I remember when MG Exia was announced the hype was insane; everyone placed their preorders before the official prototype was even finalized, then when we all saw it in color, everything went downhill.
Many disliked the Master Grade’s muscular looking proportions; Bandai went downwards and backwards with their MG design of the Seven Swords Gundam; instead of giving it sleek, anorexic-looking proportions as many had expected, we got the macho-I-just-lifted-2-Virtues-at-the-same-time Exia.
Doesn’t look that bad, hmmm? The Exia has a very strong stance, though that’s slightly ruined by its horribly weak legs and ankles, which I’ll get into soon…
Articulation and color corrections are generally very good; not much painting really needed, though of course I added a good amount out of personal preference. The articulation, however, can also lead to its disadvantage. A lot of armor moves, leading to a good amount of instability. On the plus side, the feet have three points of articulation, allowing the toes to bend almost ninety degrees.
Many of the GN Condenser pieces on the arms, legs, and head are also given in a nice dark clear green.
The stuff that comes with the Repair 1 package is pretty basic and simple; a good amount of converting it actually just revolves around taking a lot of pieces off, rather than swapping out. The cloak is unaturally glossy, the broken sword came in a dull gray (I used it as a testbed for a new can of silver spray paint back in the day; it obviously didn’t turn out well) and you get some lame nicks in the swappable armor pieces.
I think I converted the Exia to it’s R1 configuration the once when I fist got the kit. Other than that I really didn’t care for it; I picked up the Ignition package more for the bling-bling chrome pieces than anything else.
Holy smitters you get a lot of stuff with this kit. Extra accessories are nice, though when you add all that stuff above up with the Repair parts, that’s a lot of extra plastic and little pieces to keep track of. Granted, it is the Gundam Seven Swords, but geez…it can’t even hold that much at once.
Included is a clear stand to display the GN Drive individually, separate from the suit. It’s actually very easy to take out; just open up the gray prongs and the drive pulls right out. There is an LED light-up feature included with the Ignition release, though the battery of mine died long ago. What’s nice is the turbine area; the interior is chrome and I painted the covering, which came in clear plastic, in clear green. The effect looks really nice, though the cone area is able to push inwards, so most of it is covered usually.
The little red cap can go over the GN Drive hole when it’s pulled out. I personally think it’s pointless, though I suppose it’s nice to have when you want to display the Drive separately.
GN Sword could be longer and sleeker though it looks fine as it is. Chrome edges are nice, and articulation is fairly advanced, allowing for a good range of poses with the big thing.
The big ‘ol sword is able to flip between its regular mode and an actual hilt mode where it can be held as an actual vertical sword.
The biggest qualm I have with the sword and shield is that the pegs which go into the forearms don’t hold…at all. The slightest knock will take the shield off, leading to a lot of posing frustrations.
Pew pew rifle that was nigh-useless in the show. Doesn’t look particularly intimidating on the kit either, but hey, it’s silver-plated.
Kinda hard to pose with, actually. Not much you can really do with it…
You get a pair of beam sabers and a pair of beam daggers along with the GN Long and Short Blades to round out Exia’s armament. All four beam saber holsters on the back of the shoulders and on the back skirts have a huge range of articulation; they can move and swivel to pretty much any position where the Exia can grab it.
GN Blades are stored by having the side skirt areas pull outwards, and you get a hidden peg that flips up to hold the swords. Unfortunately this connection is fairly flimsy and restricts waist and leg movement, hence why I usually don’t like equipping them.
It could also just be me, but a lot on this kit doesn’t hold together particularly well; all the pegs are either too loose or too free-moving. I blame this partially on design, as a lot of stuff moves around that doesn’t really need to. First time where more articulation is sort of a bad thing. The entire kit feels stupidly flimsy.
At the end of the day, Exia’s a fair kit; as a Master Grade I feel like it lacks considerable stability, and can only really pose well in the air. I went ahead and tightened pretty much all the leg joints to allow it to maintain its balance on the ground, but if precautions aren’t taken, there is no way in hell this thing is holding a stance. Bandai went ahead and included plenty of extras and fun little gimmicks if you’re into that sort of thing though. I believe only Ignition Mode comes with the LED feature. (Never bothered to light it up for this review)
Generally speaking, I’d only recommend picking up this kit if you really need to have a Master Grade Exia. Otherwise there are plenty of other better-looking Exia’s to throw your money at, given how much Bandai milked this design. (Avalanche, R2, Metal Build, 00 Region, RD, etc.) I personally think the structural problems and inability to stand in general isn’t worth the effort of putting up with.