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January 20, 2003

A Small Victory

Filed under: Toy News — Rumble Crew @ 10:33 am

Better late than never! This Rumble was actually made in Dec 2002, but was overtaken by events…

Small in stature yet full of surprises, these nifty toys offer more bang for buck than your average MSiA. I mean, it even transforms accurately! Not counting the larger kits, only the huge 1/48 DX Victory Gundam could pull it off, and even then the Core Fighter was a separate piece. So arguably, the Banpresto is the most accurate V-Gundam toy ever! If you’re a fan of V-Gundam or simply love well-made mecha toys, this is a opportunity you shouldn’t pass up on.

Inside the colorful box, the little guy rests in a white vac-formed tray with his beam rifle. Surprise No. 1: It has DIECAST parts!!! No kidding, the forearm tabs and most of the lower legs
are metal! I dare say it has more diecast than the GD-44 Kahen Senshi Zeta. Nor is the plastic cheap looking or brittle… just a notch down from the KH Zeta, and waaaay better than the usual rubbery PVC on MSiAs or even FIX figures.

There are two variations – the normal V-Gundam and the finless Hexa. Strangely enough, the head for the Hexa looks better than the main mecha. More surprises are in store… The thrusters in the backpack and rear skirt armor are articulated! And the gun comes with the trademark swiveling stock. Impressed yet? In robot mode, cool poses are a snap, even the much coveted kneeling pose.

But the main thing about this toy is that it transforms. It separates cleanly into the three main components. First is the Core Fighter. Having owned the 1/48, I’m amazed that Banpresto has managed to go one up on the larger toy. Sure, it’s a little flimsy, but WOW! Check out the intricate joints on the torso which combine to make the Top-Fighter. The lower legs have opening verniers and hidden fins too. Combine it to make the Bottom-Fighter.

Any caveats? Aside from the slightly fugly details on the V-finned head, the shoulder joints are kinda loose and movement is pretty restricted. The side armor pieces tend
to come off by themselves, but a bit of blu-tack helps to keep them in. Of course, no beam shield either, but I don’t miss it. And, as these are meant to be game prizes, QA is not exactly at SOC levels. I paid about US$14 for each, but if you’re buying them blind from an online dealer, be prepared for little tragedies. In the end, I think they make a great addition to the Victory Gundam family :)

– Drifand

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