Series: Mobile Suit in Action!! (MSiA)
Title: ZGMF-X56S/α Force Impulse Gundam
Release Date: 10/2004
Suggested Price: ¥ 1500
No. of Parts: 1 Impulse Gundam figure + 15 parts
Plastic colors: red, white, blue, yellow, green, black, gray, light blue
Gimmicks: Force Silhouette pack, Core Splendor
Date: February 3, 2005
The Force Impulse Gundam is one of the first designs from Gundam SEED DESTINY to have been released so far in MSiA format. The Force Impulse, analogous to the Aile Strike Gundam from Gundam SEED, is the mobile suit of DESTINY's protagonist, Shinn Asuka. It's pretty much just like the Aile Strike, which, truth to be told, is all I was expecting. So without further ado, let's get down to business.
Nothing too special here. It's nicely detailed, and the head has a good thirty degrees of vertical movement. The design of the torso somewhat limits the horizontal range of motion, but with a little tilting of the head you can get the head to turn a full 360 degrees. The V-fin is molded in soft, bendable plastic that may be a bit if a nuisance if it ever gets bent out of shape.
The most noticeable feature about the torso is the empty space in the back, for the Core Splendor, which I'll get to later. The torso here is otherwise similar to the Strike's. The hip piece is mounted to the torso on a ball joint, and the Impulse's Folding Razor knives can be put into two little compartments on the hip armor. There's a hole on the rear skirt armor to fit the beam rifle onto, and the appropriate holes to insert the Force Silhouette pack in. Again, nothing terribly exciting.
The Impulse's arms are attached the torso via a shoulder ball joint, which doesn't have quite the same range of motion as the Strike's. The elbow is double-jointed, and at the ends of the forearms are pegs to insert into the holes on the hands. I've found this setup to be sturdier than having the pegs on the hands. The Force Impulse comes with six hands: two closed fists, two open hands for the beam sabers and knives, and two gun hands for the beam rifle.
Again, much like the Strike, the Impulse's legs are double-jointed at the knee. The front skirt armor somewhat hinders mobility, and the armor on the heels hinders the mobility of the feet. It's nothing terribly restrictive, though it is a bit of an annoyance, and the double-joined knees make up for it.
Beam rifle- The Impulse's beam rifle features a nifty swiveling scope, and fits securely into the gun hand. It's also got a peg on the side, allowing you to attach the beam rifle to the rear skirt armor. It's a solid and good-looking piece.
"Vajra" beam sabers- Your standard MSiA beam sabers. Unlike the Strike, these beam sabers feature blades molded in lighter pink plastic, and they're shorter and closer to the proportions of the blades seen in the show. The blades fit fairly snug into the Force Silhouette pack, and the hands. The blades are also molded in much tougher plastic than most beam saber blades.
"Folding Razor" knives- Whatever delighted or annoyed you about the Strike's Armor Schneiders will probably delight or annoy you here as well. The Impulse's knives are much more detailed than the Strike's, and presumably fold up to store in the Impulse's hip armor compartments. Unfortunately, much like on the Strike, I couldn't fit the knives in and get the compartments to close, so after a bit of jockeying I got sick of it and just left the knives out. They're a little bigger than the Strike's Armor Schneiders, but not by much, and will still probably get lost easily.
Shield- My favorite part of the Force Impulse figure has got to be the shield. In the show, the Impulse's shield is able to fold into a smaller configuration for its Sword and Blast configurations, and it can surprisingly do the same here. The shield features the main piece, molded in black with a yellow cross, and two red-and-white pieces on the top and bottom, which can be mounted via pegs and slots on either the ends of the shield or the surface itself, allowing you to have both configurations of the shield. The sides of the shield fold into the main piece to complete the effect, and there's a handle and peg on the opposite side. It all fits fairly snug, though I wouldn't expect it to stay together during heavy play. Either way, I was expecting the shield to come as one big chunk of plastic, so I am impressed.
Core Splendor- The Impulse's most distinctive feature is faithfully recreated for this release. The Core Splendor is surprisingly detailed, and held together via metal screws, something I haven't seen in an MSiA before. The Core Splendor can be folded up, folding the nosecone under the cockpit, and the cockpit down, then folding in the wings and the two fins, and the whole thing fits snugly into the large open cavity in Impulse's back. I was surprised at how detailed the Core Splendor was, and that it could fold up and fit into the Impulse's back at all. Unfortunately, though it is possible to separate the Impulse's torso and legs, they aren't set up to form the Chest and Leg Flyers. Having only the Core Splendor seems odd, since the Impulse forms around the Core Splendor, but it doesn't detract from anything overall.
Force Silhouette- Fans of the Aile Strike will either like this or hate this. The Force Silhouette is just like the Aile Striker, featuring two lower binders mounted on ball joints, and two beam sabers stored in slots on the top. The Force Silhouette fits fairly snug into the Impulse's back, over the Core Splendor, though the Force Silhouette's wings do get in the way of the Impulse's shield. The Force Silhouette also comes with a white nosecone piece often seen being ejected in the show. It's well detailed, and supposed to fit over the front of the Force Silhouette pack once you detach it from the Impulse, but for the life of me I cannot figure out how to attach the thing. At any rate, the Force Silhouette looks better attached to the Impulse anyway.
Overall, not bad, not bad at all. There's some minor problems with poseability,
but I'd say they're moreso related to the Impulse's design in general than the
figure itself. A solid release altogether, and fans of the Strike, or of SEED, or of the protagonist's Gundam in general should like this one.
Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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