Zero (Type 2)
Review by ArshadAA
With the D-Arts release of Mega Man X, it was only a matter of time before we got Zero as well. The Zero that was released in August however, wasn’t the Zero that most people were expecting. It was based on his appearance in the original Mega Man X game, where he lacked the shoulder plates and most importantly his iconic Z-Saber. I could go on a long tirade questioning why anyone would want such a bland one-off version of the character, or complain about how Bandai made us wait another nine months before releasing the proper version of the character, but let’s skip the melodrama and cut to the chase.
Zero is a Maverick Hunter and the last of Dr. Wily’s creations. He’s calm and collected and never hesitates to use force unlike X. He becomes fully playable starting from the fourth game in the series and is the close combat alternative to X’s run and gun gameplay style.
Zero comes in the standard D-Arts box. The back looks sparse on details but actually is telling you pretty much everything you need to know about this figure. Inside, one and a half plastic trays hold the figure and its accessories.
The base figure stands roughly 14cm tall to the pointy tips of its helmet. There are enough cosmetic differences from the first version that make it impractical to release this as a swappable parts set. Most prominently, yellow highlights were added to the neckline and bottom of the leg armor, as well as green orbs on each side of the ankles. And of course the aforementioned shoulder plates and Z-Saber.
Zero’s most distinguishing feature is of course the large strand of blonde hair sticking out the back of his helmet. Unfortunately it’s also this figure’s greatest weakness. The hair rests on a small rod that allows it a few degrees of vertical and horizontal motion, but even with that and a double jointed neck the head can barely manage anything beyond looking down, straight ahead and a bit off to either side.
Additionally, the hair has a few seems on its sides from where it was glued together around the joint. Since it’s a solid piece of plastic it makes the figure back heavy, a problem that could have easily been solved with some diecast in the legs.
The figure comes with three interchangeable faces. Aside from the default look, there’s one with an open mouth and one with him angrily staring at taller reploids standing behind him, or shoulder readers for all I know. You swap them out by prying off the front half of the helmet, preferably with a thin metal object. Annoyingly enough, Zero still suffers from the same issue the X figure has where the helmet comes down over the eyes so much that you can barely see the pupils. Also, when I swapped out the default face for the first time, I discovered that the red paint from the back of the helmet’s cheek guards had rubbed off onto it. It’s not a deal breaker though since the helmet covers that up anyway.
Beyond that, the figure looks spot on, with lots of bright body details and hardly any noticeable paint smudges or flash. Articulation-wise, the legs are connected to single hip joint that can pivot forward and backward while the thighs can rotate and move sideways. The shoulders and feet are double jointed and the knees and elbows can bend all the way inside, giving the figure an incredible range of motion and allowing all kinds of poses. The chest can bend forward or backward and twist slightly, but there’s no hip joint so you can’t pull off the really fancy dashing poses from the official artwork. I ran into a tiny snag with my figure where the left shoulder joint was so stiff that I could not move the arm sideways. I had to force the thing to move while praying that I don’t end up snapping the tiny upper arm joint. The left shoulder would also occasionally pop off its socket but it’s easily placed back in.
Accessories include three pairs of hands: Closed fist, splayed palm and saber wielding. They attach via simple ball joints and are very simple to swap. You can also pull off Zero’s entire right forearm and replace it with his Z Buster cannon. The Buster’s front part can be swapped with one lacking the red jewel so you can attach the Buster shot effect parts. What effect parts you may ask? Why the ones that come with previous figures of course! You didn’t think Bandai would let you get away with a full standalone package now did you?
The icing on this cake is Z-Saber. Zero comes with not one but two versions of his signature weapon. One with a pointy blade tip and the round tipped version he gained in the sixth game. Both can be held in either wielding hand. You need to first remove a small piece from the bottom of the handle then insert it into the hand and twist it until the thumb is held against the wider part. Once the hand loosens up a bit though you can just shove the handle in from the side. The figure of course has no trouble wielding both sabers at once. You can also detach either handle from the blade part and sheath it on Zero’s back, but that hinders the head movement even more because the handle blocks the hair piece from going left.
The figure also comes with a third saber that has the blade molded into a crescent slash effect part. The handle for this one has a longer peg than the other two so it can’t be slotted in the back. The figure can hold this sword surprisingly well but the arms tend to sag the more horizontally you orient it.
Overall, despite a few minor faults this is an excellent figure and a great companion piece to Mega Man X. This Zero is definitely a hero.
|Posted 19 June, 2012 - 16:32 by ArshadAA|