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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Southern California

    Bandai Robot Spirits Gundam Avalanche Exia

    New Gundam trades in guns for blades...

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    Bandai continues to dominate the small-scale robot toy field with its lineup of Robot Spirits figures. Designed to pack as much detail, articulation, and accessories into approximately 5 inch scale figures, these robots celebrate everything from classic mechs to the latest Gundams and everything in between. And itís a great new Gundam weíre going to take a look at today, the #92 GN-001 Gundam Avalanche Exia! A third-generation Gundam specializing in close combat, the robot is equipped with a wide array of blades and beam saber weapons that work perfectly in the Robot Spirits scale.

    The same basic packaging scheme is used for all Robot Spirits figures, a wide window box showing off the figure and its accessories. The front panel has a decorative stripe on the left side with the series name, and under the figure is its pertinent information along with a close-up of its head. The side of the box and the back panel includes several more photos of the figure in action, utilizing all of its cool accessories (and giving you great poses to mimic on your shelf). Thereís also a whole bunch of Japanese text; your mileage there will vary. Inside the box is a big plastic tray holding the figure and its extra parts and weapons, and underneath is a graphical instruction sheet to show you how everything works.

    The Gundam Avalanche Exia is a really sleek robot that reminds me of the OO Qan[T] (you can see that one reviewed HERE). The Exia is less bulky than a lot of other Gundams, though it still has plenty of cool armor pieces and some neat extras around the torso. Itís further differentiated by some interesting features like a sphere embedded in its chest, forearm weapon/shield receivers, shoulder-mounted thrusters, and more. Typical of the Robot Spirits figures, the Exia has a very detailed sculpt. Not merely a stocky armored robot, the Gundam has a great mixture of lean, curving lines and sharply angular armor. Thereís lots of layering with regards to plating and sections around joints, which not only helps hide the hardware but also looks really good. Up close youíll find a ton of sculpted detail, not least of which on the incredibly intricate forearms, chest, and of course the head with its vents and spines.

    Likewise, the paint application on the Exia is top notch. Primarily a white robot, it has major sections in secondary blue, red, and yellow. Blue appears the most, heavily on the torso armor, thrusters, arms, waist, back, and legs. The flashier yellow shows up on panels on the chest and waist along with small spines, thruster tips, and underslung forearm components. The reds are even more subtle, popping up at the feet, midsection, and face. All of the paint is really clean and neat, without any obvious slop or bleeding.

    As always, articulation is excellent on this latest Gundam. There are ball joints and double-jointed elbows allowing for extreme poseability, and in addition thereís plenty of ďbonusĒ articulation in the form of movable armor segments, etc. Particularly interesting are the vertical pieces on either side of the chest that rotate up and down, and one of the coolest aspects of this robot is its thruster system. Each shoulder is equipped with a shield/booster engine that rotates on a ball joint and opens on a hinge to reveal the thruster inside! The only downside to the Exia is that itís slightly top heavy. With heavy chest armor and accessories that all attach to the back and arms, the robot is a little tough to balance without keeping the legs in pretty static poses.

    Of course, no Gundam would be complete without a huge array of weapons! In that respect the Exia is actually a little different in that it has no guns, a first for the Gundam figures Iíve seen. Instead, the robot has two shields, two swords, and four beam sabers (like lightsabers). The saber hilts come in the form of white spikes that alternatively attach to the Exiaís shoulders and back, giving it an even more menacing appearance. The basic shield attaches to the left forearm with a swiveling joint, and both swords (one long and one short) can be wielded or mounted on the Exiaís back. Finally, the small right-arm shield unit is equipped with a huge blade that can be deployed or folded back, and this too can rest on the robotís back when not in use. The Exia comes with two sets of fists (open and closed) as well as an attachment for mounting the robot on one of Bandaiís poseable display stands.

    If youíre looking for a Gundam thatís a little different, check out the Avalanche Exia. Itís got a great dynamic look and a unique set of weapons that makes it stand out from the sea of gun-toting robots. The usual Robot Spirits quality is in full force, so youíve got good articulation and quality sculpt and paint. The Exia is available now from fine importers.

    See the full photo gallery below.

    Review and photos by Scott Rubin.

    Review sample courtesy of Bluefin.

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