SD Gundam Cloth Musha MKII
Review by siningy
Inspired by the popularity of Saint Seiya in the 80s, Bandai‘s Gundam Cloth series combines classic Gundam characters in SD form with ‘cloth’ armor representing their iconic Mobiles Suits. There isn’t too much information available regarding the toy line, but the best source of information seems to be Matt Alt’s article from ToyboxDX. As the seventh release in the series, the Musha MkII marks the transition from Universal Century designs to the musha designs of SD Sengokuden.
The Musha MkII packaging is simple with all the armor parts separated in a Styrofoam tray. For a toy almost thirty year old toy, the box is in surprisingly pristine condition and even had the stickers unapplied.
The wearer of the Musha MkII cloth is Shiro Kyoda from the manga Plamo Kyoshiro. Shiro’s body is completely metal and has limited articulation in the arms, legs and head. I’ve never read Plamo Kyoshiro so my knowledge of it is pretty limited but it seems like it’s essentially the basis for Gunpla Builders and Gundam Build Fighters. I’m also curious if Plamo Kyoshiro and Plawres Sanshiro seem to have come out around the same time, featuring similar plots and character designs.
Like the Saint Seiya toys they are based on, the Gundam Cloth figures come with a ‘blank’ unarticulated body allowing you to display the armor without the wearer. Unfortunately due to the unarticulated arms of the blank body, the Musha MkII’s sword cannot be attached to the hip.
The Musha MkII’s helmet is all plastic and simply sits on the wearers head. To keep the helmet sort of stable there are foam inserts inside but it doesn’t work too well. The front half of the leg armor is also made of metal while the smaller rear part is plastic. Unfortunately my set was missing the one of the rear parts but the leg armor still sits fairly securely without them without worrying about them falling off. Both front and rear chest armor pieces are made of metal as well and require the two plastic side skirt pieces to hold them together. Accessories include a banner that attaches to the backpack, naginata and katana with sheath. I seem to have forgotten to take a picture of the shoulder parts, but each arm consist of three pieces, a metal arm and two shoulder parts. The naginata’s handle position is actually a bit too high up and prevents the wearer from holding it completely vertical. Like stated previously, the sheath can only be attached to the hip of the armor when the articulated Shiro figure is used.
When attached to the articulated body, the Musha MkII faceplate can be removed for a more traditional samurai look. Due to the nature of SD Gundam designs, articulation really doesn’t do much and the legs barely have any range of motion at all. The arms can swing around but the naginata is too long to really do much which really just leaves the katana.
Musha Gundam Mk Tsushi
The SD Gundam Cloth Musha MkII is a fairly simple toy with an incredibly fun gimmick. The large amount of metal is really satisfying in hand and the removable armor gimmick proves to be a lot of fun. I really love the old 80s SD Gundam designs and they really had a certain charm to them that doesn’t really seem to exist with many of the later series like SD Gundam Sangokuden. The SDX and Build Fighters Try SD designs have brought back some of what made the classic SD Gundam designs so great but I still feel like SD Gundam peaked in the 80s and the Gundam Cloth toys really represent everything that was so great about them. While SD Gundam really isn’t for anyone, if you are a fan of the designs, I would highly recommend trying to track down the Gundam Cloth line. Unfortunately trying to find these seems to be pretty difficult; some of the releases seem to be fairly common on YJA while many of the musha ones seem to be rather rare and expensive.
|Posted 26 March, 2015 - 06:57 by siningy|