Robot Damashii MS-06S Char Zaku ver. A.N.I.M.E. – Available From HobbyLink Japan
By Cacophanus from Mecha Damashii
Following the unboxing here is the review for Char Aznable’s iconic red MS-06S Zaku II as part of Bandai’s Ver. A.N.I.M.E. subline for Robot Damashii. Like the Gundam in the same range before it, this is similarly epic considering the very reasonable price point.
While this by no means the first time we’ve had the Red Comet’s mobile suits rendered in toy form and not even the first Robot Damashii iteration of his mecha, it is definitely the first time anyone has really tried to capture the original aesthetic of the classic Mobile Suit Gundam designs.
In many ways, this is the point of this new sub-line: to faithfully recreate designs from their host anime. The big addition here is that it not only does that brilliantly but also includes all manner of modern articulation along the way.
The toy comes with loads of accessories, from various weapons to effect parts. The latter include explosions as well as parts for weapon fire. In terms of gimmicks, you can also remove the top of the head to shift the mono-eye around.
So on parts and gimmicks alone, this is a very comprehensive release. It even includes two versions of the heat-hawk, both active and inactive, with the latter being able to be stored on the hip.
What is really impressive about this toy though is the amount and subtlety of its articulation.
Due to some very clever design, you can get almost any pose out of this toy. With the chest parts folding inwards, you can use both arms easily in wielding various weapons. The arms and shoulders are also multifaceted and allow for various positions.
The legs and the hip armor are great, too, as the knees and feet are similarly jointed. However, the hip armor did have a tendency to pop off when I was posing the toy but it was simple enough to reaffix.
Finally, the icing on the cake is the spot-on Kunio Okawara sculpt from the anime. This actually looks like the Zaku II does in the show and that’s a wonderful thing to see in this day and age.
Overall, this is a great toy and very reasonably priced with it. Using an additional Tamashii Stand makes a huge difference to the breadth of poses you can do and allows for some quite kinetic scenes when you pair it up with the previously-released Ver. A.N.I.M.E. Gundam. If you are a classic Gundam fan then this is an essential purchase and if you are into the cutting edge of mecha toy design then this figure won’t disappoint on that front, either.