Continuing my selective coverage for the opening day of Hobby Next Phase 2022 Spring, we have yet another interesting model kit. This is obviously a spin-off of the concept behind the Figure-rise Standard Amplified line, which is:
A series which amplifies the features of characters while paying respect to their original designs, and which also combines playability unique to plastic model kits.
Now, take that concept and apply the same to the HG line and you get the new HG Amplified IMGN line, and I assume “IMGN” stands for “imagine.” This basically allows them to go bonkers with redesigns of existing mechanical designs. And for the first kit, we’re getting the HG Amplified IMGN Ryujinmaru from Mashin Hero Wataru.
We’ve seen third-party/unlicensed add-on kits to turn a Gundam Barbatos kit to a real-proportioned interpretation of Ryujinmaru. So, it’s no surprise that Bandai Spirits picks up the same and creates their own with this kit. I have to admit, this kit looks really good, and I would totally want to get the other variations in this style. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves and check out the details behind this kit.
For starters, they are highlighting the use of plastics with different finishes to express depth. The red and white parts would be glossy, while the gold-plated parts will be matte, and the rest would be semi-gloss. The difference in texture also carries through the sword, with the black parts of the blade being PET seals, which I think are plastic stickers, similar to the one they’re using on the new HG Dragonar-1. Lastly, they’re also using jewel seals for the bead-like elements on the torso and waist.
Speaking of the sword, it will be 165mm long from the hilt to the tip of the blade, and is as long as Ryujinmaru is tall, standing at 165mm. Much like other non-Gunpla High Grades, Ryujinmaru is also getting cleverly engineered parts that allows for better color accuracy out-of-the-box. On that note, I just wanted to see more of these on HG Gunpla. I know they are getting better, especially the newer ones, but something to this degree doesn’t come often to HG Gunpla. So, seeing more of this trickle to that direction would be much appreciated.
Finally, features and gimmicks would include excellent articulation as seen in these cut-outs, Ryujinmaru is after all a primarily melee based Mashin. It will also have gimmicks exclusive to this model kit, including the shoulder claws that can double as arm gauntlets as seen here.
So, there’s our first introduction to the new HG Amplified IMGN line and Ryujinmaru as its opening release. I could see great applications of this concept to a vast majority of SD Gundam-exclusive designs, especially how Tamashii Nations is already doing them with their Metal Robot Spirits figures. And as I mentioned earlier, I would totally get them all if Bandai Spirits decided to release all version of Ryujinmaru in this new line. Let’s wait and see what they have in store for the HG Amplified IMGN line.
HG Amplified IMGN Ryujinmaru
July 2022 / ¥5,000