High Complete Model Progressive
By Patrick Macias
Be the first of your friends to like this.
Mobile Suit Gundam became the massive science fiction franchise it is today largely thanks to the runaway success of Gunpla (aka Gundam plastic model kits). But there's a whole other side to the Gundam phenomenon that remains a bit less explored by otaku-dom at large: Gundam toys.
Of course, Bandai doesn't just come out and call their Gundam toys "toys." Oh no! But that seems about fair, since the charms of their miniature, massively poseable mobile suits might easily go over the heads of a grubby little kid who just wants to play a Japanese variant on "Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots."
The new generation of Gundam action figures is known properly as "HCM pro" or "High Complete Model Progressive." As detailed as any fetishistically built Gunpla, but designed to fit in the palm of your hand, you can whip these guys right out of the box and start throwing them at the wall (although some of these HCM pros do require a tad more assembly than a standard US action figure). Built at a 1/200 scale, and standing around 5 inches tall, they are basically everything you could want from a smaller sized mechanical war-bot, right down to the easy-to-manipulate ball and socket joints.
Up first is Amuro Ray's RX-93 Gundam from the Char's Counterattack movie, available in a "special painted" version. This means this sucker is crawling with even more detail than usual, like decals and emblems of the E.F.S.F. and metallic highlights where the sun don't shine, like on the foot thrusters. Other mobile suits available in the "special paint" variant include Char's Rick Dom and the Sazabi (not to be confused with Salami).
From the 08th Mobile Suit Team anime comes the RX-79, the E.F.F.'s first production mobile suit. Built for intense combat missions, this one comes with a variety of heavy weapons including an imposing machine gun, bazooka, beam sabers, and a cannon. Look for the "special pack" box, which comes with a sheet of bonus custom parts to snap on, plamo style, to help make your Gundam the baddest ï¿½ï¿½bot on block.
Last, but not least, is the Akatsuki Gundam from Gundam Seed Destiny. A little smaller than the mobile suits previously mentioned, this one stands about 3.6 inches tall, but more than makes up for lack of stature with it's goka-na (that's Japanese gal speak for "gorgeous") gold finish. The main accessories here include the Oowashi ("eagle") fighter-backpack combo and a display stand that can do the neat trick of doubling as a hail of missiles being fired.
Ever seen a model kit do that?