Gaijin Gunpla

1/100 MG PMX-003 THE-O is one of those kits that still remains a bit of a mystery three years after its release. This is mostly due to its price tag but other factors are involved such as its massive size. Well, this may be some years late but I succumbed to the desire and picked up this massive kit which I already know I don’t have space for and I thought I’d share my thoughts on this monstrosity.

Overall Look: 7/10

Ya. This guy is big. But we already knew that. What else is there to say about this kit, then? Well, for starters, let me just say that I kind of like him. Sure he looks a little strange with his huge armour parts and awkward proportions including the gnome head but in a way he’s like that family dog you’ve had since a puppy. Sure he’s a little aged now and his tail is crooked, and he walks with a limp but you still feel affection towards him.

I should state that I was kind of surprised how un-big he is. Sure the box is huge, and so are the parts involved, but when you get everything together he stands only slightly taller than a MG Sinanju or similar larger than normal kit. Here he is next to the new 3.0

Color: 8/10

He’s like a big yellow school bus. Yellow, black, with some red and green thrown in there. Sure he doesn’t have an elaborate colour scheme but his design doesn’t really lend itself well to that type of colouring and the simple colour matches his apparent simple demeanour. I’m glad to see that the frame is the darker, metallic frame colour which does add a little something to the overall look of the kit.

Weapons: 5/10

You actually don’t get much with The-O but I guess a Mobile Suit like this doesn’t need much. He’s got his rifle and four beam sabre handles. The handles are able to be stored in the side skirts until use.

There are a couple of issues and gimmicks that involve the sabre handles so we’ll look at that in more detail in the Build Design segment of this review.

Articulation: 4/10

Below average is the best way to describe it but you can’t really fault The-O for that. I can’t imagine he was ever meant to assume crazy stances. Without any real weapons I guess he’s just meant to stomp his opponents into nothingness. The shoulders can actually move forward a bit more than you’d expect.

This doesn’t really help posing but does allow The-O to flex for the ladies.

Other than that the movement for the arm is limited.

If he was more articulate I can’t imagine him being able to stay balanced so maybe the lack of movement works in is favour.

Build Design: 6/10

This is actually a pretty simple kit. Yes, it’s an MG with all the elements that go into Master Grades such as the inner frame and some gimmicks and a lot of the design aspects that were found in other kits at the time of The-O’s release are found here, but that actually works against this big guy. For example, Bandai does use poly-caps for the joints like other MGs of the time (and the PC parts for this kit are unique and not used elsewhere) but that means that limbs this big are meant to be supported by plastic that is used on smaller kits and in many areas it doesn’t work. Due to the heaviness of the arms and legs the poly-caps tend to weaken rather quickly and, though only a few weeks have passed since initial assembly, I’m already struggling to pose The-O.

The 2.0 hands that I love so much on the Zaku II 2.0s and RX-78-2 2.0 kits are found on The-O as well and, in the case of the rifle, don’t work at all. This hand just seems to come off each time I try to put the rifle in its hand.

Even if I put the hand on the rifle handle first and then attach it to the arm it doesn’t stay put making the rifle pretty much useless.

It is too bad Bandai didn’t come up with something unique for a kit this different from the standard at the time.

And that funky head shape we either like or hate?

Whether intentional or not this head comes apart.

The top part just comes off when you pull on it so if this is part of the design I can’t see the reason for it. It does mean you have to be careful when handling the head.

For gimmicks The-O does have those hidden arms in the skirts that come out to wield two of the four beam sabre handles.

These grip the handle better than the 2.0 type hands.

Unfortunately, though, movement is limited.

It is a cool idea, but there’s not much application for it.

In a way, the build is a little disappointing. I think many expected a kit this size to have that many more parts, but in reality it has the same amount or less than a smaller MG kit. The pieces are just bigger.

Fun Factor: 7/10

The enjoyment factor for The-O comes, I think, more from feeling your building something special rather than in the actual building of it. Does that make sense? The build isn’t anything special and wasn’t at the time of it’s release so it can’t lay claim to being a unique experience aside from just the size of it. From reading that you might think that I didn’t enjoy my time assembling The-O. That’s not the case. I did enjoy putting it together, but that enjoyment tended to dwindle once the kit was done and I tried to play with it. Fans of the Mobile Suit most likely will enjoy this guy regardless of the type of build it is. Hey, it’s The-O!

Extras: 6/10

For some reason you’re left with quite a lot of unused red parts so you’ve got extra of those for future projects but other than that you’re only left with the marking stickers.

For a kit with this kind of price tag one would expect something worth that extra money. When you think that you’re basically paying the equivalent of two of the larger MG kits but you’re only receiving one Master Grade kit. The cost of The-O is tied up in the sheer size of the parts used and not the quantity. I guess in a way that is a good thing. If this kit involved more parts and a unique type of design it’s likely the price tag would have jumped significantly. Through sheer volume of plastic you do get what you’ve paid but the only thing The-O has going for it is it’s size and if that doesn’t appeal to you your money might be better spent elsewhere. Still there’s just something cool about having this big guy in your collection.

Categories: Kit Reviews, MG, MG Reviews, The-O

13 Responses so far.

  1. Paul Emical* says:

    Hello Syd, I’ve always wondered what the “real” color of this big boy is…
    I mean: in various reviews I’ve seen, the yellow seems to be anything from “canary” down to a beige/washed/brownish yellow.
    So… what kind of yellow is it?
    Judging by your photos, it appears to be a rather bright yellow (which I hope it is), which would be nice since, should I buy it, I’m non planning to paint it.

    Thanks in advance.

    • syd says:

      Hi Paul, I tend to enhance or brighten my photos a bit if I feel they are too dark or dull and in the case of The-O he was so big it was tough to get all the light on him so I did enhance some of the images which makes him appear more yellow than he actually he is. The actual color is the mustard/dull yellow that you see in some of the images and in the WIP pictures.

  2. Kefka says:

    The reason for those stickers is to cover the seamline
    also the head comes off to move the monoeye

  3. Darth Mingus says:

    Hi Syd,

    Thanks for the review. This was one of those kits that never really interested me but has a long history, particularly for the MG line. I believe this was in the planning stages as early as 2002 (seven years into the MG line). Bandai ran a poll to see which kit fans wanted to see and I believe The-O was in the top 5. They subsequently showed a prototype at one of the hobby shows and I do not believe fans were that impressed with the result. Fast forward a eight years and Bandai finally releases this kit. They most likely took their 6 year prototype and updated a few parts like the hands.

    If you find the time and want a fun build, try the MG Acguy. I had a blast with that one.

    • Tony says:

      Pretty interesting history there, gotta say. You would think they would look at it and say “let’s make this really awesome since we have so much to work with”, but I’d imagine cost got in the way.

      • Woodfish says:

        Either way, the price is there so it should be done better. It seems as if they did it just for the sake of having it done and over with. I’m looking at the inner frame parts ready for painting as we speak and what disappoints me the most would be how big the parts are, with a lot less detail than usual. Specifically the back skirt under-part. It’s as big as my palm and yet I find more details on my cutting knife than I do with this piece. It’s as old as the first MG Sinanju and yet it looks like a MegaSize compared to the all MasterGradeness Sinanju delivers with easy and awe. But I like it, and I like Zeta part of the series. Having this guy stand next to my Qubeley and Hyaku-Shiki won’t look as bad.

    • Derringer says:

      This is false, there was no prototype of it that early at that time. The O, the Marasai, and the Zeong were part of a campaign to guess the next MG kit (answer was the zeong). There was a b-club kit that was used as a stand in to reflect those kits, but there was no prototype that would be used as a base for a mass produced retail item on display.

      • syd says:

        I remember reading about a survey asking what suit people wanted to see as an MG. If I recall correctly, the most votes were for the V2 Gundam with The-O coming second. As this was some time ago I can’t recall where I read it.

  4. Tony says:

    So you’ve still got one more week of having the house to yourself, right? I’ll just go ahead and leave this suggestion here….

    or this one…

    I remember you said you had gotten part way through building or writing up a review for one of them, would really love to see it 😀 Enjoy the rest of your alone time… wait, that sounded weird…

    • syd says:

      Actually, Tony, the wife and child came back on Sunday so now my free time is severely diminished. Actually, it’s next to zero right now as Gai-Gun Jr. has had a reaction to something and her skin condition has flared up considerably. I’ve spent the last three nights just sitting up with her putting cream on her skin when she gets to itchy to sleep. Once that is under control I can begin thinking about Gunpla again. 😉

      • Tony says:

        Huh… guess I’m bad at remembering things/doing calendar math. Hope GG Jr is ok! Gunpla does have to take a backseat to, y’know, real life.

  5. NoobSauce says:

    On a totally unrelated note, I haven’t seen any GG posts from you in a while Syd. My fandom has waned a fair bit in the past year. Due to a combination of their inactivity and me just plain losing interest.

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