When the inception of our throwback event was implemented, I was not sure what I wanted to do. I already review retro video games, so that’s out of the question for lack of originality. Then it hit me; while cleaning out my closet a few months ago, I stumbled across some ancient Gundam action figures from Bandai that I bought 14 years ago. While reorganizing my room, I intended to create some shelf space for these guys, but I need to clear some more space. They’re old, missing tons of accessories, and are covered in dust, pet dander, and fuzz. But years ago, I had so much fun playing with these guys and way before I learned that imported goods could be purchased, these were the coolest looking toys I had seen at the time!!
I bought most of these at Toys R’ Us, Kay Bee Toys, Wal-Mart, and Babbage’s or EB Games and their average prices ranged from $5.99 to $12.99, depending. About five years ago, I wanted to replace a few that had many parts and accessories missing and maybe expand the collection a little more, but these guys have become extremely rare and what’s available for retail ranges in prices from 40 to 150.00 USD!! Holy biscuits!!! Well, bearing some stroke of luck, I will continue to treasure what is the remnants of probably the peak of my toy collecting and share them with you all!! At least most of the ones I have info and/or parts for.
Wing Gundam Zero (Gundam Wing Endless Waltz) It was Gundam Wing (preferably Endless Waltz) that made me want to start buying these in the first place. Since I was on a budgeted allowance back then, I could only buy a few of these guys at a time and this one was the first toy I purchased. While not very articulated, this guy still looks very stylish. The detail on the wings look amazing!! And when fanned out, it’s quite a sight! Pretty well done for a toy that’s 3 1/2 inches tall.
Gundam Sandrock (Gundam Wing Endless Waltz)
I never liked Sandrock’s original model, but I dug the upgrade in the movie. The paint job is more eye-catching. He’s probably the second most stiff of the Gundam Wing toys I have.
Those unconventional blades are humongous!! As time has passed, they have a hard time staying unsheathed when handling them and constantly fold in. When I get them to stay put, they look pretty cool, I just can’t do a lot of moving around. Even when I first got Sandrock, they never really remained locked in place. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Endless Waltz, I’ve got to go see how he hid those things.
He even comes with that awesome desert cloak. Yeah the thing was mostly for effect, but I really liked it. One thing that was cool about keeping it in a box for so many years is that the fabric (which feels nylon-based) looks ragged and worn, augmenting its…cloakiness. Fresh out the plastic, it was smooth and neat, more like a dinner napkin.
And since these are the only accessories that he carries, Sandrock is the one of only three complete Gundams in my inventory!!
Gundam Deathscythe (Gundam Wing Endless Waltz)
Deathscythe is also complete, as he only comes with his scythe. Man, the biggest problem I had with Endless Waltz is that we didn’t get to see these things in action until the very end!! Deathscythe is the hot red Ferrari of the Wing series units, and this one sports the most intimidating look. Too bad this guy moves poorly! His scythe has definitely seen better days, its forever bent. I’ve put the heaviest piece of equipment in my room on it for hours and it remains this way. It’s slightly masked when he’s holding it, but this a bummer.
The wings wrap around his frame and they stay put well enough. The wings have lost a lot of structural integrity and have become floppy.
The wing design may lack the detail of the graceful Wing Zero’s, but the hardened edges give it a cold reptilian feel. As you can see by the scuffs on it, it has taken its share of beatings.
He may be the most poorly aged of the Gundam Wing series toys (At least from an accessory standpoint), but the look is great!!
Heavy Arms and Heavy Arms II (Gundam Wing and Endless Waltz)
The Heavy Arms units have become my personal favorite Gundams, both in the show and these two figures! They are pretty articulate, didn’t come with a lot of extras, so preserving them has been a cinch.
Like in Resident Evil, if Heavy Arms ever ran out of ammo, he’s got that retractable hand knife he would use if he ever had to cut a bitch. It’s pretty darn sturdy and has held up nicely. Again, one of the things I really loved about Heavy Arms’ design (and this dagger reminded me) is that he’s the last mobile suit that was designed in the same practical fashion of the Gundams prior to the Wing series. Ever since, they looked too much like Transformers for my tastes. They’re all sleek and beautiful, why take them out of their original packaging for the sake of a war?!
The chest plate and shoulders open up and they surprisingly remain intact. I would’ve thought the hinges on the shoulder would be the first to go! I’m glad there were no detachable missiles that fit inside, saves me the trouble of losing them to a cat stomach.
Heavy Arms’ Endless Waltz model has those sweet shoulder holsters for his twin gatling machine guns. He didn’t have the prison shiv, so I wondered if he would just hit mechs with the empty guns, or rather just get new guns instead of reloading them!
Like Deathscythe’s weapon, the right gun is bent beyond repair. This is a little harder to mask. Oh well, Trowa wasn’t much of a marksman, just point the mech in a direction and hit EVERYTHING!!
There you go!! Just in case there was wildlife that managed to escape the first hail of bullets and napalm. You’d run out of ammo in Contra before Trowa would have to reload!! Suffice to say, this looks badass! I’d search the toy over in case I missed some compartments.
Gundam Shenlong and Altron (Gundam Wing and Endless Waltz)
These two are the most agile of my collection. The legs bend very well and the dragon arms on both are fun as hell to play with! I lost Altron’s staff, so for the sake of these pictures, Wufei is going to have to learn to share.
Shenlong’s shield can attach to the forearm and has a habit of popping off. I could not remember if anything fits into that hole and I thought in the show, it had a little laser booster thing. I am probably totally wrong on that.
The arm extends nicely, is very flexible, and it’s hard to put this guy down! It’s so much fun to play with. While photographing them, I would just fiddle with it because it’s so entertaining! Folding the arm back was a little tricky at first because it’s easy to forget where it folds.
That head looks pretty fierce. I remove the fist for a better look, but left it in back when I played with it…Well, uh, in between, um, all the dates I super seriously got in high school…with actual girls that spoke to me!!!
Altron’s dual arms may not be as fun to play with, but considering what they were trying to replicate, it is still pretty impressive and the moveable dragon teeth are nice!!
Folded up, the bottom of the base snaps neatly onto the forearm and it remains pretty secure. I totally dig that!!
Tallgeese II (Gundam Wing)
Tallgeese II was not featured in the series enough, as it appeared pretty late. This was the coolest thing I thought Treize Khushrenada ever did, departing with that stupid Epyon mobile suit. Like every other upgrade, Tallgeese II is on steroids; That big Dober Canon, two beam sabers, and the enhanced armor!
The two extra saber pegs fit snugly behind the shield, so when your opponent thinks you are unarmed, you can Moto Chagatai sneak attack them by feigning mercy!! (There’s an obscure Legend of the Five Rings reference)
The Dober Cannon looks cool, but I always had a hell of a time getting it to hold the damn thing!! There’s no way Tallgeese can hold this without detaching the gun, but I was always afraid to try to do that. I just wound up moving in the general direction like he was Megatron instead of risking damage to it.
It really is a bit of a shame, because the design is great. The gun flips into place nicely and despite the long barrel, remains straight!
Gundam Epyon (Gundam Wing)
I hate this thing!!! It’s the Game Genie of anime mech suits! Both this and the Wing Zero system are inceptions that sunk the Gundam franchise for me because they kept doing stupid crap like installing combat skills into flesh and blood human beings. The Coordinators in Gundam Seed or the test tube kids in the Seed sequel Destiny!! Skill and training to pilot a mobile suit?! Nope, just create a mobile suit with cheat codes and genetically altered humans to pilot them!! EErggh!! Here is Epyon. I hate this toy almost as much as I hate the machine itself. He barely moves his arms and his legs don’t budge much at all!!
Just plain stiff all around, even the wings don’t move all that much. They flap inward and out, not nearly as fun as Deathscythe or Zero’s Angel Wings.
I will say that Epyon’s chain heat whip thing is kind of nice and makes up for his poor articulation a little bit. It fits snugly into the socket on the inside of the left gauntlet.
His sword is a little bent, but that a recurring theme here. I like how they incorporated the plug jack that powers his sword, that is pretty damn nice. Weapons are cool, but man he can’t move at all.
Mobile Suit Leo Unit (Gundam Wing)
Rounding out the last of my Gundam Wing toys is the standard foot soldier. He’s got some nice coloring and the arms and legs are very adjustable.
Despite the jetpack, he stands relatively well, even if he has to stay a little hunched over just a bit.
That gun always made me giggle a bit. I kept think they were making popcorn while shooting. For a two-handed weapon, I found it easy to move his arms around more than I thought I would be able to.
Gundam GP01 Full Vernian (Mobile Suit Gundam Stardust Memory)
Stardust Memory is my favorite Gundam series, so I quickly swiped up Kou Iraki’s GP01 as well as GP02.
He moves pretty well, not as bulky as some of the Wing Gundams, so his practical design leads to some decent articulation. It’s been a while since I watched Gundam, do they even carry shields anymore?
These shields, while they were the bomb, it was a little bit of a hassle just getting some of these toys to hold them properly. Generally, you would just put them in the fist and forget about it, but the shields were special cases as opposed to the guns and beam sabers.
Simply resting them against the fings wasn’t good enough. There was an extra indention behind the thumb that I would have to press the shield against for a secure fit. Ooooooh, that’s really annoying!!
The Full Vernian upgrade looks pretty rad. The outside boosters have full mobility and the backpack is vertically adjustable. The two extra pegs on his shoulder are complementary beam saber handles, so in case I do another major cleaning and find a few more!
Mobile Suit GP02 (Gundam Stardust Memory)
Now we’re talking!! GP02’s accessories look and feel great! It’s hard to pick a favorite, but this one has a lot of great points and few negatives.
The huge shield hides away that monstrous cannon which is held in place by the handle that snaps off with ease. If anything, the shield is so big that getting to hold strait has always been a problem!
With jet boosters in the rear that are full adjustable and solid articulation despite his size, I got a lot of enjoyment out of this one!
MSM 03 Goggs (Mobile Suit Gundam)
These guys from the original came packaged together. I really like these two as they often flanked Braskinev, just the best kind of muscle anyone could ask for!
They don’t have much for movement in the legs, but their claws and hands are very free-flowing, and with individual moving fingers, he can grab lots of stuff. Okay that’s a little bit of an exaggeration, but this was pretty new territory for me at the time. I would often use them as zombies or monsters in my roleplaying…Man, I was lonely.
…And that about wraps up all the toys I have the most info on. here’s some other pics of most of my broken and incomplete ones that I mostly bought because they looked cool. I don’t even think most of these Gundam shows were in this country when these toy were on shelves.I don’t have much info on them or what series they are from.
…And The Rest…
These guy really take me back to a simpler time in my life before things got complicated. I watched anime without a care in the world until GONZO ruined everything, Gundam was wacky by this point, but still entertaining, and best of all, Bleach didn’t exist yet!! In this day and age of high priced collectable that I’m afraid to even touch for fear of breaking them, my heart still remains with tiny action figures like these and after nearly fifteen years, are the most special possessions in my small, but spirited collection. I bought them at a time when I really, really cared about the medium and my heart was completely into anime before it became a bloated, soulless, moneymaking machine, pumping out one uninspired title after the next and phoned in rehashes of great OAVs, like Birdy the Mighty:Decode that kills what made the 3 episode romp so charming! They are a little more than toys, or cheap action figures, and I don’t still keep them for “collector value”, but they represent a moment in time when I had the most fun. Yes, I am a child of the 90’s and 90’s anime rules my life to this day, but maybe some a decade from now might look back at the loot they gathered at a convention and feel the same way about the good old days when it’s time for your toys to go back in their box.