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Toys: GM Sniper II

Posted on : 03-10-2010 | By : | In : Toys/Kits

Hardware: , , ,


Courtesy of our good friends at HobbyLink Japan, we’ve been sent a toy from Mobile Suit Gundam 0080 to review. Specifically, the new GM Sniper II from the Robot Damashii range. The gaming significance of this design is also quite interesting and this review is meant as a companion piece to the forthcoming “White Dingo” version.

Back in 1989 the world of Universal Century Gundam was a far simpler place. To commemorate Gundam’s then 10th anniversary, Sunrise commissioned the first side-story mini series for the saga. It would be a first in many ways for the saga, from Haruhiko Mikimoto’s involvement as character designer to the absence of Yoshiyuki Tomino behind the directing helm. In addition, it would be the third time that the wonderfully talented Yutaka Izubuchi would pen the mecha design for Gundam (with the prior two instances being Gundam ZZ and Char’s Counterattack obviously).

What was different this time though for Izubuchi, was that he was going backward through the timeline and re-working classic designs with a more modern aesthetic. This also allowed him to pen designs that were new as well, from the beastly RX-78NT-1 Gundam “Alex” to the more interesting RGM-79G GM Command and RGM-79SP GM Sniper II.

Interesting in the sense that the latter two designs were instrumental in the creation of Bungie’s Master Chief, as well as its Mjöllnir armor wearing Spartan progeny, across the various Halo games. This is more to do with the fact that the base GM line in Gundam were meant as mass produced front line “soldiers” and Izubuchi instilled that in an almost implicit way with his take on the updated versions. Unsurprisingly, that was more than a good fit in a functional sense when it came to Bungie bringing the spirit of their Marathon games to consoles (bear in mind that the cyborg in Marathon looked very different compared to the Spartans in Halo, so this Izubuchi inspiration is quite a clear cut one as to when the design direction changed).

Whilst the GM Command does have a hand in mecha gaming, as it’s been in numerous titles over the years, the GM Sniper II actually has a longer and more distinct history behind it. Based off the first RGM-79SC GM Sniper Custom, the GM Sniper II was a considerably more potent and high performance unit (rivaling the stats of the original RX-78-2 Gundam in some areas). What would bring the design into the hearts of gamers, was when it was given as a final upgrade to the “White Dingo” team in the Dreamcast game Rise from the Ashes. Since then, the White Dingo variant has had a big presence across the Gundam gaming saga.

This version of the GM Sniper II though is from 0080, as the colours and armament are more standard. In the anime they typically get obliterated in double quick time but their brief appearance was a memorable one. This toy then has a quiet lineage behind it and it’s arguably one of the best Robot Damashii toys we’ve had the pleasure of handling.

Toy: Robot Damashii GM Sniper II
Price: 2800 yen
Size/Weight: 19.5 x 15.2 x 5.6 cm / 160g

As you can see, the joints and articulation on this figure are very thorough – allowing for a large array of solid poses as practically the entire toy is covered in various joints. Due to the simplicity of the design itself, this has made the whole figure feel very solid. There aren’t many gimmicks though, bar the sniper “scope” on the head and a nice little cockpit hatch; instead the focus has clearly been on re-creating a classic design with modern day toy building techniques. Whilst there is technically no real die-cast elements in the figure, the joints are reinforced with metal pins that hold everything together (as well as keep the various poses very firm). The toy comes with six pairs of additional hands, for either holding the sniper rifle, beam sabres or just with its hand outstretched for the more dramatic of poses. The shield can also be affixed in two different ways onto the arm, either back or side facing.

This then is a simple and classic design done good. As a toy it’s a huge amount of fun to play around with and if I had any more GM Sniper II’s I’d have probably spent my time making a small battleground across the carpet at home. If you’re a mecha fan that only really goes for the protagonist designs, then this probably isn’t for you. However, if you enjoy your mass produced spirit then this toy ticks all the right boxes. For such a tiny price tag it would be a crime not to at least pick one of these up, that way when the White Dingo version comes out you can at least have the two figures do a fist bump.


Comments (2)

I am so picking this one up.
LOVE the GM Sniper II.

On a side note. please get your front mission evolved review up soon. I Really need to rant.

I got this figure last week an it’s worth every penny.

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