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High Grade Logo

High Grade (HG) is a line of Gunpla kits manufactured and released by Bandai.

Information

  • Scale: Generally 1/144 but also includes 1/100 (legacy) and other scales (for mobile armor and other larger size vehicles/machines)
  • Started: 1990
  • Includes: All timelines, later on included releases for mechs outside the Gundam franchise (e.g. Pacific RimNeon Genesis EvangelionAura Battler Dunbine)

Sub-Categories

Universal Century

  • High Grade
    • The original line started in 1990 as part of the celebration of the 10th anniversary of Gunpla

High Grade Universal Century Logo

  • High Grade Universal Century
    • The High Grade line started in 1999, which showcased generally improved details, proportions, and articulation (compared to the original HG line and even other HG lineups in the same period) while still keeping the build complexity low
    • While the line was originally comprised of only Universal Century machinery (hence the name), it later on expanded via the All Gundam Project with the inclusion of MS from Alternate Timelines (e.g. After Colony, After War, Future Century, Cosmic Era, Correct Century). In such instances, the kit will be labeled with the corresponding timeline (e.g. HGAC for After Colony, HGAW for After War, and so on) but the release numbering still follows the HGUC lineup. For example, the HG Gundam X gets the HGAW tag but is #109 instead of HGAW #01.
    • Around the middle of 2015, Bandai released redesigns of older HGUC kits under the Revive moniker. However, these kits remain under the HGUC release instead of branching to a brand new line.
    • Bandai started the Gunpla Evolution Project (several improvements in build design and quality) in 2017 and HGUC is among the line of kits that received this treatment, starting with HGUC #203 Zeta Gundam.

1/550 HG Dendrobium from the HG Mechanics line

  • High Grade Mechanics
    • An HG lineup that was released in 2001-2002, which are comprised of large machinery featured in the Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory OVA.
    • These kits are 1/550 scale.
  • High Grade Ver.G30th
    • A lineup of HG kits started in 2009 for commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the original Mobile Suit Gundam animé.
    • This line only features RX-78-2 kits.
  • High Grade Gundam Thunderbolt
    • Started in 2013, this lineup is comprised of MS featured in the Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt (animé and manga).
  • High Grade Gundam The Origin
    • Started in 2015, this lineup is comprised of MS featured in the Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin (OVA and manga) and Mobile Suit Discovery (design series for the aforementioned series.
  • High Grade G40
    • In celebration of the franchise's 40th Anniversary, Bandai released kits as part of the G40 Project starting with a new HG of the RX-78-2 Gundam redesigned by Ken Okuyama. Note, however, that this is not an official line (unlike the High Grade Ver.G30th); the kits are only separated from other HG lineups due to them neither carrying a specific numbering nor following any of the previous distinguishing packaging patterns.

Alternate Timelines

  • High Grade Gundam Wing Dual Story G-Unit Series
    • After Colony timeline
    • A lineup released in 1997 featuring models of MS in the New Mobile Report Gundam Wing Dual Story: G-Unit manga.
  • High Grade Fighting Action
    • After Colony timeline
    • A lineup released in 1998 featuring models of MS in the New Mobile Report Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz OVA.
    • All kits except the HG Serpent Custom include alternate parts for recreating more dynamic poses.
  • High Grade Gundam SEED
    • A lineup started in 2002, featuring MS from the Cosmic Era timeline.
    • Later on released SEED Remaster versions (slightly recolored kits with provided sticker type decals).
  • High Grade Gundam 00
    • A lineup started in 2007, featuring MS from the Anno Domini timeline.
  • High Grade Gundam AGE
    • A lineup started in 2011, featuring MS from the Advanced Generation timeline.
  • High Grade Reconguista In G
    • A lineup released between 2014-2015, featuring MS from the Regild Century timeline.
  • High Grade IRON-BLOODED ORPHANS (HG IBO)
    • A lineup started in 2015, featuring MS from the Post Disaster timeline.
    • Accompanied by the High Grade IRON-BLOODED ARMS lineup - expansion kits featuring additional accessories designed to be used with the HG IBO kits.
    • HG IBO kits are also designed to have mostly the same connection points across kits within the lineup, thereby enabling the interchanging of parts between most kits with little to no modifications ("mods") required.

High Grade Build Series

With the airing of Sunrise's "Build" series (a series of OVA and animé series with stories revolving around building and customizing Gunpla to be used in Gunpla Battle), Bandai also released several lines of Gunpla kits alongside them:

  • High Grade Gunpla Builders (Model Suit Gunpla Builders OVA)
  • High Grade Build Fighters (Gundam Build Fighters & Gundam Build Fighters Try animé series, Gundam Build Fighters Try Island Wars OVA, plus all accompanying side stories)
  • High Grade Build Custom (accessory kits for the Build lineup)
  • High Grade Petit'gguy
  • High Grade Build Divers (Gundam Build Divers animé series)
  • High Grade Build Divers Re:RISE (Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE animé series)

1/100 HGs

For a time, Bandai released 1/100 scale kits that also had the High Grade label. Today, these kits are still produced with the HG moniker.

  • High Grade 1/100 Victory Gundam
  • High Grade 1/100 G Gundam
  • High Grade 1/100 Gundam Wing
  • High Grade 1/100 Gundam X
  • High Grade 1/100 Endless Waltz

Notes

  • While Bandai previously attached the HG branding to 1/100 kits, they have ceased doing so on later releases. The later lines of 1/100 kits with build design/quality comparable to HGs are now simply called 1/100 or occasionally received special naming, such as the 1/100 IBO Full Mechanics or RE 1/100 line. Gunpla hobbyists unofficially refer to them as NG which stands for "No-Grade" or "Non-Grade".
  • Being the widest line of Gunpla kits, the build design/quality consequently varies widely, especially as some MS receive redesigned kits (e.g. Revive versions).
  • Some lineups also feature distinctive characteristics which sets them apart both mechanically and aesthetically, like in the case of the HG Thunderbolt and Origin lines.
  • In general, the HG Build series kits are remolds of the older HG/HGUC kits they are based from. However, there are some kits based from Gunpla that don't exist yet at the time of their release. They, in turn, served as a preview for kits that would be released later on. For example, the HGBD:R ZGMF-X19AK Gundam Justice Knight foreshadowed the release of the HGCE ZGMF-X19A ∞ Justice Gundam.
  • Veteran and intermediate Gunpla builders generally recommend HG as an entry point for those who want to get into the hobby. Some veteran builders also favor HGs for practicing customization techniques due to their relatively low price and simplicity.
  • Bandai has also attached the HG moniker to plastic model kits they manufactured that are not from the Gundam franchise, such as the Jaegers from Pacific Rim Uprising and the Kobu-Kai from Sakura Wars.
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