#1002 / High Grade Universal Century / RX-78-2 Gundam (2001)

Product Line / High Grade Universal Century
Scale & Class / 1/144 Scale Plastic Model Kit
Manufacturer / Bandai Spirits
Release Date / 2001
Appearances / Mobile Suit Gundam

The High Grade Universal Century (or HGUC) line is essentially a revival of the original High Grade line released in 1990. Instead of only focusing on select mobile suits, the HGUC line is known for its wide selection of kits which now includes non-Universal Century mobile suits. Started back in 1999, it took Bandai Spirits two years and 20 kits before finally releasing the RX-78-2 Gundam as part of the HGUC line in 2001. I was able to build some early HGUC kits and being the 21st in the line allowed for engineering and articulation refinements that a kit of the “First Gundam” really deserved.

The RX-78-2 Gundam doesn’t have a complicated color scheme, making this kit quite color accurate outside the box except for a couple of parts. Marking seals are only provided for the eyes and head cameras. It’s also the first kit to provide clear beam saber effect parts, the lack of which is a common issue with earlier releases. Another good comparison with earlier HGUC kits is the better articulation provided by the forward moving shoulder assemblies (in contrast to a simple peg) and a sideways pivot on the hip joint. The elbows and knees are all single hinges but you can still get decent poses with this kit. Most of the Gundam’s accessories come with the kit, like the hyper bazooka and the aforementioned beam saber effect part. It also comes with non-transforming Core Fighter and it only comes in red and blue plastic. This version of the RX-78-2 Gundam is a good kit though it was eventually replaced by a couple of better High Grades — the G30th version in 2009, and ultimately the HGUC “Revive” in 2015.