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Gundam Maxter

G Gundam
by yo go re

I suppose it had to happen eventually.

In most of my G Gundam reviews so far, I've made fun of one particular Gundam over and over: Neo-America's Gundam Maxter. Now, after all this time (and all those reviews), we're finally going to take a look at the man himself.

Each Gundam in the series represents what the Japanese animators think of its home country, and their idea of America is a sight to behold. Gundam Maxter combines everything that we all, as Americans, hold dearest to our hearts: boxing, surfing, football, cowboys, rockstars and bikini girls. Just makes you wanna salute an apple pie, doesn't it?

Gundam Maxter's head is shaped like a football helmet, right down to the little facemask-style bar across his mouth. His shoulder pads, also a football reference, double as big boxing gloves; they fit over Maxter's hands and can be used for his "bursting machine-gun punch!" Plus, the armor on his torso can be removed and replaced with a piece that looks like a bare chest. Good thing Noble Gundam didn't have that feature, huh?

To bring in the cowboy angle, Gundam Maxter's weapons are two hip-mounted blasters that remind of gunslingers' six-shooters. The grip on each pistol rotates freely, allowing you to stow them away while the blasters are on his hips. The blue guards on his forearms can fold out and down over his hands to help him pack a little extra punch. The name "Maxter" is intended to combine "max" and "star" into one energetic word, and even the suit's pilot, Chibodee Crocket, looks and acts like a rock star. Hooray.

This figure is not from the G Gundam series of figures - rather, it is part of the "Battle Scarred" imprint of the Mobile Suits in Action line, which brings us various Gundams from throughout the series' history. With altered sculpts, damaged body parts and weathered paint jobs, the Battle Scarred figures look like 50-foot robots that have been fighting one another should: beat all to hell.

At 4¼" tall, Gundam Maxter is represented at 1/144th scale. While there is a 1/100th model kit available for Maxter, I like the way he looks with the added battle damage. The figure moves at the head, shoulders, biceps, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and ankles. Also, he's one of the few G Gundam figures whose waist is actually useable.

As an added bonus, each of the Battle Scarred G Gundam figures comes with a detailed base. Gundam Maxter's base is a series of collapsed and toppled buildings, likely the crumbling remnants of old New York City.

Nicely detailed, the base gives a sense of scale to the figure - if those are old skyscrapers, we can tell how big these suits would be. It's a bit flimsier than I might have liked, and would probably fall apart easily for any kids who were playing, but it's sturdy enough for my purposes.

This figure also includes a transformable core lander. Sort of a stylized flying car, the core lander is part simple transportation and part control module. The windshield/driver's seat area folds upward and plugs into the back of the Gundam, providing a cockpit and (slightly) movable rocket boosters.

You get a lot for your money with Gundam Maxter: changing him between normal and "boxer" mode is simple, but really adds a lot of variety to the toy - both modes look distinctly different. So maybe I shouldn't have given him such a hard time all along, but his story's still really goofy.

-- 07/31/03

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