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Once again it's time to present a GUNDAM review, the second based on G-GUNDAM. Three Deluxe figures for the line turned up in late May. Two of them are very cool. The third qualifies as the single weirdest Gundam figure yet made.

BURNING GUNDAM: This is the more advanced version of Shining Gundam, and as such still represents Neo-Japan. What's interesting about this figure is that design elements that would very clearly be seen in the Gundam Wing series, which immediately followed G-Gundam in Japan, are certainly evident here. The figure has articulated, multi-sectioned wings in the back, very similar to the Wing Gundam unit. The toy comes with a whopping number of accessories, including an astounding range of changeable hands. Overall a very
impressive addition to the line.

DARK ARMY: The "bad guys" of the G-Gundam storyline, these are bulky Mobile Fighters with a single very weird eye emerging from the center of the head. The eye is green against a background of pink. This on a Mobile Suit with an overall color scheme of dark yellow-gold and brown. According to the Official Gundam Guide by Animerica, these Dark Army units are piloted by some sort of zombie. Looking this thing in the eye that's not hard to believe. What's interesting is this item's most notable accessory -- a four-legged attachment
designed to replace its two legs. This actually creates a somewhat different version of the Dark Army unit, which will be denoted in the TV show as such time as it appears.

MANDOR GUNDAM: Representing Neo-Nepal, and definitely falling under the category of "What the #$%@&?! were they thinking!?" Never mind the fact that Bandai decided to turn this bizarre thing into a toy. You wonder how it ever got designed and used in the concept in the first place! Granted, G-Gundam is known for some of the strangest Mobile Suits to ever be created -- a few of which may be downright physical impossibilities -- but this thing is just
silly. Granted it has a slight ancient Oriental look to it, which I suppose is appropriate. But it's nothing less than a Gundam jack-in-the-box. Legless, with a huge barrel-like base from which its narrow torso emerges, along with a rather small head, upper chest, and multi-articulated arms. It can be posed either in "popped-up" form (I have no idea what else to call it), or so that only the head and arms emerge from the barrel itself. There are four jets on the bottom of the barrel, which I suppose is how this thing gets around. As a toy, I suspect it may be a shelf-warmer. It's very weird, and certainly different, but it might be too peculiar to attract a buying audience.

I'm not sure what G-GUNDAM items will be turning up next. There are certainly more assortments of standard figures expected, as well as boxed items with small "vehicles", including one with a chariot and another with a longboat. I'll readily admit that G-GUNDAM is perhaps the oddest Gundam concept of the lot, but toy-wise, it has the potential to be the coolest. I think it's a shame that most of the major toy publications have seen fit to virtually
ignore it. However, as long as I'm writing for Master Collector, that won't happen here!