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Toys: Robot Damashii Nu Gundam and Sazabi

Posted on : 03-03-2013 | By : | In : Toys/Kits

Hardware: , , , , , , , , ,

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Courtesy of our good friends at HobbyLink Japan we’ve been sent the Robot Damashii Nu Gundam and Robot Damashii Sazabi as seen in the climactic film Char’s Counterattack. In addition, we’ve also included some game and anime footage of the mecha in action at the end of the review.

Char’s Counterattack was the end to a large story arc in the original Universal Century timeline Gundam saga. Pitting the protagonists of Amuro Ray and Char Aznable against one another for a suitably epic showdown. Understandably this kind of finale required some equally memorable and impressive mecha designs. Both the RX-93 Nu Gundam and MSN-04 Sazabi were penned by the amazingly talented Yutaka Izubuchi, who has a remarkable eye for elegant yet pragmatic mecha designs.

Each of the mobile suits also sported new fangled Newtype weaponry, with both having psycoframes encasing the cockpits and psycommu controlled funnels. These are important points in the case of the Nu Gundam, as in general Federation mobile suits didn’t utilise this kind of technology. Naturally there is good narrative reason for this state of affairs in the film but clarifying that further here would probably be the mother of all spoilers.

Over the years both the Nu Gundam and Sazabi have been in all manner of games and listing them all here would take a while. Similarly, there have also been numerable toy and kit based iterations of the designs. Generally all have suffered from the same flaws; the Nu Gundam’s fin funnels make the figure lopsided and the Sazabi’s bulk limits its basic articulation.

However, what’s different now is that the Robot Damashii toy line has amazing engineering and articulation. So will these figures fall foul of the same issues that have plagued their progenitors?

Toy: Robot Damashii Nu Gundam
Price: 3,360 yen
Size/Weight: 22.2 x 19.7 x 5.1 cm / 250g

Toy: Robot Damashii Sazabi
Price: 4,250 yen
Size/Weight: 28.0 x 21.0 x 10.0 cm / 480g

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The Nu Gundam is practically flawless. The joints are very well made and not only hold poses exceptionally well but can also handle the increased weight from the fin funnels. The sculpt and detailing are also fantastic considering the toy’s very affordable price point. The figure also has a fair few gimmicks too, with the additional beam saber on the left arm popping up once released being a nice example. The toy also comes with additional clear plastic parts so you can have the fin funnels “hover” around the toy. As you’d expect the articulation is also very good indeed.

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The Sazabi is a surrisingly big figure and like the Nu Gundam has excellent joints. However, the size of the lower legs still makes posing the figure problematic at times. This is more down to the design than the toy but it’s worth noting. That aside the sculpt is thoroughly fantastic and the paintjob is great too. The funnel housing at the rear does also open up, as in the film, but the funnels themselves don’t open and are instead solid red cylinders. Unlike the Nu Gundam, the Sazabi lacks as many gimmicks but it does have more complex joints at the shoulders and a nice amount of additional weaponry too.

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Getting both figures together, whilst lovely on a nerd level, does emphasise how massive the Sazabi is in comparison to the Nu Gundam. Whilst the Robot Damashii toys aren’t meant to be to scale, the Gundam figures on the whole do retain the correct heights (something we’ve noticed from the F-91 and V Gundam era figures, compared to the earlier and bigger UC timeline mobile suits). In that sense the increased price point on the Sazabi makes sense, as you are getting more toy in a technical sense.

Overall then these are both very affordable toys of much loved classic mobile suit designs. The articulation, sculpt and detailing are great. Showing that much love has been poured into the creation of these toys. Whilst the Sazabi is a little unwieldly in the leg department, it’s a huge improvement over previous figures and the fact it looks so damn boss helps make up for this issue even further. The Nu Gundam is truly special though and having owned numerous toys and kits of the design over the years this is unequivocally the best version to date. As such we can thoroughly recommend these toys both to fans of the film as well as connoisseurs of Yutaka Izubuchi’s craftsmanship.

Now we can only hope that we’ll get similarly excellent Robot Damashii toys of the RX-93-v2 Hi-Nu Gundam and MSN-04II Nightingale from Beltorchika’s Childen.

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Comments (5)

The one problem with all small iterations of the Nu is that the large white surfaces give it a very bland look and is badly in need of some detailing.

That’s the point of the design though and I’ve always loved the minimalist colouring for the Nu Gundam.

If only I could excuse paying for them… too many great figures have already claimed my money. They’re beautiful figures. Maybe I’ll try and get Nu at least. My old MSiA Sazabi has actually held up surprisingly well over the years.

Assuming you picked it up, what’s your opinion of Battle Robot Damashii for the PSP? Can we expect a review?

Yeah, we have and we will.

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