Dreams really can come true, you know.
Granted, this dream didn’t exactly come true in the way I wanted it to, but hey, that’s better than nothing. Ever since I first played Journey to Jaburo on the PS2 almost nine years ago I fell in love with the GM Sniper II. I wanted a kit or figure so bad, but there weren’t any. I had high hopes when the HGUC line started doing 0080 suits, but it’s been years and still nothing. For the longest time the only way to get a Sniper II would be to pay ridiculous sums for conversions and resin kits. Well, not anymore. The Robot Damashii line, the replacement for the tired, old, MSIA line finally delivered. Has it been worth the over 20 year wait? Let’s take a look…
This figure has a nice BEE-Craft style to it, putting it in line with a lot of the HGUC kits. The coloring is nice and accurate to anime with its almost police-esque shades of blue. Everything is nicely stylized and it looks very pleasing. Sadly, he lacks any special marks, like numbers or federation logos, making him seem a bit bland.
Like most action figures, the head lacks a clear visor, but that’s not much of a disappointment. Instead it’s colored with a nice metallic green. The antenna on the head is quite large, almost comically so, but it doesn’t take away too much. Of course, the best part is the sniper scope-yes, it comes down, and yes, it looks awesome, as it should. One issue I do have is the neck, though-while it has a nice double joint, it’s really long! It looks fine from a distance, but man, it’s kind of absurd up close.
The torso has a double joint, moving in a lot of directions, and an opening cockpit. The opening cockpit doesn’t reveal a pilot inside, rather, it’s to make the torso movement more fluid. The shoulders have a nice hinge joint to raise the arms in the air, though they don’t have the ball joint like the SH Figuarts do. The waist is basic, but it all moves much nicer than the old MSIAs do. The issue is the connectors for the beam sabers-they tend to pop out pretty easily.
The arms are what you’d expect, and look almost identical to the HGUC GM Command, even using a similar circular joint for the elbow. This time around, it gives it more of a double joint and it works perfectly. The hand selection is nice, too, with a trigger finger, open palm, fist, and “grabbing” hand for each arm. He holds the sniper rifle very well-and all is well.
The legs are nice and flexible with a hybrid ball joint/swivel in the hips, and a double joint at the knee. The ankles aren’t anything special in terms of poseability, but they have those awesome little pistons that move when you move the ankle up and down. The downside of the legs has to be the ankles-what’s up with those? They’re the same weird knees that the Master Grade GP02 has. It helps the poseability, yeah, but man, they just look… weird.
The weapons are kind of a disappointment. You get the shield which can be mounted on both arms, the beam sabers, and the sniper rifle. Sadly, you don’t get any extra weapons like the machine gun or beam gun, both of which the suit actually used in the anime. The sniper rifle is nice, though, if a bit oversized. It’s nice to see the gun finally included with a suit. Also included is a little piece to mount to a stand, in case you have one and want to display the kit as if it were flying.
By no means is the GM Sniper II perfect. This is my first Robot Damashii so I don’t have any others to compare it to. The way I see it is Bandai will judge whether or not they release an HGUC of the design based on how well this sells. The fact that Bandai finally did something GM Sniper II-related was enough to get me to buy it, and I really hope they follow up with an HGUC, or at least the White Dingoes version. It’s not quite the right side to stand with the HGUCs, but he comes close enough for me to recommend him. Keep checking our shelves, we should have one in stock soon enough.