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By Thomas Wheeler

The first ToyFare exclusive GUNDAM toy is a definite winner. Available only through ToyFare magazine (unless you want to find one for an exorbitant price on eBay), this translucent version of the SHINING GUNDAM from G-GUNDAM is a very cool figure.

This is not the first-ever transparent-plastic Gundam toy, but it is the first ever of the Shining Gundam, and the first ever marketed within the United States. The rest, in both action figure and model kit form, have been from other Gundam concepts, and have been marketed exclusively, and sometimes in ridiculously low quantities, in Japan and other parts of Asia by Bandai, where Gundam originated.

I've always liked transparent-plastic toys. Not sure why. Maybe because it's a better way to see how the toy is assembled, and sometimes it enhances the appearance of the toy. So, when I learned that ToyFare intended to offer a Translucent version of the Shining Gundam, I knew I would have to order it.

Took long enough to show up. The disclaimer on the order form for the toy said to allow "16-20 weeks" for delivery. That's four or five months, and they weren't kidding. I ordered it in mid July and it didn't show up until November. But, it was also worth the wait.

The figure is the same mold as the standard Shining Gundam, of course, but its parts have all been molded in transparent clear or transparent colored plastic. The effect is quite striking. One can see the various assembly points, and the intricacy of the figure on the whole is enhanced by the translucent plastic. Of course it has the staggering level of articulation that is a hallmark of the Gundam action figures, and it comes with all the accessories of the original.

For those who like to keep their toys on card, worry not. The Translucent Shining Gundam comes packaged on a full-size Gundam card, and is specially marked as a Translucent figure, and as a ToyFare exclusive.

The figure is still available through ToyFare magazine. You can also get one for free by subscribing to another Wizard publication, Anime Invasion. However you might want to acquire one, though, if you're any sort of Gundam fan, then I most definitely recommend the Translucent Shining Gundam! It is a very cool and impressive action figure.