I'm back with a review of a Master Grade for you! Today we'll be looking at my recently completed MG Exia from the Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Series. This kit was released in Japan in July 2009. Many will remember this iconic mobile suit as being the primary weapon of Gundam Meister Setsuna F. Seiei. In the first episode, this was the first Gundam revealed. If you're like me, you were captured by its sleek design and of course, its unique physical weapons for close engagements.
The Exia is one of my personal favorite suit designs. I will probably end up getting the RG one day so I have one in each grade. I personally also prefer the physical GN Sword over the GN Sword II from the Exia Repair.
If you'd like to see the photos, the album is here!
Without further ado, let's talk a little about this kit!
First off, this kit has 12 Runners, complete with lots of clear parts, and the sheet you see above, containing the clear effect parts that are on the Exia's sides, thighs, shins, and arms. For example, you can see them extending from the shoulders to the biceps as you see below.
Weapons and Manipulators:
This kit comes with only one pair of manipulators that have the separate thumb and index finger, typical of a Master Grade, unlike the 00 Raiser which has a more sturdy holding hand for the GN Sword III.
This kit comes with:
1x GN Long Blade
1x GN Short Blade
2x GN Beam Sabers
2x GN Beam Daggers
1x GN Sword
1x GN Shield
As you can see, the Exia is slightly taller than the 1/100 NG Astraea. It is also just slightly shorter than the MG 00 Raiser, when it is flat on the ground. In terms of width, it is the thinnest of the three kits, especially given the 0 Raiser attachment on the 00 Raiser.
Articulation and Posing
The Exia has a wide range of motion in its legs. The inner frame allows for great bends all around, and the foot is sectioned into 3 parts for more balance. However, this kit does not pose very well. It took a lot of messing around with to get this guy into some of these poses. The connection into the hip is fairly loose, and he kept falling over.
The shoulders also get in the way of the range of motion for the arms, and you'll find yourself adjusting and readjusting to try to get the arm in a good pose with the shoulder armor not looking derpy.
The head is also limited in its range of motion. It sits on a ball joint, which is typical, but that section itself is directly molded into the chest piece, so you won't get any extra movement from the neck, separate from the head itself.
The chest section has the ability to tilt side to side, which is a plus, and the connection to the hip is secure.
What can I say? It's a Master Grade. The kit is molded in red white and blue, with accents all over to make it pop. Small yellow pieces stick out on the chest and head, and clear effect parts really add a lot. The only thing I would've done better was the color of the blades themselves. They came in a dull silver plastic, which I repainted so they would contrast better with the dark gray plastic that surrounds it.
The kit comes with clear parts that sit over sections on the legs, arm and chest, and then you put a piece of clear green plastic on top of it as well, a very nice touch.
In terms of quality, this guy is true to Anime. I remember seeing pictures of the Exia online for the Master Grade and it looked disproportionate to me, and I wasn't sure if I would like it, but when all was said and done, it just looks great. Having it on my shelf with my Astraea and 00 Raiser just finishes off my display very nicely. There aren't too many fragile parts that you might break, besides the antennas on the chest.
One problem I had was the cockpit cover wouldn't stay clasped, and there was nothing holding it there. Since I don't plan on ever opening it, I just glued it into place.
Unfortunately, there is a bit that is flimsy with this kit. While trying to get it into various poses, pieces kept falling off. Though the sword doesn't give too many weight issues, the connection into the arm doesn't stay very well, and he just doesn't hold the sword well at all. The handle kept popping out of the hand, and the connection wouldn't stay in the arm.
There are also pieces on the hips that you can mount the GN Blades, that always fall apart and have no locking mechanism to hold in place either. It was very annoying having those pieces constantly popping off, especially since they are small.
Pros and Cons:
Amount of weapons allows for various play/pose opportunities
Kit looks beautiful out of box
Variety of clear pieces provided
Great color contrast and quality
Flimsy sections that fall off a lot
Difficult to pose, with cumbersome shoulder sections connected to arms
Loose hip connection to legs causes falling over and slipping while standing
I love the Exia and I'm excited to finally have it in Master Grade form. However this guy leaves a lot to be desired. If you've encountered the 00 Raiser, you'll know of all its weight issues, but that kit didn't have pieces falling off, and in its base suit, could stand without falling over. It was a very sturdy kit, all in all. However, the Exia is just frustrating in how not stable it feels at times. I would still advise picking up this kit since it is fun to build, and I am partial to its design. It still has great articulation, and still just looks beautiful. However, the falling over is definitely a turn off for me. Thankfully, Bandai includes an action base adapter, so you could pose him that way if you so choose! (i'm sure you could get some great action poses in the air with him)
And he won't break the bank! This is a fairly simple Master Grade coming in around $40 most places. I picked mine up on sale from Robot4Less for $39.
also, Bandai, please fix the GN Swords. They're either too heavy, or aren't held correctly by the suits...
Here he is all armed up.
Until next time!