It seems the Master Grade line has changed the last couple of years. We used to get at least one kit a month and that was great for fans of MG and their inner frames but it did mean that many times we were building variations of things we had already built. (Just throwing this out there, doesn’t the MG Full Armor Gundam Ver.Ka (GUNDAM THUNDERBOLT Ver.) look like it’s going to be another 2.0?) After the run of Build Fighters MGs it appears Bandai decided to shake things up. No longer would Bandai be keeping the kit per month pace but instead there would be longer gaps between kits and the kits that would be coming as Master Grades would be better than what had come out in the last few years. This thinking gave us kits like the V Gundam Ver Ka, a Hyakushiki 2.0 and now the MG Freedom Gundam Ver.2.0.
Overall Look: 10/10
I haven’t built the original Freedom Gundam MG kit so until now my only experience with this MS was in its Real Grade form and, to be honest, it didn’t leave an impression on me. In fact, it’s one of my lowest-ranked RG kits. I’m not a die-hard SEED anime fan though I do really like the style of the MS in that series. That said, when I saw this at the Gunpla Expo last year, even in its prototype stage I was quite impressed. It looked amazing. It looks amazing. Now that I’ve had the chance to build it I can take in all the fantastic details that Bandai has given this kit.
Details like these:
And even the back end of the rail guns which don’t get a lot of attention have great details in the molds.
It is really a beautiful kit and if you’re one of those people who prefers to just admire it like a work of art you won’t be disappointed.
For that guy who asked for a size comparison… I did grab the closest kits which is what I said I would do, 🙂
At first it seemed like the 2.0 was shorter than its predecessor but setting them up for this shot it is the same height.
The darker blue on kits like the Freedom and Mk-II always appeals to me more than the standard Gundam colours but there is more than enough of the lighter blue in those giant wings.
The original MG Freedom had a sticker on the backpack to give it some colour (red and yellow) but Bandai skipped that when they designed the Real Grade Freedom and here again on the 2.0. This is a sound decision if it means they are doing away with stickers.
You get standard SEED weapons here and not much else which is perfectly fine given the amount of firepower this guy sports on his waist and back. The shield has all the same detail you see on the MS.
To attach it you just plug it in to the back of Freedom’s arm.
The rifle not only looks better than the one for the original MG Freedom but it functions better as well.
The grip pivots slightly so you can change the angle the barrel points at without having to move the arm that much.
Of course, the hands are different on the 2.0. You have the swappable fingers so you will need to use the ‘trigger-finger’ hand when using the rifle.
The foregrip swings in either direction so the other hand can grip as well.
Pulling off this pose involves more than just the design of the weapon so I’ll go into more detail in the Build Design section of this review.
You have two beam saber handles and blades.
When he’s not swinging them around the handles store on the side skirts.
You can also combine the handles so Mr. 2.0 is wielding a dual lightsaber ala Darth Maul.
I chose this picture to show just what this kit is capable of…
…when on its stand. It’s to be expected that a kit with wings and cannons on its back tends to be back heavy so I half-expected this guy to fall over almost immediately but that wasn’t the case. He stood in a neutral stance quite well and only starting tipping backwards once I swung the wings away from the body past a certain point. I did try a pose or two while he wasn’t on his stand and he did okay.
And moving the wings upwards didn’t affect it too badly.
Even so, this guy is meant for his stand and I don’t really anticipate playing with him without using it.
Arm movement upwards reaches here.
Not amazingly fantastic but still quite decent.
Build Design: 10/10
Here is where I have much to say. So much, in fact, that I don’t really know where to start. Given that this kit sports some hefty wings I’ll save those for last and start at the bottom with the feet.
In this position they are kind of locked flat and they don’t really pivot up or down. This helps the Freedom 2.0 to stand solidly when he’s on his feet. By pulling out on the toe you extend the foot.
You can then point the toes downnwards which adds something to the action poses when it’s on its stand.
Nice details appear on the back of the lower leg including a small fin that can open slightly.
When you bend the knee the thigh armour separates similar to what we’re used to seeing in Real Grade kits.
I’ll note here that the original Freedom kit had a part of the knee that stayed out when you bent the knee fully but Bandai’s done away with that on the 2.0.
A complete redesign of the skirt frame was done for the 2.0 release of the Freedom. What Bandai has given us here is a peg that can not only drop or raise slightly but also pivots as well.
This allows you to lower the hip joint and create more space underneath the Rail Gun side skirts. This is the secret to the super side kicks we are seeing in some pictures.
Speaking of rail guns,they look great and fold up nice and compact.
I’ll talk about the arms next. Here is the default, straightened arm position, or what I’ve decided to call it anyways.
You can extend the arms by pulling on them.
This creates more space for the forearm when bending the elbow.
If you want more movement there the wrist cuff also moves.
I did find, however, that moving the wrist cuff in this way can cause the ball joint of the hand to come out of its socket and hang rather loosely.
This design gives a lot of poseability to the Freedom 2.0 but there’s even more in the way of design elements here towards that cause. In the torso, Bandai has designed it so the whole side of the torso can slide forward which changes the position of the base of the arm.
If you’re looking from the right angle you can see inside there.
This torso gimmick does not affect the ability of the cockpit hatch to open. That works just fine.
I also want to point out here that the white vulcans you see on the chest are pieces of plastic.
They are quite long and have to be inserted at just the right angle but once they are in they aren’t coming out.
Allow me a bit of a complaint regarding the torso. For some reason, and I don’t know what it is yet, my left chest vent always falls off.
Likely this is just builder error as the other side stays in just fine but I’ve taken both out to compare them and can’t determine what the difference is that is causing me problems. I say this is my fault and not the kit design’s.
Let’s talk about that backpack starting with the cannons that are hidden between those large wings.
Yes, they are heavy but the stay in place no problem.
You can’t really hide that thorn that sticks out around the middle, though.
That thing is a thorn in the side when it comes to putting the cannons overhead. The issue is that the V Fin is so wide that it will hit against the thorn or cannon.
You will most likely have to spread the cannons so he won’t be shooting in a straight line.
The cannons have a couple of gimmicks starting with the extending barrel.
And that colour trim you see on the one side and the white on the opposite side open up.
I am not sure what purpose this serves but it looks cool.
If you want to put this guy into Hyper Mode you just lift up the blue armour on the small exterior wings to reveal the frame underneath.
I guess that’s cool but be warned that if you open it up too far that blue part will just pop right off.
He does look pretty sweet with everything pointing out and every which way.
I did find it difficult when it came time to tuck the wings back in. There was so much stuff to move and it seemed something was always getting in the way.
This will not be a problem once I’ve practiced a bit more.
The connection of the wing units to the backpack is quite sturdy. So sturdy, in fact, that it felt like the joint wasn’t turning but instead the blue armour housing the joint was starting to come open.
You may want to use two hands when moving the wings.
People occasionally give me some grief for not taking the time to pose some kits during reviews but the Freedom turned out to be a kit that I wanted to play with and pose well not one that was a chore to try to do.
So now let’s talk about one of the biggest pieces of news when details of this kit released and when the first builders got their hands on it.
The lack of poly-caps.
This was a big deal. This is a big deal. Well, this seems like it should be a big deal.
Personally, I feel the MG Sinanju Ver. Ka is one of the best kits in existence if not number one. Why is that? Well, aside from how massive it is, how amazing it looks, and all the extra goodies it comes with the kit stands sturdier than any other kit and refuses to buckle under all that extra weight that comes with those many armour layers. It’s just so solid. This I attribute to its lack of poly-cap joints. I remember being terribly disappointed when the Nu Gundam Ver Ka released with poly-caps for joints. That kit has some heavy stuff to carry around and could really use more sturdy joints. When the Sinanju OVA released I had the same kit to build but found it handled differently because the plastic had gone from the ABS plastic used in MG frames up until a few years ago to the new Poly-styrene plastic that Bandai switched to. Even though I had the exact same kit in my hands it didn’t behave the same way. The difference was slight but noticeable.
This brings me to the new Freedom 2.0. It has no poly-caps which should be a good thing if you want sturdy joints, but the use of the newer plastic makes those joints less sturdy than they could have been. This may be a minor thing for some builders and many may not notice it because they keep their Freedom 2.0 on its stand but for me I think about what could have been. Maybe I’m just living in the past. Ahh, the good old days.
Fun Factor: 9/10
Everything I touch is new! How long has it been since I had that feeling building a Master Grade kit? Maybe back during the Hyakushiki 2.0 but that kit doesn’t do what this one does. Having not built the original Freedom MG kit there was none of the ‘Aww, couldn’t Bandai have given us something new’ complaints from me and even if I had built the original the 2.0 surpasses it in so many ways it really shows how dated the original has become. I was a lot cooler 12 years ago, too!
The assembly is unique and thrilling and the then putting the new design to the test when posing and playing with it is a treat. I won’t even lament the lack of full interior frame in the arms which is something I thought would irk me as I love me my mechanical insides.
Perhaps the best evidence that I really enjoyed this kit; I took 110 pictures for this review.
You get some good stuff here notably the stand attachment if you have an action base you want to mount your new 2.0 on.
But the other stand adaptor is much better.
It fits snaps onto the stand solidy and then cradles the backpack so the kit is mounted high and not directly below the skirt which can get shaky.
You get plenty of markings.
And dry transfers?
This seems like a bit of a letdown. If they added Ver. Ka to the title of this kit we would have had waterslides.
There is a pilot figure.
Pretty standard stuff.
And extra hands for gripping saber handles or just showing the open fingers.
But the most important extra is the stand itself. You really need it not only to hold this winged-beast up but to show off everything that it can do. If Bandai had not included a stand the fury unleashed would have been unheard of.
But the opposite is the case. There are so many good things to say about this kit that the score for this review surprises even me. I have Mobile Suits that I like much more than the Freedom but not many Master Grade kits can rank as highly as this one does.