Hi Nu Gundam
Review by VF5SS
This figure was provided by Bluefin Tamashii and is available at Amazon.com as well many of our other sponsors.
Nowhere is the sheer breadth and popularity of Gundam more prevalent then in the scope of its merchandise where even Mobile Suits from non-animated media can find themselves getting a high-quality mass release figure. The Hi Nu Gundam hails from the novelization of the landmark film, Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack and is essentially a much more powerful take on the iconic Nu Gundam. In the novel, Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack - Beltorchika's Children, the Hi Nu Gundam replaces its animated counterpart in the story and serves as Amuro Ray's primary Mobile Suit for the duration. The design itself has been the subject of numerous limited edition garage kits and recently several Gunpla models and even a HCM Pro action figure. Its name is sometimes written with the lowercase Greek letter for "nu" which looks like a "v." However, you will not find Usso Ewin in this review.
The Robot Damashii of the Hi Nu Gundam is a rather substantial looking figure that stands about six inches tall. Unlike the recent model kit renditions that use a more unified Gundam styling, this Hi Nu attempts to capture Yutaka Izubuchi's original 80's design with its bulky limbs, prominent chest, curvaceous armor, and prom night approved lengthy skirts.
All of these touches help make the figure look appropriately regal as befitting such a kingly Mobile Suit.
Early versions of the Hi Nu featured purple hued highlights while more recent versions render it as blue. One of my astute colleagues in MS history found a picture of the Hi Nu in MS Illustrated 2003 which it is more blue and lacks the paint stripes on the Fin Funnels. The Robot Damashii figure seems to be a fusion of the modernized color scheme and the original design.
The backpack is separate out of the box which allows us to get a clearer look at the Hi Nu and to get a better grasp of the articulation before the figure is loaded for battle.
Despite being destined to heft a heavy set of wings, the Hi Nu is still a fully functional action figure. You get the full assortment of modern Bandai tricks like double-jointed elbows and knees, individually articulated skirt armor, a waist joint, a chest joint, and things like hinged shoulder pads. Admittedly the toy's fidelity to the original design means some parts tend to interfere with each other during posing. The extravagant skirt armor especially tends to bunch up against itself and has to be posed in certain ways for the best range of motion.
It's a case of where there is copious amounts of articulation but some stuff needs a little finesse to fully utilize. Once you get a feel for the figure, the Hi Nu can Hi Kick with the best of them.
The only prominent internal weapon is this dinky little beam gun that replaces the dinky little beam saber seen on the original Nu Gundam. Sorry Amuro, you can't be Cobra the Space Pirate unless you up your arsenal.
The Hi Nu Gundam's box comes absolutely packed with accessories in double stacked plastic trays. I'll get into the meat of this in a moment but it sure is an impressive spread of equipment even just laid out on the ground. It comes with a four extra pairs of hands, three of which are designed specifically for one type of weapon so you never have to swap out a gun holding hand between the rifle and bazooka.
First let's take a look at the backpack and Fin Funnel array which snaps easily into place with a pair of pegs and a tab. The large blue docking ports are fully articulated and the single Binder on the back can hinge up and down.
You get two different kinds of Binders for the backpack. One matches the modern Hi Nu Gundam kits while this one is the original 80's design.
I personally prefer the more elaborate looking Binder as it has a unique feel and features a thruster array underneath.
Within each Fin Funnel docking "wing" is a single beam saber. These snap into a small c-clip and tuck neatly inside the wing-like structures.
The Hi Nu comes with removable clear blue beam saber blades that happily compliment its color scheme. If you don't want to deal with removing the beam sabers from their backpack housings it's simple enough to leave them inside the dedicated hand parts.
To make the Hi Nu's melee weapons even more overpowering, they feature additional small blades that plug into the bottom of the hilt. Ray Park eyes Amuro Ray with envy.
The Hi Nu's unique beam rifle is faithfully rendered by the toy. Unfortunately it's almost too faithful as the butt of the rifle tends to hit the ridges on the forearm when held in a more natural manner. Since the rifle use its own set of optional hands (with unfurled trigger finger), perhaps that set could have used an extended wrist to keep the gun away from the arm. As it stands the gun is too close for easy posing and the hands have a death grip on the gun so it's hard to take it back out.
Moving on, the shield works quite beautifully and looks great.
It attaches to a mounting bracket that has two ball-joints for arranging it either parallel or perpendicular to the arm joint.
There's a lot of terrific detail on the other side showing blocks of armor neatly arranged for maximum protection. The two-pronged end of the shield is also quite literally sharp and could stab its way through a lesser Neo Zeon Mobile Suit.
The front features Amuro Ray's custom unicorn emblem, Earth Federal Space Force markings, and "LBC" for the Londo Bell Corps.
The New Hyper Bazooka (very official title) fares much better than the rifle as it features a hinged handle that allows the Hi Nu to hold it with relative ease.
It is a simple, solid accessory that represents an iconic Gundam weapon.
With a little effort you can position the bazooka under the Hi Nu's arm.
Once you attach the six mighty Fin Funnels and the two huge propellant tanks, the Hi Nui starts to look even more majestic. However this is where its back heavy soul becomes weighed down by gravity and the figure needs some extra support to hold its mighty wings without tumbling backwards. The propellant tanks make for an inconspicuous set of extra legs.
It is possible for the Hi Nu to stand unaided and fully equipped so long as you position the Fin Funnels out to the side like a set of angelic wings.
The problem is this doesn't look as impressive when viewed from any angle other than the front. Perhaps a bit of diecast in the feet would have alleviated this problem but getting Bandai to go mixed media with certain toy lines is more difficult than taking care of precocious war orphans.
With the Fin Funnels attached, the whole arrangement really shines as it easier to demonstrate how the individual mounting points can swivel independently from each other.
Each main wing can still move all around even with a full load out.
In fact as long as you keep the weight forward, the Hi Nu can still employ most of its articulation and pull of some great poses fully equipped.
The two huge propellant tanks are attached with ball-joints so they can splay out at the right angle for maximum effect. Just be aware that titling the torso up can cause the backpack to dislodge if the tanks hit the rear skirts. There is a lot going on back here so treat it with respect.
The Hi Nu Gundam isn't just for show but it looks quite pretty like this.
Since the Hi Nu Gundam is a space optimized Mobile Suit, it really comes alive when you mount on a Tamashii Stage Act 5. Attaching the stand is easy as there's a ready made hole in the nether Gundam region.
The wings and extra long fuel tanks give the Hi Nu a tangible feeling of speed and power. Unfortunately the figure does not come with this display stand and it has to be purchased separately either in a set of three or as part of another figure. It is compatible with other Tamashii Stages or anything that uses the same sized peg mount. It seems there was just way too much already packed into the box to include a stand.
It is fitting that a Newtype use Mobilt Suit shines when it appears to be in space.
Everything feels right when the Hi Nu is on a stand.
Ike! Fin Funnel!
I am sure everyone is waiting for the Hi Nu Gundam to put all those Fin Funnels to good use but first a little prep work.
No this is not a scary insect, but it is what you use to display the Fin Funnels in flight. A clear central block is slotted into the backpack where it stays in quite solidly. Then an array of clear armatures are plugged into it. One pair is slightly longer than the other. The instructions say to put the long ones on the bottom but really it's up to the user.
The ends of the armatures can be a bit fiddly because while they plug in solidly, the stiffness of the connection means it's hard to adjust them without popping them back out.
Bandai engineered this Hi Nu Gundam so it can field four of its Fin Funnels at once. Once the display is set up it looks impressive and does a great job at portraying the main Mobile Suit with its signature remote weapons.
You get four clear mounting adapters for the Fin Funnels. These simply slot into the back of the weapon and attach to the armature with a ball-joint. Again these are kind of stiff so try to position them where you want before plugging them in all the way. The Fin Funnels easily disengage for the mounts so you can arrange the armatures before attaching them.
The final set of accessories is four beam cannon effect parts for the Fin Funnels. While it can be hard to ascertain the function of these flying tuning forks at a glance, these transparent pink sheets give them the appear of energy weapons channeling that concentrated pink Minvosky stuff. While these look really cool, they are kind of worryingly thin and the tiny tabs they use to attach to the Fin Funnels should be handled with care. Just remember that the tabs should be closer to the business end of the weapon when inserted.
If you are patient with the temperamental nature of these accessories, the Hi Nu rewards you with an impressive display of firepower.
Gundam G-Generation DX!
The Robot Damashii Hi Nu Gundam is a beastly figure that includes just about everything it needs to put on a show without being just for show. Some of its accessories are a bit flawed but it does not affect the overall presentation and fun factor. The Hi Nu itself is such a classic design that it is greatly satisfying to have a more faithful 80's rendition of the Mobile Suit. This version of Amuro Ray's final Gundam is certainly up to the task.
Now if only Bandai would release a Robot Damashii of the Nightingale...
Thanks again to Bluefin Tamashii for providing the figure, which you can purchase at Amazon.com or our other fine sponsors.
Comments4 comments posted
This is a really nice figure, shame that the MG kit didn't take the Izubuchi route for its design. Great review VF! Although, I'm disappointed to see they didn't put the beam saber in the left forearm on the figure like there is with the MG model kit.
WHOA MAMA. I haven't been paying attention to Robot Damashii, I guess. Had no idea they were doing this one! Looks fantastic!
I hope a Nightingale is released to go alongside it...
There does exist a third party "RC" Nightingale model kit. it is an unlicensed product and from what I have seen, it was a great attempt but there were a lot of structural flaws to it from the plastic quality.
I'm hoping now that Sazabi got a 'version ka' and Bandai's not afraid to make large model kits again like the Kshatriya Repair, we'll see them make a proper version of the model. If they can make Biolante and Psycho Gundams, I don't see why not make a Robot Spirit figure either.