Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Z is also for Zaku II

The MS-06 Zaku II is a mobile suit line from the Universal Century time-line / Mobile Suit Gundam metaverse. It is based upon the earlier MS-05 Zaku I. The Zaku II is one of the most enduringly popular mecha designs in anime history.

The Zaku's aesthetic can be seen in more symbolic homages in the Gundam mythos, such as the GINN and ZAKU Warrior from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED , the Busshi from Mobile Fighter G Gundam, and the Jenice from After War Gundam X. [ source: wiki ]

The original concept of the Zaku was simply a disposable underling, with its name derived from the sound of a huge man (or many soldiers) walking and the Japanese term 雑魚 (zako), meaning "inferior fish" (the term also signifying "expendable grunts").

The Zaku later became better known as a common military machine, symbolizing the realism of the Mobile Suit Gundam series. While in previous manga and anime giant robots tended to be the tools of protagonists or villains (often in a monster of the week format), the Zaku was portrayed as nothing more than another weapon such as a tank or fighter plane that was assigned to pilots.

The Zaku II is the most common Zeon mobile suit during the beginning of the show. Although a threat to unskilled characters, the Zaku is ultimately cannon fodder that comes in plentiful numbers for the Gundam.

In the Gundam timeline, the Zaku appears as one of the first units created for battle in the series. Because of its antiquated nature, the Zaku II quickly becomes inferior to newer and more powerful mobile suits. Because the Zaku II is the basic military unit of the Zeon forces, and because it is a mass production mobile suit, there are many units left by the end of the war. These suits survive only to be destroyed en-masse to show the power of the newer models.

This is a Bandai MS-06 Zaku II clear color version model kit which I bought a long long long time ago. It was still early days of my toy collecting hobby and I had not sat down and focused on what I really wanted to collect. So there was a bit of this, a bit of that and quite a lot of everything LOL. I had always admired the Mobile Suit Gundam models and when I saw this model kit, I just had to get it. I have always had an affinity and soft spot for anything transparent that shows the working parts inside. So getting this was an easy decision. On a side note, cross-sectional kits are always a favorite too :)

I don't even remember what scale this was supposed to be (it stands at approximately 7 inches or 18cm tall) but I just love the details of this Bandai model kit :) Almost every part of the armor has articulation where it should be, just like a 1/6 figure. Even better is that the fingers have individual articulation so that it can grasp whichever weapon it needs, no need to switch the hands for a different pose or different weapon!

And I love that even though it's a clear version, there are different colors distinguishing the head from the torso and limbs. Weapons are a transparent dark gray color, as is the base body (internal endoskeleton) before it is encased in armor.

The Zaku appears to have one eye from which it sees, like the cyclops in Greek mythology and later Roman mythology. Cyclops was a member of a primordial race of giants, each with a single eye in the middle of his forehead. The name is widely thought to mean "circle-eyed". It also reminds me of the Cylon Centurions seen in Battlestar Galactica.

Some close-ups of the MS-06 Zaku II clear color version model kit by Bandai. I just enjoy looking at the clear armor and being able to see through the outer shell and look inside at the endoskeleton underneath is a treat :) Many a time, in most model kits when the last piece is finally put in, you are not able to see the insides anymore because it would all have been encased by the armor. Not so with this unique piece.

Related posts:
NEXT up: Mobile Suit Gundam RX-78-2!
Federal Force Prototype General Purpose Mobile Suit Mobile Suit Gundam RX-178 - a 440mm tall 1:60 scale Gundam robot that is NOT a model kit but a fully articulated toy figure. How's that for HUGE?
Even larger than 44cm? I present to you the General Marshall Gundam RX-178 - an upsized regular Mobile Suit Gundam RX-178 with Samurai armour. It is approximately 45cm (18 inches) tall! I think that's one of the biggest figures I have :)

Other robots that are manned by humans:
MK-6 Amplified Mobility Platform or AMP suit as seen in James Cameron's futuristic film, "Avatar"
See Col Quaritch operating with his machine - AMP in Action!
Batbot by Mattel - seen in "The Batman" animated series
Toys McCoy 1/6 Super Armored Fighting Suit SAFS aka Ma.k Maschinen Krieger
And there are the the Medicom Kubrick versions (link here). For a complete detailed breakdown, check out the following links: Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3.1, Chapter 3.2

There's also the Hot Toys 1/6 scale "ALIENS" Power Loader and the Kenner released 1992 version Space Marine Power Loader as well plus Medicom Kubrick version (too cute to resist)


Super-Duper ToyBox said...

i dunno why i have a thing about clear plastic toys, but it seems a lot of serious toy collectors i know do as well. ...even his bazooka is clear, that's cool-

alex teo said...

Clearly we all have GREAT taste in toys ;p

chunky B said...

The Zaku is one of my favorites, reminds me of Stormtroopers from Star Wars. This transparent Zaku is beyond awesome, it really is a cool model. Thanks for sharing.

LEon said...

I didn't know you collect GUndam model kit as well. I am still a bit here and a bit there kinda collector. :)

ethan said...

Alex, didn't know your into Gundams?

alex teo said...

hey chunkyB, the pleasure of sharing was all mine :) glad you liked it.

hi LEon, ethan - this was bought way back in the early years of my toy collecting hobby when I haven't really figured out what I wanted to focus on. I still do like me some gundams haha