Bandai is on a roll with its latest Robot Damashii spinoff line. Focused around recreating mecha from classic anime, retaining their proportions in the process has been met with a great deal of love from fans in Japan. The latest of these is the ultimate cannon fodder mobile suit, the mighty MS-06 Zaku II from the original Mobile Suit Gundam. Like the other entries in this sub-line, the Zaku II is a surprisingly sophisticated toy at a very reasonable price point.
Much like the original RX-78-2 Gundam, the MS-06 Zaku II is one of the all time great mecha designs out there. The Zaku II was also, in stark contrast to the high performance prototype of the original Gundam, a fully mass-produced mobile suit and one that was very versatile with it.
The origins of Zeonic mobile suits have changed somewhat over the years, most notably in the recent manga and anime retelling Gundam The Origin. However, it’s important to realize that the Zaku II was by no means the first major mobile suit of its kind. As the name implies, the MS-05 Zaku I preceded it and that was a more barebones affair.
That said, the Zaku I was able to decimate much of the Federation’s forces but it wasn’t until the Zaku II arrived did they really tighten their grip.
This is because the Zaku II was more of an all-round mobile suit but still retained a high-performance edge despite its mass produced status. In the Gundam The Origin manga this deviates somewhat to show that the Zaku II is in fact far superior to the later developed RGM-79 GM by the Federation and more than capable of destroying the initial RX-78-1 Prototype Gundam.
Due to its mass-produced status, though, the Zaku II was a mainstay of the Zeon forces and was used throughout the One Year War. With the signature Zeonic mono-eye configuration, it was a customizable unit that could pack additional armament depending on its mission requirements.
While the later Zeonic mobile suits became overly specific in terms of their respective setups, the everyman approach of the Zaku II made it a much more useful unit in the long run.
It goes without saying that the Zaku II is probably one of the most popular model kit and toy figures ever made, with numerous variants made over the years. In that sense, why do we need yet another toy of the design?
The answer is that this is the first time someone has accurately reproduced Kunio Okawara’s original designs in toy form and has utilised very modern articulation in the process. Despite the mass production lineage of this mobile suit, this toy also comes with a large number of really nice accessories.
Keep an eye out for the review, which will be going up soon!