RX-75-4 Guntank & White Base Deck ver. A.N.I.M.E.
Review by Optimal III
I suppose nothing's off limits when it comes to Gundam & Robot Spirits. Still, I was surprised when the Guntank was announced. The design's so atypical for the franchise. Being a Tamashii web exclusive and being bundled with a White Base deck playset also meant the price wouldn't be cheap. But I was game. And my collection is the better for it.
The mailer is standard fare and clearly identifies its contents. It's once you've retrieved them things start getting impressive. Though thin, the box is huge for RS and draws your eyes dead-center to what you're getting.
The sides & back do more of the same, the latter showing every piece inside. There's also more pics of iconic moments from the TV series, some recreated toy-style. This set is another A.N.I.M.E. release.
Let's start with the most unexpected part of this set, a section of White Base's interior deck. This is a first, though Bandai has made similar items in other lines. There aren't too many pieces, and the instructions are easy to follow, so it only took minutes to complete assembly. It's just as easy to disassemble too.
You've got options on how to set the main catwalk, so I opted for what looks best with the figures. Once every piece is locked in, it's light and sturdy. Nothing comes undone easily. My only complaint is the noticeable sprue nubs. Not horrible, just something you wouldn't expect for an expensive exclusive.
In terms of functionality, there are plenty of peg holes, the MS catwalk swings out of the way, and there's room for expansion sets. But the real highlight is the mechanical arms used for staging mobile suits. They slide to & fro on a rail and extend down a few inches. You can swap the ends as needed, with one for holding upper bodies and two claws for holding Core Fighters in Core Block mode. Both types rotate, and the claws have a 90-degree range between horizontal & vertical.
So naturally, you can assemble at least one Project V mobile suit.
Moving on, the Core Fighter is clean & sweet. The painted pilot figurine and retractable canopy are a nice touch, but every aspect, every detail is well done. Even the landing gear, a static piece, stands out for its ease of use. There's another piece for when the landing gear isn't in use, which lets it peg into things. This Core Fighter puts its MG counterpart to shame, and surpasses all others at this size. The only things missing are raisable missile launchers. Otherwise, it's perfect.
The Core Fighter transforms as usual. I suppose you could stick it into the upper body first, but I always go with the bottom. You'll know when it's pegged in, and it's a secure connection. Same goes for the upper body, sans pegs and more of a snug fit.
Akin to the Core Fighter, the head canopy also opens with another pilot onboard.
Behold, the Guntank! Robot Spirits' take on the first Federation mobile suit isn't the biggest or most functional, but it may be the best made and sharpest out the box.
From any angle, it's imposing with its size and appearance. Every seam, panel, ridge, bolt and the like is as expected. The deco is also spot-on. There are no fiddly parts. All good things. However, this RX-75 is lacking in the features department, compared to the kits at least.
The treads and all four side plates are static, as are the shoulder panels and chest vents. On the one hand, that's less bang for your buck. But on the other, having those things would probably up price, and we never did see any of that stuff used in animation, so the intent is probable accuracy & cost saving. Either way, those are the only bad points. Everything else is gravy.
Within the confines of mechanical design, the Guntank has good enjoyable articulation. The head tilts plenty, swivels as much as the collar allows. It has full vertical/horizontal shoulder rotation and hinge shoulders (90-degress). It also has body tilt at the red base in all four directions.
So "dynamic" & "subtle" are on the table. Though "subtle" is the easier option.
Most unexpected is the ability to pull the treads outward, which adds to your options and angles. I think this is something the Master Grade is capable of too, but I never tried because of the delicate treads.
Shifting from options to weapons, the Guntank has its usual arms to bear. The four-barrel missile launchers rotate partially in both directions, and each one pops & retracts to simulate firing.
And the shoulder cannons lower & raise with 90-degree range, with slight side tilt. Peg holes abound since this is A.N.I.M.E, which also means there are effects parts to use.
I'm not saying the Megazord wouldn't win this fight, but I guarantee it'd get hit by every one of the Guntank's shots.
The effects parts for the shoulder cannons are like what we've seen before. They look like they'd go with the Core Fighter or the Guntank's bottom thrusters, but the instructions mention separate purchases will fill those needs.
What's interesting are the effects parts for the missile launchers. They look like solid pieces, but each one is two pieces crisscrossing.
Three out of four and counting. The RS Guntank continues the MSG A.N.I.M.E. flow with no end in sight.
Compared to the MSIA & Master Grade, the RS looks like the best of both worlds. It's got the easy-to-collect size/scale and quality design & detail, without crappy treads. For me, that's a great compromise.
Like I said, I was surprised when a new Guntank via Robot Spirits was announced. The inclusion of the White Base deck further jumbled my thoughts, so what I was expecting and what I got are a bit different. But that's not a bad thing, and I'm stoked to have this set. I'm a big fan of the RX-75, so getting a new toy with a working Core Block system is gravy, especially since it holds up better than the Master Grade. If you're not gung-ho about building your own mobile suits, this is the best money can buy.
Unfortunately, you'll spend a lot of money to get this set if you couldn't pre-order through Tamashii. I paid $180 at BBTS (sold out), and have seen it go as low as $140 on EBay. So, I'd say this set is only for Robot Spirits completists & MSG fanatics. It sort of gets worse though. The White Base deck can be expanded with the upcoming White Base catapult deck & White Base hanger deck. The latter is the same thing as the standard deck, but it comes with an MS slab. So basically, you're spending $140+ just to get the Guntank. You'll be able to get the Core Fighter with the A.N.I.M.E. G-Fighter too, so yeah. Just a big forewarning so you don't feel cheated if you take the plunge.
|Posted 26 June, 2017 - 09:52 by Optimal III