2017 Gunpla Year in Review

Happy New Year from Gunpla 101! Whether you spent your New Year’s at Gundam Front Tokyo, at home putting the finishing touches on a new kit, or somewhere in between, we’re hoping your 2018 is already off to a very Gunpla beginning.

This year saw the conclusion of a great new Gundam show, Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans. There were two short series: Gundam Build Fighters: Battlogue and Gundam: Twilight Axis. We also got a new Gundam: The Origin episode: Clash at Loum. A bit sparse, perhaps, but we’ve got high hopes for 2018, especially based on some hints from Tomino himself.

Before we look ahead though, it’s time to look back at the year in Gunpla, and what a year it has been! We got our first Perfect Grade in two years, and lots of great additions to every other grade, too. Read on to see the complete list of every Gunpla that came out in 2017.

This year, kits are listed in order of both grade and release (kits are listed from oldest to newest in each section). I have also put HGPG in the High Grade section because it makes more sense even though Petitgguys are little and cute. Enjoy, and definitely let me know if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for kits I may have missed!

See also:

Table of Contents

Perfect Grade

Master Grade

Reborn 100

Real Grade

High Grade

No Grade 1/100

Mega Size

SD Gunpla


Perfect Grade

PG Gundam Exia

It took until the holidays, but 2017 has finally gifted us with a Perfect Grade Gunpla. In fact, this is our first Perfect Grade in two years—since 2015’s PG Banshee Norn!

PG Gundam Exia (Lightning Model)

I especially like this version, which comes with Bandai’s latest LED unit for lighting. It’s probably better than buying the LED separately: when I bought my PG Unicorn, I spent an extra $100 on the LED kit. That explains the higher price here. Notice that the LED is built into the Gunpla frame and can be adjusted to glow either blue, green, or pink.

Master Grade

MG GM Sniper II

I love when we get a new version of a kit from an old show. This Sniper II first appeared in Mobile Suit Gundam: War in the Pocket, one of my favorites!

MG Gundam Seed Dramatic Combination

Personally, I think it’s kind of eerie to have Kira’s disembodied bust staring at me from the base of a 1/100 MG Freedom Gundam, but to each their own!

MG RX-78-02 Gundam (Gundam the Origin Ver.)

Why do you need another new version of the original RX-78-2? Here are two reasons: it comes with both pink and yellow LED lights that make its eyes glow like the real thing.

MG Providence Gundam

This beautiful model bears a circular pod-launcher that looks a lot like the wheel that Raijin, the Shinto God of Thunder carries. It’s a very distinctive shape, and formed with great details.

MG Providence Gundam G.U.N.D.A.M Premium Edition

For an extra $20, you get the Providence Gundam, plus a limited-edition ZAFT display stand and exclusive stickers.

MG Justice Gundam

A classic model gets the Master Grade treatment it deserves. It’s a well proportioned mobile suit in striking red accompanied by showstopping weaponry components.

MG MSZ-010 ZZ Gundam Ver.Ka

ZZ Gundam gets the Version Ka treatment, and the result is a model so bulky it almost reminds me of Gundam 00’s Virtue! Definitely a very different look than previous ZZ Gundam kits. Read all about the Version Ka line of Gunpla models here.

MG GM Sniper Custom

Do you know about Mobile Suit Variations (MSV)? Suits like this Sniper Custom do not appear in the Mobile Suit Gundam anime but are considered canon anyway. I like the understated paint job paired with a seriously old school silhouette.

Reborn 100

RE/100 AMX-103 Hamma-Hamma

Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ is a polarizing show, but this new addition to the Re/100 line is pure awesome. Mashymre Cello’s mecha lives on, rendered in never before seen detail. I love that its red, yellow, and green color-scheme is enhanced by plastic parts instead of cheap stickers.

Real Grade

RG Gundam Astray Gold Frame Amatsu Mina

I’ve never read Gundam Seed Astray and I don’t even know how to get it in North America right now, but I’ll never stop being impressed at its Samurai-reminiscent suits.

RG RX-0 Unicorn Gundam

I found it hard to believe we didn’t have a Real Grade Unicorn until now, but here we are! Unlike High Grade versions, this iteration transforms from Unicorn mode to Psycho Frame all in one.

RG RX-0 Unicorn Gundam (First Limited Package)

Same thing, but in a special box that shows the suit in Unicorn Mode instead of Psycho Frame on the box cover! For some reason this is rarer and also costs more.

RG Johnny Ridden’s Zaku II

Another MSV, featuring a suit belonging to a pilot that never appears in the anime (though he does appear in manga and games). He’s known as the “Crimson Lightning” which explains this awfully familiar colorway. I feel like MSV is Bizarro World for Gundam canon.

High Grade

HGUC Blue Destiny Unit 1 “EXAM”


HG Helmwige Reincar

While McGillis’s Grimgerde is light and precise, his assistant Isurugi’s Reincar is the opposite, bulky and loaded up with armor.

HG Rouei

In Iron-Blooded Orphans, both Lafter and Azee have piloted this high mobility suit. Rouei can be translated as “Leaked Shadow,” hinting at the build’s riff on the Hyakuren model.

HG Hekija

Another suit piloted by Lafter and Azee. This Teiwaz suit has a pair of bayonet blades on its forearms that really bring home Orphans’ medieval fighting style.

HGUC GM Ground Type

A brand new kit from 08th MS Team? It’s about time! I’m so glad they’re building new kits for fans of some of these old favorites. I mean, I like Iron-Blooded Orphans but over the last few months it’s been a little tedious to see nothing but kits from that show.

HGBF Lunagazer Gundam

Still don’t know if Gundam Build Fighters Amazing Ready is coming to North America, but at least I can build its sweet mobile suits. This is Lady Kawaguchi’s model in the manga.

HG Guncannon Maneuver Test Type / Firepower Test Type

This versatile High Grade kit can be built two ways: as the Mobility Test Type or the Firepower Test Type, both seen in Gundam: The Origin.

HG Gundam Barbatos Lupus Rex

The latest in the Barbatos line, and this one has a tail! Combined with those bright yellow claws, this is the most animalistic, feral take on the Iron-Blooded Orphans suit yet.

HG Reginlaze Julia

Just like her higher-up, Vidar, Julia has named a mobile suit after herself. It’s a boring trend but a fascinating suit, with five star-like points that make its intent for space use abundantly clear.

HGPG Petitgguy Bitter Sweet & Chocolate

I already have the extremely similar Cha Cha Brown Petitgguy, but this one does come with a cute accessory and also a warmer, pinkish-brown coloring, so hmm…

HGPG Petitgguy Soda Pop Blue & Ice Candy

THIS one is in my absolute favorite color, so I’ll be adding him to my Bearggarmy for sure! As long as there are suckers like me, Bandai will absolutely keep churning these out.

HGBF Super Fumina Axis Angel Ver.

When I first saw this, I thought it was somebody’s custom build of Super Fumina! I love the pink and white variation, but I wish her face looked a little more like it does in the anime.

HGBF Amazing Strike Freedom Gundam

This is Yuuki AKA Meijin Kawaguchi’s suit in the Gundam Build Fighters Amazing Ready side story. Love the versatility of the double shields.

HG Gundam Bael

A bit less poseable than the 1/100 Gundam Bael, but it still boasts an impressive silhouette.

HG RX-78AL Atlas Gundam (Gundam Thunderbolt Ver.)

He’s got skis! Or a life raft! I’m not entirely sure what that equipment is, but this kit has some of the most distinctive accessories in the Thunderbolt series, and that’s saying something.

HG Zaku I (Char Aznable’s)

Char’s first Zaku, as seen in Gundam: The Origin. There’ve been so many Zakus, but if you don’t already have one, it’s best to buy a newer kit like this because the modeling has improved.

HGPG Petitgguy Pretty in Pink & Peti Petitgguy

That’s right: it’s a Petitgguy with its own, tinier Petitgguy! I pre-ordered this so hard in March I think I broke my keyboard a little.

HGUC Zeta Gundam

It’s been 38 years since Gundam first started, but this new Zeta is part of the “Gunpla Evolution Project” for the upcoming 40th anniversary. Guess we’ll be seeing a lot of classic suits redone, the same way “Gundam Revive” has been doing for a few years now.

HG Gundam Vual

If the black and purple didn’t already tip you off, this is a “bad guy” mecha from Mobile Suit Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans: Moonlight, a side story not available in the west. Apparently this one dukes it out with Gundam Astaroth.

HG Gundam Ground Type S (Gundam Thunderbolt Ver.)

Old and busted: beam sabers. New hotness: beam javelins. I love the innovation on this not-so-boring ground type that plays a major role in Gundam Thunderbolt’s second season.

HGBF Gundam Schwarzritter

Another kit where accessories steal the spotlight: dual-wield with this Gundam’s two-toned swords, or combine them into one massive buster sword!

HGUC Barzam

Another weird old suit joins the HGUC line. This time, the distinctly vintage Barzam from Advance of Zeta: The Flag of Titans makes its mono-eyed way into present day.

HGPG Petitgguy Rusty Orange & Placard

This beargguy is an orangish-brown and holds a blank sign, on which you can write whatever you want. Maybe it’ll be explained in the next Gundam Build Fighters installment?

HGPG Petitgguy Surfacer Gray & Placard

Same thing but in gray. I believe they’ve produced one in every possible color now.

HG Gundam Dantalion

Very rarely does a model make my eyes pop out as I shout, WHAT IS THIS MONSTROSITY but here we are. Dantalion does not skip arm day. Do you like it or is it too extreme?

HGUC Gundam AN-01 Tristan

Here’s our first model from the new ONA short, Gundam Twilight Axis. It’s a pretty standard build with some huge accessories and a streamlined silhouette.

HGPG Petitgguy Charaguy Fumina

What a cutie! Gundam Build Fighters Try protagonist Fumina gets her own chibi bearsuit.

HGPG Petitgguy Charaguy Gyanko

The same idea, but with Gyanko this time! I love these.

HGBF Chinagguy

Straight from the Gundam Build Fighters first ending sequence comes China Kousaka’s Beargguy suit. More cute than sexy, it will get less side eye than your Super Fumina might. I like how the apron parts are made of super-flexible plastic for a more figure-like feel.

HG Gundam Astaroth Rinascimento

From Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans: Steel Moon, a manga that is not released in my country, comes this bulky suit with Medieval sensibilities. Its signature weapon is the “bastard chopper,” which isn’t a bad word—in Medieval times, a “bastard” sword meant a one-handed sword.

HGUC MS-08TX/S Efreet Schneid

A less celebrated build from Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, the Efreet Schneid is getting its day in the sun with this model. It’s all right (and pleasantly purple) but in my opinion, why go for this when you can splurge and get the way more detailed Re/100 version?

HGBF Ninpulse Gundam

Nils Nielsen’s new mobile suit from GM’s Counterattack, so you know it’ll have a ninja-themed look. I love how it can shroud itself with shields in a star-like collar.

HGBF Star Burning

The latest iteration of Iori Sei’s suit—which doubles as an early version of Sekai’s suit in Gundam Build Fighters TRY. You can tell how this kit bridges the two series.


The Gundam Mafia sure went overboard on puns, huh? Here’s the GM’s GM, a slightly more dynamic version of the run-of-the-mill GM you’ll find in many Gundam series.

HGBF Hyper Gyanko

Fumina has three kits and China has one; now Gyanko is getting her own kit! I think Gyanko is cute and they’ve made some strides in making this look more like a figure than a DIY kit, including clear parts for her eyes that look more lifelike.

HGUC Blue Destiny Unit 1 “EXAM”  (featured at top of section)

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Blue Destiny was a 1996 side story for a Sega Saturn video game. I’ve definitely never played it, but I love this GM-like face and brilliant blue coat.

HGBF Winning Fumina

Gunpla girls are here to stay! This is the latest kit that combines Gundam Build Fighters Try protagonist Fumina with a Gunpla she might build herself. Can also be reassembled into a deluxe version of Fumina’s super-deformed Winning Gundam.

HGBF Gundam Lightning Black Warrior

I hate when Gunpla kits use yellow parts instead of gold—and this kit does NOT have that problem. Black Warrior is enhanced by metallic gold detailing, and it looks great.

HG Zaku II Type C/Type C-5

The perk of a classic model like a Zaku II getting a brand new kit? The newer the kit, the easier it is to build and the better it looks when it’s finished.

HGBF Reversible Gundam

Based on the Reborns Gundam from Gundam 00, this Gundam Build Fighters Battlogue kit has a transformation gimmick its predecessor never imagined: the terrifying “Tank Mode.”

HG Gundam Local Type: North American Front

This black-and-orange kit is a variant unit from Gundam: The Origin that you’ve only seen if you are reading the (Japanese-language only) manga in Gundam Ace. As a North American fan, it’s awesome to see we have our very own Gundam type with a great color scheme!

HGBF Cherudim Gundam Saga Type GBF

We’re getting more recursive by the month: this kit is just like the Gundam 00V Cherudim, but as it appears in Gundam Build Fighters. It comes with seven guns, count ‘em!

HG Zaku Half Cannon

Have you watched Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin V: Clash at Loum yet? If so, this Zaku Half Cannon may look familiar. Like with most Origin kits, I’m just glad to see old kits getting brand new articulation and poseability.

HG Zaku I (Kycilia’s Forces)

Ditto on this kit. I must admit the pitch-black colorway is striking. Imagine it with a matte topcoat!

HGPG Petitgguy Setsuna F Seiei Blue & Placard

In 2017, it’s never a new month of Gunpla without a new Petitgguy, too! This is the first of a set of four—can you guess who the others will be named after?

HGPG Petitgguy Lockon Stratos Green & Placard

November brought us a Setsuna kit, and heeere’s Lockon, the coolest Gundam 00 character with the dumbest name. I’m sure Tieria Purple and Allelujah Orange aren’t far behind.

HGUC Blue Destiny Unit 2 EXAM

As a refresher, The Blue Destiny was a 1996 side story for a Sega Saturn video game. Sega Saturn makes me think of Sonic the Hedgehog and so does this distinct blue paint.

No Grade 1/100

Gundam Barbatos Lupus Rex 1/100

If you’re wondering what it’s like to build one of these, our contributor Ryan wrote a review of his experience. It’s a lot easier than I thought a 1/100 would be to build!

Gundam Bael (1/100)

An internal skeleton gives this impressive suit additional poseability. I love the way they signaled its power by making its outer design similar to Barbatos.

High-Resolution Model Wing Gundam Zero EW (1/100) (featured at top of section)

Impressive: there’s no other word for this intricate suit from Bandai’s High Resolution Model (HiRM) line. It has various finishes for different pieces, from pearl to metallic, and its detailed features don’t prevent it from transforming into a winged “Neo-Bird” mode.

Mega Size

Mega Size Model Unicorn Gundam (Destroy Mode) 1/48

How often do we get a Mega Size (1/48) kit? This is the first new release of one since I started doing this monthly buying guide in January 2015. It says it’s to commemorate the new 1:1 Unicorn Gundam. I can’t wait to go back to Odaiba and see it!

Super Deformed

SD EX Gundam Barbatos Lupus

In SD form, the Lupus looks downright feral with exaggerated wolfish attributes.

SD EX-Standard Destiny Gundam

The EX-Standard brings better proportions and poseability to the SD line. This one has bendy wings and color that seriously pops.

SD EX-Standard Try Burning Gundam

The fiery accessories are what really make this kit stand out.

SD EX-Standard Gundam Deathscythe-Hell EW

I guess fans like EX-Standard because they’re making one of everything! I love that this Deathscythe Hell is priced at $6.66 right now.

SD EX-Standard Sinanju

Sinanju is a fan favorite here at Gunpla 101—two of our modelers have built it! I’m wondering if those lovely gold details are plastic pieces or just stickers.

SD EX-Standard Unicorn Gundam 02 Banshee Norn

My plain old SD Banshee is barely poseable at all. It’s just so bulky and detailed! I am hoping the Ex-Standard Banshee is better!

SD Legend BB Mark Three Daishougun

An elaborate gilded SD fit for a samurai, this suit also transforms! Build its winged form or its quadruped form for an eye-catching super-deformed gem.

SD Legend BB Musha Gundam Mark Three

Did you know BB Senshi kits got their name because when they were first sold in the ‘80s, they came with BB guns? This old line is getting some new life with a shiny silver and gold Musha.


HG MS Option Set 8 & SAU Mobile Worker

The EIGHTH set of options for Iron-Blooded Orphans kits. Nobody is going to be hurting for ways to customize their Barbados.

HG MS Option Set 9

This set features alternate feet for the Graze and Man Rodi models from Iron-Blooded Orphans. If you want to ditch those “high heel” feet for something sturdier, here’s your set.

HGBC Ninpulse Beams

Honestly kind of disappointed these beams didn’t just come with the Ninpulse kit. It feels like a cash grab to have these four beam effects sold separately.

HGBC GM/GM Weapons

I wish these additional weapons came with the GM/GM kit itself. The silver lining is that you can easily incorporate them into any HGBF kit there is.

HGBC Ballistic Weapons

Designed for the GM/GM kits inspired by Gundam Build Fighters GM’s Counterattack, these add-on weapons will fit in the hand of any HGBF kit.

HGBC 24th Century Weapons

Seven different guns designed for the Gundam Build Fighters universe.

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