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Toys: Metal Composite Gundam The Origin

Posted on : 04-09-2011 | By : | In : Toys/Kits


Courtesy of our good friends at HobbyLink Japan, we’ve been sent the Metal Composite Gundam The Origin toy from the manga Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin. The latter being a re-telling of the classic TV series and first three movies, as penned by the venerable Yoshikazu Yasuhiko. The titular Gundam has numerous subtle differences compared to the original and this toy undertakes those in suitably painstaking detail.

Back in 2001 I was living in Japan and one of the few regular purchases was that of Gundam Ace magazine. In this was serialised Yasuhiko’s exquisitely re-crafted Gundam The Origin. The whole premise of the franchise almost became an exercise in distilled clarity. Much of the extraneous elements of the TV series and movies were dropped and instead more useful narrative elements were introduced. Notably, at the beginning of the manga the whole aspect of the invading Zaku II’s into Side 7’s Federation mobile suit training grounds was setup so that they faced the RX-78-01 Prototype Gundam first. Fully equipped, it blew holes in the colony walls with its beam rifle and cannon, only to be destroyed by the enemy. This then made Amuro’s accidental piloting of the RX-78-02 Gundam all the more uncanny and remarkable, as with just vulcans and a beam saber he finished the job of what a veteran pilot could not.

The manga also goes into great detail about the history of the Gundam universe and explains a lot of the backstory that the original TV series and movies barely inferred. It’s also a beautifully artistic manga, with Yasuhiko’s skill palpably apparent throughout.

The re-tooled mobile suits, still designed by Kunio Okawara, are also rather wonderful. Whilst they retain the signature elements of the originals, there are numerous changes that re-appraise the functionality of these mecha. From new hatches for powerful weaponry as well as over the shoulder cannons, everything is somewhat lateral in terms of its thinking now. Weirdly, despite the retro colouring the mecha feels more rationalised.

This toy is somewhat based upon the prior Metal Composite Ver Ka iteration, so there are clear Katokified aesthetic elements. However, all the aspects from the re-tooled design are very much here. The toy is also utterly gimmick ridden, with numerous additional parts to equip it as per its evolution through the manga. From the starting, middle and end configurations. The over the shoulder cannon also makes the design also feel very much akin to the FA-78-3 Full Armor 7th Gundam that was used in Gundam Senki 0081.

Toy: Metal Composite Gundam The Origin
Price: 11,840 yen
Size/Weight: 37.0 x 26.5 x 10.0 cm / 910g

As with all Metal Composite toys, this is similarly well crafted and very sturdy. The figure is built around a diecast endoskeleton, that the external armour attaches to, this means all the joints are metal and the figure has subsequently very impressive articulation. The ratcheted knee joint is especially impressive, as the armour parts shift around accordingly. The paint job is also thoroughly excellent and all the panel markings, regardless of size, are impeccably produced.

Despite being somewhat similar to the Ver Ka version already released, it’s very clear this toy has been almost entirely re-tooled. The legs and their articulation are all new, with the boosters in the calf being notable, as well as the arms and the majority of the torso. The core fighter setup is also entirely different. This is by no means a quick or cheap knock-off on the part of Bandai and what with all the bespoke weaponry it’s very much a new design in its own right.

As a toy then this is very much something that can be played with without fear of breaking it and can also make a very compelling display piece. Considering that the Origin manga will be animated in the near future, this figure is obviously meant as a hat tip to that. Despite that though, it’s very much a wonderful interpretation of the design seen in the manga and comes highly recommended.


Comments (3)

It’s not just almost completely retooled. I own both, and I can tell you that The Origin version is a completely new toy that shares zero parts with the Composite RX-78-2 Ver. Ka (well…they both might possibly use the same type of screws to hold the metal together, but that’s it!).

Amazing figure. I see you’ve put on the parts for the magnet coating version seen near the end of the manga. I prefer the more asymmetrical design from the beginning. 🙂

Actually, the fundamental mold and much of the endo skeleton was apparently re-tooled from the Ver Ka toy (as stated by Bandai). I also own both too and it is a substantial re-tooling though.

The review also covers all three configurations available from the manga.

Finally got my hands on one and I finally found out all about the diecast content that will be listed below
– The frame of the upper arm
– Parts that hold the side skirts
– Hip joints
– The inner frame from the knees below
– The ankle joints
– The soles of it’s foot
The diecast content is fairly well distributed in my opinion which gives it a quite hefty feel (75% of the figure’s weight is from the waist below) as well as providing balance to the figure in general.

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