Zeta Gundam is one of my all time favorite mecha anime, so I was suitably elated to realize that Bandai did a Robot Damashii Rick Dias. Like their other Robot Damashii figures for Zeta Gundam, the Rick Dias is very nicely done and I am very glad they have broadened the roster of available mobile suits from the series as well. This is also one of the earlier designs used in the show and was somewhat of a big deal both then and now.
Zeta Gundam is a fascinating series on many levels. Not only did it deal with the aftermath of the One Year War in a brilliantly nuanced and layered way but it also re-examined the the technical side of how mobile suits developed.
The Rick Dias was the AEUG’s flagship mainstay unit and utilised all manner of new technologies for the era. From a panoramic linear seat, to all new alloys in its armor it was a very sophisticated mobile suit. It also incorporated and modernized a lot of Zeonic influences, from the mono-eye and general design approach.
We first saw the RMS-099 Rick Dias in the first episode of Zeta Gundam, piloted by very familiar-looking Quattro Bajeena; the mobile suit was also painted bright red. It’s this version that Bandai has chosen to release in the Robot Damashii line first (though the darker-colored variant will be released later as a webshop exclusive).
The other main point about this design that sets apart is that it was designed by Mamoru Nagano. Having already worked with Yoshiyuki Tomino on L-Gaim, he was called in later to do the entirety of the design work for Zeta Gundam. However, as time progressed other designers became involved and Nagano’s designs were mostly shelved. One of the few that survived was the Rick Dias.
It’s this very distinct aesthetic that Nagano brought to the design that made it stand out and show viewers that Zeta Gundam was an entirely different beast from the original Gundam.
Over the years, we’ve had all manner of toys of the Rick Dias with the High Complete Model version being one of my favorites. This new Robot Damashii figure is by far and away the best, though.
The review will go up soon, so keep an eye out for that.