Thursday, April 15, 2010


Let's Merchandise!

I’m a cheapskate and a plastic addict, so where better to go of an afternoon than Poundland, those hallowed halls of cheapness? Similar to American dollar stores, everything costs just one pound! Wow! Sadly, this isn’t always amazing value. While picking up some truly heinous Transformers Micromaster ripoffs, I also grabbed this guy…

Now, I have absolutely no clue what this particular Gundam is. Frankly, he looks a bit made up, though there’s something vaguely G in its’ design (the ears? The head crest?) He’s obviously 00-inspired, though, as you can see from its’ chest jewel and surrounding sections…
Well, that’s what an average Gundam ‘fan’ (if they can call themselves that) would think, but we’d all recognise it as Gundam WINNER from the 1999 one-off 20th Anniversary OVA. The colour scheme selected is impeccable, that of the WINNER Unit 2, using effective red, green and blue motifs, with some silver paint apps. There are also the traditional Katoki-level decal details, with his distinctive wrist designs all decals.

The WINNER is actually just as amazing as he looks. While he weighs nothing- some of Bandai’s amazing engineering at work- he does come with two (three?) accessories he can use, as we saw in the FOREVER WINNING Artbook. First up is the beam rifle. Generic, seen it all before, but rendered in that amazing Ishimoto Green that the designer’s so well known for. We also have his shield, which has a couple of stickers to add to the immense detail on this premium piece. There’s also his head fin, which wasn’t in his head in the packaging- allowing you to recreate Victor’s epic I AM A GUNDAM WITHOUT A FIN speech, and has a revised Anaheim Electronics logo on its’ head, a simple A.

What’s pretty cool is that there are also ports in his arms, so you can mount the shield to the arm, just like in the Gundam WINNER light novels! And, uh, you can also put his gun there.

Of course, the metafictional nature of the WINNER (along with the whole universe of the UC1337 WINNER Project manga) wouldn’t be complete without his finisher, the BURNIN HEARTO, which is activated by pressing the red button on his back, and looking away from the dangerously powerful beam. The metafictional element? First opening of 0083- THE WINNER- has the singer proclaiming she has a burning heart. Makes total sense, right? Anyway, for some reason, I doubt this went through official EU toy safety checks…

But it’s the packaging that really allows this guy to join the same leagues as Kamen Gundam Freedom Knight and Astro Plan. Well, maybe not those two, but it’s still pretty impressive.

We have the Gundam Meisters, the BURNING WINNER logo, three of the 1/100 main Gundam kits from 00, Avalanche Exia art, some information about WINNER’s abilities, instructions for the Burning Heart (it can be turned OFF and NO) and… what’s this?

GOD AND PEOPLE ORGANISATION? Uh, okay. That’s a pretty… interesting interpretation of Celestial Being, as you’d actually have to watch an episode of Gundam 00, translate what you felt about CB in a pithy comment into Chinese, then translate it back.

So, there we have the true WINNER. He may not be the biggest, or the heaviest, or the most articulated… or actually anything good at all, but he’s pretty cool. And I am so going to use him in Gundam-based arguments.

Next time on Let's Merchandise!: Bad Taste? Well, Tomino doesn't seem to hate this one too much.

1 comment:

  1. You should've started it off with a youtube link to The Winner