Saturday, December 15, 2007

Master Grade in 2008 Part II

Continued from yesterday, but I'll try to keep things short this time ^^;

MS-05B Zaku I Ver. 2.0
Zaku I was developed before Zaku II (hence the designation code ^^), but in terms of Gunpla, Zaku II always comes before Zaku I, and I believe it will continue to be so, no doubt because the different popularity between the two. Zaku I can be considered as the 'simplified' version of Zaku II, as seen from how Zaku II Ver. 1.0 was being adapted into Zaku I.

Zaku I from the 08th MS Team which pays more attention to its mecha design.
Image from

With Black Tri-star's Customized High Mobility Zaku II announced, Bandai is basically flagging more Zaku variations to come in the future. But with so many different Gundam merchandises around now, Bandai is very unlikely to release merely color variations of Zaku II as they did many years ago, so they may just pick some of the most notable ones to be MG-lized, and Zaku I is one of the most likely candidates.

As being the 'simplified' version of Zaku II, the inner frame can be adapted easily to fit Zaku I, while the arms and waist can almost be used directly. Bandai needs to redesign the head, body, legs and backpack though to ditch the 'holes' used for the conductive pipes, and Zaku I's weapons like the 'primitive' 105mm Zaku machine gun, Zaku Bazooka and the very notorious G-3 nerve gas grenade launcher used in the 08th MS Team may be included to further differentiate it from Zaku II.

Also, Zaku I has many of its well-known variations as well, namely the Black Tri-star's Customized version, Topp's unit and Ramba Ral's Customized version. In other words, quite profitable for Bandai in business sense.

Topp's Customized Zaku I is characterized by he 'holes' left on its left shoulder armor after the spikes are removed, and the white stripe around its helmet. By the way, the voice actor for Topp is Yoshiko Sakakibara, who also voiced for Haman Kahn ^^

Possibility of release: Likely
Possible price: 2,800 - 3,500 Yen

GN-001 Exia
When the 1/100 scale Exia was released not long ago, I believed the MG version won't be released soon, as the articulation and details are near perfect in the HG release. Apart from the inner frame and pilot cockpit, it is matchable with the MG quality, and is even better than some earlier MGs as well.

It's really hard to predict how the MG would be like when the 1/100 version is already this good.
Image from Lifezoids.

However, it seems that the Gundams in Double O are full of surprises, and we are just watching up to Episode 10 only at the moment. Maybe Exia will be equipped with new weapons soon? special backpack? or even better, the entire Avalanche set may come out half way through the series, and prompt a direct MG release. That'll surely send the entire Gundam community into Gundam Double O frenzy I think ^^

Surprises after surprises in Gundam Double O so far, so don't be surprise if Avalanche really comes out in the future.

Also, when you look at how short the interval between the release of similar Gundam merchandises by Bandai nowadays (I'm referring to the many Gundam RX-78-2 variations released as MGs and GFFs from last October to next January), There's a high chance that Exia might get an MG release next year.

Some of my friends may kill me if this comes true ^^; as they were saving up for a possible MG Exia when I told them that that might not be possible because of the 1/100's quality. But don't worry, I believe Bandai will come up with some awesome and even groundbreaking technology for this MG to distinguish it from the 1/100 version. Look at the gap between 1/100 Strike Freedom and the MG version, and you'll get the picture. Plus, they don't want people to abandon the 1/100 Exia altogether when the MG comes out right? In other words, even if you have a 1/100 Exia at the moment, the possible MG release will still be worthwhile for you add another Exia to your collection.

Possibility of release: Likely
Possible price: 4,000 - 5,000 Yen

RX-121-1 Hazel Custom
Here's a question for you: would you let go of a series as it reaches its story's conclusion, but when there's still profitability in it?

Definitely not for me ^^

At the moment, Hazel Custom being a mecha which only appeared in side story promoted by Dengeki Hobby Japan only received up to HGUC treatment so far (excluding the MSIA figure). With an MG release, not only will it be a hit among the fans, but it will sparkle the HGUC line to release more AOZ's mecha at the same time.

Bandai should design the legs to have better articulation when they are clad with those massive supporting boosters.
Image from

As seen on the HGUC version, AOZ's mecha is highly compatible with other MS, and Bandai can take that advantage for future releases. MSs like Advanced Hazel, Hazel II and Hyzenthlay can all use the frame designed for Hazel Custom, and the possibility of other models from Hazel Custom is almost limitless.

Another attraction of Hazel Custom is its own design. The armor pieces on the body can be designed to be detachable, and the very solid UC-style mecha design of Hazel Custom will definitely be a huge selling point. If you like Gundam Mk. II, Hazel Custom is for you too.

Then again, the HGUC version of Hazel Custom is already quite a detailed design, especially the rich articulation demonstrated in the elbow and ankle joints. So, as with Jadg Doga discussed yesterday, Bandai may not be tempted to release another Hazel Custom to divert the sales of the HGUC equivalent.

Possibility of release: Not likely
Possible price: 4,000 - 5,000 Yen

MS-14A Gelgoog Mass Productive Type / MS-14C Gelgoog Cannon
Based on Char's Gelgoog Ver. 2.0 definitely, it's time for Gelgoog Mass Productive Type to get its Ver. 2.0 upgrade, just as Zaku II did. I have a Ver. 1.0 myself, and will definitely welcome the grunt unit type instead of having the very striking Char's version only.

Judging by how little the differences are between Gelgoog and Gelgoog Cannon as demonstrated in the HGUC version, there's not much re-designing work which is really needed in releasing this MG I think.

For the Mass Productive Type, somehow I feel that only the rear skirt armor needs to be changed. Kind-of superficial actually, as this is to address the lower performance of MS-14A as compared to the commander type. In terms of appearance, it doesn't really have much difference with the S-type really.

As a result, I suspect that Gelgoog Mass Productive Type may come with the Cannon pack as well to allow it to convert into Gelgoog Cannon. This has been done on the HGUC version, and worked quite well actually. Bundling the two modes as a single release is a good thing, since both mecha aren't too popular ^^; as compared to Gundam or even Zaku II. So other than the mecha itself, the convertibility between the two can be a selling point.

Suddenly I thought of PG Gundam GP01/GP01Fb ^^;

The real problem is the price. As you know, Char's Gelgoog is 4,500 Yen, which is quite an expensive price tag for a Zeon mecha. With the Cannon pack included, the price may spike to 6,000 Yen, and even Zeon fans may have to think twice for 'budget allocation' for this Gelgoog ^^;

Maybe this MG will include Gelgoog Mass Productive Type only?

Possibility of release: Likely
Possible price: 4,500 - 6,000 Yen

GX-9900 X Gundam
Believe it or not, X Gundam is one of the three main Gundams yet to have its MG treatment, the other two being V Gundam discussed yesterday, and G-Savior (heard of him before? ^^) So if you're Bandai, there aren't many choices to pick if you're to release a completely new MG Gundam right? So, X Gundam might just get his chance.

Anyway, X Gundam can provide the base for more variations in the future, including X Divider, and the ultimate Double X. Apart from the variations, I'm sure many would like to see how Bandai is going to design the the Satellite Cannon. Apart from the transformation, special materials may be used for the satellite panels to show the shiny golden surface. No way is Bandai going to use stickers anymore XD, so what materials used is highly anticipate-able.

I place my safe bet that Bandai will not use stickers for the Satellite panels XD

Then again, next year's Gundam product line will still be on Char's Counterattack, and Gundam Double O, and possibly V Gundam as well, because of its 15th Anniversary. It will be unwise for Bandai to start divert attention to too many Gundam series, as the sales may go down. So, X Gundam may be planned for 2009 or later instead of next year.

I suppose it's better if Bandai save the fun of Gundam Double X to 2009 instead of letting out all of the great mecha next year ^^;

Possibility of release: Low possibility
Possible price: 4,000 - 5,000 Yen