Gaijin Gunpla

Bandai dropped a bomb at the Shizuoka Hobby Show this past May, the first I was not attending after saying goodbye to Japan. That bomb was a kit I wasn’t sure we would ever see in the Real Grade line. The RG RX-0 Unicorn Gundam. A psychoframe and a transformation gimmick in an RG kit? Almost five years agao Bandai proved doubters wrong with the Zeta Gundam. I should have taken a lesson from history.

Overall Look: 10/10

I’ve repeatedly stated that I prefer the Unicorn Mode over the Destroy Mode when it comes to the Unicorn Gundam Mobile Suit and Bandai nails both modes in this RG kit. It just looks amazing. On par with the Perfect Grade and improved proportions and look over the MG version. Even the split Unicorn V fin positions and looks perfect.

One of the cooler backpacks in Gundamdom is well represented in RG.
In certain areas, such as the inner arm and the back of the head, you’re able to see frame.

And those legs not only look gorgeous but function exactly as they should.

Destroy Mode Unicorn is no slouch as an RG, either.

I mentioned the legs, ya?

Nub marks are minimal thanks to thin gates and undergating in certain areas. Real Grades always look amazing and the Unicorn is no exception. A big part of that is…

Colors: 10/10

When the Real Grade line kicked off it took the RX-78-2 and gave it more details in the form of different tones for each colour. The same thing is found on the armour for the Unicorn. You’re given three tones of white!

When assembly was finished I held the kit in my hand and just looked over it enjoying the colour separation.

This look is something I went for way back in the day when I built the MG Unicorn OVA Version.

Colour separation even extends to the blue backpack and feet.

Of course, there is the red in the form of the psychoframe. Bandai did a good job keeping it hidden when in Unicorn mode though you can see it in the underside of the shoulders from certain angles.

This can’t be helped given how it is meant to transform. Really picky people may note the red viewable from above when looking down at the skirt area.

Again, this is nothing and shouldn’t in any way diminish the value of this kit.

If you like that red then Destroy Mode is for you!

The colours are perfect.

Weapons: 10/10

Everything you get with the MG Version of the Unicorn you get here in the Real Grade as well. My favourite is the Beam Bazooka.

Its ammo pack is removable so is held in place by a slot on one side and a tab insert on the other.

When the ammo isn’t in place it attaches to the Unicorn’s back skirt.

Love the Bazooka for my Unicorn Mode.

No. I don’t think you understand. I really love it!

The Beam Magnum rifle looks great and features the removable ammo.

That too can be stored on the back of the Unicorn.

Both the Bazooka and Rifle have a tab that flips up and can slot into the backpack to store the weapon there.

The shield connects to the side of the Unicorn’s arm.

This isn’t a new design but nonetheless it works great here.

And remember you’ve got two beam saber blades and four handles to choose from. I’m saving that fun for later. I’m still enjoying the Bazooka.

Articulation: 9/10

RG kits are known to have some excellent articulation as well and the Unicorn is more than capable in that area. You’ll notice when you bend the ankle backwards the rear fins will need to move to accommodate that movement.

And when bending forward you’ll need to adjust the armour flap that sits atop the foot when in Unicorn Mode.

The shoulders feature some good movement upwards *when not in Destroy Mode as those shoulder vulcans can get in the way. Though you’ll need to bend the arm or move the beam saber section out of the way to get it raised more.

When in Unicorn Mode the head can move sideways but not much up and down.

The head won’t rotate when in Destroy Mode, however.

The skirts move out of the way to allow the legs to move almost anywhere at the hips.

The best articulation is found in the torso/shoulders allowing the shoulders to swivel forward.

Don’t be a slouch!

This is what allows the great Bazooka posing. Bazooka!

I do find that the frame is difficult to move at times putting up resistance to how you want to move it.

Build Design: 10/10

I think everyone wants to know about the transformation but before I get into that I’ll show the opening cockpit hatch.

And the Beam Saber handle holders in the forearms.

Okay, so let’s try to transform this thing. First pop off the head and backpack.

Now flip up the latch on the lower back.

There is a ridge on either side of that latch which you can reach from the side making opening that latch not terribly difficult.

Now pull up on the upper torso and then once it’s up put the latch back in place.

Pull outwards on the sides of the torso and flip the chest flaps down while also flipping up the shoulder vulcans.

Can kind of see that sticker in there.

When handling this portion of the transformation I suggest being careful that the lower torso doesn’t get squeezed back together. The grooves in the latch are small enough they could get worn out if pushed against too much leaving you with a Unicorn with a lower torso that won’t lock into its positions.

This mindfulness applies to the entire transformation process.

That’s the torso done.

For the head you pull off the side armour parts and swing open the psychoframe sides.

Pull off the face part and rotate it 180 degrees so the Destroy Mode face is forward.

Replace the eye section, open up the V fin, and put the sides back on.

I want to write here how excellent the transforming fin is. It doesn’t have that constant gap when in Unicorn Mode which is a problem with the MG.

The transformation of the arms starts by pivoting down the small piece on the edge of the forearm.

Grip the armour part on the inside of the forearm while using your other hand to pull out on the Beam Saber storage section and then down on the cuff.

Once that is done you pivot the original part you moved back up.

I’ll note that the upper arm doesn’t open to reveal any psychoframe.

Next you’re instructed to remove the shoulders while you transform them. The transformation here is much different than in the other grades. You first tilt up the largest top armour piece.

The assembly on the end then rotates around then the fins there rotate upwards.

Once that’s done close up the large section and you’re good to put them back on the Unicorn.

I did notice that the gap showing the psychoframe is narrower towards the area of the shoulder closest to the torso. I thought perhaps I assembled something incorrectly during the shoulder build but looking at pictures online I see that gap there, despite the manual illustration indicating it is not.

Carry on by opening up the center block of the skirt.

The front skirts open to reveal the psychoframe by you having to first pull the moving section forward slightly.

Then slide it out to the side.

Side skirts open by pulling down on the bottom half.

Then open the flaps at the back.

Now for those legs, an area that has been problematic in places for some builders of the Master Grade versions of the Unicorn. Interestingly, much of the design and thus the transformation is the same in the RG. First, unlock the upper leg by pivoting out the large armour part.

Pull down on the leg to extend it then push the locking armour part back in.

Unlock the ankle by opening up the frame parts on the sides of the lower legs.

Pull down on the foot to extend the lower leg than lock it again.

This brings us to the knee.

Tilt the uppermost armour piece upwards.

Then open up the entire knee.

You’ll then bring out the knee portion of the psychoframe by pulling the rear armour flap downwards at an angle.

If it has extended the correct amount you should be able to fold the lower portion of the knee to fit it against the psychoframe.

I found that when I would try to put the front of the knee against the psychoframe it would push the psychoframe backwards. I held the psychoframe in place with tweezers while putting the lower knee up against it.

The foot transformation starts by tilting the heel down then tilt slightly the toes.

Where the MG and PG Unicorns could tilt the side armour pieces into their new positions on the sides of the foot, the RG has you just pull them off.

Now tilt up the large fins and then put the sides back on in their Destroy Mode positions.

You’re almost there.

Just the backpack is left and that is quite simple.

The shield transforms as well much like the MG version; extend and expand.

The transformation is incredibly impressive even if a bit intimidating at first. Gone are many of the frustrations I had with the MG, for example repositioning the skirt frame which just served to make an already shaky Destroy Mode Unicorn even more unstable. It’s not on par with the PG transformation but then again it’s a fifth of the price.

Fun Factor: 9/10

My enjoyment of this kit started with its announcement back in May and the building anticipation as release day approached. Seeing the layout of the runners caused that anticipation to only increase and finally sitting down to build it, I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a technological marvel and one the Bandai design team should be proud of. That said, there were moments which were not enjoyable and those came, rather unsurprisingly, during the transformation.

While trying to open up the front skirts I had one of them come off. Trying to snap that back onto its ball joint was frustrating as the ball joint would just keep moving around and I didn’t have access to it from the angle I wanted. In the process of trying to put it back on the other popped off.

I solved it by pulling off the torso and inserting my tweezers into the skirt frame to hold that ball joint in place.

If that was the only area I experienced a setback I would chalk it up to me being clumsy however I also ran into issues trying to transform the knee. When I was trying to get everything into position the topmost armour part came off. To get it back on I ended up having to put the entire knee back into Unicorn Mode position as more parts came off when I was trying to put others back in place. Eventually I got everything into position but it required more work than I would think necessary.

Also, I had the flap on the back skirt break off at the psychoframe piece when I dropped the kit onto the table trying to transform the leg. I’m not sure what happened there but I wasn’t holding that piece at all so I don’t know how it stressed enough to break.

I’d like to put a perfect 10 here given how much I loved building it but I know I will probably face the issues I just mentioned again in the future and I’m not really looking forward to it. It makes me handle the kit with a sense of foreboding rather than pure joy.

Extras: 10/10

Bandai learned their lesson with the MG Unicorn Ver. Ka and out of the gate gave us the extra, fix-posed Unicorn horns.

And I’m happy to report that you can swap them during transformation by taking the extra step of pulling out the center sensor section of the head giving you access once again to the horn attachment peg down.

You’re given you-know-who in a tiny pilot figure.

The attachment you need for an action base.

Where did I pack my action bases?

So many RG stickers.

Including those foils that give the RG touch to the sides of the knees.

And you’re given the extra hands which grip the beam saber handles and the weapons very sturdily.

So the final verdict?

Any Real Grade kit I build now has to stack up against the 00 Raiser. That kit blew me away when it came out and I still consider it the standard bearer for the RG line. While I was experiencing the assembly of the Unicorn I was thinking to myself ‘Is this the first 100?‘, ‘The first perfect score?‘. And it seemed like it would be until I ran into the frustrations in the transformation. Outside of those issues this kit is stellar. It is better than the MG and an adequate replacement for the PG for those with budget or space restraints.

It’s an amazing kit. It’s not perfect but so far I haven’t encountered the perfect Gundam model. The Real Grade Unicorn is one of the closest.

21 Responses so far.

  1. Savi says:

    Amazing review as always.
    Nice to see you back in gear.

  2. SensationXG says:

    Hi there Syd! awesome review for the ‘best’ RG in the line (my personal opinion); you were able to tackle almost everything with this kit especially having the step-by-step (with picture) Destroy Mode transformation. I would like to point out though that you could imitate the psycho-frame exposure on the biceps ala-PG by actually ‘sliding’ the outer half of biceps armor (they aren’t pegged, but more like held by slide/canals and friction) 🙂

  3. hiroy_raind says:

    For the shoulder transformation, you need to swing the first part inward so that it gives bigger gaps for the psychoframe to show. Seems like a lot of people did miss that, a Japanese youtuber also did the same.

  4. Charlo says:

    Thanks for the awesome review Syd. Now I know I can purchase this kit with confidence. Also, you mentioned that some parts are undergated, this really makes me wish they release a Phenex, even if it’s P-Bandai, it’s the only Unicorn model I don’t have.

  5. Manpig says:

    A well deserved rating that I highly agree with! RG Unicorn truly is an amazing kit from beginning to end, and revolutionary for RG’s to come. The only real “issue” are the stiff shoulders, it’s almost perfect in other ways, and I really have to commend Bandai for creating truly such a magnificent kit.

  6. Md. Rafiuzzaman Bokhari says:

    Thank you for the review! 🙂

    My kit’s in HLJ private warehouse. Your review gives me a lot of hope for the build! 😀

    Btw, is there no attachment option to place the Beam Magnum under the arm like you can on the PG?

    Also, the upper arm psycho frame only gets exposed in Unchained Mode afaik. The lack of lighting in that area was a bit off putting for me in the PG.

  7. Overtook the 00-Raiser, huh? Can’t say I didn’t expect that. Really excited to build this one.

    On a different topic, will you be visiting Japan again to see that life-size Unicorn?

  8. noob_sauce says:

    I just started reading and came down to comment that, “holy f*ck RG Zeta was five years ago!?”.

  9. Draco_VS says:

    Syd, I’ve watched you for years on GTV and while I miss seeing you on the show I’m glad you’re still posting content to this blog. I’ve never been a huge fan of the Unicorn suit (massive Sinanju fan) but your gushing over the RG Ver make me want to pick it up.

    Great review and hope to see more from you soon!

  10. Dizz says:

    Syd just want to inform you that the ads on the homepage is covering the search bar, it shows normally in other page, maybe you want to check.

  11. Barristan says:

    Very nice review! Seems like Bandai actually managed to pull this off!

    I just hope they make the green psychoframe a normal release. I already have the MG in red, so I’d like to get the RG in a different colour.

  12. Eulim says:

    Great review!! I am getting my Unicorn today and still need to read your build first.

    What kind of finish did you think the best for Unicorn?

    Thanks in advance!

  13. BNuts says:

    And now it’s time to wait for the inevitable Full Armour Unicorn. Will they do Phenex and Banshee / Norn?

  14. V-0 says:

    The score didn’t match, in the picture above, build design is 10, but you wrote 9 in the post.

    Sorry, to highlight this. Nice review though!

  15. JY Ng says:

    Awesome review! And your posts on the RG Gundam Unicorn actually helped me out a lot in building mine too.

    I am equally in love with the RG lineup as well, though mainly because I find RG kits more affordable and less space consuming.

    In my personal opinion, however, this kit is more superior than the RG 00 Raiser. Though the kit is quite a handful with all the extras, colour separation was sacrificed and the assembly lacks the complexity typical of a RG kit.

  16. Raymond says:

    Hi, can you help me on deciding whether to get the MG or RG Unicorn Gundam? Both of them look good to me.

    • S2 says:

      The RG is much better looking and more stable in my opinion.

      • You really think it’s better looking? I just can’t get past the excessively large shoulder armor. To me, it breaks down like this.

        RG: More stable, more fun to build, FAR more poseable, FAR better transformation, more bang for your buck.

        MG: Looks better. As long as you don’t touch it.

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