The ongoing Ver. ANIME releases as part of the Robot Damashii toy line are now venturing into the realm of Mobile Suit Variations, or MSV, from the original Mobile Suit Gundam, the latest of which is a very nice Full Armor Gundam figure that definitely does justice to the original design.
The MSV designs are in part the reason why the original Gundam became the breakout success it did. The original launch of the series actually tanked in Japan and in part that was down to the brightly-colored designs. When the MSV model kits came along, they not only reinvigorated interest in kit building but also treated the designs in Gundam with a greater degree of realism.
This is because the MSV mobile suit designs weren’t featured in the anime and were meant to give more context as to the series’ world and setting. It was these designs that captured the imaginations of fans and in turn made the original Gundam hugely popular. The more realistic tone seen in the later Gundam movie trilogy then can be traced back to these MSV designs.
One of the most famous designs was the Full Armor Gundam. Meant in part as a means to have the Gundam keep pace with Zeonic technological advancements, it was also intended to be more mass produced and an upgrade to the veteran GM pilots. It also never made it off the drawing board but it started a “full armor” trend within Gundam that exists to this day. However, a heavily modified version of the Full Armored Gundam did pop up in Gundam Thunderbolt, in case you are wondering.
Much like in the original series, the MSV designs were handled by Kunio Okawara and allowed him to take a more realistic angle on mobile suits. This realism in terms of mecha design would later be explored by Okawara on later series such as Dougram and VOTOMS but in this instance, the MSV designs helped ground the mobile suit designs in Gundam and convince prospective fans that this wasn’t your average mecha anime.
What’s interesting about this Ver. ANIME figure is that unlike prior MSV releases, this Full Armor Gundam is not a Bandai webshop exclusive. I already bought the G3 Gundam, which is technically from the novels and isn’t really an MSV design per se, but it’s nice to see the world of MSV made more widely available. Compared to standard Robot Damashii releases, though, the MSV figures don’t have a clear cover for you to see the contents inside. This results in some often very nice stylized box art, which in this case shows off a small squadron of Full Armor Gundams doing their thing.
Like earlier Ver. ANIME releases, this Full Armor Gundam is a very nice figure for the price and is nice to have considering that the design created the “full armor” craze in Gundam as a whole.
Keep an eye out for the review, as that will be going up soon!