The SD Gundam reviews continue. This time it is the two mobile suits from the Gundam 0083
series: the GP-01Fb and GP-02A. These are only two figures being given the super deformed
treatment from the Gundam 0083 series. It's a shame since some of the other designs like
the GP-03 Dendrobium or the Neue Ziel have made it to the super deformed model kit line and
really look nice. But the two figures we did get are nothing to sneeze at. They may be my
favorites of the entire line so far.
Packaging - GP-01Fb 5/10, GP-02A 6/10Both figures use the same packaging design as the rest of the line. The bubbles give an excellent view of the figure and accessories. As has become standard for the Gundam lines, an insert at the bottom provides the figure information as well as the directions. A second insert in the top left corner serves no real purpose. They point out that there is an action feature but don't even give any indication of what it is. The GP-02A adds an additional insert at the top for the SD Gundam logo like all of the deluxe figures. Again, the insert serves no real purpose since to the casual eye it looks just like the basic figures. Bandai really should learn to start distinguishing their basic and deluxe lines beyond a minor difference in the logo. The back of the card is the the biggest let down here. The GP-01Fb uses the same card back as the first figures with no information relevant to the actual figure you are buying. The GP-02A is a little better. The Superior Defender introduction at the top is replaced by and image of the Gundam Wing Endless Waltz SD characters while the rest of the card has images of some of the newer figures. But once again, the actual figure you are purchasing is nowhere to be seen.
Sculpting - 8/10Both of these are extremely well sculpted but they both still suffer from the plague of fastener holes that I've seen on almost all of the SD Gundam figures I've reviewed so far. They did a better job of keeping the holes on the back of the figure. The feet are still screwed together from the outsides of the legs which is a disappointment, but understandable since the feet for these figures can't be easily turned around like on some of the other designs. The underside of the shoulder mounted thruster arrays on the GP-02A does offer another place where Bandai could have improved the sculpt. It is not a large draw back since it is only really noticable if the thrusters are spread out into flight mode while you are trying to position the arms, such as aiming the bazooka.
Paint - GP-01Fb 5/10 GP-02A 7/10The paint work for both figures is well done with only the minorest flaws. There are a few areas such as the red stripe on GP-01Fb's knee that isn't quite straight or a rub mark on one of the GP-02A's shoulders. But these are hardly noticeable unless the figure is inspected in great detail. I didn't give the GP-01Fb the extra couple of points that I gave to the GP-02A because once again the design leaves large ares of just solid colors. There are fewer areas of layered colors as well. While much of this stems from the original design of the suit, some things like the EFSF markings on the shoulder and shield that were left of could have added a lot more visual appeal to the figure. But where the GP-01Fb came up short, the GP-02A excells. The shoulder markings were included for this figure and there are a lot more areas like the shoulder pads that have multiple colors. The over all effect is far more attractive.
Articulation - 9/10Both figures stand out in this area. Both the GP-01Fb and GP-02A clock in at 29 points of articulation. Though the GP-01Fb actually has two more joints inside as well. Both share the usual articulation for the SD Gundam figures:
Accessories - 7/10Neither of these figures has any big surprises in the accessories department. They both essentially come with the same accessories as their MSIA counterparts. But they score well not for the number of accessories but for their quality.
The GP-01Fb comes with two beam sabers with removable hilts that can be stored on the backpack /corefighter, a beam rifle and shield. The weapons are fairly bland. They are sculpted well but once again the paint doesn't live up to the effort that went into the sculpt. The gun has red for the sensor area and the shield has the blue areas painted on the front. Adding the logo to the shield or painting some of the details on the back would have helped. But the core fighter makes up for it if you consider it to be an accessory. It's a tough call; but given that the core fighter doesn't actually have to be used to form the figure I'll call it an accessory.
The GP-02A has four accessories: two beam sabers, its large shield and the atomic bazooka. The beam sabers lack removable blades, but there is not place to store the handles any ways so it doesn't detract much. The atomic bazooka doesn't fire like the recent MSIA version. But it has two major advantages over the MSIA verison. The mounting for the back half of the bazooka to the shoulder is far more secure when in a firing position while still giving sufficent mobility otherwise. The two portions also lock together much better than either of the MSIA versions. It does have a shortfall in that it is difficult for the hand to hold the grip and look natural. There also isn't enough room on the shoulder pad to allow the thrusters to be displayed in flight configuration while the bazooka is in a firing position. The shield is the best of the accessories. It is suitably large and well painted. The vents and markings on the front were all painted. The great thing about it is how it stores the front of the bazooka. Where the MSIA version requires the handle to be removed inorder to get to the bazooka, the SD version has the handle hinged so it remains attached to the shield even when removing the bazooka barrel.
Action Feature - GP-01Fb 8/10, GP-02A 5/10The GP-02A has light up eyes. When you press a button on the backpack, a LED in the neck lights up and illuminates the eyes. The feature works fine. But it doesn't add much to the figure and it means that the neck is restricted to a rotating joint rather than a ball joint. An then there is always the long term concern of the battery leaking inside of the figure.
The GP-01Fb's action feature is the removeable core fighter. This is what an action feature should be. It doesn't detract from the figure. (It does leave a hole in the back of the figure if not installed, but that is the way it should be any way.) The core fighter folds up nicely and fits snugly inside the figure, held in place on two long pegs that run through the core fighter into the top helf of the figure.
Value - 8/10These are currently my favorite SD Gundam figures. The GP-01Fb figure doesn't have quite as much visual appeal but has a great action feature. Plus, since it is a basic figure, it should only run you around $7 to $8. The GP-02A is more costly at $10 to $11 since it is a deluxe figure. But it is also one of the best looking SD Gundam figures. The original bulkier design of the GP-02A simply translates well into the super deformed style.
Happy Hunting:And here is the bad part, trying to find the figures. Since the SD line has quickly disappeared from most stores recently, finding the later releases can be very difficult. The GP-01Fb is still available online at Amazon.com or KBkids.com Finding the GP-02A will likely prove to be a bigger challenge. I have yet to see any online sites that have carried the later figures. And locally the only place I was able to track them down was the one WalMart store of the five in the area that has any SD figures left and even then it was only due to them getting in a late case from the warehouse.