Basically it is a plastic model depicting various mobile suit designs from different Gundam anime series that is built from the parts in the runners (the frame like things inside the box). You can basically build one with just your bare hands and a pair of cutting plies. (Better if they are really made to cut plastic).
Other Short form you may see:
Gunpla kits are categorized into 5 grades namely:
- Perfect Grade (PG)
- Master Grade (MG)
- High Grade (HG)
- Real Grade (RG)
- No Grade (NG)
- Super Deformed (SD)
Perfect Grades are the best model kits / gunpla that you can buy! They are 1/60 in scale, have the best awesome detail, articulation and part quantity. But they are also the most expensive gunpla! They cost up to 26,500 Japanese Yen!
Master Grades have great detail and articulation, they are 1/100 in scale. They usually have inner frames(the inner structure of the mobile suit) as compared to lower grades which do not have except for Real Grades which we will discuss later. They are expensive too but not as expensive as the Perfect Grades. A hobbyist can buy one at an average price of 5,000 Japanese Yen, but worry not, there are a lot of cheap Master Grades to buy out there! In the Malaysia the cheapest Master Grades that you can buy would have a price of RM600 to RM1000 above for the limited edition and special edition.
High Grades are the cheapest and the most collectible (that is of normal proportions) Gunpla that a hobbyist can buy! Although they have less detail and less articulation compared to MGs. Another thing is that they do not have inner frames compared to MGs and PGs. They are 1/144 in scale. They damage you at around an average of 1,500 Japanese Yen, here in the Malaysia you can already buy one for as low as RM80++! Provided you know where to find a good deal, we’ll discuss later where you can find a good deal here in the Malaysia. If you are on a low budget but still want to try out Gunpla, High Grades would be perfect!
Real Grades are the new product grades that Bandai released in line with the Gundam 30th Anniversary commemoration project. The first RG (which was RX-78-2) was released on July of 2010.
According to the Gundam Wiki : “The RG line combines the best aspects of the other three Gunpla lines: The small size and affordable prices of the High Grade, the advanced inner frame technology of the Master Grade and the massive part count of the Perfect Grade. The RG line is known for the Advanced MS Jointwhere the inner frame of the suit is placed on a single gate for easy construction. Also, the RG line reflects what a mobile suit would look like if it were built in the present day. The tagline for the Real Grade line is “Excitement Embodied.”"
RGs are 1/144 in scale like High Grades, but as for my personal experience, the detail is amazing! It matches the detail of MGs and PGs! Articulation also is comparable to PGs, and the great thing about them is that they are not expensive!
The only disadvantage of RGs is that they are not quiet stable, but that they are so detailed and well molded, articulated and complex, that it is hard to pose them! Many movable joints that some joints are bound to get loose and come off while posing.
No Grades are actually a mysterious product line that Bandai produced, they never advertised it (does anyone heard of Bandai advertising their NGs?) nor it can be found on their Bandai-Hobby website! But basically.. hmm.. what can I say about them? They are 1/100 in scale, the same with MGs, but their detail and quality is that of High Grades.. So basically No Grades are a cross-breed of MGs and HGs. They are not so expensive too!
You will know that the kit is an NG when there is no grade logo that can be seen on the box, just the 1/100 scale logo. Some people are often confused with this grade and with the MGs, they are totally different! Just the same in size, heck I was also confused back when I was just starting to collect Gunpla! I though my 1/100 Avalanche Exia was a cheap MG!
Super Deformed or commonly known as SDs are mobile suit models that are chibi in size! They are short in size! And they have large disproportional heads with reference to their small body and larger arms, hands, legs and feet. They are also highly collectible in par with HGs since they are very affordable!
Also offered is an expanding line of small plastic kits labelled SD Gundam (Super-Deformed Gundam) which are not presented in a particular scale. These kits are often much easier to construct but offer very limited possibility and require paint and detailing to truly "finish" the kit. The most famous line is the BB Senshi (known asSD GUNDAM BB Warriors in Bandai's English page). Depending on popularity of series, SD units may also be sold in separate product line