About a decade ago, I was introduced to the world of Gundam mobile suits through Cartoon Network. At the time, it was through the epic 40 or 50 some odd episode Gundam Wing, which was really a science fiction soap opera for kids (if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it). Tons of small figures and snap together model kits were released in various scales, and then the Gundam craze faded. Sure, Cartoon Network kept it up for a while, with MS08th team and another series or two, but none really caught my fancy like Gundam Wing did. Bandai was the main producer of toy products for the shows, and like most of their figures nowadays, they featured plastic cast in colors, ball-jointed articulation, and a very "toyish" look and feel. The one line that swept me away as "collector designed" was the Arch Enemy series (for which only a half dozen or so figures were released). Tonight I'm looking at one of my favorites, Wing Gundam Zero Custom, and it's a gorgeous work of art.
The Arch Enemy series featured attractive window packaging- mine's gotten a bit crushed up top over the years- that shows off the figure nicely. The back has a ton of narrative info about both the pilot and the mobile suit itself, as well as some neat in-action poses of the figure. The figure itself is just about perfect. The sculpt is dead-on, and stands in at about 7" tall, without the wings deployed. The lines are highlighted all around with dark paint to make them pop (back in the day, they actually made Gundam paint pens to color in the detail lines of the model kits for this exact purpose). The colors used are vibrant and appropriately metallic in places, and everything is very nearly perfect. There are even some airbrushed shades in appropriate places all around. If the SDCC version of classic Lion-O was this well done, I guarantee there would have been no complaining! There's tons of articulation to go around, with even the wings having their show-accurate wrap-around ability.
Wing Zero comes with show-accurate accessories. He's got 2 beam swords, which can be stored inside his rear wings (he has 4 fully poseable wings), as well as both halves of his twin buster rifle, which can combine into one really huge gun! There are two machine cannons housed inside his shoulder compartments (which can be popped open for deployment, as well). Bandai's Arch Enemy series was fantastic. The figures are brilliant, and the packaging and accessories provide the complete package. You can still track them down on ebay and such for pretty reasonable prices (I think at the time, that they ran $24.99, and current ending auction prices seem to be just a shade above that at the time of this writing). I'd highly recommend picking one up if given the opportunity- you won't be disappointed. This line makes me realize what Bandai CAN do when they set their minds to it, even amidst the disappointment of the collector series modern version Thundercats line (I'm hoping that the second wave shows more effort in the paint department!).