Gaijin Gunpla

The MS-06R-2 Johnny Ridden Custom Zaku II is the third Zaku II to be released as a Real Grade behind the RG Char’s Zaku II and the MS-06F which would place it at the top of suits released in the RG line, though if you count strike variations it may get a run for its money. I didn’t, or wasn’t able to, do reviews for the first two kits and thought I might not get to one for Johnny but that would be no good so when I had a few minutes I grabbed Mr. Ridden and my camera. Given that this is more of a variation than a new kit I won’t go into every tiny detail.

Overall Look: 9/10



The Zaku II is the best Mobile Suit in all of Gundam. Everyone agreed? Good, then we can carry on. I’ve always been partial to the MS-06R variations because they rock the best legs of any Zaku II. Johnny Ridden is designated as MS-06R-2 and I think that two is in there to show that it’s a little different and it’s noticeable in the legs. Just look at these bell bottoms!

Those things are huge! I’m actually not a big fan of those which is why it loses a point in this category but everything else is pure Zaku II done in RG splendor and looks fantastic. And it has the flight backpack!

Oh yeah!

Colours: 9/10

It’s tough to look at an all-red suit though I’m sure there are people who would disagree with me. Fortunately, along with the multiple red tones, this design has more colour than your standard Zaku to break things up. This is most noticeable in the shoulder spikes.

You’ll also find new colours in the elbow area.

With that same colour also appearing in the torso.

I think it definitely adds something to this suit though if I’m being honest I prefer the reds that came with the Char Zaku II.

But we do get a little bit of bronze.

Interestingly, you don’t get more stickers like that for the frame.

Weapons: 10/10

Heat Hawk, Bazooka, Zaku Machine gun. Yes, they are all here but some may be wondering why I use this image. I wanted to show what you can do with these weapons beside just putting them in Johnny’s hands. Bandai included an extra piece of plastic with this kit.

This allows you to mount the weapons on to the shield by sliding that piece on from below.




Little grooves in the Machine Gun and Bazookas slot right in.

Yes, there is more than one bazooka!

That second bazooka is all new for the RG line from what I can tell.


Just be warned however…

It gets heavy.

I prefer having the bazooka in Johnny’s hand.


I can never get enough bazooka.

Articulation: 8/10

Real Grade kits are generally known for having excellent articulation and, for the most part, Johnny Ridden’s Zaku II does but there are some limitations in obvious places. Nothing has changed from the previous RG Zaku designs in the torso and shoulder area so I didn’t expect an improvement in movement there. That big shield on one shoulder and spiked armour on the other doesn’t naturally allow for a lot of movement in that area.

You can work around that thanks to the articulation in the elbows.

With the all-new armour parts for the bottom of the legs you’ll only get so far bending the knees.

And the ankles will only go so far themselves.

The bell bottoms definitely make this kit less articulate and thus less stable but there is another area that may also be contributing to that, the feet.

The previous RG kits had a separate toe section that would move depending on how the foot was positioned. That is gone on the Ridden with the front of the foot now being only one piece. Because of that I find I have difficulty positioning the kit so the entirety of the foot is touching the ground. Usually, there is a little space under the toes. I really think you’re meant to put this guy on an action base.

Build Design: 9/10

We know about the quality of the Real Grade kits and it’s rare that we may have complaints in that area about one of them and the Ridden is the same but there are some issues I have to bring up in a review. There are two very small pieces that fit into hollows on the upper part of the chest. These do not stay in place.

Yes, the head came off a couple times as well when handling this kit.

So when I was trying to get those parts back on I would experience another part popping off.

That is from the backpack. This happened frequently. At one point I felt I was spending more time putting these parts back on than taking pictures of the kit.

Outside of those minor things, the build is as quality as you expect in kits of this grade and there are enough new areas like the elbows, knees, and lower legs that while changing the appearance of the kit are still RG quality.

Fun Factor: 8/10

More Bazooka shots!

Perhaps the most fun I had with the kit was taking pictures of it with its bazooka.

Did someone say Bazooka?

No? Sorry.

My excitement for a new RG was tempered once I started the build. I’d essentially built this kit before so not much was new to me which is why I spiced it up by having the instruction manual for the MS-06F with me. That said, the areas that were new I had a lot of fun with and most of that came in the area of the legs which you won’t see. Building my favourite version of Zaku legs in RG form was a lot of fun but that was then covered over by the bell bottom armour. I suppose I could take those off and enjoy the sight but that’s not how Ridden was meant to be. I guess I’ll have to wait for the inevitable P-Bandai variant releases. What? they are already happening?

Then I won’t have to wait long. In the meantime, I’ll be playing with my Bazooka.


(I really took too many pictures in this pose but don’t want to waste them.)

Extras: 9/10

RG Stickers!

I will get around to putting these on. I will! Or I’ll get sidetracked by another RG Unicorn. That is not a bad thing.

If you’ve experienced the RG Char’s Zaku (and not yet the MS-06F) you’ll know that you only get the RG hands with that kit. Ridden being much more recent has more than enough hands.

There’s actually one missing from that picture. Probably it got put to the side while I was putting on the hands to hold the…

wait for it…

Bazooka!

You also get the stand adaptor and the extra part for holding the weapons which I already mentioned which gives you more than enough little pieces that will roll around in the box when you’re putting this thing back on the shelf for later.

I think Bandai plans these dips, for lack of a better term, in the RG line for a reason. It gives them more time to develop the crazier kits like the RG Unicorn, the Astrays, and even the two GP01s. This means people like me who love this grade won’t have to sit waiting too long for the next crazy thing and instead will have decent kits to put together and enjoy in the meantime.

Maybe it’s not my preferred Zaku II but it’s still a decent addition to the lineup with no real downside.

Just remember the Bazooka!

He is lonely without his Bazooka.

6 Responses so far.

  1. Dave says:

    Hey Syd,

    I am planning of buying this one for a little while now but your review helps me decide to not buy this kit. i mean, its a great kit but i think i will go back on buying Unicorn instead.

    Cheers!

  2. redwood says:

    Also, Bandai is releasing the Black Tri-stars MS Team!

  3. SUSANOWO says:

    Hi, I’m wondering if I should get the limited release Real Grade Unicorn (with armed armor)or a Zaku 2.0. Those are both in my price range. Any suggestions.

    • QUANTA says:

      The rg unicorn is probably the most ambitious and solid rg there is, so i would definitely say its a must have for fans of the unicorn or real grades.

  4. Garmblack says:

    The head on all three Zaku RG releases needs to be pushed down with extra force. Your first pic in this review shows yours has not be inserted fully, as the power tubes should be almost flush against the chest. It’s a tense push, but it looks a lot better, and keeps the head on sturdily.

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