Thomas Yung (
Tue, 19 Sep 2000 17:35:36 -0400

> Last week I took a friend to shop for kits at a local show (Frank & Sons
> at City of Industry, CA, for those who live in the area) because he wanted
> to get a 1/100 Wing Zero Custom kit. There are now several vendors that
> either specialize in or sell Gundam kits, and due to cutthroat
> MG Gundam v1.5 kit and RX-79(G) MG kits were as low as 30 bucks a pop.
> We found most dealers were willing to sell 1/100 HG Endless Waltz that go
> for 2,000 yen at $25, which was a pretty good deal considering how stores
> like Legends jacked up Gundam kit prices because Wing made everything
> Gundam popular now. My friend, being a total newbie, asked me to open the
> box and examine the parts to see if they are complete before he pays for
> When I opened it up, I was rather surprsied to see that the 1/20 pilot
> figure that come with those 1/100 HG EW kits were molded in a color that's
> got a very yellow tint (compared to the original color, which has no hint
> yellow at all). Examine the parts, I also found that the white parts of
> Wing Zero Custom were molded in a very, very bleached out shade of pale
> white, as opposed to the original release's slightly grayish white. The
> resin they used for these reissued 1/100 HG EW kits also appeared to be
> cheap and brittle compared to the original ones I got from Japan about 3
> years ago.
> Aware of numerous bootlegs that were coming out from China, I carefuly
> inspected the package for signs of counterfeits, but the Bandai trademark
> was on the box (not a sure bet these days, as I've seen fake Carddass
> trading cards that has the Bandai trademark on the package), and the
> quality on the box and manual appeared to be the same as the original. In
> any case, I informed my friend that these kits could be fake and he
> not to risk his money, even though the price was cheap.
> A few days later I mentioned this to a friend who's in the business, and
> told me that these kits probably were indeed made in China, courtesy of
> Bandai Hong Kong. Apparently they've mustered enough clout over the years
> to demand the right to manufacture kits for Bandai of Japan, and Bandai of
> Japan gave them the non-graded and HG kits. These 1/100 HG EW kits were
> part of the kits "given" to Bandai HK, who in turn have them made in the
> factories of China. What stinks about this is there were no longer any
> changes made to the box or any part of the package that'd indicate this is
> a regional release (like the "R" prefix for Asian, non-Japan releases of
> SD Ganso kits) so consumers can tell Japanese and Chinese made kits apart,
> regardless of the difference in quality.
> What does this all mean? While the re-releases in Japan were probably
> churned out from Japanese plants, for the global market, you never know
> if you are getting a quality kit or a slightly inferior version if you are
> buying any kit below MG class. And if the price sounds too good to be
> maybe you need to inspect the parts before you buy, something that's
> impossible with mail ordering or stores that put shrinkwrap over the box.
> Eddie


- Thomas -
Master Grader 'NOT' bater
eBay I.D.: msvgundam

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