Review by VF5SS
Another Century's Episode (ACE) for the PS2 is a collaboration between game publisher Banpresto and developer From Software. It combined the awesome crossover battles of Super Robot Wars with the 3d robot fighting action of Armored Core. Fairly early in the game, the player is given access to the XXX-01H Gundam Heavyarms from Gundam Wing. Using its arsenal of missiles, gattling guns, and that sweet knife I must have completed a good 30% of the total game using the Heavyarms. I honestly don't have any strong feelings about Gundam Wing, but because of ACE I jumped at the chance to get a HCM Pro Heavyarms.
The HCM Pro Gundam line represents a spiritual successor to the original High Complete Model line of the 80's. Now with twenty years worth of Gunpla design and modern manufacturing techniques, Bandai has created a satisfying line of miniature Gundam toys that often surpass their model counterparts.
Heavyarms is expertly detailed for its small size. All of the appropriate markings are present with a minimal amount of the "race-striping" that plagued the early HCM Pro toys. Everything from the chest doors to the eyes and little head vulcans is nicely painted with little to no excess paint. One complaint I have is that the torso was molded in red, with the midsection painted white and this tends to chip off as you pose the toy.
All of the joints are tight and offer a wide range of poses. It even features double jointed knees and a toe joint on each foot. The toy comes with four hands: two fists and two open palms. It also comes with a set of ABS antenna to replace the PVC ones that come already attached.
This toy is fully capable of emulating Heavyarm's signature "Full burst" attack where it reveals its chest vulcans and extra missile launchers.
Here is a closeup of the chest vulcans. You can see they are pretty detailed. Also you can see the shoulder missiles. Unfortunately, the doors do not swing completely open like in the show.
The box calls this feature a "dramatic effect." You're supposed to wedge the tip of these things into the upper corners of the chest cavity and make a VARRRRRRRR sound in order to emulate the firing of the chest vulcans. Unfortunately, it looks more like Heavyarms's nipples are on fire.
And in case you think Heavyarms needs to stabilize its beam gattling gun, the support arm fits snugly into the other hand.
Heavyarms can also store the beam gattling gun on its back. I don't recall this from the show, but it's a cool feature nonetheless.
Don't let the size of the knife fool you, this thing is downright deadly in ACE. Trowa uses it to great effect in the show.
Heavyarms also comes with a clear display base with the number III on it. Since Trowa's name is derived from "Trois" (French for three) Heavyarms in the third Gundam. Each foot can connect to the wedge shaped mount on the stand and allows you to recreate some dashing poses. The base also links up to the other HCM Pro Gundam Wing bases.
Now this gimmick is straight out of the show. In episode 16, Heero replaces one lower arm of Heavyarms with a beam saber holder. Despite the fact this toy was advertised with a lit beam saber, you actually need one from the HCM Pro Wing Gundam to complete the effect. Bad Bandai.
Lastly, at 1:200 scale the Heavyarms stands a head shorter than most One Year War Gundams. It's a cool effect when you get different Gundams from different shows in the same scale.
Overall, The HCM Pro Heavyarms is the definitive Heavyarms toy. Despite its small size, it is detailed, flexible, and well armed. It is a little on the expensive side at 2800 yen MSRP, but shop around and you might find a good deal. No Gundam Wing team is complete without it.
|Posted 2 January, 2009 - 14:25 by VF5SS|