00 Gundam Seven Sword
Review by ArshadAA
If you were a big Mobile Suit Variations (MSV) and Gundam side story fan in the early 2000’s, your options for articulated merchandise were mostly limited to B-Club upgrade kits or brittle Gundam Fix Figuration figures. The Robot Spirits line started to slowly fill that gap by releasing figures from the 00V side story photonovel. 00V is told as the contents of a military development document chronicling mobile suit sightings during various points in Gundam 00’s Anno Domini timeline. Prior to its debut in the show’s second season, the 00 Gundam rocked a different set of equipment taking after its predecessor the Gundam Exia. This configuration, called the 00 Gundam 7 Sword, was the second MSV to be released into the Robot Spirits line after the Advanced GN-X and came out a year after vanilla 00 Gundam which was the first release in the line.
The base figure stands roughly 13 cm tall to the tip of its v-fin. A lot of subtle improvements were made to the already excellent figure from a year ago. The most notable changes are the dark shade of translucent green for all the orb parts on the limbs and the new knee armor.
The head on the original figure suffered from looking a bit stretched vertically, which is thankfully no longer the case here. The new head is mounted on a double joint and has a good deal of vertical motion. The soft PVC v-fin can be swapped out for a more solid version with longer antennas and a translucent red crest. I like the look of the second v-fin better so I kept it on for the remainder of the photo shoot despite its annoying tendency to pop off at the slightest nudge.
Articulation is pretty good. The hips can split fairly well but they’re hampered by the side skirt armor. The feet don’t move sideways as much as I would have liked but they make up for it by having the front halves able to bend upwards.
The feet’s surface area also give the figure a lot of stability which is good considering the extra baggage it packs fully armed.
The arms are a bit restricted by the GN Drives if you want to move them upwards, but it’s nothing some shoulder adjustment won’t fix. New to the figure is some added wrist articulation. It’s a welcome improvement but it makes switching hands (1 pair closed fist, one pair weapon holding, one left splayed hand) a bit tricky. The waist is double jointed.
My figure suffers from some minor problems in the arms, but I don’t know if these were factory defects or the result of having the figure out on display for close to 3 years with no protection from the sweltering summer heat. The entire left arm is prone to frequently popping out of the shoulder socket, while the right has some warping in the shoulder joint.
The GN Drives are mounted on separate joints just above the shoulders that can pivot slightly upwards. They have 150 degrees of motion and can articulate at two additional points.
The fully armed 00 Gundam 7 Sword stands up nice and sturdy and strikes an impressive silhouette.
The first of the figure’s seven blades is a pair of traditional beam sabers. The handles can be mounted on pivoting pegs located on the figure’s behind. Unfortunately, the pegs aren’t deep enough to prevent the handles from popping off at the slightest nudge when handling the figure. This coupled with my general dislike for but- er...rear skirt mounted handles and the minor plastic defect on the pegs that makes them not perfectly parallel with each other meant that the handles were left off of the figure for the rest of the photoshoot.
Thankfully they work just fine when held in the figure’s hands and the beam blades are inserted.
Before they became the generic looking spatulas they were in the second season, the GN Sword II’s came in long and short flavors like their counterparts on the Exia. They still attach to the figure’s side skirt armor. Something to note beforehand though is that the original 00 figure had removable handles for the GN Sword II’s that you could swap out to switch between rifle and sword modes. The 7 Sword’s GN Sword II’s have new fully articulated handles. Unfortunately they did not make a replacement piece for the connector that allows you to combine both GN Sword II’s into a double-sided lance-like weapon. Also annoying is that the blue guard-like piece on the handle is attached by friction and can pop off.
The GN Sword II Short is generally unremarkable save for the ability to launch the tip of its blade attached to a wire.
The GN Sword II Long is my personal favorite piece. It looks cool as a sword, not so much as a rifle despite the fold-out side handle.
The GN Katars mounted on the side of the knees are the first completely new weapon for the figure. They have pull-out handles for the figure’s hands to hold. Unfortunately (in what is probably the biggest negative about this figure) there’s no proper way to secure the handles in the hands, so they end up just flopping uselessly.
One online reviewer found a workaround for this problem by jamming one side of the handle between the figure’s index and middle fingers. The solution is rock solid but there’s potential for warping the fingers if this method is used for long periods.
I’m not sure if the 00 7 Sword can officially use the mounted Katars to enact the mecha genre’s long standing tradition of weaponized knees, but given that its predecessor the Exia could spin its hip mounted blades fast enough to slice off another mobile suit’s arm I’d say the odds are in my favor.
And finally the piece de resistance of the seven blades is the GN Buster Sword II. Nearly as long as the figure itself, the Buster attaches securely to one of the GN Drives when not in use. It can also be attached to the arm through a peg and a movable handle to use in shield mode. In sword mode the Buster expands at 7 points (some of the blue parts can pop off but they’re easily reattach-able) including a pull-out handle. Although the figure can single-handedly lift the Buster, it does strain a little under the weight and will sag with time. Holding the Buster with two hands however is a cakewalk thanks to the long handle.
In the end we have another great addition to the Robot Spirits line, minor niggling issues aside. If you thought the base 00 Gundam was too vanilla and the 00 Raiser too backpack-heavy this might be a great alternative.
As a bonus, the figure comes with some extra parts. You can swap out the knee armor and GN Sword II blades to change the figure back to its base 00 Gundam form. This makes it compatible with the 0 Raiser support craft so you can combine them into a 00 Raiser with better articulation.
|Posted 1 March, 2017 - 13:13 by ArshadAA