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Gunpla Review: Hi-Mock (High Grade Build Fighters)

July 24, 2016

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Just as Star Wars has the First Order Storm Troopers and G.I. Joe has the Renegades Cobra Corp Cobra Troopers, Gundam has… the Zaku. Also, before we go further (i.e. hit the jump link), I wanna say that I generally hate Gundam.

And before I talk about the exceptions to that hate, let’s talk about why I hate ’em. Mainly it’s because of the fandom and the mech designs. Every fandom has its quirks. Harry Potter fandoms apparently think Harry Potter invented all the cliches it follows and the Transformers fandom, of which I am one myself, are just… resistant to change. Ironic as that may be.

But in this day and age of globalization and geekification of mainstream, I wanna think that most fandoms have learned to chiiiiill. Still, my early exposure to the Gundam fandom was to the highly anal type. Like, people who refuse to acknowledge that what is obviously a Zaku-type is in fact, a Zaku-type (such as the Tieren) or that a Gundam is a Gundam even if it’s a “mobile suit” and those who have a cow when you suggest that 2 Gundam kits are the same when literally, the only difference is that one has an extra sticker/different tampo. Or those who insist there’s only one way to build any kit and that mixing parts is heresy and those who treat the fake science in the series as legit science.

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Which is precisely why I love Gundam Build Fighters because it’s the very antithesis of the Gundam fandom (I hate Gundam Build Fighters Try though, because it just plain sucks). GBF’s all about having fun, being creative and not having a fucking cow because people like things that you don’t like, while at the same time, acknowledging its fandom in a positive way, even as it sort of backhandedly insults its hardcore anal fandom. GBF was about loving the franchise and indulging in the fun that’s derived from that love.

Case in point, the Mock and/or Hi-Mock.

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I mean… it’s actually called the MOCK. They’re literally mocking themselves. The (Hi-)Mock is outright an official “bootleg” of Gundams/Zakus in the GBF-verse. Nobody talks about where the Gundam come from in the GBF-verse (Bandai) and the company that runs the videogame that dominates the GBF-verse society isn’t depicted as the originator either. The Mock and later, Hi-Mock, were introduced as outright bootlegs/knock-offs of the “official” Gundam-verse.

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And I would love it for that alone but it also helps that aside from the Gundam feet and the suggestion of being a Zaku due to being green and mono-eyed, the Mock is utterly generic and doesn’t actually look like a Gundam while still being obviously a ripoff of Gundam. The (Hi-)Mock can easily pass itself off as some sort of Votoms-type or Patlabor-type, or even a Xevoz. It’s just a highly generic robot and that’s totally awesome. The dome head’s really the only distinctive part of it.

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As for the kit itself, it’s pretty damn good too. I’m a total amateur but I’ve built a couple High Grades and SDs before but probably spent more time on Kotobukiya kits such as their Armored Core kits. Now the thing with the Koto Armored Core kits is that they look fantastic even without any customization, but they also have a lot of seemingly pointless bits to the building process. You could be building a literal block and rather than having just a few big pieces to put together, the Koto AC kits make you build it layer by layer, panel by panel, like you’re some sort of meat-bag based 3D printer.

The HGBF Hi-Mock kit however, doesn’t do that. It generally does away with arbitrary steps in the building process, and as a result, is great for casuals like myself. The building process is simple and direct and the end result is a brilliant lil’ robot who is easily customizable, cool in its own right, utterly and completely generic, surprisingly sturdy for what it is (a Gundam) and also highly articulated except for dumbly, a limited range of outward motion for the hips.

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And the thing’s dirt cheap too.

I still got it on clearance though, but as a result, I got 5 of ’em in total.

I’m not sure if I should customize the others despite my limited skillz, or just (figuratively) literally army build ’em.

Either way, the HGBF Hi-Mock’s totally recommended.

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