Monday, April 09, 2007

Super HCM-Pro Gundam RX-78-2 and MG Zaku II Ver. 2.0 Box Art

Apart from the campaign on Road to MG 100, Gundam fans would be thrilled to see the announcement of Super HCM-Pro Gundam RX-78-2. Coming out in June at the price of 7,000 Yen, I’m sure even hardcore Gunpla fans would be moved by the details of this finished figure. 23 hatches can be opened all over the body and the back, plus a display base which can hold its huge array of weapons are enough to beat all the HGUC, MG and even the PG offerings, in my opinion of course. One of few reasons why people wouldn’t fall for this figure is probably the size matter. For people who are used to 1-100 scale, this figure is definitely small for them.

For me, Bandai seems to be putting quite a bit of gambling into the release of this Super HCM-Pro Gundam. Gambling as in sacrificing other product line to establish this product. Remember Extended Mobile Suit in Action? It’s MSIA with extended flexibility and action, in 1-144 scale as well. So, this Super HCM-Pro Gundam would be competing for that product line as well. Not sure if the coming figure is going to be the exclusive one under the title of Super HCM-Pro, or maybe it’s a start for Super HCM-Pro Zaku II, Gouf, Dom, Gundam Mk. II, Zeta and so on in the future. If it’s the later, how many product lines would it be for a mere Gundam RX-78-2? I close my eyes now, and I can count till 10 or 11, and that’s exclusive of the Gunpla world!

Diversity is good for establishing new market segments, but it diversifies the customers’ attention as well. For me, buying Gundam figures is not like buying shampoo. Different customers use different types of shampoos, so the company can come up with hundreds of formulas, with each slightly different from one and another, and still they will sell like hot cakes in the supermarkets. Gundam figures are for Gundam fans and all robot lovers, it’s as simple as that. If I got a GFF Gundam, a HCM-Pro version, plus a EMSIA version, and tons of models of different grades, I’m definitely think twice before buying another one.

Not to mention there are tons of gashapons and capsule toys for Gundam as well. Sooner or later, I’ve to think about getting a new room before getting more models and Gundam figures!

Anyway, it’s nature for a huge corporation like Bandai to explore the possibility of new product lines in the market. If it works, the factory will keep on rolling, and if it doesn’t, they will just halt the production, and find another way out. Remember High Grade Mechanics? It’s over after three products, after being replaced by the Gundam Collection series.

Since there’s no gun/beam rifle pointing in our face forcing us to accept the products from Bandai, we are free to spend the money as we wish. I’m sure Bandai knows that as well. If we are not happy with what they give us, we’ll just keep our wallets in the pockets, and wait for Bandai to compensate us with better stuff. Personally, I think that’s how Bandai is able to perfect the MG line: through the power of Gunpla fans!

On the other hand, Super HCM-Pro Gundam is just so damn cool! My HGUC version will pale till being transparent if it stands next to it. Just have a look yourself. Images are from Amiami.

You can also check out more images on HCM-Pro Zaku Warrior Concert Ver. and Destroy Gundam from Amiami.

By the way, MG Zaku II Ver. 2.0 is already available in Japan, check out the box art from Moe Yo! Akibajin. Although I have the old MG Zaku II. I’m going to get this one, plus Char’s version in June, and then MG Char's Gelgoog Ver. 2.0~

-_-;; (Sweat drop from my wallet :-)