I think I’ve already made it known that I am not particularly interested in the new Gundam series, Gundam Age, but of course I am interested in new Gundam kits! So how does the first kit from the new series stack up?
Overall Look: 8.5/10
You know what? I like it. Perhaps what I like most about it is that it isn’t over the top. It hasn’t departed too radically from the Mobile Suit designs we’ve all come to love but there are some differences that are worth noting. One in particular…
That car spoiler-like backpack. I think this may be the coolest part of the design, although it tends to stick out too much for my liking. If I had time (and skill) I would probably modify the backpack so it looks even more like the rear end of a sports car and replace the thruster with some massive exhaust pipes.
I even like the head.
It’s a new series. You could have made a bold step in a different direction, Bandai. Instead, I think Bandai kind of failed here, but the old ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it’ Japanese attitude dies hard (or won’t die).
I like the shield far more than the rifle. The rifle is capable of changing form but other than having the front swivel 90 degrees so it can be grabbed with both hands the only other rifle ‘mode’ is lame. You just take the front half of the rifle off. You do get 4 beams sabers, though!
In one word; awesome! It’s got a huge range of motion in the hips and legs and that car spoiler backpack actually doesn’t affect its balance too much. I was able to get it to stay upright quite easily.
When a kit looks cool and can hold cool poses, it’s a 10!
Build Design: 9/10
Nothing revolutionary here but then again revolution (color aside) isn’t necessary. The design works perfectly allowing that large range of articulation. One interesting difference in the design from other HG kits I have assembled is found in the shoulders.
The polycap is slightly offset from the shoulder piece and the range of motion in the shoulders is greater because of this. He is easily able to grab the rifle with both hands and look cool doing so.
Fun Factor: 9/10
It’s an uncomplicated HG kit with a couple of surprises so it does keep your interest during the build and continues to keep it afterwards when you get to play with it. That’s the way it should be with every Gundam model.
Here be the controversial category. For myself, this category starts at 5. If the kit has some cool stuff added into the design or as an accessory, the score goes up. If it is lacking some things that definitely would have made a better overall product, the score goes down.
There’s not much ‘extra’ with this kit but that isn’t a bad thing. The extra beam sabers are nice, though not necessary really, and there is a cool little design with the side skirts allowing them to accommodate the beam saber handles.
If the rest of the kits in this series are as good as this one, Bandai might be onto something. Although, if the rest of the kits in this series are exactly the same as this one, Bandai may be missing an opportunity. I enjoyed the Age-1 Normal and look forward to its Mega Size counterpart.
And as for that cool pose found on the box and in the instruction manual