Monday, 8 July 2013

Ultimate Operation : MS-06S Char's Zaku II (Nintendo Gamecube promo)

Here is an interesting promotional item that surfaced on eBay recently. Basically it is a colour variation of the MS-06J Zaku II which appeared in the very first Mobile Suits Gundam Ultimate Operation line back in June 2003. The Zaku II was available in the standard green colour and there was a blue "cold district" version as well as a sand coloured "desert" version. As far as I am aware there was never any red version released in this series.

On the other hand, the Ultimate Operation 2 figure suite which appeared in the same year had a total of four Zaku II variations (but this time the figure is sculpted in a different pose); standard green, "cold district" blue, "desert" brown and Char's red one, so it is possible the original line may have featured this particular figure as well, though I have yet to find any evidence of this.

Anyway, this particular figure is date stamped 2004 and comes in a small cardboard box with the Nintendo Gamecube logo. The figure is wrapped in a plastic bag but there is no collector card or gum included in the box, which is the common practice for the ordinary Ultimate Operation figures. Also on the box is the logo for the game it promotes, the Japan-only third person shooter "Kidō Senshi Gundam: Senshitachi no Kiseki" which was released in March 2004. The game has a stub article on wikipedia here.

Talking about the figure itself, it has a very attractive colour scheme though it is not particularily remarkable. It has the weathered look which many of the Ultimate Operation figures has, and disregarding the colouring it seems to be pretty much identical with the first wave of Zaku II:s. Although branded as the MS-06S commander type it does not feature the typical antenna on its forhead (and amusingly all the Zaku II-figures of the Ultimate Operation 2 line do have the antenna, even though they are listed as standard J-versions... collectors were less fussy back then).

The mobile suit is armed with a machine gun and the Mark VIII Sturm Faust rocket propelled grenade. The RPG is made from soft PVC and like many other thin accessories for the Ultimate Operation figures it will bend easily if not stored in a proper fashion. The figure has articulated wrists and shoulders, and the torso can be twisted at the waist.

Zaku II hero team: Char's MS-06S Zaku II seen together with Dozle's MS-06F (Ultimate Operation 7, September 2004) and a Black Tri-Star MS-06R-1A from Ultimate Operation 6, June 2004).
In conclusion, Char Aznable's custom red mobile suits always look great and so if you happen to come across this figure you'll probably want to include it in your collection.

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