Geek Blog August 8th: 30 Minute Missions Alto Review

Hello Geeks! Welcome to Geek Blog August 8th. Today, I’m going to give a rundown of Bandai’s new original line of plastic models, the 30 Minute Missions. Fluff your pillow, adjust your back rest and get ready for the 30 Minute Missions Alto review!

Value in Price?

Anyone who knows me very well that I am a CHEAP date. I mean, a hot and ready pizza from your local Little Caesars accompanied by a 2 litter of Dr. Pepper is more than enough to get me into a unmarked van with tinted windows. It may be because of this I was drawn to the $14.99 price tag of the Alto. I know what you’re thinking, there are cheaper Gundam kits within the same grade (for all intents and purposes, 30 Minute Missions are equivalent to High Grades) so why would you pick this say over the 1/144 Leo or 1/144 00 Diver?

1/144 Alto White with Blue Long Range Sniping Option Armor
1/144 Alto White Runners and Book

First off, I appreciate the fact that Bandai made a full color guide for these kits. It’s not something that is needed, but it adds a nice touch. A lot of the newer Gundam kits will be half color/half not which is fine, but again, it is a nice touch. Moving on, when you open the box, you question how fast you can actually put this together. with 3 runners and a poly-cap source, there seems like there isn’t much to it. While yes there isn’t a bazillion pieces in this kit, the simple way they come together plus other factors makes this worth the price tag.

Along from the all colored page guide, another interesting aspect is that most the pieces are built in sequence off the runner. For example, step 1 may use peices A1, A2 and A3. Step 2 would then use pieces A4, A5, A6 and so on. It’s not 100% in numerical order, but its still a neat feature. Because of this, you build the kit from a “Top Down” aspect. Start at the helm, and work your way to the feet as you construct it.

Moreover, the pieces fit together very well, and left little question about how something went. You also use every piece that is given to you, so wasted plastic is kept to a minimal.

Head and torso of 1/144 Alto
Head, torso and arms of 1/144 Alto
Leg structure of 1/144 Alto

But can it pose?

As you finalize the build, you start to see the stability that is not compromised by the flexibility. At one point I was able to have the kit sit cross-legged and not have a piece come flying off, all while being able to balance itself. I was also able to have a straight leg kick while balancing on one foot. Furthermore, for all you Astray fans, yes it can do the dynamic “leg extended” pose.

1/144 Alto Cross Leg Pose
1/144 Alto Cross Leg Pose
1/144 Alto Leg Kick Pose
1/144 Leg Extended Pose
1/144 Leg Extended Pose

But wait…there’s more!

So here we are now, we have a great kit, at a fair price, that can be posed and balanced. What more could we ask for? What if I told you that everything up to this point was just the breadcrumb to get you into the real purpose of these kits?

If you like customization, then this is most certainly the line for you. In the above images, you will see some pictures that have some extra blue pieces. These are called Option Armor Kits. These allow for snap-on custom looks. Currently there are only a few kits out, but more have been announced and planned. But it doesn’t stop there. These kits are made to be able to swap pieces from the other kits. For instance, maybe you want the Alto White legs, Alto Yellow chest and Alto Blue arms. It’s as easy as taking the pieces and snapping them together. Then for further looks, add an Option Armor Pack or Weapons pack to further your own look!

There are tons of socks throughout the body that allow for different parts placement. Place a shield on the legs if you so choose. Or maybe an axe on the shoulder. Also, stickers are included that are 3 different sizes with 2 different colors. As you will see, I labeled mine with the number 974. That is our store unit here in the South Hill Mall, so it seemed fitting. But you will notice the white numbers on the shield and the black numbers on the shoulder.

1/144 Alto Option Armor Pack
1/144 Alto Pose
1/144 Alto Pose 2
1/144 Alto Head Swap Pose

I mentioned once before in one of our other blogs, when the Gundam Build Divers Kits first came out , that was what I wanted from Bandai’s line of High Grades. I didn’t think it could get much better that that. Those are great, but I like these! An original design, with a stable build, that has a tremendous amount of posability and customization, at a pretty cheap price with cheap options. Yes, this is 30 Minute Missions, and this is awesome.