Let's see, where to start... just looking at Exia standing there, you can see that the 00 series has really altered the "main character Gundam" look. Everything has been somewhat thinned down, and while some folks don't like the lankier look of Gundam 00, I love it.
The mobility of this Gundam is pretty astounding. Being a Master Grade, the fingers are articulated and the knees and elbows have a double-joint thing going, the cockpit hatch can open, the front and back skirt plates can kind of move [they usually don't listen to me though D: ], the yellow antennae next to Exia's head can go up and down, the beam saber storage things can all swivel out, the torso has THREE points of articulation, and the feet are articulated too. And of course, there's also the regular posability of a Gundam kit [knees, arms, neck, etc].
Oh, the GN Drive is complete and removable [and in need of an LED for extra awesome] as well.
What I really like about the MG Exia that even the No-Grade 1/60 version fails to do is the green GN Condensers [the bubble things on the arms and legs and head]. I think they add some necessary anime accuracy. Sure, you could just go over the clear plastic ones with some clear green spray paint, but having it actually molded in clear green makes it look so much nicer. And underneath the green Condensers are clear convex lenses that refract light and make them look quite shiny :D
I'm also a huge fan of the soft hologram parts [the GN Strips] on the shoulders, arms, head, and legs, as the clear but rainbow-y look just looks so much better than the boring white GN Strips that come with all of the other Exia kits. Yes, in the show they're also the dull white color, but my guess is because it would've been far too difficult to actually animate this:
By now you've probably noticed that the Exia has a dull-ish finish to it. That, my friends, is because I sprayed it with a clear matte top coat after panel lining and decaling it [to keep the panel lines from fading and the decals from being removed]. I think that Gundams, if real, wouldn't be all that shiny because I don't think it would be practical to make a 50-foot tall robot shiny [keeps from drawing attention to itself], so a flat top coat makes it look a bazillion times better in my opinion. Yes, a bazillion. You heard me.
Exia is the king of accessories. Early on in the anime, the Exia is granted the "Seven Sword System." SEVEN. SWORDS. WOAH.
In an anticlimactic fashion, FOUR of the SEVEN swords are just regular beam sabers. How they're stored, though, is pretty nifty. The two long beam sabers are stored on the back of Exia's shoulders and swivel out. Similarly, the two short beam sabers [beam daggers?] are stored on Exia's back skirt plates for maximum grab-and-throw-ability. And Setsuna seems to like using the beam daggers as throwing weapons a lot... I wonder how he gets them back...
Swords #5 + 6
Swords 5 and 6 are where it gets interesting. Instead of being beam weapons, these swords [GN Blades] have solid blades. It's explained in the show [at some point] that the Exia is Celestial Being's [the group Setsuna works for] trump card, should the enemy acquire GN technologies because Exia's GN Blades can break through GN Shields, cancel GN particle-based beam weapons, etc. Exia's two GN Blades, a long blade and a short blade, are stored on its hips as seen in the picture, but I don't usually have them stored on Exia.
PSYCH. Exia has THREE solid GN swords, and this is the Exia's main weapon: The GN Sword. The GN Sword attaches to Exia's forearm, Exia grabs the handle, and the sword is ready for use.
I really like the way the GN Sword looks; that is, it looks good in just about EVERY pose I put the Exia into. I really enjoy the GN Sword being an unconventional sword too; it strays away from the regular swords of the Gundam world [beam sabers, etc] and gives this sword a very streamlined and linear look to it. If you really want to, you can reposition the sword to give it a more... sword-y look to it [essentially turning it into Cloud's buster sword] but I like it like this :)
"But Baby TheEnd," you say, "Exia doesn't have a single gun! It's useless in long range combat! Why is it the main character's Gundam???"
Well reader, that's because the Exia DOES have a gun.
The GN Sword's blade swivels back to reveal a GN beam pistol rifle thing, which is [you guessed it] Exia's long range weapon. The Exia was designed to excel in close-range combat, though, so the GN beam pistol rifle thing isn't quite as effective as, say, Gundam Dynames's GN rifle. It still looks fantastic with the sword folded up underneath it though.
This is Exia's shield, and I really don't understand its effectiveness at all because, well... it's a freaking splinter of metal.
The sides also slide open a little bit, which doesn't seem necessary to me, but maybe the Exia just needed one more gimmick. Also, with my Exia the shield-to-arm attachment can be a little loose sometimes, but the shield just looks so cool.
Exia is an amazingly designed MG kit, and it's really a shame that there are so few MGs* in the 00 gunpla area [they're all no-grade 1/100 kits :( ]. They really should use Exia as an example and do the rest of Celestial Being, MG style, at the very least [why they're doing a MG GN-X now is beyond me]. Back on topic though, Exia's gimmicks are fantastic, it's ridiculously posable, and it just looks great, especially if you do a good job applying decals [which I didn't really do, but let's just call it battle damage :) ]. It's $40, which is a pretty nice price for a MG kit with so much potential. He's a little short, but honestly worth every penny.
See ya later, everyone!
*I don't count MG Exia Ignition Mode as a full MG kit, even though it's sold as one. It has the parts to build the Exia itself and parts to modify it to create Exia Repair. You only get one or the other, and personally I just see this as an expansion kit so you can have a regular MG Exia and an Exia Repair as well.
**I also apologize for the lack of creative poses in this review.
A bit of an underwhelming update, but an update nevertheless. Maybe a month and a half ago, I was on /toy/, an awesome image board I frequent whose topic is, you guessed it, toys. The only thread I concern myself with is the Gunpla General thread, because I enjoy gunpla a lot :D. Anyway, I was asking if anyone had two extra LED units for Exia's GN Drive that they would be willing to part with, and in a stroke of luck a fellow by the name of Lupes said he had some. And best of all, he sent them for free! :D. So Lupes, wherever you are, this update is for you~!
The LED units. They're much taller than I thought they'd be!
And this is how they fit into Exia's GN Drive.
Give it a twist, and the drive lights up!!
And put it back in the Exia for some awesome effects! It's a shame that the LED makes it too bright to read the text on the front GN Condenser =\
And some lights-out shots!!