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The Little Builders’ Experience

The Little Builders’ Experience published on

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After finishing the enjoyable but overshadowed Little Battlers Experience (LBX) for 3DS, I had a hunch based on the detailed model kit boxes and the fact the game was about robots and from Bandai, that I could probably find some model kits based on it on Amazon. And right I was, for a surprisingly non gougey sum, I now own a physical copy of the LBX I used through most of the game. I’m sure there are probably better possible builds available, but I’m a sucker for robots that turn into jets, so here’s Odin!

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Odin’s part count seemed a little high when I laid everything out, or at least that’s what I expected considering the line seemed aimed at a pretty young audience. The build actually goes pretty quickly and I wound up with a fair amount of unused parts at the end, mostly because I held off on assembling the weapon rack that’s supposed to attach by being sandwiched between the upper and lower body. It’s a potentially neat accessory with holes to stick extra weapons or even extra limbs onto, but since this is my only kit, I just built the bot, weapons and stand. As an aside, this technically isn’t the exact mech I fought with- it’s an Odin M, whereas I used a Top Grade (mostly gold and blue) regular Odin with dual assault pistols and some overpowered blades I won from a capsule machine. This one coming with a revolver was part of why I picked it to begin with.

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In kind of a nice touch, the way the instructions are folded almost serve as a regular “how to transform/play with” booklet with the actual assembly details coming out when you unfold the whole booklet at the ends. The mix-and-match customization gimmick is further emphasized by each body parts’ portion of the directions being color coded. The part trays are also marked with icons matching their parts and can be popped apart into sections, but I don’t really see how it’s any easier than building it like a regular Gundam kit.

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One of my favorite details is that the internal compartment where you slot different components like batteries, motors and the CPU in Tetris style is actually represented, with two alternate stickers showing part layouts and a translucent orange grid panel that holds them in place. It’s a little weird, but the instructions seemed to call for the two internal stickers to be placed back to back, and sticking a sticker to a sticker is pretty damn awkward. The chestplate is easily removed thanks to a notch on the sides and the X-marked cover panel shown in the assembly screen beneath the armor is also represented. Very nice.

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It’s kind of neat to think that all of the Bandai LBX kits are in 1/1 scale thanks to the premise of the series. Even though they have pretty big heads, they’re not full on SD Gundam proportions and have a pretty decent range of motion. Odin has a little trouble standing up on his own in some poses due to the wings, but it came with its own stand, so hooray for that and hooray for none of my other kits having to give up their own, because I have a thing for winged mechs and it’s just not right to have them standing around on their feet. The actual assembly process is super easy, but the stickers are numerous and many are the annoying wraparound kind that cover entirely too much area and make me want to go back and just paint the thing. I wound up with a couple annoyingly visible kinks on the chest plate and hip armor. The big Trojan helmet crest thing is just on the good side between cool and goofy- It kind of looks like the bastard offspring of Wing Gundam and Tallgeese.

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Armament wise, Odin M boasts the aforementioned revolver and a double-sided lance weapon I could probably separate into two if I felt like pretending I had my in-game blades. The wings can be displayed in this X configuration, or in a more game-accurate position where they’re condensed into a pair of thicker pylons. I read that the Odin M can fly in LBX mode, and that might be what’s up with the X position.

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Odin’s flight mode is surprisingly sleek looking and non-cheaty- the only part swapping comes when you trade the forearms for a pair with the fists hidden and armor panels shifted around a little. The stand includes a spot to put the unused arms. Transformation consists of simply flipping the lower wings around so they join together as the nose, with a little face guard to cover the bot’s head, tilting the shoulder guards down, swapping the forearms, and bending the legs forward so the boosters on the backs of the thighs show and the feet kind of tuck in near the chest. The stand itself is actually kind of cool looking too- It’s kind of a stylized V shape in the same color as the energy blades. Reminds me of the Revoltech standard base, if they actually tried to make them look nice.

It’s really kind of a shame this series doesn’t seem to have taken much root in the States. I didn’t even know the anime had been dubbed and airing on Nick until I was halfway through the game- which was apparently in limbo since 2012 before releasing near the holidays in 2015. The mecha have a nice aesthetic to them, almost like a more sophisticated take on the Medabots series. Check ’em out if you’re into these kinds of kits, and check the game out if you’d like something approaching a kiddie version of Armored Core.

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