Pre-order on Day 1! Hobby Next Phase 2022 Spring: RG GaoGaiGar

Bandai Spirits’ Hobby Division has started their Hobby Next Phase 2020 Spring week-long new model kit reveal extravaganza. And right off the gate, we’re treated to one heck of a reveal with the next non-Gunpla Real Grade kit. And this is stretching what Real Grades are supposed to be as we delve into the super robot territory.

Coming out of the Evangelion franchise, we get a glimpse of how an actual super robot would look in real life with the RG GaoGaiGar, and I bet no one expected this thing to get a Real Grade kit. And while I’m still waiting for Kotobukiya to release their version of this guy, I definitely wouldn’t mind taking a shot of the Real Grade version.

We immediately get a great look of the kit thanks to the 360-degree preview they have on the site, and yes, this isn’t your childhood GaoGaiGar. And while having a lion’s head as the chest might pull you out of the realism this kit is supposed to represent, you’re definitely pushed back in by the sheer amount of sculpted detail and panel work you’d only see on Real Grade kits. Though I’d with they gave this guy the multi-tone color look.

Compared to other super robots from the Brave Series, GaoGaiGar relatively doesn’t have a crazy transformation scheme, the most just being GaiGar folding its arms backwards during final fusion. As such, I am expecting a smooth transformation and combination from the individual Gao Machines to GaoGaiGar. The individual Gao Machines include fully detailed canopies inside clear window pieces, and Drill Gao will also have individually segmented tank threads — I just hope it won’t be a tedious assembly process.

They also mention how this kit can do the other Gao Machine combinations, like GaiGar + Drill Gao, or GaiGar + Stealth Gao, or even Stealth Gao + Liner Gao. Basically, I don’t see myself getting multiple copies compared to the Super Minipla version.

Now, a good chunk of the announcement page places emphasis on the latest engineering the manipulators will have for this kit. Yes, we are getting fully articulated digits for this kit, but I don’t think these would be like the manipulators included with the Advanced MS Joint frame of earlier kits. They mention how these manipulators would best represent the skeletal and muscular structure on human fingers, which would then translate to accurate poses, especially for the Hell and Heaven attack.

And it doesn’t look like they just left the engineering and articulation to the digits and fingers. They also promise much of GaoGaiGar to be very articulated despite the larger body. Just look at this thing doing a noticeably confident single-knee kneeling pose.

Lastly, the kit will include GaoGaiGar’s basic weapon set and accessories, including the Dividing Driver which uses an actual metal piece for the driver piece, dedicated hand parts for the Hell and Heaven attack, and an effect piece for the Protect Shade. Knowing Bandai Spirits, I can imagine a wave of Premium Bandai-exclusive option parts, similar with the Super Robot Chogokin version.

If this is how they’ll open Hobby Next Phase 2022 Spring, then I’m all excited on the other kits to be revealed for the rest of the week. I mean who would’ve expected a Real Grade GaoGaiGar to be in their pipeline? Which brings me to another point I really like with this announcement. The fact that they’re actively venturing outside the Gunpla sphere with their model kit lines and brands. And I’ll totally get Real Grades of GaoFighGar, GaoGaiGo, and that one kit everyone’s really hoping for — Genesic GaoGaiGar.

RG GaoGaiGar
September 2022 / ¥6,000
Order via HobbyLink Japan

In fact, they’ve already teased the first Premium Bandai exclusive to follow this guy.

RG Goldymarg
September 2022 / ¥4,000


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