Recent scans from another respected hobby magazine in Japan, Figure Oh!, reveal Bandai’s plans with regards to its upcoming Robot Damashii product releases for the ongoing anime series, “Mobile Suit Gundam AGE.” The image above shows Bandai’s innovative (which quite frankly, should’ve been done a long time ago) and improved engineering for the RD AGE series, particularly focusing on the ability to interchange the arm and torso parts for the AGE-1 Gundam. For those unaware, the AGE-1 is capable of transforming into the power-based Titus or the speed-based Spallow, depending on its combat needs. For the longest time, Bandai has resisted enabling interchanging of parts for its toys for two main reasons; one so as not to compromise articulation and look of the character suit, and second to force the public to buy more variants and spin-offs of already released models (e.g Strike Gundam for the SEED series). However, if the scan above does signal Bandai’s shift in marketing philosophy, then I guess it’s a win solution for consumers since people won’t have to annoyingly buy multiple variants of the same Gundam just for the sake of completion. Apart from the interchangeability of parts, the RD AGE series also seems to adopt the new joint system first introduced in the RD Aile Strike Gundam, which allows for greater articulation and more dynamic poses.
The other big news for the RD AGE lineup is the announcement of the impending release of the “UE” or “unknown enemy” mobile suit, Garfan. In a break from the usual Zaku or humanoid-type antagonists of years past, the AGE anime introduced grunt units that feature a more animalistic design that allow for transformation into a bipedal mode. The RD Garfan will retain this ability to transform which should bode well for those who like to tinker around with their toys. It will be released this December 2011 for 3500 yen.