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SYFY WIRE Important Toy News

We're still stuck inside, so let's build model kits! We've got Gundam, Pokémon, and more

By Loryn Stone
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Welcome back to Important Toy News, the SYFY WIRE column that shows you all the best and coolest happenings in the world of amazing toys and collectibles for the week.

Well wouldn’t you know it — it’s New Year's Eve and we’re still stuck inside the house. I know none of us expected that we'd be spending the holiday self-isolating due to COVID-19-induced lockdowns and quarantines, but here we are. So, with the health climate being what it is and the fact that winter is here, I think all of us could use some toy recommendations, post-Christmas, that will keep our hands busy for a little while. That’s why today, your resident, if not favorite, Toy Journalist is leading you down the gilded road to model kit Valhalla. If you’re like me where jigsaw puzzles aren’t quite your jam but you still like to build, model kits might be a great place to start. Especially if they’re the pop culture nerdy kind.

Kotobukiya Mega Man X4 Mega Man X


From Mega Man X4, Japanese toymaker Kotobukiya presents protagonist X, wearing the full Force Armor. This extremely detailed plastic model kit comes with a new red coloring in this Force Armor Rising Fire version. This model kit comes with the largest Plasma Charge Shot effect part in the Kotobukiya Mega Man model kit series. It is 1/12 scale (so about 5 inches or so). Kotobukiya’s Mega Man X4 X figure costs $79.99, ships in January 2021, and is available for preorder today.

Bandai One Piece Thousand Year Sunny


Pirate Kings, get ready to set sail! This version of the Thousand Sunny from One Piece, as seen in the ongoing Land of Wano arc, will be available as a plastic model kit next year. Stickers add extra details, and the kit includes all of the Straw Hat Pirates' various smaller ships as well. Via Bandai, “The One Piece Thousand Sunny Land Of Wano Ver. Sailing Ship Collection Model Kit includes White hobby horse No1, Mini Merry No2, Shark Submerge No.3, and display base”. This famous pirate ship measures about 9 4/5 inches long. It costs $49.99, ships in January 2021, and is available for preorder today.

Flame Toys Optimus Prime IDW Clear


I am such a sucker when it comes to clear and transparent variants of toys, and this beautiful Transformers Furai model kit from Flame Toys is no exception. This version of the Optimus IDW comes in completely clear plastic to create a cool see-through effect which is a first for Flame Toys models! I’ve put together a few Flame Toys kits and I really enjoy them overall. The model even comes packed in a collectors tin box, modeled after the Matrix of Leadership, which itself comes in a cardboard sleeve featuring art of Optimus Prime drawn in silver. This model is a must-have buy for any Transformers collector or modeler! It measures about 6 inches tall once built. This gorgeous see-through Optimus Prime model kit costs $63.99 and is in stock and ready to ship today!

Bandai Gundam Wing Zero kit


Gundam Wing fans, you're going to be blown away. The ever-iconic winged Gundam from Gundam Wing Endless Waltz returns in Real Grade form! The wing structure of this Wing Zero interpretation is, according to Bandai, “based on application of current real-world technology used in aircraft.” Even the flexible feather-shaped extremities incorporate “elements from thrust vectoring mechanisms of combat aircraft.” Yowza! And here I thought Gundam Wing was just about pretty boys and robots! Twin Buster Rifle and beam sabers included. The Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz #17 Wing Gundam Zero Real Grade Model Kit measures approximately 5 inches tall. It costs $29.99, ships in March 2021, and is available for preorder today.

Bandai Evangelion Unit 2 Model Kit


From Neon Genesis Evangelion comes Asuka's Evangelion Unit 2 in the Real Grade line! (Real Grade? More like real difficult, am I right?!) The armor moves to allow posing with reduced interference. The inner parts of the model resemble muscles that move with the armor to allow for natural poses. The Neon Genesis Evangelion Evangelion Production Model-02 Real Grade Model Kit includes one Pallet Rifle, two Progressive Knives (Eva Unit 02 ver), one Umbilical Cable, one Realistic Decal, seven Hand parts (Left/Right), one Hand part for holding Thunder Spear, and a manual. This big girl measures about 7 1/2 inches tall, costs $51.99, and ships in January 2021.

Bandai Nissin Cup Noodle


We discussed this one when it was first announced this summer, but something this fun (and just around the corner) deserves another shout out! We are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Cup Noodle! Through a special collaboration between Bandai Hobby and Nissin, comes this Nissin Cup Noodle Best Hit Chronicle 1:1 Scale Model Kit measuring about 3 1/2 inches tall. To make the model, Bandai 3D scanned actual noodles, egg, shrimp, and mystery meat and converted the real-life ingredients into intricately detailed plastic model parts. The noodle block parts unique to Cup Noodle were divided into several parts during the design process, so would-be builders get to assemble the dense noodle block structure that easily loosens in hot water in plastic model-kit form. The leeks are made from vinyl material and can be cut to user preference. The molding is apparently so precise that even the fine-print nutritional information is included — but with less salt and fewer carbs, I hope! This model kit costs $25.99, ships in January 2021, and is available for preorder today.

Bandai Pikachu model kit


We’ve reached the end, my toy loving friends, and we are going to wrap with a super-easy kit. If you want to get your kids into model kit building and aren’t sure where to start, look no further! Pikachu has chosen you! This model kit (which I have personally built with my daughter) is an extremely easy build and would be pretty fun for any children who are interested in getting into the model kit hobby. And besides, it’s Pikachu! This model kit only costs $10 and has an adorable ear-moving gimmick included in the build. He’s in stock and ready to be your new little buddy today.