Edward Ju (gundam@loop.com)
Mon, 6 Dec 1999 03:03:23 -0800

>Well well well....I guess looks can be decieving... Good thing I never liked
>the Turn-A design at all. So how is the Char's Zaku Chogokin? I understand
>the porportions are ugly and similar to the Kunio Okawara design in the 0079
>TV....so how's posability compared to the Rx78?

It's actually rather charming, after you get through the initial shock of
its ugliess and after-marriage proportions compared to the MG styling.

The packaging has improved as well - there is a plastic casing that lays on
top of the foam case for the mecha and the 4 sets of hands, so they are
easier to remove from the case now. However I found it kind of weird that
the heat hawk does not have its own compartment - it was tucked under the
bazooka and the machine gun.

The bazooka is made up of 3 rotating segments, with the visor segment in
between. I have no idea why they made the frontal segment to be rotating
independent of the visor, since you cannot tell any difference anyway.
I kind of wished that they did not make the left handle and the visor on the
same rotating segment, because the visor and the left handle is now locked
in place so the visor looks out of place if you align the left handle with
the main/right handle.

The machine gun is definitely retro, which I am glad. I can't stand the MG's
rendition of the machine gun, with the dislocated ammo drum and the
cylindrical left handle. Ah, the original machine gun rules.

The head is extremely bizarre. I thought they'd do everything retro, but the
head is basically the same as the MG rendition's head - no longer nose like
the original design. The only thing was that the commander's antenna was
very small. Like the Gundam's V antenna, it's also made of flexible material
so it will not break if you drop the toy. The neck is THICK! Almost as
thick as the friggin' head itself, I had to keep the nose down so as to cover
that ugly neck.

The skirt armor is also made of flexible material and is one piece, unlike
the MG's cutaway skirt armor. The skirt armor's flexibility allows it to do
a split and other crazy poses. Even the codpiece is movable independent of
the skirt armor. I'd say the legs are as posable as the Gundam. Although it
lacks that extra movable piece at the leg joint, the curviness of the leg
means it doesn't need an extra movable piece to allow for flexibility. I
think the Zaku II also does kneeling poses better because it is easier to

Upper torso (above the torso conductive cables) is also flexible, it's
awesome because you can hardly tell by looking at the pictures and no one
really expects it. The arms are double-jointed just like the Gundam, and
that freaky double joint at the shoulders makes the Zaku II's arms more
posable than the Gundam. It can even hold the machine gun in two hands
while aiming straight ahead, a feat the MG is incapable of (dunno about the
PG - haven't put one together yet).

Shoulder armor is a bit problematic - it clips on lightly to the arm and can
fall off easily. It is also small - a concession needed to allow for arm
movement. The way the shield attaches to the right arm is also not canon -
it attaches at the top of the shoulder instead of on the side, but the ball
joint gives it a lot of flexibility and the Zaku II is capable of a lot of
dramatic poses. I've been having a lot of fun coming up with poses that look
better than the ones on the back of the box.

The only real gripe I had was that the line detailing was nowhere as good as
the chogokin Gundam's. In fact it was closer to that of the MSiA figures,
which means shaky hands, double lines, and smudges. I guess political
prisoners in China eventually reach their break point physically. :P Also
the Zaku II is not weathered like the chogokin Gundam. Finally, the Zaku II
did not have as many accessories as the chogokin Gundam. Some cracker
grenades or strap on missile launchers would have been fun.

Overall, I got more bang for my bucks with this chubby guy than the
proportionally-correct but extremely fragile "New Material Model" of Turn A.


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