If you’ve been doing Gunpla for any length of time it is likely that you have built an RX-78-2 kit be it a Master Grade or a High Grade, and even possibly the Real Grade or Perfect Grade. With Bandai releasing new versions seemingly every year we get an improved product almost every time. The last RX-78-2 we saw as an MG kit was the 3.0 which, being based on the revolutionary RG platform was an amazing kit. And yet, we are going back to the Grand-daddy of all Gundam. Going back to its Origin. Cool way to lead into a review for the 1/100 MG THE ORIGIN RX-78-02 Gundam, eh.
Overall Look: 8/10
I can’t say that I don’t like the look of this RX but when I compare it to the 3.0 it definitely seems kind of bland. It does seem more rounded than other versions with the exception of the 2.0. Actually, when I first saw it in a display in the Chara Hobby Event this past summer I thought it looked kind of droopy. The shoulders in particular seemed to slouch. It didn’t leave me with a good initial impression though my early impression did change when I saw the box art. It looks great there. I don’t want to start this review with a bias but after the 3.0 I don’t look at all the RX-78 kits the same way again.
One thing this kit has going for it is the great panel lines.
The panel lines were something I really liked about the One Year War Animation version/Ver. One Year War 0079 and something that you didn’t get much of at all with the 2.0
I don’t feel I need to write anything in this section except that the picture I used here looks cool.
Most RX-78-2 kits leave you feeling that something has been left out. Where is my Beam Javelin? Where is my Gundam Hammer? Actually, those aren’t included in the Origin kit either but I don’t take that as a negative because Bandai has already given you a lot of stuff. One of the big complaints I had about the 3.0 was that it used the same weapons as the 2.0. That isn’t the case here with the Origin version. Even if the weapons do look almost identical all the parts are new.
Here are the bazooka and rifle that seem to come with each RX kit. Check out the moving part on the rear of the Bazooka.
I don’t recall the 2.0’s doing that. The ammo container can open up completely as well.
They have also redesigned the sight/optic so that the sticker isn’t put on over top of the clear part but underneath it giving it more depth.
The Gundam Rifle has that optic as well.
Now you’ve got an additional rifle and I think it looks great. Like a heavier hitting version of the original.
All three hand-held weapons and the beam saber handles have the tab that work with the new type Gundam hands though there are some slight design changes there.
And I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Actually, I’m fairly sure it isn’t.
The shield may look the same and function similarly to predecessors but it is a new design.
But the coolest new weapon is that shoulder mounted cannon. Which I’ll speak more about in a bit.
If this kit wasn’t highly articulate it would have been a big fail on Bandai’s part. The promotional material shows off some of the great articulation particularly in the legs so of course I ran my own tests.
The feet have three areas where they can bend so you can get those toes on the floor the majority of the time.
With those elastic legs you can do this.
I have never done this before.
It also features some great movement backwards mid torso.
Not so much forward though
I’ll talk more about this in the next section but to wrap up the subject of articulation I’ll write how it lacks some in the shoulders.
Here is how for the shoulder pivot upwards.
If you want to raise the arm higher you can do so but it affects the shoulder armour assembly.
I was actually quite surprised at the lack of motion here especially after seeing the greater range of movement in the torso.
Reasons for all this can now be discussed.
Build Design: 8/10
When this was first announced we (I am grouping all of you together with me) wondered what the design would be like. Would it be the 2.0 just with different armour? Would it be like the 3.0? Would it be like the recent HG Revive RX-78-2?
Those questions can all be answered with a ‘Yes, but…’
Let’s start by comparing it with the RX-78-2 2.0. It shares similarities most noticeably in the torso frame design particularly the shoulders and also in the arms. Actually, the lower arm frame is from the 2.0. The I runner in this kit is the 2.0’s I runner. The decision not to alter the shoulder design is disappointing particularly when you consider the shoulders of the HG Revive kit. That kit featured a design change that saw the poly-caps in the sides of the torso change from swiveling forward to swiveling upwards. That created a lot of motion upwards for that HGs arms.
Interestingly you can take off a piece of the shoulder. Could this be meant for parts swapping as seen in the Fix Figuration RX-78-02? (I love that figure.)
I’ve shown how Bandai didn’t follow some of the Revive HG design elements. Now let me show you how they have. In lower torso frame.
As pictured above you can bend this guy back quite far. That is because Bandai basically replicated the torso design found in the Revive kits. There is a joint housed in the lower torso that swings forwards and back. It’s this joint that likely played a part in the decision not to include a Core Fighter with this kit even though they had one designed already that they used in both the 2.0 and 3.0. There simply isn’t room for that Core Fighter with the new torso frame design.
Speaking of 3.0 let’s talk about the design aspects from that kit that have made their way to the new Origin kit. The most noticeable is the LED housing in the upper torso. Just pull off the backpack and then remove the head.
(While you’ve got that head off…)
And the 3.0 and Origin also share the new type of hands. For those who don’t know they feature a tab in the palm that swings out and combined with the same kind of tab in the handle of the weapon they slot in there and provide a firm hold. I heralded this design when it first appeared with the Nu Gundam Ver Ka. We’ve seen that same design on quite a few MG kits since then. One aspect of that design was that it was often hard to get the tab to move out so you could attach the weapon. Bandai’s changed the tab design for the Origin RX release making the tabs slightly smaller (I feel) and much easier to move.
Well, the downside to that is that being a tiny bit smaller they lose the friction that you need to hold the weapons in place. I spent far too long trying to get this new new type of hand to hold the handle of the new rifle. It would just keep falling off. There seemed to be no real friction holding 1)the tab in the outwards position and 2) holding the weapon in the palm of the hand. I could even see the tabs of the beam saber handles swing loosely when I tilted the Gundam in one direction or the other.
It turned out that the only way I could get the weapon to stay in the hand was to bend the fingers all the way around the grip but if you are not careful, being the new type of hands…
Now I’m going to go into rant mode.
This isn’t about the Origin RX-78-02 but it’s something that does come up. I occasionally get comments like this one I received just recently.
“Dude… seriously.. you should learn to pose your figure. You got a really good review but in my opinion, it is important how you pose them so the viewer got its awesomeness”
I will accept part of the blame here because yes there are occasions where I don’t have much time to get the 60-80 pictures I normally take for one of my reviews. If pressed for time (and right now I’m being pressed from all sides) I may slack a bit when it comes to posing. However, there is something that I want people to realize. If you see that a kit isn’t posed well in one of my reviews, more often that not it is because the kit does not pose well. If it stands solidly it is easy to get some great poses and some great shots. If I have to fiddle with it just to get it to grip a weapon or stand up more likely than not I’m going to give up on the idea of getting all the poses I wanted beforehand and just go with what I can get. To give you shots of a great pose when the kit isn’t really capable of that is, in my opinion, dishonest to those reading the review. And I won’t use an Action Base in a review if I feel it’s a crutch for an unsteady Gundam.
Now that I’ve got that out lets talk about the gimmicks this guy has.
I’d like to point out that Bandai gives you an option for how you want the right arm to look. I’ve gone with the standard.
But I can take one part off.
And add the same assembly as seen on the left arm.
I can also open up a little hatch on its shoulder revealing a gatling.
The skirt seems to take its design from the 2.0 but instead of snapping the ball joint into the main skirt frame from the top you do so from the bottom.
These are quite sturdy and I’ve experience no problems with them. The side skirts are a completely new design in that they are assembled as part of the main frame. They aren’t coming off at all.
The elbow, knee, and ankle joints all feature a very small frame piece that holds in place without a problem.
The cockpit door opens downwards rather than up.
Unlike the 2.0 though there are no sliding doors in there that can open upwards.
The ankle armour connection is like an HG kit’s rather than an MG. You just snap a ball joint into the lower leg frame in the center.
And somewhat resembling the 3.0, the armour for the thigh moves when the knee is bent.
The knee itself seems to stay in place as the legs bend.
The thrusters in the backpack connect with a nice joint design that allows them to move upwards or downwards quite far.
The little flaps move separately.
And the frame part you see in the backpack? That can swing around revealing a place to connect your weapons if you want them to hang from its back.
But let’s talk about that backpack a little more. It’s important because that’s where you mount your cannon.
Pop off the backpack and remove the left side assembly that stores the beam saber.
All you do is just plug the ball joint of the cannon into there.
The joint of the cannon is designed in way that lets it extend forwards and back instead of just swinging down.
That is great and really makes the kit.
Fun Factor: 8/10
Being a Mobile Suit I’ve built before I approached this new RX-78-02 hoping to see some innovation and while Bandai has cherry-picked some design elements from other successful kits on its own there’s a not a lot of new here. Still it’s a Master Grade and as those seem to be becoming more rare these days I jumped at this guy when he finally arrived.
Tonnes of stuff. Probably the parts that most people will find the coolest are the clear effect parts
These are meant to attach to the kit where its weapons are to indicate the weapon being fired.
We don’t normally get those types of extras unless their are with a complimentary set.
You also are given a small yellow part which can be used instead of the blue part that hides the shoulder gatlings.
This will be easy to lose.
Young Mr. Amuro makes an appearance.
And you get a truckload of stickers so that will extend your build time by quite a bit.
When I posted a picture of the box for this kit on Facebook I was hit up by a few people asking which RX-78 is better among the more recent versions. I guess that’s why I do these reviews. You’ll see that my favourite is still, and may forever be, the 3.0 but if you like the Origin Version I wouldn’t blame you. It’s different enough in a variety of areas that it has its own appeal though you have to be willing to live with the deficiencies, real or perceived, that this kit has.