I finished the MG Marasai build over the weekend and rather than post the WIP first with the review coming after I decided to get the review out first to let everyone who is waiting know all about this kit.
Overall Look: 9/10
I really like the look of this kit. Is it because it’s so similar to the Zaku II? Or, does it have to do with the fact it’s got a unique color scheme? Or maybe, it’s because it looks so different from anything else I’ve built recently? The truth is, I don’t really know why I like it as much as I do but I think it looks monstrous and powerful and Bandai has captured that well in the kit. I do like the shield attached to the shoulder moreso than those found on the other Zakus.
It’s not Gundam red, white and blue and it’s not Zaku Green but it’s orange! Orange is my favorite color so that goes a long way in my appreciation of the color scheme in this kit, though I found myself wondering if perhaps another color would have worked in place of the green.
The Marasai is a little lean when it comes to weapons if you don’t count that sweet shield. Thankfully Bandai gave us two beam sabers/handles but the rifle is on the boring side.
I’ll talk more about the rifle in a bit.
I knew what I was getting into with this kit when it came to articulation. It shares enough design elements with the Zaku II 2.0s that the upper part of the kit articulates well however, being the Marsai, those lower legs really inhibit any real movement in the ankle, but I have no problem with that.
But don’t let that stop you from trying out some fun poses.
Build Design: 9/10
The Marasai gets high marks in this category not only because it follows the successful template of the Zaku II 2.0 but because it takes that design and improves upon it in many areas. The change everyone will notice first? That LED!
The top of the Marasai easily pops off enabling you to access the LED (unfortunately not included with this kit) and the LED fits so snugly inside the housing there’s no worry about it falling out.
It’s really no problem to get in there and turn the LED on and off and while you’re doing that, you can position the mono-eye by simply twisting a little ‘switch’ located under the head armor.
On the Zaku 2.0 you could only change the position of the mono-eye by turning the head which meant you couldn’t really do much with it. It was great at the time but now, with the Marasai you’ve got a working LED mono-eye that you can position as you choose. Fantastic!
I also think Bandai did a good job on the lower legs.
As stated the articulation isn’t all the much but those little flaps you see can move somewhat and the actual assembly part is involved enough to make you have to pay attention.
The Beam Saber handles easily store on the underside of the shield.
One aspect I found a little disappointing was with the green armor collars.
It seems to me that there is just one too few on each side. There are gaps visible in the string of armor collars that I find unsightly and I can’t help but think that one more would have made a big difference or that maybe Bandai could have changed things up a bit on the new Marasai making it more of a departure from the Zaku and Gouf 2.0 kits.
One excellent design aspect, however, is the simplicity of the Backpack and what it can do.
Opening up those little hatches isn’t much of a problem.
And once open you can use the extra piece Bandai included to attach this guy to the stand.
But I will talk more about this in the ‘Extras’ portion of the review.
On the flip side, one horrible design found on the Marasai has to do with its rather boring rifle. Or, to elaborate a little more, it has to do with how the hands Bandai provided grip the rifle.
If you look carefully there are little protrusions on the inside of the hands and it would seem, to me anyway, that these are supposed to match up with the hollow grooves found on the rifle handle. However, they make no difference to how the Marasai grips the rifle. In fact, I couldn’t seem to get it to hold it firmly at all. The only thing really holding the rifle in place was the thumb.
This seems destined to fail.
I cannot understand this, to be honest, I have complained about swappable hand parts on here enough times that I am sure regular readers are tired of it. They just don’t work when it comes to holding weapons. Then, when Bandai finally gets it right, as they did with the AGE-1 Normal’s hands, they go right back to the crappy ones. At least I can take some consolation in the fact Bandai gave us a pair of the 2.0 type hands with movable fingers.
These only have one joint on the fingers so they don’t bend like those found on the Zaku 2.0 but at least they seem to function better than the swappable hand parts and you don’t need to do the ‘hand mod’ that most everyone did on their Zaku 2.0/Sinanju hands.
Bandai, here’s what I think of your swappable hand parts.
Fun Factor: 8/10
I had a lot of fun with this kit. After spending last year building the smaller-statured MG Wing kits and more recently a couple of Real Grades, the MG Marasai just feels massive and I never felt I had to worry about breaking anything because I was working with such large pieces. Sure I had to pay close attention not to lose any of the green armor collars but that just goes without saying (even though I just said it). Moving around such large pieces of plastic was a welcome change. Adding the LED just brings added enjoyment to the kit.
Bandai was really generous with the Marasai. You get the 2.0 hands (hallelujah!) and, in addition to the regular stand attachment, you get that cool attachment letting you pose your MG Marasai like turtle on its back.
It mounts easily and is solid and the piece that actually attaches to the stand can move up and down the circular grooves on the large part meaning you have many angles you can pose your Marasai in.
Bandai has also included parts which are used to attach their Gentei Ballute Pack with the design of the legs even accommodating parts found in that pack. When I think about it I wonder why Bandai included extra parts (and even a page in the instruction manual) for the Ballute Pack even though they’re not releasing it as a regular kit but instead in limited capacity? I guess I should just be grateful for free stuff.
All in all, the Marasai came along at the right time and I’m glad I picked it up and gave it the chance it deserved. It’s more than just another Zaku 2.0. Anyone interested should check it out.