Thu, 7 Oct 1999 07:39:14 EDT

In a message dated 10/7/99 5:15:35 AM Eastern Daylight Time, gundam@loop.com

<< Guess what I found at my local Toys R Us a couple hours ago?
 Wing 1/144 scale series #1 Wing Gundam 500 yen $ 7.99 TRU
 Wing 1/144 scale series #5 Sandrock Gundam 500 yen $ 7.99 TRU
 Wing 1/100 scale seires #1 Wing Gundam 1500 yen $19.99 TRU
 Wing 1/100 scale series #5 Gundam Epyon 1500 yen $19.99 TRU
 (don't ask me why #2-4 and the others are missing, I am only reporting what I
 English box... MY ASS. The box top was identical to the Japanese version.
 All Bandai America Incorporated did was slap two stickers over the
 box - the red one on box top covering the Japanese name of the Gundam, and
 the white one covers over the Japanese UPC barcode and has the American one
 printed on it along with BAI's address. Both will be gone as you rip open
 the shrinkwrap and start building the kit.
 The bottom part of the box has parental warnings printed in English, French,
 German, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Korean, and Chinese.
 The red sticker claims that instructions for English, French, and German
 are included. However, what you get inside is basically a B&W reproduction
 of the original Japanese assembly diagrams sans Japanese, the only thing that
 one might find helpful is a page of legends to icons/symbols, along with
 each's explanation in 9 languages (Japanese being the additional one). This
 is a very cheap looking leaflet that looked even cheaper in comparison to the
 Japanese assembly manual (which is included as well) because the Japanese one
 was bigger, printed in full color, had colored illos and photos of the kit,
 along with explanations on the suit and its weapons, cockpit, and pilot,
 which the Western assembly instruction sheet sorely lacked.
 Those who have been holding out on the import of Wing kits and waiting for
 the US version (I doubt there are any) shouldn't have waited. What you get
 is basically the same kit, and none of the cool info contained in the
 assembly manual was translated. All the extra dough you're paying in
 to the original yen price went to the printing of that sorry excuse of an
 English assembly manual, a business reply card for BAI's market research/
 junk mail system, and a full-color catalog of Wing kits (1/144 and 1/100
 only, no EW or MG kits) for Fall 1999.
 Whoever did such a lazy job on bringing Gundam kits to the U.S. deserves to
 be publicly executed. The lack of translated material shows BAI's obvious
 contempt for U.S. fans, and I will not be sorry if their U.S. launch of
 Gundam kits end up being a flop.
 It is funny how Bandai didn't have any problem with dubbed tapes, but tried
 to "stay true to the original" when it comes to model kits. Next thing you
 know we will see a U.S. Gundam game with everything still in Japanese except
 for a sheet of controls instructions being translated hazardously inserted
 into the original packaging being wrapped in a semi-English box.
 With the Internet drivng down the price of Gundam kits, I hope BAI's entry
 into the US market does not end up jacking the kits' prices back up again...
 after all, they are the same people who tried to control people who import
 and distribute Gundam kits, and it looks like the reason is rather obvious
 Eddie >>

Im still buying the jap models...all I need from wing now is Eypon and
deathscythe I think...dosent matter though...I'd still rather having to
drudge my way through jap instructions than contribute to the inevitable
english botching of one perfectly good <subtitled> series.

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