The 1/100 MG Build Gundam Mk-II RX-178B is the third release in the Master Grade line from the Gundam Build Fighters anime. The two before it, the MG Build Strike Gundam Full Package and the MG Sengoku Astray Gundam, were Mobile Suits/kits that we have seen before but with a twist. The Build Mk-II? Well, there’s not a lot of twisting going on.
Overall Look: 5/10
This kit is basically the 1/100 MG Gundam Mk-II Ver. 2.0 from 2005, but with a backpack, I mean ‘booster’. Yes, you read that correctly. The Build Mk-II gives you a kit that is nine years old, but it comes with a new backpack… that looks nine years old. While I love the Mk-II 2.0 for what it is, or rather was, I dislike the Build Mk-II for those same reasons. It’s been nine years. If anything the releases of the RG Mk-IIs only two years ago really drives the point home that what you have in the Build Mk-II is less than stellar. But this is about the overall look so I’ll just say it. It’s ugly. Take off the backpack, err. I mean booster and it looks its age.
All you’re getting when it comes to the suit are some new torso pieces…
A new V fin section…
And some things that clip onto the back of the arms.
Which, incidentally, can also go on the Booster.
It’s totally uninspired and, well, kind of lazy. If you’re going to use the MK-II as the base could you not have remoulded some runners and given us some more panel lines and depth, Bandai? Something that says 2014? Instead, they made the new parts for this kit (the Build Booster) to match the look of the older kit, so even the new design looks dated.
Is this uninspiring or what? I’ve got the RG AEUG Mk-II sitting on my desk in front of me as I write this and I’d rather look at that then the pics of the Build Mk-II on my computer screen. If you’re going to give us an old kit, Bandai, couldn’t you have at least shaken things up with the colour scheme?
You get all the stuff that came with the older Mk-II (thankfully), and you also get two more rifles that can fit onto the Build Booster. These ‘new’ rifles also can be fitted with the old Mk-II ammo that sits inside the shield.
The 2.0 from 2005 had some great articulation and even featured the gimmick of the lower leg armour opening up when that leg and ankle started to move.
So, without the Booster attached, it’s quite posable, though not steady. With the Booster on, though, your options are limited.
It’s quite heavy and the waist and legs are already failing. Interestingly, if you start playing around with the rifles on the sides of the Booster you can position them so their weight counters the back heaviness of the Booster.
Well, kind of.
Build Design: 3/10
I can’t cut the Mk-II some slack for its old design. If you’re going to market a new kit you should probably release a new one. Instead, we get a ‘new’ backpack/booster that feels like it could also have come from 2005. So let’s talk about that.
Um.. Well it comes apart.
And the rifles can be mounted on the wings or whatever they are on the side.
Or those wing things can attach to the lower arm of the Mk-II thanks to the only new piece of design we find there.
The Booster attaches to the back of the Mk-II using a little adaptor piece that is part of the Booster assembly.
For the booster:
For the backpack:
This plugs into the small opening on the back of the backpack.
And if you want to keep going you can put the Fighter or whatever this stickered hunk of plastic is called.
Just fold up those thing on the bottom.
The end of it is made to slide into place on the top of the Booster.
And that’s about the only new piece of engineering you will find here.
Fun Factor: 2/10
If you haven’t built the MK-II 2.0 then maybe you will find some enjoyment here, if you erase from your memory any kit you have built in the past few years. It’s interesting to see the progression MGs have taken lately. We have had some monster kits the last couple of years, the Nu Gundam Ver Ka, the Buster Gundam, the RX-78-2 3.0, and the Sazabi Ver Ka, to name a few. There have even been some kits that didn’t live up to some expectations like the Gundam X but at least it was new, but with the MG kits from Gundam Build Fighters it seems like we’re regressing.
You get the adaptor parts. Um, yay? And the markings.
Need to put all these on so it’s apparent this isn’t the AEUG. And a new pilot figure.
With previous GBF MG kits you ended up with a lot of plastic from the older kit that isn’t used in the newer kits, which can be considered an ‘extra’ if you’re a glass-half-full kind of person. With the Build Mk-II you don’t even get that.
Because this is pretty much the same kit from 2005!
Part of me is angry at Bandai for doing this but from a business perspective it makes sense. Why spend the money to make something new when you can market something old as new and not have to spend the money to pay designers, engineers, and production costs for new runners? So instead I’ll just write that I hope Gundam Build Fighters ends as soon as possible so Bandai can look to give us something new. And by new I mean NEW.