member?

      • syd says:

        Your comment made me do a quick Google search and, sure enough, several sites are reporting that Jessica has been kicked out. Nooo, not Jessica!

  17. Imateria says:

    Very disappointed that we’ll have to wait until the end of November to actually see the PG Unicorn. I’m seriously thinking of getting it as my first PG, but not until I have some idea of how it looks. All of the UC PG’s look rubbish to me, too squat and out of proportion, with the exception of the GP01, and even then only in Fullbernum form. Then again, it has been a very long time since the last PG from the UC line.

  18. Edward says:

    Do you think Bandai will do a Mg Wing Zero Custom 2.0 since they are launching the the RG version just like how they did for the 3.0

  19. Tristan (LGGM) says:

    Oh, HELLS YEAH. Just 2 days till the PG Unicorn is revealed!

    Also, the RG Wing Zero is coming out within a couple of weeks! So many kits to choose from… I sure am hoping that the PG Unicorn is worth all the hype.

    • Frankon says:

      Already was revealed. The full video (in good cgi form) showing the parts, articulation and the gimmicks.

      Inner frame is lacking in detail (well mainly due to design)

      • syd says:

        That video was put up by mistake and is supposed to released tomorrow to coincide with the Expo. It has already been taken down. I’ve saved a copy though. 😉

  20. Frankon says:

    Well a lot of interesting news pops-up.
    RG 00 Raiser, MG RED ZETA (possibly P-Bandai), and RE/100 Dijeh. Next year looks good so far.

Leave a Reply