High Grade (1990)

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High Grade (1990)
High Grade (1990)

In the year 1990, Bandai introduced the original High Grade (HG) line as part of the celebration of the 10th Anniversary of Gunpla. It only included MS from the Universal Century timeline, specifically the first four protagonist Gundams. Using the latest molding technology of the time, the HG line boasted several improvements from their previous model kits: snap-fit assembly, polycap joints, sensor parts (i.e. eyes) molded in clear plastic, System injection (molding process wherein multiple colors are injected in a single runner/part), and some gimmicks. The kits come with an instruction booklet featuring artworks by mech designers Kunio Okawara and Hajime Katoki, who contributed to the redesign of the kits in this line.

High Grade (1990)
High Grade (1990)

High Grade (1990)

NO.High Grade 1990Gunpla Manual

HG 01
RX-78 Gundam
March 1990 | ¥1,000

HG 02
MSZ-006 Zeta Gundam
 May 1990 | ¥1,200

HG 03
RX-178 Gundam Mk-II
July 1990 | ¥1,000

HG 04
MSZ-010 ZZ Gundam
July 1990 | ¥1,500

HG G-Saviour

In December 2000, Bandai released a single HG kit for the live-action film G-Saviour.

NO.High Grade G-Saviour 2000Gunpla Manual
G-SAVIOUR G-Saviour Space Mode
G-SAVIOUR G-Saviour Space Mode
December 2000 | ¥1,500


Eliminating the need for glue in the assembly and reducing the need for paint, the original HG line was considered revolutionary at the time of its release.

High Grade has become an all-encompassing term for variations of the Grade. Thus, modelers use different terms when referring to this lineup (e.g. HG 1990 or original HG). Particularly in Japan, modelers call it “旧HG” (Kyū HG, translates to “Old HG”).

The lineup introduced the packaging format which would also be the standard packaging for the HGUC lineup.

  • Black background
  • MS name printed in Compacta font with a colored square before it
  • Gold stripe on the side panels

The MS Joint system implemented in this lineup became the basis for the inner frames used in Real Grade, Master Grade, and Perfect Grade kits.