Gundam AGE the anime sucks. Of course, I have alluded to that before but this time I just came straight out and said it. But the suits in that anime are being released as Master Grade kits now so I can’t pretend Gundam AGE doesn’t exist. I’ve built the HG version of the AGE-1 and now it’s the MG’s turn.
Overall Look: 8.5/10
I hummed and hawed about this score for some time. When I first saw the design for the AGE-1 Normal I thought it looked too unoriginal notably the head, which looks so much like Reborns Gundam, and the basic look of the body which is obviously based on the RX-78-2. I did, however, like the differences, particularly in the backpack, with that car spoiler look,
as well as the torso with the triangular shapes found throughout. And I do like the little openings found on the armor panels. The MG version of this suit has won me over. It wasn’t a 9/10 but it wasn’t an 8/10 so 8.5 it is.
I could mark this lower and say ‘zero points for originality’ as it looks exactly like the RX-78-2 in terms of color scheme but you know what? They work. The color scheme has been successful for so long so I shouldn’t fault it for being less than original. The black on the knees do break up the white of the legs, which is a good thing. I still feel Bandai could have taken a step in a different direction and broken new ground with this series but I guess they are going more with a ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ philosophy.
While there isn’t much if you look at quantity of weapons (though the short beam sabers are nice) the design of the weapons themselves, notably the rifle, earn them extra points.
The beam rifle features a very articulate handle which allows you to easily place it in the hand of the AGE-1 and attach it to the back of the lower arm securing it in place and ensuring that AGE-1 will hold it without worry.
The shield attaches the same way and fits so securely that it’s difficult to remove the shield and rifle from the connection to the arm. I appreciate this and it means I can pose the kit in more extreme poses without the weapons falling or being knocked off.
Look at this thing!
You can put the AGE-1 into a wide range of poses and it still holds itself up. The articulation in the lower half of the kit is excellent and the feet almost always seem to hug the floor but I was more impressed with the shoulders.
The unique shoulder design allows the shoulder joints of the AGE-1 to move in way similar to how a human’s shoulder socket joint works, which means great poses!
I am having a hard time expressing how great the articulation on this kit is. And it’s balanced!
Build Design: 10/10
I already mentioned the shoulders but I want to mention them again. Hey, everyone! The shoulders are awesome! The engineering seems ahead of the other MG kits even the newest releases and I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw some of this engineering used in 3.0 versions of suits. A 3.0 RX-78-2 with this amount of articulation. Bring it on!
The design of the wrists allows for human-like movement, and the addition of a two-part thumb is great!
Even the extra hand parts, which I normally shun, work fantastically and don’t fall out anywhere near as often as we are used to with previous kits.
They grip their respective weapons perfectly and look great doing so.
I did, however, encounter an issue with the side skirts.
The beam saber handles fit snugly in the skirts but are almost impossible (for me at least) to take off. I found I had to remove them from the skirt and use a beam saber to push them out from inside.
But that’s not enough to detract from the overall score in this category. If they fit less snugly and kept falling off that would be worse.
The skirt design is also different from what I expected when I saw pictures of the kit.
The yellow and white parts can move together or independently which allows that great range of motion found in the hips. That little hatch on the rear center block flips down to hold the rifle, too.
Another cool design found on this kit is the cockpit hatch.
There is a movable assembly at the top as well as the bottom of the hatch which allows the hatch cover to click into place so you don’t need to worry about it flipping forward if you bend your kit that way.
This might be the first time I’ve posed a figure on the hatch.
Fun Factor: 10/10
I had a great time with this kit. While building it I encountered many design elements I hadn’t seen before and when I eventually saw what they allowed the kit to do I was impressed. While the build sometimes can feel like an HG the payoff is that it moves like one. This is one of those kits that is as much fun to play with once assembled as it is to put together
There are plenty of markings, both sticker and dry transfer, as well as the extra hands which are a good thing with this kit. The silver foil stickers give off a pretty good effect for the head and torso though you need to look for it, and I may be alone on this but, the black stickers they give you for the knees are a good idea. You have the option to get the correct look even if you don’t want to paint the kit.
I love this kit and I’ve already decided it deserves more attention which means I’ll be painting it. Bandai has done such a good job with this kit that I’m back to looking seriously at the MG Titus.
I think this kit deserves more recognition and encourage anyone who is on the fence to jump on the AGE-1 Normal bandwagon.
I mean, just look at this!