Gunpla Reviews – Master Grade The-O


My review of the Master Grade The-O (MG-137)

This is one the largest and most expensive MG kits Bandai has produced. Does the kit live up to the price?

Detail – (8/10) A very good depiction of The-O in kit form. It really portrays the feel of bulk and mass of this heavy mobile suit. The head and hands feel a bit small compared to the rest of it though. The kit has a nice looking inner frame with good detail showing through on the legs. Only a few major thrusters have green inserts; the rest will all require painting if you want some accuracy and this is a time consuming task. In addition there are several other details that needed to be painted in such as the knuckles, side skirt details, beam rifle scope, monoeye and a few molded in hoses.

Articulation – (7/10) For a bulky kit, it does have plenty of joints however that same bulk does hamper it. The old engineering of this kit in using a lot of big poly-caps doesn’t help and many joints feel a bit loose. The arm articulation is decent but things can come loose and fall off. The legs, while articulated, can’t move around too much due to the huge skirt armor. The sub-arms feel sub-par in their articulation and really feel like they need an additional joint to swing side to side or even a double joint on the skirt armor connection to allow it to swing up higher. Overall it’s about what you’d expect for a kit like this but it does feel it could had been better in a few areas.

Extras – (7/10) This kit doesn’t come with much. The beam rifle it does come with is very nice and while lacking a scope sticker or clear piece, it does utilize some nifty plastic panel stickers to hide it’s seam lines. The-O can hold the rifle well enough with just it’s 2.0 hands but don’t expect to get a firm grip on it or risk having the hands come off the arm. The kit comes with four over-sized beam saber handles and only two saber blades. This is a silly oversight from Bandai; as much as they are charging, another set of saber blades wouldn’t have changed the price any. You also get a Paptimus Scirocco figure and a rather big action base connector (Yes, it can go on an action base!)
The kit comes with a a sizable amount of sticker and dry transfer markings. The dry transfer pin striping is a bit tricky to apply smoothly but it does break up the monotony of the overall yellow appearance. Also, as an unexplainable bonus, Bandai gives you a weird, digital camo like sticker that serves absolutely no purpose. They even admit it roughly in the manual that they don’t know what it is. I would have gladly traded it for more saber blades. -_-;

Value – (6/10) This is a 12000 yen (~$109) kit that came out in August of 2010. This is basic Perfect Grade levels of pricing here and most retailers tend to offer this kit around the $120 mark. Compared to the HGUC The-O from 2002 which is 2400 yen, the HG requires just as much work as the MG to look accurate and it’s articulation is roughly on par. The only other comparison is a MG of similar size, such as the Sazabi ver Ka which is a 9000 yen kit; while newer and having many more features and details, it does more for less than the price of the MG The-O. Overall this kit feels older than it should in term so build quality and while big, the price feels out of synch for what you are getting.

Total – (28/40) This is something of a special kit, both in it’s presentation and shelf presence. It is not for everyone. It is a good MG, not amazing, but just above average. It’s extraordinary price however is sure to put off many a potential buyer, especially if it feels like it doesn’t live up to it.

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