Like last year, Bandai has great plans for a lot of Gundam product. For 2002 Bandai plans to continue the trend. This is the year of G Gundam in the US, but Bandai also plans to have some UC Gundam product out there. One thing I did notice is a slowing down of the releasing of the model kits, and an increase in the figure lines. Looks like the figures were good sellers.
While the main focus of the year is on G Gundam, most of the product for that series will not be out until the later half of the year. Until then, Gundam fans can have "Gundam 0083" and "Char's Counter Attack" to look forward to airing on Cartoon Network. Along side these releases will be various models and toys to help fill out the Gundam lines.
One thing I did notice that was absent was that both the large Nu Gundam and Sazabi were noticeably not there, as well as the Bigro and Zakurello Mobile Armor sets. Hopefully Bandai will still release these items in the US.
Bandai has a few model models kits to release from UC in the states. These include the 0080 kits which were not released. Like last year, Bandai is using a 5 level skill ranking.
Here is the new US producing listing:
Action Figures (Mobile Suits in Action)
Bandai has a few more small 4.5 action figures to release. The deluxe figures from Char's Counter attack have already been appearing in a few stores for a couple weeks now, and will be soon joined by a transforming version of the Re-GZ (Refined Gundam Zeta). The Backpack system that comes with this figure is huge, dwarfing the main figure.
Also planned in the normal figure class are the YMS-15 Gyan, MSM-04 Acguy, MSM-10 Zock and finally a RX-79[G] GM Head. Unfortunately none of these were on display.
G Gundam is coming to Cartoon Network this Fall, and Bandai is putting a huge support campaign behind it. Similar to the one that was used for the OYW Gundam stuff last year, fans can expect a huge quantity of product to spend their money on.
So far it is known in the English version, the God Gundam will be called the Burning Gundam, and the Devil Gundam will be called the Dark Gundam. A few others of the mobile fighters also seem to have undergone renaming, though it is not yet clear which names apply to them.
Bandai is bringing over the Japanese G Gundam model kits in English packaging. From what I can tell these are all the standard kits, no Master Grades at all. These also use Bandai's standardized ranking system.
This is were Bandai is going all out on the G Gundam merchandise. Not only are a ton of the small 4.5 inch figures of the various mobile fighters coming out, but a new, highly articulated 7.5 inch set of figures are coming as well.
4.5 inch Action Figures
Bandai already has listed a huge variety of the Mobile Fighters. I was worried they would just center on the core cast, but actually they are picking designs from all of the various countries. If Bandai keeps going at the same rate they as they did with the MSiA's in 2001, we should have all the Mobile Fighters by 2003!
In the normal size listed so far are:
In the deluxe category:
But there is even more stuff coming! Bandai is also releasing ride packs. These are sort of the G Gundam equivalent to the vehicle packs that were released last year. They have planned:
Finally we have the Ultimate Mobile Fighters. These are the really big guys that can't be classified easily. Included are a Grand Gundam, but also the evil Dark Gundam! A Mobile Fighter Transport rounds out the assortment.
7.5 inch Mobile Fighter Action figures
These guys are larger, more articulated action figures then the smaller 4.5 inch ones. Each being around 7.5 inches in height, the feature a ton of articulation, so you can pose them in the various wacky fighting poses the Mobile Fighters perform. Also included with them are their signature weapons. They are sold in two varieties. A normal version and a powered up version that is covered with cold chrome.
Listed to come out as of now are:
Finally Bandai has large 11 inch Mobile Fighters planned, with a full load of accessories.
Since the G Gundam product lines are not set to be released until later in the year, Bandai asked that we not take photographs. They were kind enough to provide some stills to us instead.
Copyright 2002 Altered States Magazine