allgeese III Gundam Action Figure by Bandai
2003-- Review by Omniexistence, pictures by Ed
I was lucky enough to get a Tallgeese III, from the Arch Enemy toy series from Bandai, a couple of weeks ago when I last visited Toykingdom (PI).
I've read about them and have already seen their pictures, and that was the first time I saw them in person. Though I am not very fond of Gundams (I do like their enemy mechs though) I picked it up for these reasons:
-It was the last one
-Tallgeese III kicks butt!
The box looks nice, and gives you a full view of the toy and it's accessories. For a 7.5 inch toy, it's fairly heavy, and immediately gives you the impression that it's more than worth it's amount.
So I take it home, and quickly open the box, which I might add, was sealed very nicely. The toy is resting on a vacuum form plastic casing and is riddled with those infernal twist ties (BOO!!!) to keep the toy secure. Finally, upon releasing it from it's binds, the toy falls into my hands, and I am left speechless!
The Arch Enemy Tallgeese III has a good amount of heft, and bulk to it. The material is a wonderful mix of ABS, and PVC plastic, and is secured by not only hobby cement, but with screws as well, hidden only by white polycaps.
Adding the polycaps is a good idea, but I wonder why they never did that with their Soul Of Chogokin line?
Among the enemy mechs that I have seen on Gundam (so far), the Tallgeese III probably has the most intricate face plate design. Riddled with angles, and lines, the TGIII head is like a roman armor with details worthy only for a general. Of all the TGIII head sculpts that I have seen, I would have to say that the Arch Enemy TGIII has THE BEST sculpt of all, I dare say even better than the MG (or was it a PG??) version. The lines, and angles blend in smoothly to give TGIII's head that lean and mean look. This TGIII version actually sports a 'Neck" compared to it's smaller MSiA cousins, the clearance between the chin and the collar guard is actually enough to let the TGIII head to look up a few degrees, look down and side to side with no hang ups.
With the problems sculptors face when building 3D models of 2D representations (one such problem is called "anime magic"), they did a very nice job on the TGIII head for the Arch Enemy Series.
The Torso Section
The torso for the TGIII was also done very well on this toy. This is the first time I noticed the TGIII have those forward sensors near the collar, as well as that rollbar just below the chest. The back of this toy is also very angular, and well detailed. The panel lines add a nice and crisp edge to it.
The arms have a very good amount of pose ability. Movement for the shoulders, bicep section forearms have a very nice range. It's not restricted unlike on some incarnations of this toy. The shoulder elbow, and wrist joints are VERY tight! I would imagine they opted for this to allow the toy to handle poses, especially when it's holding on to the Mega Beam cannon.
The Mega Boosters are mounted just behind the shoulder binders, and use ball joints, and a regular hinge which allow for unrestricted movement when you put the boosters through it's paces. The Mega Boosters have a sort of mechanism that allows you to open the thruster vents simultaneously by pulling on just one panel.
The only question I have with the torso section is the intake section on the chest. I recall vividly that Tallgeese III had two blue air intakes on the chest, but the AE Series Tallgeese only has one. Sudden change, or oversight on Bandai's end?
The Lower Body
The hip section allows a little degree of mobility, but not enough for more dynamic poses. I do love the way the "tail" armor has more than enough clearance to allow the legs to be moved back without touching the armor. Again the detail on this thing astounds me. The retro booster located in the "crotch" area of TGIII is very well detailed, and doesn't appear to be a simple "hole" like on the MSiA versions. The hip joints are attached via ball joints that gives the thigh section and the entire leg that "twisting" motion allowing dynamic poses! The joints are tight as well, and the TGIII definitely holds a very good pose. The ankle joints are also movable, you can tilt the feet down, nearly pointing downwards, and move it from side to side.
Weapons And Accessories
The TGIII comes with 3 extra sets of hands, the heat rod/hyper whip, two beam sabers with removable hilts, shield and the Mega Beam Cannon.
The hands that immediately come with the toy are the trigger hand (right) and the semi open hand to hold the shield (left). The other three are 2 firsts, and another semi open hand (right). While the right trigger hand can hold the beam saber (not to well though), I am stumped as to why Bandai did not include a "grip" hand for the left arm to hold the other beam saber? Another oversight?
The Hyper Whip/Heat Rod is very nice, and very well detailed. Each segment has an individual joint that allows it maximum movement. You can go ape moving it in every direction that it can.
The shield is a nice piece. Nice color and details. The inside has got some nice panels and lines, and it can store both beam saber hilts when not in use. The only bad thing about it is the mount. It is mounted on the shoulder, but it only uses 2 joints. One to "extend and retract" the shield, and the other to give it a [very] small amount of side to side movement.
The Mega Beam Cannon is also mounted on the shoulder binders like the shield. What makes this feature my favorite is the fact that it uses 3 individual joints that allow it to retract, extend, twist, and full mobility from side to side. This gives the TGIII excellent poseability when holding on to the cannon. The cannon can also extend and open up for maximum blast output.
It is fairly detailed with tubes and pipes running around the top and sides of the cannon. Tallgeese III is definitely a "deathbringer" when he's all posed up with these weapons.
Initially, the Arch Enemy Series showed shiny and gloss finished prototype for the Tallgeese III and the Gundam Wing Zero Custom. The actual toy comes with a flat matte finish, which IMO is better. The flat finish gives it that solid and mean look and the inked panel lines, details, and weathering all but add to the already awesome look of this toy.
The Arch Enemy Tallgeese III is an awesome toy! Despite some crappy oversights, like the intakes on the chest, and the hands, it still comes out with flying colors. One thing is clear though, this is how theMSiA line SHOULD BE, not those small, pieces of plastic slabs that can't even pass as McDonald Happy Meal toys.
The excellent sculpt, detail, the matte color, inked panel lines, and weathered paint details really make this the best toy for Gundam fans that don't have time to assemble kits. IMO, this toy is far better than it's model kit counterpart. It's a must buy for all of you who have little skill with kits or just fans of the anime, or if you simply enjoy having a well made toy.
To quote the Bandai Gundam Action Figure Box Back:
Pilot Zechs Merquise
Born Prince Miliardo Peacecraft of the Sanc Kingdom, the man known as Zechs Merquise has become the OZ organizations top ace pilot, famed as the "Lightning Baron" for his speed and skill. Then in the year After Colony 195 five Gundams descended to Earth to fight for the liberation of the space colonies. After intercepted Gundam pilot Heero Yuy during atmospheric re-entry, Zechs becomes caught in the conflict. Ultimately taking command to the space colonies' rebel Army.
Mobile Suit Tallgeese III
On December 24 AC 195 the struggle between Earth and the space colonies culminates in the Eve Wars and Zechs disappears after loosing his final dual with Gundam pilot Heero Yuy. One year later, with the freedom of all humanity threatened by the upstart Mariemaia Army, Zechs returns to the battlefield at the controls of the Tallgeese III-- an upgraded version of the prototype mobile suit he once used to battle Heero. He uses its powerful mega cannon to destroy the asteroid base MD-III then returns to Earth to defend the occupied capital city. Aided only by the faithful companion Lucrezia Noin, Zechs goes on to destroy 120 of the Mariemaia Army's Serpenti mobile suits during an epic three hour battle in the streets of Brussels.