Review: Perfect Grade Exia Lighting Model
***This kit was kindly provided by Canadian Gundam ***
Japan Release Date: December 2017
Lighting Model Retail Price: 30400JPY/ 327.60USD/ 436.80CAD
Normal Model Retail Price: 19440JPY/ 184.28USD/245.70CAD
As a Gundam fan, the Exia always had a special place in my Heart. Every Wednesday, I was in the habit of going over to one of my friends’ house to watch the (then) newly released episode of the series. After that we play Dynasty Warrior Gundam 1 while listening to the Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Soundtrack. We were huge Halo guys.
We had a small run in the MLG (yeah I’m old). We were the “Meister Team” and our GamerTags were respectfully: Exia Meister (that was me), Dynames Meister, Arios Meister & Sypherz (yeah that last one was not on the Gundam Hype train). It was a great time at exactly the right moment. So, when Bandai announced the PG Exia, you can be sure that I was super excited.
I never had the chance to build a Perfect Grade before and finally, here was my chance. For those of you reading this, I have pretty much built the whole MG 00 Line almost twice now. Based on my experience, I can say that I know the Master Grade Exia extremely well. That kit looks great BUT... it had it’s issues. The Perfect Grade Exia fixes those issues and even goes beyond all my expectations. The lighting model is just the icing on the cake. Join me as i look over this exceptional kit and see how it went.
Box Art: 10/10
If you are the type of collector who values the box your Gunpla comes in, you’re definitely in for a treat! I know I do, and I always appreciate cool looking packaging. This one is simply stunning. I simply love the chroma finish on it (brings back memories of old chroma YUGIOH cards). It simply looks good. I appreciate the English text on it and I just love the work done by the Graphic Design team (they don't get enough love).
Building Process: 9/10
It was my first Perfect Grade. I wont lie. I was intimidated when I opened the box. There were so many runners including the LED circuit. I was in for a ride. Surprisingly enough I did not encounter any issues while building the Perfect Grade Exia, absolutely nothing, it was like clockwork. You start by building the awesome looking base that holds the battery pack for the LED. You can also store unused weapons and manipulators under it. (I was told the same the exact same base was used by the PG Unicorn and Banshee).
The booklet is also in English, which is a nice addition considering that you have to pay extra attention to the LED parts. Talking about the LED, as intimidating that it can be, if you follow the instructions closely you will not encounter any issues. One thing to note though, just make sure you are bending the cable in the correct direction. You definitely do not want to sever any of them. Everything is powered by AA batteries and replacing them is easily done by removing a cover from the base.
Once you are done building the Inner Frame, you jump to the Armor parts. Some of them are even under gated! How awesome is that? Sincerely, no issue there either! Everything snaps easily. I am trying to find something negative but there are simply no issues at all. This thing is a charm to build from beginning to end. The only issue I encounter was a rather well known one: the 2 parts that comprise the waist are really hard to snap together. Before you put on the main armor, make sure those two “waist” parts are properly snapped together. If not, they will detach and the upper and bottom half of your PG Exia will only be held together by the LED wires, you definitely do not want that. This is the only reason why I removed 1 point of the building process. It’s a small issue, but if you do not know what to do, it can be really frustrating.
Overall Look: 10/10
This thing looks absolutely gorgeous! Everybody was worried when Bandai revealed the PG Exia… that they beefed up the legs… the head looked too small… etc. Let me be clear: ALL the proportions on that kit are SUPERB!!! This is the best representation of the Exia ever! I appreciate the new color separation that makes it stand really well against the MG Exia.
I also love the metallic coating they did on the GN Sword (the best weapon in the Gundam Universe). Bandai also added an open hatch gimmick (A LA Unicorn), where you can pose your Exia like it was under maintenance. It is cool looking, but I will personally not use it. Now, we need to talk about the LED unit. Are they really worth it? IF you have the extra money, throw it at your screen right now. The LEDs takes this particular PG and bring it to a whole different level. It looks fantastic, the light emitting from everywhere is stunning. It works BOTH as a display AND center piece for any room that its in. Everybody will definitely notice it. No videos can accurately give proper justice to the LED Unit. The surface details are also nothing to be shy about, the amount of craftmanship is simply out of this world, a big standing ovation to the molds designers at Bandai.
Articulation & Posability: 8.5/10
Losing a few points here. I am not sure if this is an issue with my paricular model, but gravity is working really well on that GN sword and my unit does not seem to be able to hold his sword properly in the air. Otherwise everything else works perfectly. I particularly love the armor shifting in the legs. I don’t have any issues holding any of the other weapons or the shield.
The Exia is a heavy arms, close combat, fighting machine. The perfect Grade brings everything with it. Not only do you get the awesome GN Sword, you also get the GN Long Blade AND the GN short blade. Both look really good with the metallic coating on it. You got 4 saber beam handles with 4 beam effects (already more than the Last Jedi). Two long beam effects and two for the beam daggers (I love the beam daggers).
Finally, you got the cool looking GN shield. We lose some points here because of the Sticker sheet. Don’t get me wrong they are cool looking; but for a kit at that price I was expecting at least a Water Slide sheet, that would only have made sense, but it is not present here. I appreciate the awesome base stand, it really elevates the entire kit.
Fun Factor: 9/10
It was my first Perfect Grade and it simply opened a new door for me. That thing was a blast to build and so satisfying! Building a suit that was so personal for me was simply pure joy. If this is what the Gunpla Evolution Project future looks like, better get ready, because it is going to be one crazy ride.
Final Verdict: 9.2/10 (Buy Itl)
There is no other way around, the Perfect Grade Exia Lighting Model is definitely the best kit of 2017. The Hype Is real. Everything in this kit is pure genius, the solid inner frame, the armor shifting, the color separation and that gorgeous led unit all come together PERFECTLY to create one of the best kits Bandai has ever made! I am more excited now that I have ever been; especially from being a part of the Gundam Model Kit community. Like I mentioned before, if this is what the future holds for us, we are in for a crazy fun time. If you are thinking about it, buy it! If it was on your wish list buy it! If you did not think about it, buy it! It puts the PERFECT in Perfect Grade.
If you really want a PG Exia but don’t have the budget for the Lighting model I will sincerely invite you to get the Normal Model. The build in itself is THAT good. But, if you are hesitating between the lighting model and the normal version, jump on the lighting! It only brings the experience to a whole other level.
rest in peace my old Halo 3 account
Thank you to Canadian Gundam for providing us this kit to review and show around, if you are living in the U.S.A or Canada check their online store, flat shipping rate on every order. Just click right here: