Surprise, it’s not Premium Bandai! Hobby Next Phase 2023 Spring: HG Ryujinmaru

Continuing the train of reveals from Bandai Spirits’ Hobby Next Phase 2022 Spring, is the next HG kit from the Wataru franchise, and it’s not a Premium Bandai exclusive. If you recall, they’ve released three Wataru kits as of today. There’s HG Cho Mashin Ryujinmaru, HG Ryuseimaru, and HG Amplified IMGN Ryujinmaru — with only the last one being a regular retail release. So, it’s a treat that we are finally getting the vanilla HG Ryujinmaru kit.

If you didn’t like the “Amplified” treatment it got for its first kit (me included), then here’s the vanilla Ryujinmaru kit you’ve been waiting for. The official solicitation also mentions the same, and it will also look better along with Good Smile Company’s MODEROID kits of other fantasy SD mecha like Granzort or Knight Lamune & 40 Fire.

Don’t let the stubby SD proportions mislead you as this kit still does have good articulation to allow replication of signature poses from the anime. Especially for the shoulder and hip joints as these would essentially dictate the range of articulation this guy can have. It does have elbow and knee articulation, but given the proportions, it wouldn’t have much effect as far as looks go.

Another highlight for this set of HG kits is the good parts separation, especially given the rather ornamented design of the mashin units. The dragon patterns on the shoulder armors are made from separate plastic, albeit in that gold that most builders tend to paint over. Then for the head, the forehead jewel and the eyes are also separately colored clear parts, as well as the decorations on the torso.

And for accessories, Ryujinmaru comes with the Toryuken, that you can also store in the hilt at the back, and several replacement hands.

I’ve yet to build my HG Cho Mashin Ryujinmaru and yet to get my copy of HG Ryuseimaru. That said, given my investment in these fantasy-themed SD mecha thanks to my purchase of MODEROID While Lily and Granzort/Super Granzort, it will make perfect sense for me to get this one as well. I do hope they continue these releases, albeit in this once or twice a year cadence. Because as compared to how Tamashii Nations is handling their releases, I much prefer what Bandai Spirits Hobby Division is doing here.

HG Ryujinmaru
July 2023 / ¥2,600
Order via HobbyLink Japan



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