Monday, August 1, 2011

The Destiny Plan - Part 2

A Tale of Two Destinies - Continued

Christmas time, 2010.  It's cold, damn cold... again.  I again, just happen to have the day off on the NEW coldest, wettest day of the year.  I wake up rather late and, having nothing better to do, surf the web and watch YouTube for a good portion of the "morning".  A few hours into this routine of watching/reading all Gunpla related news and updates, a knock comes to my door!

I go to the door in my jammies and peer through the peep hole.  A Postal Worker! Come to give me fun packages!  But wait, I haven't ordered anything!?  At the very least nothing that should have already arrived!  And yet here at my door step is a man with a package.  I open the door.  The man standing there, red cheeked with a runny nose, asks through his sniffs and stuffed up nasal passages, "Are dyou Dosep?" He sneezes into his sleeve (thank you sir for your consideration of my health) and takes a large, deep breath through his clogged nostrils, sucking up as much mucus as he can to clear up his head and reiterates, "Are you Joseph?"  I nod and smile.  "Sign here, please."  I do so and sign there, where he indicated with the penned X.  And he hands me a large parcel, very long, but squat.

I thank the man and he's off down the steps to his truck to deliver even more goodies to the good boys and girls of the apartment complex!  Like our very own localized Father Christmas.

The package is wrapped in packing tape, completely wrapped in it!  The shipping label says it's from Hong Kong.  There is no outer box and I pray the contents of the bundle are all intact.  I carefully cut around one of the short ends of the wrap.  There is a thick, smelly layer of bubble wrap under the tape, but through the bubbles, I can see colorful ends of several boxes.  I cut deeper into the mash of plastic air chambers! I'm getting ever closer to the stuff within, knowing full well that a surprise, whether good or bad, awaits me just below the surface of the packing material.  Finally I am to the final sheet of bubble wrap.  I pull it ever so carefully away from the contents and slice it from the top left corner down to the bottom right corner.  I make a similar cut in the opposite directions and gently fold back the triangles.

Models!  Gunpla!  Five large boxes each containing a slew of runners!  Plasticy goodness awaits me!  I am over-joyed at the prospects of new plamo to build and tinker with!  But what's this!?  This is not a "Gundam" it says here that it is a Hi - V Fighter! Another reads "Wing Zero Fighter Custom"!  And yet another has foreign markings on it that I don't quite recognize, the there is a picture of the Destiny Gundam and the phrase "EXTREME BLAST MODE" in rainbow text across the end of the box.

I was at a loss for words here.  Strange Gunpla does not simply appear at one's doorstep.  Certainly, there is a mistake.  Why would someone ship me knock-offs of my beloved Gunpla?  Are they mocking me?  No, surely not.  Perhaps they are merely misguided. Or perhaps they, the senders, have been duped!  But WHY have I been sent these imitations of Bandai goodness?  The answer soon arrived via text.

"Hey, buddy!  Merry Christmas, hope you and your girly girl like 'em!  I just got the delivery confirmation."

A friend had sent me a PG Wing Zero Custom, MG Hi Nu, and a MG Destiny Gundam EBM, along with a second Hi Nu and Destiny for my fiance!  However, these boxes of plamo did not have the red Bandai logo placed ever so neatly in the bottom right corner of the cover art.  Instead was a white square with red and blue Chinese markings, two identical characters: Go Go, or GG...  They were TT Hongli knock offs.

Through a conversation with my dear friend, I discovered he had bought the kits from a website that shall remain nameless, thinking he was getting a good deal on the kits.  Indeed, he would have gotten a fantastic deal had they been legal and legit products.  Sadly, my friend, through no fault of his own other than ignorance of the Gundam Hobby, purchased these bootleg kits as gifts for us not knowing what he had actually bought.  I forgave him and accepted the gifts, happily.

I admit, I am and have been very curious about the TT Hongli kits ever since a certain YouTuber had reviewed so many of them.  Saying they were surprisingly good counterfeits, not perfect, and not as good as the original but passable when on a tight budget.

So I examined the Destiny first, because I was most curious about this particular model especially since I had yet to build my diamond in the rough find at Slot and Wing from the month before.



As you can see, the box is MUCH wider than it's Bandai counterpart; as wide as a PG kit, MG Sazabi, or the MG Real Type G-Armor kit.  And possibly, the best part of a bootleg is lack of quality control:


An extra set of several runners!

I'm assuming the box appeared too large to the workers in the factory as well, because they threw in a second bag of these runners, so I've got spare parts, I guess :-P.

The plan will continue to unfold soon...

Until Next Time:  Happy Building!

1 comment:

  1. Honestly, I almost want that for the largely uninterrupted box art! I love Naochika's illustrations, and this one didn't make it into his artbook!