Series: Mobile Suit in Action!!
Title: ZGMF-1017 GINN
Release Date: 09/2004
Suggested Price: ¥ 1500
No. of Parts: 1 GINN figure + 11 parts
Plastic colors: battleship gray, soft green, dark gray, gray
Gimmicks: detachable backpack with movable thrust-vectored engines, 1 MA-M3 heavy sword, 1 MMI-M8A3 76mm heavy assault machine gun, 1 x M68 "Cattus" 500mm recoilless rifle, 3 pairs of handsets
Date: February 3, 2005
I’m a fan of mass-produced mobile suits for grunts, I mean face it, when you want to project power or wish to achieve a large scale military objective you don’t just send one pilot in a Gundam to do the job (no matter how superb the pilot or Gundam) you send a whole army of mobile suits capable of filling a number of roles while at the same time not break your budget. That’s why I became interested in the MSiA ZGMF-1017 GINN, the standard mass production mobile suit of the ZAFT forces in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED. So how did the MSiA incarnation of the GINN stand? Let’s find out…
The head of the GINN appears to be accurate to the TV series, with all the necessary details carefully crafted in, including the warthog-like face, the pink mono-eye, and the uniquely oversized mohawk. The mohawk itself is molded using the strong yet slightly malleable PVC plastic that all of us fans of Bandai’s MSiA series have come to know, allowing any imperfections resulting from packaging and transit to be easily corrected with a little boiling water and careful molding. My GINN came in such a condition, with the end of the Mohawk bent almost 15 to the right, but as you can see, it’s fixed now.
The paint job on the head is quite acceptable, despite the fact that my GINN came with several imperfections on the tips on its Mohawk, along with three distinctive spots where paint was missing on the Mohawk, the forehead-mounted sensor, and on the left-hand side of the white band. One thing we must realize though, is that these products are mass-produced, so its not surprising that a few figures are going to have some snags in them. All-in-all, I was pleased overall with the appearance of the head.
The head is mounted on a standard ball-joint that allows it to traverse 360° quite easily, as well as 5 of vertical head movement within a 90 forward arc. Beyond that 90° forward-facing arc, the plastic ball-joint cavity covering (neck) restricts the vertical head movement to almost zero, meaning if you wish for the head to tilt up and down when looking left or right, you’d better be prepared for the head to just simply pop off. On the other hand, this kind of head movement is quite common for most mobile suits designs of the Zeon influence, and suits the GINN quite well.
The GINN’s engine backpack is mounted to the upper torso using a pair of slotted cylindrical pegs that fit securely into peg cavities recessed into a pair of protruding rectangular hard points. This arrangement secures the backpack firmly in place while at the same time providing the ball-joint mounted thrust-vectored engines enough clearance for their 15° of all-round articulation without interfering with the torso’s and shoulder’s range of motion.
The midsection torso uses a near oval shape that allows the upper torso to traverse 360° without bumping into any of the lower torso’s bulging skirt armors, although the GINN’ torso lacks the ability to tilt in place unlike some of the more recent MSiA releases such as the Qubeley, The-O, and the Dom 2nd version. Considering the fact that the upper torso also has to support a large and rather top-heavy backpack, I believe it was a sound decision to limit the torso’s articulation to just twisting in place and thus creating a stronger torso section capable of carrying the added weight.
The lower torso features 5 sectioned skirt armors: one solid aft piece, one sectioned piece on the left and right sides, and a pair of sectioned skirts on the front. The aft skirt is the strongest of the skirt sections, with the side skirts following second. The front skirts are a little softer than the side and aft skirts, but they serve their purpose adequately without restricting the range of movement for the upper leg.
The shoulder guards are well shaped, allowing them to remain firmly in place throughout most any pose, and yet have proven tough enough to withstand the usual round of wear-and-tear. The paint job on the arms and shoulders is accurate, with no visible flaws evident, not even on the shoulder-mounted thrusters with its sharp inlaid corners.
The arms are connected to the upper torso using the now familiar swivel-shoulder first pioneered on Bandai’s MSiA RX-78 Gundam 2nd Version. The swivel-shoulder (as I like to call it) works by incorporating a single hinge into the shoulder, while the arm is connected using a clip-mount precisely measured to fit snugly into the before mentioned hinge inside the upper torso. The clip also mounts the ball joint from which the actual arm of the mobile suit is attached. To prevent the shoulder pauldron and attached arm from interfering with each other’s movements, the ball joint and pauldron are sectioned off from each other using a small cylindrical disk that completely blocks off any possible contact between the ball-joint mounted arm and the attached pauldron. The result is a shoulder that can freely move 15 degrees horizontally, while still allowing the arm to move 45 degrees outward, thus providing enough arm movement for the GINN to easily wield its various firearms.
The elbows use a double elbow joint that projects outward from the arm a millimeter or two. This allows the arm to move about 125° degrees forward, and unfortunately about 10 degrees backward despite the presence of a elbow guard. The wrist utilizes a forearm-mounted mini ball-joint that not makes changing handsets easy, but also gives the wrist 5 degrees of all-around hand movement.
The legs are among the sturdiest-looking components of the GINN with their big, boxy shapes and hard, sharp corners. I have found the inherent strength and stability of the legs to be among the most important qualities of a MSiA figure, as it directly determines the figure’s ability to handle the weight of its packaged accessories and its ability to hold a pose. The GINN does not disappoint…
Hip movement encompasses 75° forward motion (85° if you force it, though I don‘t recommend it), 40° outward, and 30° backwards, creating a solid range for posing. From there, we venture down to the knees which incorporate a double-hinged joint with a large intermediary piece to provide a secure base for movement without causing the upper and lower portions of each leg to grind against each other in the process.
The knees can bend 120° backwards while unfortunately being able to bend 30° forward as well, which is somewhat disappointing considering that a number of other MSiA incarnations feature a double jointed knee specifically designed to prevent such unnatural forward movement, but I suppose it can’t be helped when you consider the never ending battle to keep to the original mecha designs (A moment of silence for the MSiA Death Army from Mobile Fighter G Gundam…).
The ankles of the GINN feature a armor guard mounted on a hinge joint together with the miniature ball joint mounted ankle vernier which I suspected early on would interfere with the articulation of the feet. Again I was mistaken on this assumption, the hinge joint is easily pushed forward and upward by even the smallest of foot movements, keeping it clear of the feet as you pose the GINN. The ankle vernier is mounted right at the extreme of the foot’s backward movement, preventing it from interfering with posing. The ankles allow 45° of forward/backward movement and 20° of side-to-side motion.
MA-M3 heavy sword- When I first saw this weapon, I imagined that it would be similar to the weapons originally found with the MSiA Geara Dogas, extremely flimsy and easily warped beyond repair just by trying to fit them inside the handsets. Thankfully though, I was mistaken. Though the sword is made of a somewhat softer plastic than what I normally see being used for MSiA melee weapons, the materials used work quite well with this weapon, giving it a kind of flexible durability that you don’t always find for such a thin accessory. The detailing on the sword is no less surprising, I hadn’t expected the designers at Bandai to put so much work into the sword with its panel lines and its paint scheme. Bravo, BRAVO!!!
MMI-M8A3 76mm heavy assault machine gun- The standard firearm of the ZGMF-1017 GINN, the MMI-M8A3 76mm heavy assault machine gun can be fitted easily into the GINN’s trigger-finger handsets, and although the machine gun is unusually thin throughout its body and handle, the weapon’s lightweight eliminates most problems when trying to pose the weapon. The machine gun can be stored on the GINN’s rear skirt armor by securing it into a rectangular cavity located just below the waist, the rectangular cavity ensures the weapon will not be knocked out easily. It’s recommended that you remove the backpack before attempting to attach the machine gun for the sake of ease.
M68 “CATTUS” 500mm recoilless rifle- The largest and most vicious looking of the GINN’s firearms, the M68 “CATTUS” 500mm recoilless rifle is mm long and features exquisite detailing throughout the weapon with well defined panel lines and superb painting with little bleeding or runoffs. The recoilless rifle that my GINN came packaged with did have a slightly warped gun barrel, but that was easily corrected using a pot boiling water and some careful prying, yet another wonder of using PVC plastic for construction. However, the one thing I do find aggravating with this weapon is its rather flimsy handle and support which is disproportionately smaller than the size of the GINN’s grip. In other words, the handle is too small to fit well into the hand, and this makes it difficult to properly pose the weapon.
Missile pods- The GINN’s two missile pods attach to the lower legs via a protruding rectangular peg with slight indentations on the sides to aid in securing the weapons in place inside their adjoining rectangular cavities in the lower legs. The pods attach quite securely despite their flimsy appearance, making them difficult to jar loose.
This is just what I like to see, a high level of articulation and craftsmanship that once again continues to deepen my appreciation for all the hard work and raw talent Bandai’s toy makers have gathered all around them. For all you fans of either Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and/or mass production mobile suit figures, I highly recommend adding the MSiA ZGMF-1017 GINN to your collection.
High Points included: Excellent articulation, good paint job and panel line detailing, solid construction and durability, good variety of weapons and accessories.
Low Points included: Slight painting error (see HEAD), top heavy with backpack attached (see TORSO), slight backward elbow movement (see ARMS), forward knee movement (see LEGS), unusually flimsy handles on the weapons (see WEAPONS & ACCESSORIES).
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars