24 November 2011

Robot Damashii Byarlant Custom preview

Bandai's Tamashii Web Shouten has put up Robot Damashii Byarlant Custom pre-order page, of which the MS has made a pretty appearance in the 4th episode of Gundam UC released earlier this month.

Robot Damashii Byarlant Custom banner and preview images from Tamashii Web Shouten

The RX-160S Byarlant Custom is a customised and a further development from the RX-160 Byarlant. Like its original it is one of the few MS that can fly and even hover in mid-air on its own without having to transform or rely on a separate support platform. Being left over from the Gryps War back in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, it was not mass produced but 'upgraded' using existing parts for testing and development purposes.

Original Byarlant from Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, image from MAHQ

Byarlant Custom as seen destroying Zeon remnants attacking Torrington Base in OVA episode 4. With its spectacular "eye candy" performance there were viewers even spculating whether it was the legendary Gundam pilot Amuro Ray piloting the Byarlant Custom.

Byarlant Custom in action:


Byarlant Custom as seen in manga. Some backstory has been given to both the MS and its pilot. The pilot is revealed to be an ex-Titan pilot (named Robin Diez) who later rejoined the EFSF as Unit 1 of Byarlant Custom. There was a Unit 2 as well, but due to startup error it could not be launched, but destroyed the roof of the hangar in order for Unit 1 to sortie.

The Robot Damashii Byarlant Custom will be released in April 2012 for 6090 Yen to those who have pre-ordered it via the web shop (which is mainly for domestic Japanese customers). It will also come with beam sabre effect parts as well as a marking sticker set.

As the Byarlant Custom was not in the original novel, it seems to have appeared specifically for episode 4 of OVA adaptation as well as in the manga adaptation. Too bad the Robot Damashii action figure is web shop limited (i.e. proxy service is required for most overseas collector who want it), and has a big price tag of 6090 Yen. Sure one can justify that the Japanese economy is bad, but seeing more and more things that people like end up being limited only can be quite frustrating.

I must say that I am a little moved by the Byarlant Custom after seeing its performance in the OVA, especially as I am a fan of grunt units in the first place. The story and plot is said to be greatly cut and even altered from the novel, but action scenes don't disappoint most of the time. I am tempted to get it, but I'm now on the fence about it. Sure, I have pulled off stunts for expensive limited stuff several times before, but seeing more and more are ending up this path along with the strong Yen sometimes doesn't encourage me from buying these toys, but to refrain me from buying them instead sometimes. :\


  1. Oh yes, one of more the magnificent grunts ever. Dashing out from the hangar, ripping Zeon remnants like a boss.

    And yes, the RD price is also equally wallet-ripping... Then again, there IS some news that Bandai will make this into a HGUC kit. =D

    So THAT'S his name.

    Regarding the story changes, yes, everything (well, ALMOST everything) that we know about from the novel is out to the gap...

  2. I quite like the design here on this one. I'm curious who the designer was. I know exactly what you mean about the Yen. Yen to USD can get very pricey these days and it seems like almost everything just keeps getting more and more expensive. I've cut my figure collecting down to one or two a month or every few months at this point in time. Other than something that's in transit I don't have any more orders until February.

  3. I'd take a HG of this any day. But yea, it was pretty badass in the OVA.

  4. @ bd77:
    The Byarlant Custom's debut sure is dramatic. I also like the official site's description at the end: "... Now that people have discovered the value of its remarkable performance, it once again flies through the skies of Earth."

    Are you sure about Byarlant Custom may be available as a Gunpla kit? If that is the case then I'd go for that (as long as it's not limited or exclusive of any sort)!

    Hm it does appear that the gap between the novel and the OVA is widening especially from this episode. I hope the next two episodes won't deviate too much though unless it's a good change of plot. Well we shall see.

    @ Persocom:
    The designer for the original mecha is Kazumi Fujita. I don't know who did the 'upgraded' version, but looking at the credits and staff list it can be by Hajime Katoki, Junya Ishigaki, or Nobuhiko Genma.

    Since Hong Kong Dollar is fixed to USD, we are facing similar impact here. This along with the fact that more and more stuff ended up as web shop or event exclusive items don't make things any better. It's quite a pain when more and more things I like ended up in such treatment as it puts me on a fence now and then. I've spent a lot this year, so I may have to be more picky for future purchases. Let's hope things will get better in the near future.

    @ Tom:
    If HGUC Gunpla is available I too would love to go for that. For an original design that is created for this one episode of OVA this is quite an eye candy for action scenes, along with numerous MSVs that made brief appearance before they got blown up. I won't mind to see more of them appearing in future episodes or even as Gunpla kits!

  5. Watching UC #4 made me quite tempted to have this Robot Tamashii...well, the original price for this Byarlant Custom is quite high, and its really an amount while including proxy services... almost the same price as a PG RX-78-2!!! well...I guess I will wait for HGUC instead..

  6. @ yui:
    I think a fair number of us have been tempted by the Byarlant Custom after watching episode 4. If the price isn't so steep even for a web exclusive item I'm sure that you and I won't mind so much on getting it. The fact how things are getting more and more expensive nowaday only makes toys shopping even less attractive. Nevertheless let's hope there will be a Gunpla kit out for it eventually!


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