No, I’m not gonna discuss the whole toyline, instead, just the things I know. If you really want to know EVERYTHING, then search for it yourself. I even doubt that there’s a complete information about everything. So if you find this article VERY LACKING, I’m so sorry but it wasn’t made to be complete.
I just want to say this because: First, I don’t want people to get confused. Second, help people who know nothing. Lastly, share what I know and hopefully, people can share theirs too.
Gunpla (Gundam Plastic – Model Kits)
I know, it started during 80s right? I’m not quite sure if it really started during 80s or late 70s. But it’s very old nevertheless. Back then, kits are glued together, yes, by use of plastic cement I guess or something that can stick pieces together. Also, details aren’t that good. Most of the parts are molded in one color, I’m not sure though. Nevertheless, you have to detail it yourself. Lastly, they aren’t that (or maybe not at all) articulated.
Whenever I say scale, I meant the size of the model. Examples: 1/100, 1/144 and the like. Whenever I say grade, I meant Fg, HG, MG and the like.
So far, these are the toylines that I know for model kits that Bandai has.
SD (super Deformed)
I know it’s called super deformed, correct me if I’m wrong. Anyway, they are the chibi versions of the MS. They might be out of scale since they aren’t meant to be in the first place. The striking feature of these are their over-sized heads. If you’re resourceful enough, the heads are actually compatible in most HG and even MGs. Try it yourself.
SDs during 90s
The DS I know from that era are from Gundam Wing. Of course, there are UCs as well, but generally, SDs from UC were still getting releases up to now. But if you’ll notice, SDs from that era doesn’t have legs. If you’ll compare the heights of the old ones against newer ones, they latter are a bit taller.
SDs of the new millennium
I only have two SDs and they both belong to the newer generation. They are Sinanju and Destiny. Of course, I love them. But like the usual, if you play with them too much, their joints will get loose rather quickly. The thing that sets newer ones apart from older ones are the extra gimmicks. I know 3 SDs so far that had these. I’m not sure if that are more, but they are Sinanju, Unicorn and Wing EW. They can do things that they weren’t able to do in the anime/manga. Not even their higher scaled counter part can do those.
Pretty quick and easy to build kits. Living by its name “Speed Grade”.
Crappy scale, aimed towards kids. Very low detailed kits. But at least, it got joints for it to move.
“Advanced Grade” or AG. Crap like FGs, but at least details were a lot better, but suffers in articulation department BIGTIME instead. I don’t know why it’s even called AG in the first place.
I think this grade started during Gundam Wing Endless Waltz. Their 1/144 line were called HGs. Though there are HG 1/144 from Age, 00, Seed, Seed Destiny and UC as well, numbering system for each are separate and different. HGs from Gundam Wing EW, Age, 00, Seed and Seed Destiny are series exclusive, while UC is the combination of UC, FC, and AW timelines. That’s the reason why Shining Gundam and friends are categorized together with the rest of HGUC kits in Dalong’s review site.
HGs from UC is commonly called HGUC. Rarely people do use HGAW, HGFC, HGCE and the like when referring to kits that came from its respective timeline.
HG 1/144 is the most active line thus far. It has the most number of choices. Whenever a new MS appears, it’s the line to gets a release first.
There are 1/144 scaled kits that has no “HG” label on it. People commonly were confused on what difference does these kits have. So they decided to call it “No Grade” or “NG”. There are some resin kits that were called “Neograde” and to make it short, called it “NG” as well. Don’t get confused between the two. NG 1/144 started way before, anything that doesn’t have a label of its grade can safely be labeled as NGs. Of course, detail wise, NGs are LOWER CLASS that its HG counterpart. There is no way it can surpass its HG counterpart.
One of the latest addition to the line. RG which stands for “Real Grade”. Most people say it’s an MG in 1/144 scale. But with its not anime accurate details, I think I’ll rather say they are PG in 1/144 scale. Its main feature is having pre-assembled joints. They actually call those ” advanced joints”. Also, they aren’t anime accurate. They’re more of a funky version of the MS. They also have reflective stickers all over, particularly, in the joints.
The first release was, not surprisingly, Grand Daddy Gundam or RX-78-2.
It’s a line that I’m hesitant to try since parts are too little and my arms aren’t stable and big. It currently has the fewest choices thus far. But I’m expecting it to surpass the number of PG kits.
This line long existed and now is completely not used. 1/100s from Victory, G, Wing and X are called HGs. Maybe at that time it’s worthy to of its name, but now, errr… Anyway, I think there are no 1/100 at that time that weren’t called HG. I’m not sure if Turn A 1/100s are called HGs too.
This is where people always make mistakes. Anything that has no label on it and is a 1/100 scaled gunpla is considered as an NG 1/100 and not as an HG 1/100. Some people label their kits as “HG 1/100″ either because they want to make it look better or they simply didn’t know. Worse is that people sell their kits using this label. Though it’s no big deal, it’s actually for me. I’ll repeat, IT’S AN ISSUE for me ONLY. Why? Because if I know nothing about gunpla and I see two items, one is called “1/100″ and another is called “High Grade 1/100″, then I’ll buy the latter, which is unfair since they are basically just the same kit.
Well, this started, I don’t really know… But most of the NG 1/100 I know started with Seed. It’s the time they labeled their 1/144 as HGs and 1/100 with nothing. I’m not quite sure now if it actually started to Turn A kits.
So far, there weren’t any NG 1/100 for 00 movie and Age. Makes me think that they totally abandoned this grade already.
The scale and grade that I personally like the best, Master Grades! They have inner frame, also have cockpits wherein the pilot sits inside. I think this started even before the year 2000. Of course, older MG are crap. Doesn’t move at all and the only thing you can brag about it are its inner frame. But nowadays, MGs became promising. They became super articulated, capable of recreating scenes from the anime. Anime accurate and highly detailed, good straight out of the box. Seamlines were minimal, design for armors and such became a lot better. More gimmicks, like lighting effect through LED and pegs for more secure weapon handling.
There are, of course, fewer choices than HGs. The most common trusted formula if Bandai will make an MG is when its HG counterpart sold well or popular enough (they are correlated however).
The only HG-EX I’ve known so far is the God Gundam. I’m not knowledgeable enough about this grade, that’s why.
Just like NG 1/100, most NG 1/60 were also confused as HG 1/60. To think that they’re just HG 1/144 in 1/60 scale. Yeah, just zoomed in versions you might say. For those who like BIG HGs, this is the thing for you. But don’t ever call these HG 1/60 because they’re not and it seriously irritates me deep inside.
The biggest scale and the highest of all grades. Just like MG and RGs, they also come with inner frame. The number of things that you can do with these BIG BABIES is A LOT. Details are just superb. There are even some metal parts (to add support I guess).
Disadvantage of course, rather than poor number of choices, is the size and price. Most are willing to save to get these actually, but the size really is a BIG bother.
Mega Size 1/48
Yet, another HG 1/144 in terms of quality, but in much bigger scale. They are the biggest scale so far, that is in plastic form of course. The choices are rather few and they’ve even haven’t reached beyond the number of your fingers. So far, 4 has been released, I think. RX-78-2, Char’s Zaku, ordinary Zaku II and Age-1 Normal.
They are cheaper than most PG 1/60 though they are bigger in scale because they’re just big bulk of plastic. I don’t think I’ll ever be in this scale.
These grade and scale are mostly for Space Ships. Archangel and Ptolemaios are just some of the examples. I haven’t been in this scale and I doubt I’ll ever be.
I know, there are a lot of things I missed. If you can help, you can tell me :)
Gundam is not exclusive to Plastic Models only. They also have figure lines. They have two popular figure lines, unfortunately, one didn’t survive the race.
High Complete Model Progressive, that is what HCM stands for. Yes, they are complete, almost as they don’t have panel lines that you have to do it yourself. But nevertheless, these figures are VERY GOOD! The main downside, maybe, is the scale. They are all in 1/200 scale, a scale which I won’t ever enter. A scale that I won’t ever enjoy. They are too small that you might lose some parts rather easily.
I’m not sure if this is a fact, but I think there hasn’t been any release for this line anymore. According to HLJ, the last was Jagd Doga and was released this March 2011. But that’s it, I think.
Super HCM Pro
They are all in 1/144 scale and their price is even far greater than MGs. So what would you rather buy then? Well, truth is, its price is just right if you’re gonna consider the things it has to offer. They are already decaled, completely painted, has pegs for the hands so that they can hold the weapon well (like most recent MGs), weapon rack, internal details and great articulation. The downside is maybe the number of choices. So far the releases were: RX-78-2, Char’s Zaku, ordinary Zaku II, Exia and Unicorn.
Unfortunately, there hasn’t been new releases lately and I don’t think they’ll continue to produce anything in this line.
Robot Spirits (Robot Damashii)
Spirits = Damashii, get it? Well, I’ve been asking a lot of people lately and they said that these figures aren’t in 1/144, it’s somewhat smaller. I think it’s safe to say that they aren’t in a standard scale. But you can safely say that they’re close to 1/144. It’s the strongest figure line of Gundam so far. As a matter of fact, it still has releases and upcoming releases. Though for me, I don’t really like their figures. Besides that most of their figures are available in HG 1/144, their details didn’t appeal me. I’d still prefer HCM Pros everytime, in terms of details that is, and Super HCM Pros, in all of its glory.
Well, there you have it. It’s still a general list, and I’m planning to add more, yet, again details so that it can help a lot more people. Gundam merchandises aren’t just limited to this. These are the mainstream products and they still have gashapons and the like.
I’ll continue this lesson maybe tomorrow, I still have some things to do like SLEEPING. Maybe after I finish this, I’ll post this @ my review site via tutorials/information page section.