Gaijin Gunpla

Gundam AGE the anime sucks. Of course, I have alluded to that before but this time I just came straight out and said it. But the suits in that anime are being released as Master Grade kits now so I can’t pretend Gundam AGE doesn’t exist. I’ve built the HG version of the AGE-1 and now it’s the MG’s turn.

Overall Look: 8.5/10

I hummed and hawed about this score for some time. When I first saw the design for the AGE-1 Normal I thought it looked too unoriginal notably the head, which looks so much like Reborns Gundam, and the basic look of the body which is obviously based on the RX-78-2. I did, however, like the differences, particularly in the backpack, with that car spoiler look,

as well as the torso with the triangular shapes found throughout. And I do like the little openings found on the armor panels. The MG version of this suit has won me over. It wasn’t a 9/10 but it wasn’t an 8/10 so 8.5 it is.

Colors: 8/10

I could mark this lower and say ‘zero points for originality’ as it looks exactly like the RX-78-2 in terms of color scheme but you know what? They work. The color scheme has been successful for so long so I shouldn’t fault it for being less than original. The black on the knees do break up the white of the legs, which is a good thing. I still feel Bandai could have taken a step in a different direction and broken new ground with this series but I guess they are going more with a ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ philosophy.

Weapons: 8/10

While there isn’t much if you look at quantity of weapons (though the short beam sabers are nice) the design of the weapons themselves, notably the rifle, earn them extra points.

The beam rifle features a very articulate handle which allows you to easily place it in the hand of the AGE-1 and attach it to the back of the lower arm securing it in place and ensuring that AGE-1 will hold it without worry.

The shield attaches the same way and fits so securely that it’s difficult to remove the shield and rifle from the connection to the arm. I appreciate this and it means I can pose the kit in more extreme poses without the weapons falling or being knocked off.

Articulation: 10/10

Look at this thing!

You can put the AGE-1 into a wide range of poses and it still holds itself up. The articulation in the lower half of the kit is excellent and the feet almost always seem to hug the floor but I was more impressed with the shoulders.

The unique shoulder design allows the shoulder joints of the AGE-1 to move in way similar to how a human’s shoulder socket joint works, which means great poses!

I am having a hard time expressing how great the articulation on this kit is. And it’s balanced!

Build Design: 10/10

I already mentioned the shoulders but I want to mention them again. Hey, everyone! The shoulders are awesome! The engineering seems ahead of the other MG kits even the newest releases and I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw some of this engineering used in 3.0 versions of suits. A 3.0 RX-78-2 with this amount of articulation. Bring it on!

The design of the wrists allows for human-like movement, and the addition of a two-part thumb is great!

Even the extra hand parts, which I normally shun, work fantastically and don’t fall out anywhere near as often as we are used to with previous kits.

They grip their respective weapons perfectly and look great doing so.

I did, however, encounter an issue with the side skirts.

The beam saber handles fit snugly in the skirts but are almost impossible (for me at least) to take off. I found I had to remove them from the skirt and use a beam saber to push them out from inside.

But that’s not enough to detract from the overall score in this category. If they fit less snugly and kept falling off that would be worse.

The skirt design is also different from what I expected when I saw pictures of the kit.

The yellow and white parts can move together or independently which allows that great range of motion found in the hips. That little hatch on the rear center block flips down to hold the rifle, too.

Another cool design found on this kit is the cockpit hatch.

There is a movable assembly at the top as well as the bottom of the hatch which allows the hatch cover to click into place so you don’t need to worry about it flipping forward if you bend your kit that way.

This might be the first time I’ve posed a figure on the hatch.

Fun Factor: 10/10

I had a great time with this kit. While building it I encountered many design elements I hadn’t seen before and when I eventually saw what they allowed the kit to do I was impressed. While the build sometimes can feel like an HG the payoff is that it moves like one. This is one of those kits that is as much fun to play with once assembled as it is to put together

Extras: 8/10

There are plenty of markings, both sticker and dry transfer, as well as the extra hands which are a good thing with this kit. The silver foil stickers give off a pretty good effect for the head and torso though you need to look for it, and I may be alone on this but, the black stickers they give you for the knees are a good idea. You have the option to get the correct look even if you don’t want to paint the kit.

I love this kit and I’ve already decided it deserves more attention which means I’ll be painting it. Bandai has done such a good job with this kit that I’m back to looking seriously at the MG Titus.

I think this kit deserves more recognition and encourage anyone who is on the fence to jump on the AGE-1 Normal bandwagon.

I mean, just look at this!

32 Responses so far.

  1. ClayCannonII says:

    Holy Articulation Batman!!! Dude look at those shoulders, you should say something about them ;p

  2. Ryan says:

    Im still not keen on the design personally, i dont like the Arios Esque headcrest this unit has, if it had the center gem for the headcrest i might like it more. I like Exia’s gemless crest because its one join, while this is more like fins. Its a series ive avoided due to the very childish designs. But i cant deny the tech in this MG is very good, it has fantastic articulation. I like the large thruster on the backpack, not as keen on the Car spoiler tho. Definetly a kit id buy for the build more than anything else.

  3. Kefka says:

    Nice review I will say second generation is slightly better

  4. Nacho-wan says:

    I like this design. However I can’t stand a spoiler in an MS. Therefore I’m passing on this thing.

    • Joe says:

      You can just chop it off…

      I for one love this Gundam! I can’t wait to get my hands on it. The new tech and designs look more intuitive. I thought the way the legs went together was very different from anything I’ve seen before.

      And I really like the series. Generation 1’s story arc was AWESOME if you give it a good run and watch it, you won’t be disappointed. The story pics up around ep 7-8. Generation two is okay, action is good, story is a bit meh, but I see a good story coming from it before this generation is over.

      • lowtek says:

        I feel the opposite way, Generation 1 was pretty bad (especially the Fardain arc) but Generation 2 has been decent to good thus far. I think the team learned from their mistakes and I find myself actually enjoying Gundam Age right now.

        Sure the show isn’t anything great, but I encourage people to give the show a second chance.

      • Tony says:

        Ok, where has this been on? Or are you guys just scouring the shady back alleys of the interwebs and watching the series online? I generally avoid that (I can’t stand the low-res quality that kind of site usually offers) but I reaaallllly want to get back up to date on my Gundam viewings….

      • ChexGuy says:

        If you live in SEA you can get it of GundamInfo’s YouTube, otherwise you’ll have to torrent it.

        Second generation is most definitely the high point of the series, but Generation 1 is really not as bad as everyone says. The third, however, is incredibly disappointing.

  5. Jeff says:

    Got my copy of this kit today and built it. You were right about how great this kit is.

  6. Trevor says:

    man, i wish they gave the option to change his eyes into yellow, that would’ve been neat! cuz there just aren’t enough yellow-eyed gundams out there… 😀

  7. this kit has Awesome articulations! =0
    and the details are just a beauty.. looks solid?

  8. ChexGuy says:

    I’d like to respectfully disagree with “AGE the anime sucks” and bring up the fact that it’s infinitely better than SEED. Of course, that goes without saying, but now that I’ve actually watched AGE, I can say it sincerely.

    • ClayCannonII says:

      SEED was awesome in my opinion, but then again I watch it for the mechs not the plot.

      • ChexGuy says:

        Even then, it’s lacking in comparison to earlier series.

      • Jeff says:

        I’ve been rewatching it lately and I think the first series was decent, but it was with Destiny that they screwed up( with story of course, mech designs from both rocked). Yes it did have a few annoying characters, but don’t most Gundam series?

      • ChexGuy says:

        I think a “few” is being very generous. I disliked the majority of SEED characters, and everyone I know says it was the only series they legitimately could not enjoy.

    • Charnobyl says:

      I don’t enjoy them both, and more importantly, both have sux MS design. I wouldn’t even considering AGE & Seed series(Astray not included, they have the best looks & articulation so far IMO) into my model kit collection.

      • ChexGuy says:

        I do like Astrays, but those were the only designs from SEED I liked. It’s like Okawara forgot what made the God Gundam and F91 so awesome when he did the designs for SEED.

    • Ben says:

      In my opinion, both seed, 00 and age are all decent shows, I don’t regret watching them, Seed and 00 eras had poor ending while Age had a poor beginning but really had great moments, MS design and even music (themes of Zeheart and Asemu got you slicing up cannon-fodder in your head), intro and outros were nice, and the overall concept pretty touching, seeing an old flitt or Asemu got you into a kind of nostagic place unlike anything i’ve experienced before, something a show like saint seiya omega fails to capture anytime one of the old characters pops up. By the end of the show, you’ll be left with a couple of awesome character(s), ms designs and action pieces you might never forget and awesome gunpla.

    • Tony says:

      Never could get myself to watch SEED. It seemed like they took every other kind of anime and rolled it into a Gundam series and left people who specifically like Gundam in the cold.

      • ClayCannonII says:

        I think they were more focused on drawing in more next generation gundam fans than trying to please the existing hardcore fans. it seems to me that they just took a gamble to get new fans by putting us to the side. however I think 00 made up for that move.

      • Tony says:

        I did really like 00. The timeskip kinda ticked me off at first but after a bit I realized it was awesome, and the movie isn’t bad either.

      • ChexGuy says:

        00 S1 was pretty good, but it wasn’t the timeskip of S2 that pissed me off. It was the complete lack of character development and the enormous wasted potential, ESPECIALLY Wang Liu Mei. I didn’t like the movie either, the ending was incredibly unsatisfying.

      • Tony says:

        I wouldn’t be surprised if her story is (or was, dunno what all they’ve done in that canon outside the anime) fleshed out more in a side-story or prequel or something. And I feel like a lot of Gundam movie endings are kinda meh, since they always leave them kind of open and mysterious just in case they feel like making some more money off of a certain universe – remember at the end of EW they say that Mobile Suits are never heard of again? Yeah, that didn’t really get taken into consideration when they made Frozen Teardrop…

  9. Ben says:

    so Age 2 normal or Dark hound? I would love one of your reviews of the other Age 2 kits though I’m guessing no word on those MS probably means you’re not interested. I’m actually hoping that its a stronger transforming ms than those UC kits at this point.

  10. Ben says:

    One thing that super bugs me in this kit or your pics maybe is that the head piece doesn’t look as aggressive as that of the hg, under some angles the hg looks really aggressive as seen in the last episodes of the first part where flitt goes berserk with grief and the “friendly” Age-1 becomes a weapon of mass doom. You who has both, can you confirm that the conversion to MG made it lose some of its sharpness.

  11. Ben says:

    There are two Bens on the website! Sorry about that

  12. Ben says:

    there are 3 Bens on the website

  13. Jeff says:

    Just built the Age-2 Normal and I gotta say, if you enjoyed the Age-1, you’ll enjoy the Age-2. It has many of the same features you loved on the Age-1 plus a better color scheme(same, but less red and more blue), cooler design, and a nice transformation.

    • syd says:

      I was curious about the AGE-2 but it came out when I was in the thick of some other projects so I passed at the time. May have to re-look at it.

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