Bandai Hi-Metal R Glaug review

Bandai HMR Glaug 9

Review: After so many years we finally get a modern Glaug!

Bandai HMR Glaug 1

Packaging & Extras: (3.5/5)
Following the precedent of previous Hi-Metal R (HMR) releases, the Glaug comes in a lovely Tenjin decorated box. While the box is pretty, it lacks a collector’s style lid and is made of very cheap, flimsy cardboard and largely feels like it receives all its structural rigidity from the plastic clamshells inside. Inside the box you’ll find the following in addition to the Glaug:
1) 2x antenna (one is a replacement in case you lose/break the first)
2) Display stand (3x base pieces, center arm, center arm extension, 2x leg/arm arms, 2x leg/arm graspers, 1x center adapter)
3) Instructions
There’s not much to it but more could you want? I would have preferred if we had gotten the display stand that looked like the hull of a Zentraedi ship that Bandai has teased once. A pilot figure would have also been a neat bonus. Including option parts for the Regults (like the heavy/light missile parts) might have been a nice draw to increase both Regult and Glaug sells.

Bandai HMR Glaug 2

Charm & Collectability: (2.5/5)
There’s a reason other manufacturers haven’t taken a stab at this mecha since Matchbox did it in the 80s. First, enemy mecha don’t sell. Second, this is a commander enemy mecha. Even if you could convince one person to buy three Regults, they’re probably only going to buy one Glaug. So, as one might expect, this is the first HMR toy that is available long after release and is even starting to see some discounts. This toy was originally released in May 2016 for 13,000 Yen. I’d like to think a toy like this might not, in itself, be a hot item but that overall the HMR line will see more sales from being a more complete line since people know they have the option to go further with it.

Bandai HMR Glaug 7 Bandai HMR Glaug 6 Bandai HMR Glaug 5

Sculpt, Detail, & Build: (9/10)
This is a real fine looking Glaug. I would agree with others that have said the red chosen was too bright. There is plenty of detail here and elements like the hidden hinge of the cockpit show plenty of love. The cockpit itself has a bit of detail work but it could definitely use more. Bandai did a great job incorporating the consistently evident details from the line art but there are some proportions that are a little questionable. I think some people will love the very minor liberties Bandai has taken. Namely, some parts are just a little beefier than they should be and the gun on top is a little too long. Otherwise, the toy is gorgeous and there is liberal use of plastic inserts in lieu of paint splashes that really impress.

Bandai HMR Glaug 4 Bandai HMR Glaug 3

Design: (8/10)
The Glaug, at its core, is a pretty simple vehicle so I can’t score it as high as I would something transformable. That said, I can’t really think of anything I’d like this toy to do that it can’t do. Would it be cooler if the cockpit could actually house a figure? Yes, as it is you might be able to put the upper body of an action figure inside but that’d be it. There are opening claspers above the feet. You may never use them but it’s a great detail I was happy to see incorporated. The weakest part of the package has to be the included display stand. With something this big and heavy, a Tamashii Stage Act Stand was never going to be enough. What we get instead is just barely enough. I was able to do flying poses without using the leg stands but it seems like if the toy got loose at all you would definitely want them. For extreme poses, I found the stand essentially useless. The toy is so heavy that, if you don’t balance all of the weight over the center line, the stand arm just moves under the pressure. Fortunately, the toy has such awesome amounts of articulation that the only time most people would even consider using the stand would be for a diorama that required a flying Glaug which should be a pretty rare occurrence.

Bandai HMR Glaug 8

Durability & Build: (8/10)
It’s too soon to judge but obviously the thin little antenna on the side of the cockpit is a concern. The good news is, in the event of failure, you have a spare. One odd build issue that I could never really figure out, and it probably won’t bother anyone else, is that I couldn’t get the arms to be in a firing forward position and be completely symmetrical. It’s almost as if there was only one arm made and it’s just used on either side but that it features an angle at the ‘wrist’ that is then wrong on one side. This is more confounding since so many of the arm parts twist and pivot but you can see in the schematic pictures I could never get things perfect.

Articulation: (10/10)
The design that went into all of the numerous joints on this toy is absolutely top notch. I can’t put into writing how cool and fun it was to handle this toy so check out the video to see all the extension, pivot, and rotation gimmicks. It’s everything the HMR Regult toy got right plus some.

Bandai HMR Glaug 11 Bandai HMR Glaug 10

Total Score: (41/50)
This is a very easy toy for me to recommend, regardless of whether or not you’re a fan of enemy mecha. It did everything I asked for it and then more. While you’re at it, you should seek out some Regults to back it up (see my separate review of those). Really, Bandai is putting insane effort into this line and it’s so great to see. If Bandai had consulted me, I would have told them to go cheap and just nail the basics. I’m so glad they didn’t come to me. Of course… I’m sure some people would have preferred a much lower price point with fewer frills but if you can pony up the scratch, it’s time to get your VF-1 toys some dancing partners.

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