When I was a kid, there was about a year where I got really into building models, mainly because I didn't have many friends and that was the easiest way that you could get a giant Darth Vader with a glow-in-the-dark lightsaber. It didn't last too long since the enjoyment that I got from putting things together moved back into LEGO sets, but it was enough that I get a little twinge of nostalgia from it -- especially when I see something like Bandai's new line of Sprükits Action Figure Model Kits.
The deal with them is that they're not just models, they're kits for building fully poseable action figures with accessories that require no scissors, glue or paint. You just snap it all together, and judging by the Arkham City Batman figure that I just put together, they're actually pretty cool.
Is some kind of action figure model kit renaissance in on the horizon? First Bandai America announces its upcoming Sprukits line (which includes importing Japan's LBX buildable robot warriors, plus new DC Comics and Halo characters) and now Bandai Japan distributor Bluefin has announced that Barnes and Noble is set to start selling Gundam model kits a.k.a. GunPla in its 400+ U.S. retail locations and its online store beginning in April.
I wasn't expecting to see much past new Power Rangers toys when I visited Bandai America's booth at Toy Fair 2014, but I was straight up stoked when I rounded a corner to see its upcoming line of Banda Japan-designedSprüKits. What are SprüKits? Try all-new action figure model kits of Superman, Batman, Joker, Halo soldiers and more -- all available in several scales of size and complexity. Additionally, the SprüKits line is being used to import Bandai Japan's existing Danball Senki LBX figure kits.
Hasbro and Takara's larger Transformers Optimus Prime figures have been sporting Autobot Matrix of Leadership-storing chest chambers for years now, but Action Toys' upcoming UM-1 Ultimetal Optimus Prime digs even deeper by giving toy fans a look at the Generation 1 version of the heroic leader's entire anatomy from the inside out via removable plates. Turns out robots-in-disguise are full of their own mechanical guts and black stuff.
Remember the beginnings of that awesome fan-made "Mobile Suit Gundam" statue constructed entirely from model kit runners (the plastic frames that builders pop pieces from) that was shaping up in Japan a few months back...
Okay. This is getting a little meta - and a little terrifying...In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Gundam plastic models, Bandai Namco is bringing forth an all new anime titled "Mokei Senshi Gunpla Builder Beginning G," all about a young boy named Haru who gets his kicks out of building Gundam models...
When it comes to model kits, my love for Bandai's scores of Gundam toys really knows no bounds. They do have one weakness, though: waste. Unlike conventional action figures, the model kits leave behind some excess plastic in the form of "runners," which hold each model piece into place prior to assembly...
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