MS-06 Zaku II Hardpoint
Review by Prometheum5
All cards on the table, the Zaku II is one of my favorite mecha designs. I have many, many forms of Zaku between model kits and action figures. Part of me likes the variety, but part of me was always looking for the single ‘best’ and most fun to play with rendition of the design. Finally, that figure has arrived.
The Zaku II Hardpoint was my first Robot Damashii figure, and if the rest of the line is this good, then Bandai is really on to something here. The box shows off the basics of the figure, but does a poor job of hinting at what fun really lies within.
The RD Zaku stands about five inches tall, putting it around 1/144 scale, even though it is not listed as such. I didn’t have a High Grade kit to compare to, but I would suspect they are about the same height, although the RD is probably a bit chunkier. Wraith Pheyden gives you an idea of size, and you can see the wealth of accessories included in the box. Included are:
- MS-06 Zaku II figure
- Two shoulder spikes with mounting pegs
- Two shoulder shields with mounting pegs
- One handle for the shield
- One set of breaching spikes for the shield
- Hands (fists, open, trigger finger, and one for the Heat Hawk)
- Two 3-tube Missile Pods
- H&L-SB25K/280mmA-P Zaku Bazooka
- Heat Hawk Type 5 with holster
- Two MIP-B6 Cracker Grenades with holder
- ZMP-50D/120mm Zaku Machine Gun with removable 120mm ammo drum
- Two Sturmfausts with holders
- One multi-point mounting plate
- Pure, unadulterated mecha love
OK, wow, so there’s a lot in the box. Fortunately, the Zaku II on its own is an incredible figure. Made of sturdy hard plastic with PVC reserved for the hands and cables, the Zaku has a nice weight in-hand and is incredibly posable. All of the joints are nice and tight, and the Zaku can do pretty much anything.
It can even kneel!
The head armor comes off to allow for mono-eye movement. Always important.
Thanks to its incredible articulation, the RD Zaku looks fantastic with its weapons. Here’s the classic Zaku machine gun…
…and here’s the bazooka. Both feature movable handles for that two-handed action Gundam made popular on mecha weapons.
Being a ‘Hardpoint’ release means that the Zaku and its accessories are covered in universal mounting points that allow for a great deal of customization and play value. The pegs are a decent size and length without looking conspicuous, and hold most of the parts securely in place. One or two of the holes, like on the calves, are a bit shallow due to the contour of the area.
I have always loved the asymmetry of the Zaku’s shoulder armor, being designed for function over looks. Due to the inclusion of all the extra parts, however, we can make a two-spike or two-shield Zaku, and I can already imagine in-universe functions for both. With two shoulder-spikes the Zaku looks like a precursor to the Gouf, and I can see this variant ready for close combat.
Two shields make the Zaku look a bit samurai-like, heavily armored and scuttling around the battlefield.
I think my new favorite setup, however, is one shield, one spike-shoulder, and the close-combat handheld shield with the breaching spikes. This is a Zaku ready to mess you up.
The big mounting plate makes for some really neat setups. It is possible to mount just about all of the gear on that plate, and then mount the plate on the backpack, for a fully loaded Zeke.
War is hell when you have to schlep around this much gear.
This figure is a blast, and part of what I love about it is that everyone who gets one is going to find a slightly different setup that they prefer. I already want to grab a second for some more variation. After messing with model kits and the EMSIA versions, I am pleased to say that we finally have a ‘perfect’ Zaku II from Bandai.
|Posted 30 January, 2012 - 08:49 by Prometheum5|