When Bandai Spirits took the collector and hobby divisions away from the bigger Bandai, the candy toy division, or Bandai Shokugan, stepped up and produced great hobby-oriented lines. This started in 2016 with the Super Minipla kits and has continued with the more recent SHODO kits for humanoid characters. Five years has passed and they’ve decided to do changes with the Super Minipla line to separate itself from its Minipla origins but still keep the same ‘DNA’ as they call it. Enter SMP [Shokugan Modeling Project].
The Super Minipla line has been well received, so much so that most of their releases quickly sells out on most online hobby shops. That said, they wanted to improve on three key aspects with this branding change. From the knowledge they gained from the five years of Super Minipla, they wanted to pursue a brand geared towards adult collectors with focus on Scene or scene reproduction, Motion, and Proportion.
Scene reproduction though accurate recreation of on-screen appearance via use of good parts separation, pre-painted parts and color-correcting seals, as well as transformation mechanisms faithful to the source material. Motion focuses on impressive articulation perfectly integrated with any transformation feature. And finally, Proportions that sticks very close to the source materials and designs.
Kicking off the newly rebranded line are two kits. First is Gao King from Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger, as part of the series’ 20th anniversary. Second is Gyakuten-Oh from Gyakuten! Ippatsuman, which continues the brand of bringing modern kits of lesser known properties.
SMP Alternative Destiny
They are also introducing an spinoff line with the rebranding called SMP Alternative Destiny. The spinoff line aims to produce kits that surpass the standards previously set by the Super Minipla line with focus on original reinterpretations of existing designs that allow for more stylish variations. The first SMP Alternative Destiny line would be Gunbuster and would primarily focus on the combined form, and thus, won’t have any transformation and combination gimmicks. But this would allow the kit to have better articulation and recreate its signature attack, the Super Inazuma Kick.
The rebrand will happen gradually and formally starts with Gao King and Gyakuten-Oh as mentioned. Previous Super Minipla kits that would get reissues are being considered to retain the same branding while products that are in the middle of the development process would transition to the new brand.