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Bandai’s “30 Minutes Missions”: New Kits to Challenge Kotobukiya’s Frame Arms

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It’s no secret that Bandai have been trying to push their model kits into the west’s mainstream hobby scene for quite some time now, and to an extent, they have enjoyed some success.

Their most recent foray into bringing model kits into the western hobby market is being launched by Bandai Spirits under the “FUNPORTER” line of products with the aim of “Overturning the existing idea of ​​plastic model.” According to the speaker at the event, the term Funporter came from combining, “FUN = pleasure” and “PORTER = carrying person / bringer” with the idea being that the fun and pleasure of creating something will bring people together and build a community.

They plan to bring this idea to fruition by launching a series of model kits which are, comparably, more simple than most regular Gunpla kits and mech kits. Advertised as being minimalist from a component perspective, the advertised base model is two sprues and one set of polycaps.

However, there isn’t a great deal of interest in the idea at the moment. Not because hobbyist communities don’t want to grow, but because the 30 Minutes Missions kits are rather ugly, derivative and lacking as they currently exist.

Ugly

Once built, the kits will largely rely on additional purchases to outfit the model with equipment. Hence the lack of decent color separation and the ugly holes in the chest, arms, and legs.

Derivative

The idea of a base frame that you build upon and improve with new releases as an iterative platform already exists and in a far more refined way. Bandai’s kits are being viewed as an attempt to undercut and divert customers away from Kotobukiya’s hugely successful line of Frame Arms. While many a builder will pick up a Funporter 30 Minutes Mission kit out of curiosity, they have a long way to go before they are going to be considered a worthy purchase. After all, you’re not likely to invest in a hobby if your initial purchase is unfinished until you buy more pieces.

Lacking

Thus far, the official contents of each kit haven’t been revealed, but we know that the base kit is ¥1250, or roughly £8.50. That’s about the same price as an old 1/144 scale High Grade Mobile Suit from Bandai, but so far all we know is that there a extra armor and weapon sets provided separately for around ¥500 on a not very impressive looking kit. Whereas even a basic High Grade Mobile Suit comes fully armored and with the base equipment that the unit comes with by default.

Whether or not the 30 Minutes Missions will take off is almost entirely dependent on the quality of one’s local hobby groups and hobby scene. If you’re in a group of accomplished and veteran model makers, irrespective of the origin point of their model building experience, they are likely point you towards an entry point in an area that they are familiar with. Nobody is going to tell you that you should invest in a 30 Minutes Mission and see if you enjoy it, especially when you both have no attachment to the Funporter brand which is hitherto unheard of. Bandai Spirits have their work cut out for them, and I hope things go well, but they need to course correct soon and make the 30 Minutes Missions stick out as something that is strong enough to stand on its own two legs.

They are clearly trying to expand into original content that doesn’t make use of the Gundam name. Their SD and Gachapon lines are also being combined into a new generic mecha IP called Robot Concerto which is much smaller and will likely catch the attention of Gacha fans.

It will be interesting to see how this all turns out, whether it’s considered a success, or if it’s going to be another failed attempt at pushing Plamo content into the mainstream west. But for now, all we can do is wait and see.

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  1. I get what they were trying to go for but they gotta try harder than these scrub grunt-suit look-alike models.

    Koto’s got frame arms, Frame arms girls, MSG and Hexagear which all pretty much work together since they all use like 3mm pegs.

    • The difference with Frame Arms is Frame Arms are fairly expensive, while I have a few, two Frame arms and two Megami Device’s (plus a few accessory sets which i use for everything) they are more expensive than what bandai is offering here. This is a very cheap option and I think the idea is most people would have no misgivings about picking one up for themselves or their kid because they’re so cheap and since they don’t belong to an existing IP, any non gundam fan wouldn’t have as much fuss for trying one out.

      The 30 minute kits also benefit from being easy to paint and customize, they’re compatible with most gunpla HGBC parts. I’ll be getting one as I’m curious, while I don’t expect to be blown away, I do think these kinds of kits are just fun to customize with or use for a kitbash project. And from a perspective of the already active modeler, it makes perfect material use for that and such I think will still be a hit among modellers. Whether it’ll actually take off with most people in the west is yet to be seen.Type text here…

    • Okay

  2. Dillion Crier on May 7, 2019 at 3:51 pm said

    I like how the robot on the right in the thumbnail looks like a crappy version of master chief.

  3. This seems interesting. Good luck with the page. I love your youtube channel.

  4. Onimitsu on May 7, 2019 at 8:55 pm said

    Yeah, I might have to concur with the critics here. Although I was introduced into the Gunpla hobby fairly recently, even I can see why if I saw these as my first models I might have given the hobby a pass.

    Though I’m infatuated with the old grunt-style models like the Zakus or Leos, these guys are more than a little bare-bones. And under scrutiny those holes are way too distracting. At least the Guard Frame from Build Divers has a more pleasing aesthetic so it’s easier to gloss over.

    All in all, my best judgement is to wait and see till what else is brought to the table.

  5. I want to get into Gunpla, especially that sick new Gundam Wing Zero with the angel wings, the one they made, but it looks so complicated to do.

  6. Qui Affixi on May 7, 2019 at 10:20 pm said

    Ah now I understand why my friend hates bandi so much

  7. Type text here…It might be worth picking a few up for kitbashing different models but like this article outlines the fact that they all look so similar and not unique while not adding any wow fact make them a hard sell when up against something like Gundam model kits

  8. Sammyc17 on May 8, 2019 at 12:04 am said

    Most of the model kits I got from Bandai were too fragile to even be put together. While I agree they look so similar and like a copy pasta, I will suggest that some of them do break the mold however slight that mold break maybe.

  9. yeah…
    no..
    that price probably gonna go up if it goes to my country from the tax to 16ish
    with that money i probably better buy some HG gunpla than this “bare bone” model

  10. Clearly they realize the success of Koto frame arms and want to jump in with the trend.

  11. All I see is a dodgy version of chief.

  12. Looks Aweosme will definitely have to check it out

  13. The customization potential is incredible with those kits. Would even be an awesome way to build a big army of grunt mobile suit.

  14. Oh those would be awesome for customizing and build a big grunt army. I’ll looked into them.

  15. i like the robot concertos look might look into those later. Otherwise I’d rather get more option sets for my gunpla than a completely new series based on customization.

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