Annual International Contest Held In 13 Countries Determines The World’s Best Gundam Model Builder; Official GunPla Distributor Bluefin Will Hold U.S. Regional Qualifying Rounds At Major Fan Conventions Throughout 2016
Irvine, CA, May 16, 2016 – Bluefin, the leading North American distributor of toys, collectibles, and hobby merchandise from Japan, has announced details for the 2016 Bandai Gunpla Builders World Cup (GBWC).
The Bandai GunPla Builders World Cup is an annual competition sponsored by Bandai Hobby to determine the world’s best Gundam model builder who is awarded the title of GunPla World Cup Champion. Each year, aspiring top modelers from countries such as Japan, China, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Italy, the United States, Canada, Thailand, Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia and Malaysia compete for the prestigious world championship title.
Bluefin is Bandai’s official U.S. GunPla product distributor and the company will hold regional qualifiers across the country throughout 2016 at a variety of major conventions including Anime Central in Rosemont. IL, FanimeCon in San Jose, CA, A-Kon in Dallas, TX, Anime Expo in Los Angeles, CA, Otakon in Baltimore, MD, and New York Comic Con, held in Manhattan, NYC, to determine the nation’s top representative, who will win a FREE round trip to Japan to compete in the final round at the World Championship. Full contest information, including rules and an entry form, can be found on Bluefin’s website at: www.bluefincorp.com.
Competitors are encouraged to create customized models utilizing Bandai Gundam model kit(s) as the starting point. Many contestants blend different kits and add a variety of custom fabricated parts and unique accessories to make their creations truly one-of-a-kind. The competition has produced jaw dropping work ranging from highly detailed designs from the various Gundam TV animated series as well as completely original designs.
The 2015 World Champion winner, Win Eiam-Ong, created a breathtaking entry, titled “Another Late Night,” a diorama that depicted a carpenter admiring her latest masterpiece – a Gundam model realistically painted to look like it was constructed entirely of wood.
The Gundam anime series was created by Sunrise studios and features giant robots (or “mecha”) called “Gundam.” The original series debuted in Japan in 1979 and spawned a substantial and massively successful franchise that continues to this day and has produced multiple TV series, feature films, and OVAs as well as a wide array of manga, models, toys, apparel, video games and other consumer products. The worldwide popularity of Gundam has made it a multi-billion dollar franchise. The Gundam Plastic Model, called “GunPla,” from Bandai Hobby are available in multiple sizes and levels of build complexity and are renowned for the wide variety of kits, their innovative construction, and high level of detail.
For more information on a wide array of Gundam model kits available from Bluefin, please visit: http://www.bluefincorp.com/catalog/gundam-models.html.
Based in Irvine, CA, Bluefin built its reputation as a leading distributor of Japanese toys, collectibles, novelty and hobby products. In recent years, Bluefin has grown to include a range of high quality collectible lines from the United States, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore and established itself as the official North American consumer products and retail development partner for Studio Ghibli. Selling to thousands of specialty, chain and independent stores, Bluefin is an official North American distributor for Bandai Hobby, Kotobukiya and Capcom, is the sole provider of Bandai Tamashii Nations products, and is also the exclusive and official distributor for Hero Cross, Beast Kingdom, Comicave, Mr. Hobby, SEN-TI-NEL and X-Plus. Bluefin also represents TruForce Collectibles products worldwide. Additional information is available at: www.bluefincorp.com.
Beargguy III was an immediate buy for me when I saw it and I definitely recommend it for those who don’t mind having an adorable yellow mecha bear in their gunpla collection.
GUNPLA SET: Beargguy III [San] Build Fighter China Kousaka Custom Made Mobile Suit
TYPE OF GUNPLA: HG 1/144
MODEL #: HGBF #05
Known in Japan as KUMA-03 Beargguy III, this adorable yellow custom mobile suit is featured on the anime series “Gundam Build Fighters” and is built and piloted by female character, China Kousaka.
No doubt one of the popular Gunpla to purchase for its adorable look and features, Beargguy III sports beam cannons in his arms/hands, extendable arms and also in its mouth.
And similar to the series which Beargguy III has an LCD monitor on its face to change its eye expression, the gunpla comes with two faceplates which you can also add various stickers to change its expression during battle.
Its important to note that there are several Beargguys available.
Beargguy III Kai (from “Gundam Build Fighters Try”) is white and comes with a small light blue bear and a “GunPla Builders” Beargguy in brown. There are also mini petit figures in red, pink and blue available as well.
First, let’s talk about the the build. Personally, I think this bear looks perfect that it doesn’t really need any modifications, pain or marker use. What I do recommend is having good clippers and possibly an exacto knife or sandpaper to smooth out the nubs if any plastic is sticking out as it can be seen easily.
I took pictures of Beargguy before any cleanup, so one can see what kind of nubs you can expect to see and cleanup afterward.
Despite the good number of runners included in this set, not all are going to be used. For the most part, this is an simple HG kit as the head, torso and legs are easy to put together, as with the ribbon to put in the back.
You get two face plates, with your basic normal and angry face but then you get stickers for those who prefer to have different eyes. It’s important to note that a third party has created faceplates that one can find from eBay but these are not official Bandai Beargguy faceplates. But if you want to utilize different faceplates with several eyes, then you have that option.
Laserbeams can be fitted in the mouth and its arms/hands. There is an extendable arm which you can build and attach but I found Beargguy really difficult to stand with it on and for me, it didn’t look right.
I found the ribbon on the back to fit snugly but if you are doing different poses, that ribbon or parts of the ribbon kept falling off for me. But not difficult to put back together. There is not much articulation with Beargguy III. Aside from moving its head and its arms up and down or its mouth open and close, and of course head movement (left and right), you have limited movement.
Overall, Beargguy III is one that I really enjoyed because it looks adorable and stands out among other gunpla out there.
It’s yellow color makes this bear pop and because I think it looks perfect without any major modifications and because there aren’t many panel lines aside from its paw area, I chose not to use any markers.
If anything, because of its color and non-complex features, I see people buying multiple Beargguy’s for creative modifications as I have seen others make Marvel, DC, Dragon Ball Z versions with their Beargguy.
For beginners new to Gunpla, I feel that Beargguy is a perfect gunpla to start out with. Especially with learning how to use your clippers to make sure there are no little nubs, how to use an exacto knife or sandpaper to clean things up.
While the amount of runners available may scare some beginners, a lot of the small parts are for its interior and for the most part, it’s really nothing to worry about as you get extra parts for extendable arms and some parts that won’t be used at all.
But Beargguy III was an immediate buy for me when I saw it and I definitely recommend it for those who don’t mind having an adorable yellow mecha bear in their gunpla collection.
RATING: **** (4 stars out of 5)
The SD Gundam Exia (Mobile Suit Gundam 00) set is inexpensive and a great starting point for one to start their Gunpla hobby. You get a lot of weapons, you get a solid figure but because it’s so inexpensive, it gives beginners the opportunity to learn how to do panel lining, to paint, to use markers, etc. But its ease of simplicity and price makes this set worth owning.
GUNPLA SET: Mobile Suit Gundam 00: SD Gundam Exia
MODEL #: GN-001 (BB#313)
Back in 2007, Sunrise released their 11th installment of the Gundam franchise titled “Kidou Senshi Gundam Double 0” (known as “Mobile Suit Gundam 00”).
One of the well-known Gundam mecha in the series is the GN-001 Gundam Exia (a.k.a. “Gundam Seven Swords”), a close-combat Gundam-type mobile suit piloted by Setsuna F. Seiei.
The successor to the GNY-001 Gundam Astraea, the goal for the Exia was to create a close-combat Gundam-type that mimic the movements of human.
As one will notice, the SD Gundam Exia looks quite appealing by looking at the box.
But to make your Gundam standout, this is one that will need a little paint or Gundam markers. But on its own, it still looks good, it’s really easy to build and if you are a beginner to gunpla, then this can serve as a good starting point for simple and easy gunpla building.
First, let’s talk about the SD Exia Gundam. You get a few stickers for its eyes, top of its head and for its front chest area and the GN Drive.
Everything about this set is easy to put together, for its head, there are not many small pieces. In fact, you’ll find yourself putting together the head the arms, the torso, the legs and the weapons and finish with an hour or less.
The good news after putting together, it looks rather cool and priced under $10, its affordable and simple to build. But by using bigger parts, you are limited in terms of movement. You can’t bend the arms in the elbow region, you are limited in foot movement.
In fact, the main movement is making the head turn left or right, moving the shoulders up and down, moving the torso left and right. Last, the feet do move up and down a little.
As mentioned, you will need to paint or use markers to bring this figure out. If you look at the box, there is a lot of detail, their is color in the joints, there is additional dark gray or silver paints shown, but in truth, that is up to you to paint.
I recommend having a black or gray Gundam super fine marker and before you connect the parts, do your panel lining with these markers. And if you want it to look like the box, you can use Gundam markers with the flat tip, so you will want to have black, dark gray, silver and yellow ready.
I recommend for beginners to purchase a GSI Creos Gundam Marker Basic Set (as it comes with colors you will more than likely use often and also a super fine marker). For those who are good with painting, I recommend having silver, German or Gunmetal gray, yellow and white paints ready.
Overall, the SD Gundam Exia (Mobile Suit Gundam 00) set is inexpensive and a great starting point for one to start their Gunpla hobby. You get a lot of weapons, you get a solid figure but because it’s so inexpensive, it gives beginners the opportunity to learn how to do panel lining, to paint, to use markers, etc. But its ease of simplicity and price makes this set worth owning.
Meanwhile, for those who prefer having Gunpla with articulation, compared to other SD Gundam sets, this one doesn’t have a whole lot of articulation.
But for beginners or collectors, I have no problem with recommending the SD Gundam Exia.
RATING: *** 1/2 (3 1/2 stars out of 5)