Now, if there is one figure which lends itself well to a pricier and more excessive set, it is the Sazabi. A fact not lost on Bandai as they decided to capitalize on it by releasing two different versions of this totem Mobile Suit. The regular "EX 03" released in February 2014 and retailed at 1200 yen. A couple of weeks later it was followed by a Premium Edition, which was basically a souped up version of the standard version, and coming at a price of around 2100 yen.
Incidentially, this was the same sneaky pattern used with the recent Converge Revive set, which also received two versions, with the "Premium" set popping up a few weeks after the vanilla set had already been released. It is hard to see any particular reason for doing this set-up other than to maybe lure some people into buying both sets once they realize they ended up buying the wrong set. Customers who have not bothered doing particular research end up getting the short end of the stick.
Anyway, this review will be focusing solely on the pricier Premium Edition of the Sazabi. Although I don't have a vanilla version to compare it to, I will still be able to point out several differences quite easily. But first things first, let's just open up the box!
As always, the sheer number of parts can be a bit confusing at first, and with the only assembly instructions available printed on the inside walls of the box, you may be in for a bit of puzzle mania to figure out which parts go where and what their exact intended use might be. The base mobile suit itself though, will give you no headache. Find the Sazabi's left leg, snap it into the joint then pick up a pair of hands and insert them into the wrist sockets and you're done.
|The Assault Kingdom Sazabi compared to the old Ultimate Operation Sazabi, released in June 2006. What the FWUO figure lacks in articulation it makes up for with an excellent paint job and great weathering.|
We have now covered the basics of the Sazabi figure, but the Premium package doesn't stop there. Apart from the unique weapon and nicely coloured beam weapons the fun has only just started.
Indeed it does not.
Apart from extra Fin Funnels, the RX-93 can also look forward to a nice and shiny red beam saber. Of course, this weapon really should have been included with the original figure (which still came with a beam rifle, a shield and a bazooka so not that bad). Anyway, this afterthought rectifies the mistake and adds a truly excellent beam sabre. I don't understand why Bandai will not always go the extra mile and make translucent coloured beam sabres for all the figures that wield them, instead of those horrible transparent or even opaque white and green ones.
Another peculiar weapon of choice is... a red ball. I'm not up to speed on the lore here, but I guess this item is somehow featured in the anime, since Bandai saw it prudent to include two pegged hands that can hold it. One smaller RX-93 sized hand, and one larger Sazabi-size. Its purpose is unknown to me but I like the feature, and these pegged hands are also useful for holding other items in new poses. So, three new accessories for the Nu Gundam, nice!
So what does the EX 03 Premium set hold in store for the Re-GZ?
But... we're getting quite used to this business practice by now, and as long as you like to collect the AK figures you'll probably want to get your hands on this set. If you are only interested in the Sazabi figure itself however, you may just want to stick with the vanilla version and perhaps apply some customization to its beam weapons yourself.