Originally when I heard the concept for the newest Gundam anime series, Gundam Build Fighters I wasn’t too interested in an LBX clone. Catching bits of a couple episodes started to win me over as the animation looked very good but that still wasn’t enough to get me interested in the model kits. Can I really get excited for the release of a model kit that is by design just a kit bash? Even seeing the MGs at the Gunpla Expo didn’t get my Gunpla fingers itching but this past week one was dropped in my lap so I have no good excuse to turn it down. The question will be, going forward, does this change my attitude towards this series of kits? Let’s look at the first MG from GPB the 1/100 MG Build Strike Gundam Full Package.
Overall Look: 8/10
Being very similar in looks to the Aile Strike one would expect it would receive the same score in the Looks department but while there are certain areas I really like such as the shoulders and arms…
…that big unit on its back seems kind of off to me and, in my opinion anyway, kind of takes away from what made the Strike Gundam so sexy. The backpack when it’s off though does look good.
And I do dig the head.
More than I thought I would.
Having said what I did about the look of the kit compared to the Aile I think I like the colours used here better. Yes, there is a predominance of Gundam blue but the extra red found on the shoulders, along with some yellow, gives it a different look. The blue on the knee breaks up the white on the lower body and is a good touch.
But where is the extra colour on the backpack?
So what do you get for weapons in the Build Strike? Well, I’m not exactly sure yet.
You get a pistol which also acts a handle that can be combined with another barrel section to make a rifle.
Or it can be combined with another much larger assembly to make an.. even larger rifle?
And you’ve got the shield which, while not exactly exceptional, does have the ability to store the extra gun parts on the underside when not in use.
Being based off the Aile Strike RM I expected this kit to have the same amount of articulation. Well, it does and it doesn’t. New design changes in certain areas, for example the ankles, make it more articulate but other design changes like the shoulders and neck make it less so.
The head actually only turns this much.
Almost no movement there.
A design improvement in the ankles (which we’ll talk about in the next segment of this review) allows more movement laterally at the ankle meaning the foot will stay flat while this kit does the splits.
Except that the design of the side skirts limits the amount of movement you’ll get out of the hips.
The top of the side skirt actually contacts the lower torso and, at the same time, the bottom of the side skirt prevents the leg from moving further so while the ankles allow you more movement you’re not going to get to take advantage of it much.
You’ll also find rotating the upper arm slightly hindered by the little edge of frame that peeks out from under the red on the shoulders.
You’ll also need to have the shoulders lined up a certain way to allow them to rotate forwards or back to increase the arm’s range of forward motion.
And we have to mention the backpack part of this guy. With that weighty backpack you’ll find it tough to get some interesting stances out of the Build Strike. Often he will end up like this.
However, remove the backpack and you’ll find this guy that much more fun to play with.
Build Design: 9/10
I’m tempted to give this a lower score simply because, for the most part, the Build Strike is a rehash of the Aile Strike RM but the Aile Strike was actually a pretty good kit when it came to design and that is also carried over for the Build Strike. As mentioned previously the ankles are a step up.
The ball joint is offset towards the inside of the leg allowing more pivot in the ankle while the ankle armour is attached by a poly-cap giving it room to move to accommodate the ankle’s additional range of motion.
I really like this and hope to see it again in future Master Grades not just Gunpla Builders stuff.
After that the rest of the newsworthy Design stuff is found in that big, transforming backpack. When attached to the Build Strike the little arms can swing underneath to be used as weapons much like we have seen with the Strike Freedom.
Inside these weapons are a handle that flips out.
(Though, if you’re like me, the constant switching of hand parts is more hassle than it’s worth.)
A nice design feature can be found on those swingable arms. There’s a little tab of frame that can fit into a hollow to secure the arm in place and prevent the arms from swinging loose.
And the nose transforms simply by pulling it out and flipping it downwards.
Nothing revolutionary, but it does work very well.
Fun Factor: 7/10
Outside of weapons, backpack, ankles, and shoulders this is essentially any of the SEED MG kits released in the last couple of years and if you’ve built any of them (or in my case, all of them) then you won’t really be surprised by what you see. While the SEED kits are very solid the nature of Gunpla Build Fighter doesn’t allow much in the way of novelty and it could even lead into tediousness. This isn’t to try and rag on the Build Strike. It’s a good, solid kit. A good, solid kit that you’ve probably built already.
The best ‘extra’ is the stand.
This allows you to mount the Backpack in its flight form.
As well as the Build Strike Full Package, which to be honest is the best way to pose this guy.
I guess that makes the Action Base adaptor redundant.
You’ll actually end up with quite a few redundant parts with all the Aile Strike or SEED X armour runners found in this kit.
Lots of markings for this guy but we haven’t heard yet about waterslides.
Maybe the best in way of extras comes in this little section of runner.
These are parts you can use to mount your Full Package onto other MG Gundam kits.
For example, the MK-II 2.0
Or the Astray Red Frame or Wing Gundam.
And even next week’s MG Gundam X.
And I guess a good many other Mobile Suits.
I can’t say that the MG Build Strike Full Package converted me to hardcore Gundam Build Fighters fan it was nice to be able to build the maiden MG from the series. We’ll have to wait and see what else that anime and Bandai brings us.