I have to say I'm somewhat surprised that the Gundam Witch mobile suits haven't been given more toys, especially in the Metal Robot Spirits and Chogokin/Metal Build lines. The huge popularity of the anime shows that there's no shortage of fans for the company to sell to, and the Gunpla has been received with a lot of enthusiasm. But for those of us who like their mecha pre-built, we really don't have many options.
Thankfully the Robot Spirits A.N.I.M.E line has produced an Aerial, with a Caliburn incoming and the Aerial Rebuild now hitting shelves. As the second signature mecha of the series, I'd been expecting the Rebuild to be the next Chogokin to follow on from Aerial version 1, but alas there's not even been so much as a rumour, leaving the options as model kits or this toy version. Guess which one I plumped for.
Out of the box, the first impressions were decidedly mixed. The plastic quality feels about the same as a model kit, it has very little weight and the toy itself is small and very low on paint or details - there's no tampograph detail and most of the plastic is bare. That's not to say it's a disaster, but it's not a luxury toy, reflected by the price tag.
However, let's not rush to judgement, the figure is a toy after all, not a shelf queen, subsequently the lack of paint isn't much of a surprise. It'll also keep chipping issues at bay, and despite the unpainted surfaces, it still presents pretty well on its own merits.
One of the particularly nice aspects of this figure is a number of options for the permit line parts, which are presented in the show as a sort of smokey glass running through the shoulders and thighs. Here we have three options - plain gloss plastic or a choice of red or blue permet effect pieces, which is two more options than even the chogokin managed. They're really nicely done too, adding a lovely feeling of depth to the toy and elevating the finish from functional to genuinely interesting.
Of course the Rebuild design is a far more heroic visage than the original, the blue colouring of the chest now expanded to the shoulders and protruding backpack, leading to a much bulkier and broader look. The figure's backpack pouldrons are posable and have the option to fold out the yellow pointy parts that make it look more aggressive. You still have the Gund-Bits to form a shield or adorn the main body of the figure, giving a range of display options to choose from. There's also the rifle, which can turn into the much larger Gund-BIT Cannon, capable of destroying other mobile suits without even directly hitting them, so that's a fun display option too. Beam sabers are also included with beam effects (transparent plastic) for that classic Gundam blade look.
Another fantastic inclusion is a display solution for the individual Gund-BITs, and there come in the form of transparent plastic arms that can create a "swarm" effect around the Aerial herself.
A quite inventive display solution for all those Gund-BITS
As for articulation, she's very flexible as you might expect from the line - there are dual points for the neck and head, waist swivel/ab crunch, arms and legs are very versatile with full rotation at the shoulders/and just shy of 90 degrees on the thighs. Movement anywhere else is really only limited by contact with the rest of the unit, so for example the knee will bend all the way until it the lower leg hits the back of the thighs. With generous tilt at the ankles, there's very little you won't be able to pull off here.
with it being a toy, it's fairly robust, with all the parts being up to swapping out quickly and without much of an issue. It's a fun toy to have on a desk, especially if you have somewhere to put all the optional parts but do beware that a lot of them are very small, so be careful not to drop anything or you'll likely lose it.
Honestly I picked up the Aerial Rebuild because I wanted a representation for my shelf, and while I would have preferred a Metal Robot Spirits for the superior build quality, I think what's on offer here is good value for the money. It's probably a placeholder long term, but I am happy to see the suit rendered in three dimensions so I can fully appreciate the lovely design, and I've no regrets about ordering the Calibarn in the same series to have at least some version of all three of Suletta's suits sat on my shelf.