Gundam Exia / Exia Repair III
Review by JoshB
Aah Gundam. How many of them you are, and how little I keep track of the various Mobile Suits. Not only are there the core robots used in the anime, but then you have versions from novels, versions given the once-over by a mechanical designer, and also versions that appeared once in that hobby magazine. If there is a Gundam in a media, there will be a toy of it.
So naturally, my Gundam buying revolves less around the character and more about the toy itself. Maybe it looks cool, maybe it has a neat gimmick, or maybe, in this case, it's loaded with metal.
Bandai released the Metal Build Gundam Exia / Exia Repair III as the third entry in their Metal Build line. To me, this is just an extension of other 1/100 scale diecast Gundams they have released in the other lines such as Metal Fix Figuration, Metal Material Model, New Material Model and the plain old Chogkin line. Why they are not all just branded Chogokin is beyond me.
The Gundam Exia comes from Gundam 00, which I have never seen, so I asked resident Gundam expert Rob to give a little synopsis of the Mobile Suit:
"The GN-001 Gundam Exia was the first of Celestial Being's third generation Gundams from the Anno Domini universe of "Gundam 00,"piloted by the main character, Setsuna F. Seiei during the series' First Season.
It was developed for mobility and close quarters combat. Armed with four beam sabers, two physical blades and its primary weapon the GN Sword earned it the nickname "Gundam Seven Swords."
The Gundam was powered by the "GN-Drive" solar reactor, giving it unparalleled power compared to the modern technology of its universe."
Gundam Exia comes in a nice, large box with a big styrofoam tray that holds nested trays.
Without all his weaponry, the Exia is a sleek, modern fighting machine. He stands 7.5 inches tall and consists of all plastic armor with a complete heavy die cast metal skeleton.
The unadorned Gundam Exia provides an opportunity to showcase the insane range of articulation in this figure.
The chest has a hinge joint that uses the panels to hide the joint perfectly
The head has a ball joint where it meets the neck, and the neck has a swivel and hinge. Also the two yellow fins on either side are movable.
As for the joints in the body - I can’t even count them. They are all solid diecast joints. The hips are solid metal balls.
When you add the armaments the figure begins to bulk out a bit.
The GN Sword attaches to the right arm with a clip that attaches to the exposed part of the arm. In gun mode the blade folds back around. It’s bulk makes posing challenging.
When you unfold and clip in the GN Sword it’s power becomes apparent. The blade itself is almost 5 inches long.
On the other arm you can attach the GN Shield. This shield attaches by a clip that goes in the exposed part of the arm, and the sheild itself rotates on a ball joint. The blue side panels on the shield expand for additional coverage (not shown).
Each hip has a replaceable panel that allows you to mount either of the GN Blades.
A long and a short blade are included, and can be held with either of the grasping hands.
As you can see, with the addition of the GN Blades the toy is now significantly bulked up. Fortunately a nice stand is included so you can spread Gundam Exia out a little.
On the back you can see four beam saber handles that are all hinged and movable. Each handle is removable and you can attach either the Beam Saber or Beam Dagger effect.
Exia’s notable characteristic are the purple ribbons that protrude from the shoulders and also continue throughout the body panels. These panels are called GN Power Lines.
As noted in the title, this toy has the ability to switch out armor bits to create the Exia Repair III. Rob explains:
"The Gundam Exia was heavily damaged at the end of the First Season after fighting the Pseudo-GN Drive powered Flag. Without Celestial Being's support, Setsuna made crude repairs to the mobile suit resulting in the "Exia Repair." Although the suit was functional, its capabilities were limited to only its remaining right arm and damaged GN Sword blade.
When Celestial Being returned during the Second Season, the Gundam Exia was restored to its proper form with fourth generation technology making it into the "Exia Repair II," reusing its original GN Drive taken from the GN-0000 "00 Gundam."
Following the final battle against the Innovators in the stolen GN-000 0 Gundam, the Exia was heavily damaged yet again, and also at the expense of both Gundams' GN Drives.
The Exia Repair III is the final form of the Gundam Exia to appear during the time frame between the end of "Gundam 00" and its movie conclusion "Awakening of the Trailblazer." Even though it was unseen during the film, it appeared in "Gundam 00V Battlefield Record," the photo novel side story published in Hobby Japan focusing on the Mobile Suit Variations of the Anno Domini universe.
The Repair III served as one of Celestial Being's few usable mobile suits while they were developing the fifth generation Gundams, acting as one of Setsuna's temporary units until the completion of the GNT-0000 00 Qan[T] (pronounced Double O Quanta).
While it shares many similarities to the Repair II, the Gundam was powered by an enhanced GN Particle Condenser, and not a true Solar reactor, which limited its operational time.
The Gundam was still based on close quarters combat, and was armed with an upgraded version of the GN Sword Kai taken from the Repair II. To make up for Celestial Being's limited fighting strength, the Repair III was also outfitted with a beam long rifle on its left arm for sniping and ranged combat."
Gundam Exia Repair III
To begin the transformation to Repair III, first we remove the GN Drive. Three clamps release and allow the GN Drive to slide out.
In a nod to current day aeronautics, a dummy cover GN drive is included for when there is no GN drive installed. A nice touch.
To convert to Repair III, we must remove and swap a significant amount of armor pieces. This provides us the opportunity to see the metal skeleton in all of its glory. Not all of these parts need to be removed for the swap, but it looks cool with them all off.
Without the armor, you get a good look at the intricacies of the jointwork.
At first glance there’s not a lot of difference between the regular Exia and Repair III, but as you look closer you can see there’s a significant amount of parts changes. The main visiual change is the removal of the purple bands that adorned the shoulders and other parts. These are now swapped with different armor pieces due to the Exia III no longer using the GN Power Lines.
The rear skirt is new to this mode, the only change on the backside aside from the GN Particle Condenser.
Articulation remains awesome.
Exia III ditches the GN Shield and instead is equipped with the GN Long Rifle. This long range rifle attaches to the arm with an included clip and can also be folded away when not in use.
The GN Long Rifle features several moveable handles so the gun can be held with both hands.
In addition to the Long Rifle, Exia Repair II gets an upgraded sword in the GN Sword Kai which features a green edged blade that represents condenser edge technology. It uses the same base as the regular GN Sword and stows away in the same fashion.
The stand is nice, if not a little bit large. It features a large baseplate with statistics about the Gundam printed on the surface.
The support arm is moveable and features several locking mechanisms to ensure your Gundam stays the way you want it to. There’s a small connector arm that attaches the crotch of the figure to the stand.
Are you still there? All of the above are just the facts about the figure. It has a ton of accessories, and running through them is a project. You need to clear your schedule for the afternoon to put this figure through it’s paces.
That being said - if you are up for the challenge it’s well worth it. In terms of construction, the figure is just about perfect. The materials, the finish, the paint and detailing are top notch. The toy uses molded detail wherever it can and reserves the paint for the fine tampo touches.
I also really appreciate the variety of textures and finishes. The transparent clear domes have detail inside them, and the small amount of metal visible on the outside adds a nice contrast to the flat finishes of the plastic.
If I had any complaint it would be that you can really only display it in one mode, and unlike a SOC release, there’s no place to stash the additional parts on the stand. I’m choosing to display this in regular Exia mode and am leaving the Repair III parts in storage… until the next time I take the box out of storage.
|Posted 18 November, 2013 - 07:53 by JoshB|