I’m going to be honest-I’m not much of a Master Grade person. Don’t get me wrong, they’re very nice kits-some of the best money can buy. But their more complex construction, silly hands, and overall selection of suits just doesn’t appeal to me as much as the High Grade lineup and style. Sometimes, simplicity is better, in my opinion. What I normally buy Master Grades for, however, is a break and a challenge, and sometimes, for suits I got tired of waiting for a High Grade.
The GP02 is certainly one of those suits. Of course, knowing my luck an HGUC came out almost exactly a year later. Ah well. Still, it was nice to finally have a GP02 kit-the only other option I had was that horrendous no-grade kit from the early 90’s. But hey, I got mine for next to nothing on Amazon when they still carried this stuff back in the day. Oh, the memories. Anyway. Onto the kit itself.
It’s huge and bulky, and really helps capture the essence of the GP02. The color distribution is pretty good, although I think there are a few parts that could have easily been separate (the stripes on the shoulders, mainly). Compared to most Master Grades from this era, it’s aged pretty well, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t without flaws.
The head is pretty nice, with all of the colors being present on the molded parts. Like all Master Grades the eyes come molded in clear plastic so you have the option of painting them whichever color you like. The neck is nice and mechanical and gives some pretty good motion though I much would’ve preferred a double-joint.
The torso is pretty much standard for Master Grades, with the body mounted on a ball joint and an opening cockpit that actually works pretty well. The skirt armor is nice and broken up, complete with flaps on the back. Beam sabers are stored on each of the hip armors and are easily removable, but I’m pretty sure the paint would scrape off pretty easily if I decided to paint it. The backpack even has a little door to store the nuke in! Awesome.
The arms contain some of the issues I have with the kit, however… While you get a decent double-joint at the elbow, one of my problems is with the wrists. On the right hand, it’s fine-it actually helps hold the bazooka a lot easier. But the issue is with the left hand and the GIFREAKINGGANTIC shield-it can’t hold the damn thing! It’s next to impossible. It wouldn’t be NEARLY as much of a problem if they used block hands, but no, they had to use those stupid “open and close” hands that the Master Grade kits love so much. Auuugh. You’re better off just balancing the shield against the body.
The boosters on the shoulders are annoying, too, because of how damn heavy they are. They’ll stay up for a few hours, maybe a day at the most, but eventually they just droop down. I’d suggest displaying the kit with them down so they don’t wear out as easily. However, for what they are, they’re pretty neat, mostly because of the mechanism that gets the individual boosters to move up and down-you move one, and the other goes with it. Simple but cool.
The legs are really strange… at first glance they look normal enough-lots of joints in the feet itself, really cool, and gives the kit its much needed stability. But the weird part is the knees for this guy… what the heck is going on? The kneecap is ATTACHED to the joint? I swear, I have NEVER seen that on a Gundam-type suit before. It’s just bizarre, and I can’t see the reason for it, nor do I even remember if the legs bent that was in the show…
The weapons have pretty much been discussed already-the nuclear bazooka, nuke (which I seem to have misplaced), shield, and beam sabers. The barrel of the nuke actually stays inside the shield and is pretty secure, although it makes the shield even heavier and more unwieldy than it was before. The bazooka works pretty well for what it is, and clips into the launching mechanism with a huge polycap. But my favorite part of the bazooka is the scope-yes, it actually extends and goes over the eye. It’s pretty neat. It also includes the swappable hands, of course, but those are so common on MGs they really aren’t worth mentioning.
In the end, the Master grade GP02 hasn’t aged well, but it’s aged better compared to most of its compatriots. It’s a big hulking monster that does look pretty nice on any shelf, but if you must get a GP02 I think the HGUC Kit is a much better use of your time and money. It looks cooler and costs a lot less-it’s a win-win!