“AAAAH! IT’S A GU–uhh… IT’S A WHATEVERTHEHEL–“
“I’m the origin of your homage, idiot. (‘Glory of Losers’, indeed.)”
This is a review of the (Mobile Suit in Action, U.S. edition) non-scaled figure of the OZ-06MS Leo “army mode” from the New Mobile Report Gundam Wing anime. One of thirteen (according to the box) in the lineup for the TV anime, and one of the most common/available representations of GW’s most famous grunt MS in figures/models.
There’s actually a third Leo available not seen at the back of the package cover, which is essentially a rare blue version of this very figure. If you choose to find and get it, consider this a full review for that figure as well.
I don’t know how many countries have their action figures packed up like this, but I have normal and extended MSiAs from Japan, and they are packaged in a box sealed with some small bits of tape, and are able to have the figures repackaged (so you can keep your figures and items stored neatly for moving purposes, for example). You can’t with action figure packages like these; once it’s open, most of it will be going to the trash… Unless you happen to be one to still salvage packages that can’t be closed back up with superglue, or something. (Yes, I’ve salvaged mine.)
Some people around here in North America (at least in the US) remember and are fond of a little block of television (from Cartoon Network) called “Toonami”, which is advertised in the back here. Although I never was really interested in the dub, I’ll give the Toonami block of CN some props for their promos; they could’ve made Sanrio/Hello Kitty into a real action hero.
A closer image of the packaged Leo without the cover. Technically, this (and I guess the front cover) makes my accessories section redundant, but I’ll still include it anyway. I just wanted to get a better-detailed photo of the Leo itself still packaged, before everything is opened. Like with the MSiA in Japan, the US versions here use tape to help keep everything in the package. But apparently we North Americans seem so untrustworthy of tape and boxes for outer packaging… *shrug*
Standard front/back views. Note how glossy the figure looks; it’s a common staple in earlier MSiA. My newer ones seem to lack such a trait (apart from my EMSiA WGZC’s wings).
I know I haven’t set up a picture with an object or ruler, but trust me: It’s actually pretty small compared to other MSiAs, let alone the Robot Damashii figures or the 1/144 scaled Gunpla and GFF figures. I don’t have an HCM-Pro figure of my own, but they’re all around 1/200 in scale, and I can imagine the Leo fitting around their sizes. Despite being non-scale, I wonder if it seems even remotely workable as being to scale with my Robot Damashii Turn A Gundam, or my other GW MSiA… (I guess I’ll update this review later to find out.)
Note that MSiA figures over here are a little less detailed (having less panel-lining and coloring of the vents, generally) than the Japanese MSiA counterparts. On the other hand, joints are generally better/sturdier over here while, as opposed to my imported MSiA; the joints for those figures remain loose. Neither of my Wing Zero MSiAs (TV ver. and Extended/EW ver.) can properly hold a buster rifle good enough with one hand). It seems to be a trade-off between detail and joint sturdiness when the figures come over here. Either way…
Although I highlighted several points of articulation in the arm and leg articulation photos, it isn’t really fantastic. I wouldn’t even call this basic articulation.
- First and foremost, the head can move up and down a little bit and barely tilt left or right, but it’s too negligable to highlight in the photo. Blame Katoki; it’s his grunt MS design, after all. (And ignore the anime or elsewhere that has the head moving somehow; the new “Glory of the Defeated”* manga rectified that and solidified it’s immobility.)
- I’m sure I’ve seen better single-jointed MSiA arm articulation from the Wing lineup, let alone elsewhere. But the arms are the most decent part of the figure; able to do a little better than what the MSiA Tallgeese I and II (possibly also III) could do with their arms.
- But it’s reversed with the legs: they are the worst culprit in articulation; barely able to put it in an action or walking stance. That’s mainly due to the design of the knee guard on this figure:
So maybe those of you into figure/model customization could expertly use a small razor blade to increase articulation by some fold. If you did that, I’d certainly would like to know how better the articulation is afterwards…
But this is a stock review. And getting this figure today isn’t easy, let alone cheap. When this was released in stores around ten-to-eleven years ago, I believe this (and the other MSiAs) were priced around $9.99 (U.S.) at a local K-Mart or Wal-Mart. I’ve recently seen E-Bay and other places selling this for $99.99. I got mine for around $30, and right now, I don’t think getting the figure for that expense is worth risking modding. But I’ve been green at the whole plamo building/modifying thing, and I’ve seen people craft wonderful models and figures before.
Anyway, as I move onto other aspects of this figure, it seems to be shaping itself as an opposite of the 1/144 FLAT from the TAG Gunpla lineup. Articulation is just one of two basic ways…
The Leo isn’t truly lacking in this department, at least on a basic level:
The accessories may not seem much for hand-carrying and may lack in the melee department, but the accessories are five pieces. Counting two additional ones already attached, the accessories are as follows:
- 105mm rifle
- “Shorty” beam rifle
- Shoulder beam cannon
- Flight pack
~ (Just a little note: I’ve recently rediscovered that the fuel tanks are stuck on there somehow, but can come off. If it has and you want it on there permanently, try your favorite kind of glue that works for glossy figures like this. I hope superglue will for me when I get around to it…)
The following photos are a demonstration of the accessories in a more “proper” use:
The Leo’s iconic 105mm rifle. Not much can be done two-handed given the lack of arm, waist, and leg articulation, at least to get it to align with the head’s main camera. Given that, it may not seem so menacing for the Leo to not be able to “face” what it’s shooting at, but when your vehicle of choice is riddled with such large bullets, you’ll start to think otherwise.
The “shorty” beam rifle (more like a beam pistol) held in a typical looking-for-a-target/standing-by pose of sorts. I think it works as much as a typical one-handed pose.
The shoulder beam cannons in action. In-universe designated the Leo “shoulder cannon type” once they’re mounted onto the shoulder hardpoints. If you want them to aim line-of-sight to the head’s main camera, then don’t move those arms much once you got them parallel.
Known in-universe as the Leo “High Mobility type” when the flight pack option (seen here) is in use. I believe the flight pack was seen a couple of times in a couple of episodes, I believe first by Lady Une to confront Shenlong. I believe recent lineart (related to both GotD* and Frozen Teardrop) also gave the Leo some additional vernier attachments to the legs complimenting the flight pack, but that wasn’t seen at the time of the anime and initial manga adaptations.
Before I move on, as of now, there’re no true action shots beyond showing off accessories. I think it’s possible to pull off some additional action shots past that, but I never got around to doing it yet, and I’m thinking of possibly planning something a bit more than just dynamic poses for action photos. And with that out of the way…
My Final Two Cents:
Objectively, this figure is below average. I can’t imagine plenty of people (even in the Gundam fan community) today looking for this for various reasons. So let’s start with the bad news…
What might be brought up as more-objective downsides strong enough to pass on (beyond financial/availability reasons) would be:
- It’s too small for personal preference; some prefer to go to a bigger size (such as the 1/100 scale) when it comes to plamo and figures.
- It has poor articulation. Even if one is bold enough to try modding, articulation will be average at best.
- No melee weaponry to balance out the basic accessories, giving this Leo a bit less to do in the action department.
Given my perception of a chunk (not the entirety) of the Gundam fandom out there today, I think reasons more likely thought up (maybe not typed) for passing on this (again, beyond financial/availability) are as follows:
- It’s not from Gundam SEED/00/Unicorn.
- It’s not one of the Gundams from Wing (let alone Endless Waltz).
- It’s not even a Zaku/GM-esque grunt MS.
All in all, if you happen to be either okay/indifferent about Wing and yet was thinking about getting this with a bit of a skeptic side, here’s extra fuel for passing on it. Those not fond of Wing wouldn’t even make it to these more valid criticisms. And by the way, from what I can gather on the Space version, among the accessories are beam sabers, therefore eliminating the melee-lacking criticism listed above. Of course, if you’re picky in color preferences, then maybe you can replace the last one listed above with the fact that the space version is purple. Personally, it doesn’t bother me…
…And I am fond of Wing. I grew to like the simple mass-produced grunts of this anime. For many (possibly myself too), it might not have as much a menacing or monsterous look as a Zaku or a Gundam would have, but for someone like me, it looks more like what a military might build if they had to go for a “humanoid tank/mecha” route of sorts (with a hint of old school mecha, if you consider ’90s mecha so by now). I like it enough to have wanted this figure, and I’m hoping for the blue and space types as well, one day… Once I get through obtaining a lot of my wanted Gunpla and Robot Damashii/other Gundam figures, of course. (I’ve recently glanced at a few worthwhile RD figures.)
So if you were like me, and you liked the Leo and wanted some figure/model, any available and you mainly found this, the disadvantages of this figure might likely not be enough for you to be dissuaded, so go ahead and get it. I’d wait for a cheaper price, though. (And since those Limited [Production] Model 1/144 Leos and Tauruses are even rarer, I don’t think it’s possible or worth getting one anytime soon, should you ever find one.)
- There’s a very nice, potentially-wallpaper-worthy photo (at least for a PSP screen) of the MSiA Leo that you can see on DA by clicking here. The photo was taken by this guy.
*The title of the recent manga I referenced (I believe still ongoing, as of August of ’11) is actually officially titled “New Mobile Report Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz: The Glory of Losers“. Some people–including myself–still use the unofficially-translated “Glory of the Defeated” title to reference it out of preference; much like how people use “Puru” instead of Ple or “Rolan” instead of “Loran”. (I already explained a little bone to the R/L-switching side that I half-threw while still preferring “Loran”, though someone took advantage and changed the Rs and Ls of Loran’s name in the Gundam Wiki before the Turn A Gundam DVDs are released.)