As promised, here is the review for the MG Zeta Gundam Ver. 2.0 a kit that came out in December 2005. Holy moly, that’s eleven years ago. How do you properly evaluate a kit released so long ago. Surely it won’t compare well to the newest Master Grade releases?
I have decided that I will force myself to forget all the kit I’ve built which were released after December 2005. That’s fair right? To give you an idea where the Zeta 2.0 now fits in the MG timeframe check out this link. There are 5 pages showing kits that came out after the Zeta 2.0 and many before that. I do have experience with the MG Gundam Mk-II Ver. 2.0 Titans and MG Wing Gundam Zero Endless Waltz Ver and if you count the MG Wing Gundam Ver. Ka as the MG XXXG-01W Wing Gundam EW Ver. then I’ve built (and reviewed) that kit. Have I really not built that many older kits?
Let’s go in the other direction. Let’s look at kits that released shortly after the Zeta 2.0. Hmm. Okay, I’ve built both the F91 and Crossbone X-1 Ver Ka. That’s a start. So let’s hop in the way-back machine, setting the dial to early 2006. (Gonna rest and enjoy my Christmas in 2005 one more time before building this thing.)
Overall Look: 10/10
Zeta fans rejoice! An updated version of the original Master Grade kit the Zeta Gundam is here! Holy moly, it’s been 11 years since that first release in January 1994. So much has changed in engineering in these Master Grade kits since then and now this represents the newest in Bandai’s techniques and technology. We’ll talk about that later on but for now let’s just enjoy how great this kit looks as a 2.0.
The larger areas such as around the legs seem to be sporting more details and more colour separation.
The Gunplars who have been around since the start of the grade will love the looks of this version and people who have come along since the grade’s inception should still be impressed. Love that head!
All the standard colours of the Zeta Gundam are here and look great however, there are certain areas of the kit where the yellow trim is actually done with a foil sticker rather than plastic. I hope in the future Bandai will do away with the use of foils for colour on MG kits. That would be a special day.
You’ve got the shield, Beam Rifle, and Hyper Mega Launcher which is just massive.
It actually elongates as well as having the hand guard covers flip open and the handles swing out.
It’s a beast of a weapon.
However, due to its massive size and Bandai not designing much to counter that. You may find that when in robot mode there isn’t much the Zeta can do with his glorious weapon.
That’s kind of the best I could do after 5 minutes of trying to get this in its hands.
The shield attaches to the back of the arm sturdily but you do need to swing that arm around to get the shield on the side of the kit which does look a little awkward.
It does extend as well.
The rifle looks great and is light enough it can be gripped without too many problems.
You also get a couple of beam saber blades.
It’s a transforming kit with giant wings connected to its back so I didn’t think it would be able to do too much but I was a little surprised at how little it could do.
The legs actually feature quite a bit of articulation at the knee and hip.
But it’s difficulties in standing even straight mean that the articulation that is provided to you goes to waste. The front armor on the ankle all but guarantees that foot isn’t going anywhere.
And the arms at the shoulder don’t move much at all.
The hip skirts are the most articulate area on this kit which is due to what they have to do when you start transforming it but the other areas are quite lacking. Even the head seems to hardly turn.
Even trying to get it to stand back in a normal neutral position after posing left me with a wobbly kit.
Bandai does provide a big display base onto which you can mount this big guy in order to get the most out of this kit but this got me thinking, what about the other MG kits with posing issues? They too could use some kind of base which would allow you to show off the action the kit is capable of. Does such a thing exist here in 2005?
Build Design: 9/10
This kit is made to do one thing, transform. Actually, this kit was made to do two things, transform and look awesome. I’ve already written about how it looks so let’s talk about how it transforms.
Step 1: Fold in the V fin.
Step 2: Tilt up the upper part of the torso and then the centre part of the torso.
Step 3: Push the head down and swing the torso up over top then close the lower torso sections.
Step 4: Tilt up the center block of the front skirt, lower the side skirts, then spread the legs wide separating the frame pieces of the skirt assembly.
Step 5: Swing the legs at the hip joint back towards the center… then look at the manual with some confusion.
Step 6: Try to do what you think you are seeing in the manual and become frustrated.
Step 7: Remove the legs at the hip joint to give yourself some room to see what is going on in there.
Step 8: Realize that the skirt frame sections are supposed to hook up into the blue armour on the back of the torso.
Step 9: Put the legs back on.
Step 10: Lower the skirt centre block and tilt the front skirts downward.
Step 11: Swing the arms inward.
Step 12: Separate the wings from the centre portion of the backpack and swing them out.
Step 13: Spread the wings outwards then tilt them up.
Step 14: Bring out the large section of the wing, swing out the little frame latch found underneath that, then secure the wing in its final position.
Step 15: Bring the wings into place above the arms then look at the sequence in the manual that shows you just how the wings fit overtop the arms.
Step 16: Configure the frame part of the shield.
Step 17: Push it into place making sure it covers and connects in all the areas it is meant to.
Step 18: Swing the side skirts around and put them into place against the torso making sure that the tabs found on the underside of the frame area pushes into the hollow it is meant to go into.
Step 19: Unfold the center piece of the backpack.
Step 20: Elongate the legs at the knee then bend them in an unnatural direction and fold the feet up.
(This seems awkward looking to me. Why not leave the leg straight out? Which looks better?)
Step 21: Realize that you have to fold the little wing out still.
With your Zeta transformed into the Wave Rider mode prepare the Rifle by folding up the handle and scope and flipping out the rear connection tab.
Plug that tab into the space for it on the top of the Zeta.
Flip your Zeta over.
Prepare the Hyper Mega Launcher.
Flip open a tab here as well.
This plugs into this space exposed by taking a small red cover off.
Looks good but you can’t fully appreciate it until you’ve got it on that wonderful included base. Let’s talk about that a bit now.
Here is the basic form. You can see it comes with a launch pad.
To mount your kit onto this base though you need to bring up the arm.
There are two positions/angles you can have it in.
The attachment adaptor is quite well designed. It slides into that arm and can have four different positions of its own allowing you to alter the angle your Zeta is positioned at.
When in Robot Mode you plug it into the skirt frame hearing a nice ‘click’ as you do so.
I can fly!
To mount the Wave Rider form you’ll likely reposition the adaptor so it is lower.
It plugs in the same way but hearing the ‘click’ is most important now because the weight of the kit isn’t directly over the adaptor.
It’s not easy though because the transformed Zeta and the Hyper Mega Launcher can get in the way. I found it easiest to plug the adaptor into the Zeta first and then into the arm on the base.
This thing is a little unstable with that Hyper Mega Launcher attached but it still looks pretty cool.
Some aspects of the 2.0 don’t really do it for me. One example being the hands. They have fingers that can bend somewhat but you’ll never get a nice tight grip on the weapon handles. Bandai may want to rethink those.
Fun Factor: 10/10
This is a pretty complex build and if that’s the kind of thing you like, and I’m assuming you do because you like Master Grade kits, then this will keep you busy and entertained for quite some time. It’s a fat box filled with runners each with a tonne of parts. Will this new 2.0 kit be the standard of Gunpla going forward? Only time will tell. But if future releases fail to wow us like the Zeta does then at least you’ll have this first 2.0 to keep you company until another special kit comes along.
That’s not to say that you’ll always have a blast with this guy. The transformation is tricky and mounting it on the stand may grow tiresome but that’s really the only way you can play with this kit. I guess some sacrifices in playability have to be made in order to get the main draw, the transformation gimmick, to work.
You’re given a total of three figures with the Zeta 2.0, one of which has some assembly required.
There are also more than enough markings in the form of stickers and dry transfers to keep you busy.
You’re given these little things.
They mount on the arms of the Zeta.
And when you’re not using them you can store them on the underside of the base.
That’s pretty sweet. You can also store the adaptors there as well.
Yes, there is a second adaptor with this kit. This one allows you to mount your Mk-II 2.0. That’s a pretty neat bonus.
The 2.0 Zeta may not blow away the previous transforming Zeta MGs such as the MG Zeta Plus A1 Test Color and MG Zeta Plus C1 Type of a few years ago but it is a step-forward for Bandai. Now that 2.0 looks to be a thing, with two releases in a row, I suspect we will see plenty of them in the future as Bandai goes back and redoes some of their older MGs with their new know-how and ideas. I’m sure if they do a transforming MG kit again in the future, they’ll iron out the problems here and it will be just that much better. As long as it can stand up I’ll be a happy camper. Now that 2.0 is here, it gets me excited thinking about what Bandai will give us when they move to 3.0
The future is now!