Here it is… And I thought the Freedom was the best suit in the Gundam SEED universe (this is subject to debate however) but I was wrong when they introduced an upgraded version of it. Sure I was skeptical about it. The Freedom’s good enough. Why spoil it by messing with its design? And I still don’t approve of the MGX-2235 "Callidus" multi-phase beam cannon mounted on its stomach. It just looks weird.
Still sounds wrong every time I type that (“the head”)… ahem… The head’s molded with excellent detail. The ball-and-socket mount allows full rotation of the head horizontally and allows about 35º-angle looking down vertically. Looking up’s a bit of a disappointment since it only allows about less than 5º of tilt. Sad that it won’t have that flying-up pose but it’s still good. Paint job of recent MSiAs aren’t something to rave about but this one’s pretty decent. At least the colors aren’t all over the face.
The torso design is faithful to the line-art but with shoddy inking. The black vents aren’t “blacked” properly and a bit of blue around the sides of the stomach ran into the whites. I would consider these forgivable. With the amount of colors found in this section and it being a mass-produced toy, it’s bound to run into this problem. A nice touch they added since the RX-78-2 Gundam 2nd Ver came out is the torso’s ability to bend and get decent rotation from the waist area. The lower torso also sports a better type of soft-plastic for the hip armors. This improves poseability a lot. It does lack a real side hip armor but the Xiphias 3 rail cannons/high-energy beam rifle covers that part up good. The gimmick of the area is that it has these four balls situated around the waist area that would serve as mounts for the Xiphias 3s and the high-energy beam rifle. They’re of a good fit and mobility isn’t sacrificed. It’s a good thing this figure came out with a manual. I wouldn’t have known that the Xiphias 3s can be mounted on the lower back.
On the backpack, I really like them wings. It gives it a divine feel but not too much like the Wing Gundam Zero. The molding of them are excellent and are made of a far more sturdy plastic than the ones found in the MSiA Freedom Gundam. It’s segregated into two pairs of wings. I bet fans would be disappointed with this but the DRAGOON wings does not deploy. Personally, I think it’s for the best. It makes the figure much sturdier. The verniers do get in the way with the Xiphias 3s mounted beam sabers when they’re situated at the back but fortunately the saber “holsters” can be adjusted.
I’m not really familiar with the design with the anime itself but basing it with the line-art found at MAHQ, the arms and shoulders of the figure are pretty much faithful. The hand/fist sets are colored nicely with none of that gold stuff messing with the white backhand. Nothing much to say about the other parts except that the shoulders armor could’ve used a bit of panel linings. Poseability is pretty much standard with these 4th generation MSiAs with the double jointed elbows and the swing to and fro of the shoulders and the ball-and-socket attachment. Too bad the arms only go as far as a 45º sideward though. The separate shoulder armor piece is connected via clip which is quite sturdy. This is a big plus since there were a lot of 1st generation MSiAs which have them shoulder armor fall off easily. The arms also have the capability of being attached with a beam shield. Will go into that further later in the accessories section.
Standard fare really. The only spectacular thing I can say about it is that the knees are double-jointed and that wouldn’t really matter much since they’ve been like that for a while already. Ball-and-socket by the thigh. Double jointed knees. Rotate-able lower knees left and right. Ball-and-socket ankles… Good poseability but I very much liked it more if the feet bends like the 2nd version RX-78-2 MSiA. Or I’m just expecting too much out of this.
Let’s start with the beam shield. This gave me a hard time trying to mount the thing to Strike Freedom’s forearm. I even managed to break the figure and lost its beam saber when I applied too much force attaching it (No problem folks! Was able to find the saber and MSiA limbs are re-attachable when separated.). It’s a good thing that these MSiAs can be disassembled. I’d suggest one takes the arm off and then mount the beam shield and re-attach the arm again. The “beam” is colored in violet… I wonder why it’s violet when the beam sabers are pink? Anyway, it’s molded in hard plastic and mounted on the beam shield hub via ball-and-socket. The attachment to the forearms a real snug fit which can be either a plus or a problem as stated above.
The beam sabers are also made of much sturdier plastic. I guess Bandai has noticed that the old “beams” droops down when exposed to gravity for a long time. It is a major plus for me and adds value for display. They’re mounted on the Xiphias 3 rail cannons.
The Xiphias 3 rail cannons serve as the holsters for the beam sabers. Attached via clips, these holsters rotate the beam sabers’ handle however you see fit. I’m not sure if they’re faithful to the series in terms of design but they seem kinda small. At least deploying them won’t be a problem since one only has to spread them to opposite ends and they’re ready to fire!
The high-energy beam rifles are amazing. I love that they’re able to merge and separate. Too bad they aren’t like the Buster Gundam that they can be interchangeable. Transformation’s fairly easy. Extend both of their barrels. Extend the stock of the right rifle and toggle left the left stock of the left rifle. Insert right rifle nozzle to the exposed stock of the left rifle. Swivel the left rifle handle up and there you go. high-energy beam rifle transformed. Sounds tedious but it’s easier than it seems.
Overall, this figure is great. It has great poseability. Made of sturdy materials. A figure for both play and display.
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Contributor: ShadowCell Date: January 2, 2006
Just when you thought the Destiny Gundam was the new disgustingly
overpowered Gundam on the block, Bandai foists upon us like a slap to
the face the even more disgustingly overpowered Strike Freedom Gundam.
Proving that G Gundam is not the only show that has tried to combine super robots with Gundam, the Strike Freedom has more beam cannons than you knew Kira had enemies. How does its small plastic reincarnation pan out?
Much like it's brother (sister?) the Infinite Justice, the Strike
Freedom's head is nothing exciting. It has decent articulation, can
turn 360 degrees mostly unhindered, and it has vertical articulation of
about 30 degrees. Whee. On the plus side, it's not as bland and boring
as the original Freedom's head. The same goes for the Strike Freedom
overall, if you can get over how offensively overpowered it is.
Also an unexciting affair, the torso has decent waist articulation if you take the railguns off, and allows for decent shoulder articulation as well. The torso has vertical articulation of about 15 degrees, meaning the Strike Freedom can potentially bust a move. The Callidus Kai, molded into the Strike Freedom's torso, looks okay as well. Unfortunately, the railguns and beam rifles cause some problems. There are four pegs on the bottom edge of the Strike Freedom's torso: two on the back, for the railguns, and two on the sides, for either the railguns or beam rifles. These are on the torso piece, as opposed to the usual waist-crotch-piece-thing. As a result, whatever you stick on the pegs is going to get in the way of waist articulation, and will probably limit horizontal leg articulation too. Most shockingly of all, the Strike Freedom's most offensive weapon, the DRAGOONs, are not included in this MSiA. The wings are just four big pieces of plastic. The DRAGOONs don't come out. Seriously. This completely ruins my plans to scatter the Strike Freedom's disassembled pieces at the feet of my beloved Destiny Gundam. Grah.
Guess what: an unexciting affair! Well, compared to other SEED MSiA, it's nothing exciting. Yes, the joints are gold. No, I don't know why either. The arms have double-jointed elbows and extra shoulder articulation, like pretty much every other SEED MSiA I know of, and comes with six hands: two closed fists, two saber hands, and two gun hands.
Double-jointed at the knee, that's pretty much everything of note about the Strike Freedom's legs. Foot articulation is not very good at all, and leg articulation at the hips is hampered by the railguns/beam rifles.
Weapons and Accessories
Beam rifles- Yes, it has two. No, I don't know why either. The beam rifles have folding handles, a hole on opposite sides to attach to the hips, and extendable barrels. The right-hand rifle has an extendable stock, and the left-hand one has a folding stock that can be swung down to reveal a hole for the right-hand rifle's barrel. Then you can extend the left-hand rifle's barrel and you have the Strike Freedom's combined beam rifles. Unfortunately, the Strike Freedom has no way of holding them with both hands, and the two rifles are too heavy for one hand. Tsk tsk. The rifles, undocked, get in the way of the hands that hold them, making certain poses look awkward.
Beam sabers- The same as the Infinite Justice's beam sabers. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.
Beam shield- The red beam shield emitter on either arm can be removed; the Strike Freedom only comes with one activated beam shield, and it has a small goldish-looking peg to attach to the empty hole on the arm once you remove the red emitter. The shield peg has trouble staying in the arm, though. It looks okay overall, not as cool as the Destiny's or Infinite Justice's though.
Railguns- Stuck on either the hips or the back of the Strike Freedom, the railguns are shorter than the original Freedom's, which works for me. They both have slots for the beam sabers, and these slots can be swiveled to point the saber hilts in different directions, I guess to get them out of the way when you move them back to put the beam rifles on the Strike Freedom's sides.
Seeing as how Bandai brought this thing to life purely to appease the fans who wanted to see Kira in a Gundam even more overpowered than the Freedom, I was expecting a better job on this thing. The HG 1/144 looks slightly less disappointing, but still disappointing. Oh well. At least I can see why Rau couldn't forgive this guy's existence.