Box Art Extravaganza: January 2023

Years may change, but our tendencies to spend our time and resources on plastic model kits never change, well I mean it can, but you get the idea. Boxes!

Okay, I don’t know if Good Smile Company just gave online retailers limited allocations of MODEROID White Lily over here, but I’ve had difficulties in securing a copy. In fact, site affiliate HobbyLink Japan has stopped taking pre-orders prior to release and it’s now listed as “discontinued.” Fortunately, I was able to secure a copy over at Hobby Search, but it still begs the question on why this kit seems so scarce?

To those unfamiliar, White Lily comes from the series Granbelm and is basically a magical girl battle royale story with giant SD robots. And no, it’s not the cutesy type of magical girls, it’s more of Madoka Magica where there’s drama and death and all that. Anyway, typing that sentence made me more curious about the series, especially now that I’ve managed to secure a copy of this kit. And as much as I wanted to put the HLJ affiliate link below, it’s already discontinued so you can just head on to the MODEROID banner on the right for more kits.

In what could likely be another case of MODEROID saving us from MegaHouse, also coming out in January is MODEROID Arhan from the film Expelled from Paradise. It’s main gimmick in both the movie and this model kit, is the transformation from its “ball” form used when deployed to humanoid robot. I am curious as to how this is executed, obviously there would be additional parts to facilitate this. But I’m more of the stability in both modes and how they would actually look. Which they already did, via this video they released four months ago.

Regardless, I’ll probably wait for reviews before deciding on picking this kit. I just hope that we don’t get a White Lily situation like what I just mentioned earlier.

MODEROID Arhan
January 2023 / ¥6,800
Order via HobbyLink Japan

Yes, this came from a 720p YouTube video capture. Will be replaced when Bandai Spirits officially releases the packaging art photo. Updated with officially released photo.

One kit I’m really curious about that’s going to be released at the end of the month is this HG 1/100 YF-19 from Macross Plus. For the longest time, I’m not able to find Macross model kits and figures accessible because most of them are too large for my preferred size of collectibles. Though I do understand this because of the whole transforming nature of these items. That’s why for the longest time, I didn’t have anything from this franchise.

But that will change if this guy sells well, and Bandai Spirits would continue releasing these 1/100 scale High Grades with their new “Shortcut Change” gimmick. Which means I don’t have to buy multiples of this guy. A recent Macross Models Showroom episode over on YouTube has a segment featuring this kit so if you want to check it out, I’ve included the clip below.

HG 1/100 YF-19
January 2023 / ¥3,800
Order via HobbyLink Japan

Lastly, we have MGSD Freedom Gundam, a kit leaked way ahead in the middle of 2022 and officially revealed around Q3. This is the embodiment of what SD collected wanted all this time, a premium model kit that would be chockful of details, articulation, and won’t need the same effort as your typical SD kit to look good straight out of the box.

As great as this may sound and look, other MG collectors are worried by this release as Bandai Spirits is already releasing fewer and fewer MGs every year and it does seem this kit is taking a slot from what could’ve been a regular MG release.

MGSD Freedom Gundam
January 2023 / ¥3,900
Order via HobbyLink Japan


Oh, and one last thing as we’re talking about boxed and packaging art. Ever since Bandai Namco basically mandated that their logo be placed on the top right edge of the box, it added another point of inconsistency on how elements should be placed in the packaging art. In the HGUC line alone, you’d see the series logo all over the place where it won’t interfere with the illustration or, which is so inconsistent. There are other cases, but the bottom line is that it could’ve been addressed better. This is coming from a person who, while not working in graphic design, has been exposed to branding guidelines so I get why this is happening.

Thoughts?

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