Gaijin Gunpla

RG! RG! RG! That’s me every time one is announced and again when it is released. Even though I can’t say I’m too high on the MSM-07S Char’s Z’Gok as a Mobile Suit getting the chance to build one as a Real Grade had me excited. Being that it has a completely new frame and different type of build, how does it compare?

Overall Look: 10/10

Let’s face it. The Z’Gok doesn’t look like anything other than a Z’Gok. On most MS it’s easy to see the influence and connections with other Mobile Suits, but the Z’Gok stands out and stands alone however not because it’s overdone. As an amphibious suit it’s done just right and as an RG it’s done perfectly. Areas I like include the engines on the back.

That funky frog-like head.

And of course the hand claws.

Now that I think about it, this guy looks like a cross between a frog and a crab.

I can dig it.

Colours: 9/10

Nothing wrong with Char colours. We all know it works on the Zaku and the Gelgoog (A thought just occurred; give me an RG Gelgoog!). The only place this where this kit loses a point is for the hand claws. On the box cover those things definitely look silver/metallic, but in the box we get white. Bandai, give me plated parts similar to the RG Exia and I’ll love you forever!

Weapons: 8/10

I must confess I don’t really know how to judge this category when it comes to the RG Z’Gok. He doesn’t come with any weapons except for those hand claws. Those hand claws are awesome! (except they’re white). To Bandai’s credit we do get the extra set of claws which I’ll talk about soon.

Articulation: 9/10

This kit is all about the frame and the frame is very impressive when it comes to how many points of articulation it has. Basically the legs, feet, hands, arms can all bend or swing around in any direction with the armour accommodating that.

Of course, you can’t do much with the torso but it does swivel side to side slightly, but you’ll be so busing twisting and bending those limbs in various directions that you’ll forget about the torso. With that said, however, I found a problem when it came to posing the Z’Gok in a normal upright position. The frame is so articulate yet due to it being an RG frame it’s also very resistant to movement in some joints. I’ll often see this guy kind of just fall over.

But he is an amphibious suit after all so I guess he’s supposed to be prone much of the time.

Flee to the ocean, little sand crab!

Build Design: 9/10

Usually I go into an RG build with a good idea of what to expect (Zeta aside) but it seems Bandai is shaking things up a bit with the last few releases. The Z’Gok is completely new to me and for what Bandai wanted it to be able to do they had to design the frame from scratch. I’ve already mentioned what it can do in the section above so I won’t go into that again except to say “OMG this frame is crazy!”. Instead, I’ll talk about other sections worthy of mention. While not as mind-blowing as the frame it’s nice to see Bandai gave us other goodies like the movement on the engines. They only tilt so far meaning they maintain some believability.

The hatch door that opens.


It’s tough to see the ones in the engines.

But those on the feet are easily visible and actually tilt a bit. Also, they don’t fall off even though there’s nothing holding them in place other than friction.

If I’m being pretty picky there are only two areas I could voice concern about. One is the tiny frame part that attaches to the knee. It just seems to come off sometimes.

And the other issue is how difficult it can be to assemble the feet which I detailed in the first WIP post.

Once you realise where you’re going wrong you can eventually succeed but if the manual had been done differently I think a lot of the frustration could have been avoided.

And maybe I’ll mention that some of the gate marks seem to be in places that make it difficult to cut cleanly. You’ll need to tidy them up after to be sure it looks its best.

But other than those minor things, this kit is a joy.

Fun Factor: 9/10

I just wrote this it’s a joy! This is one of those unique kits that is as fun to play with after it’s built as it is to actually build it. Often you’ll have fun building but then put the kit down. With the RG Z’Gok, once you’re done building (if you’re experienced that will be in less than 2 hours) you get to enjoy what the crazy frame can do.

Extras: 7/10

For extras, just like weapons, you’re not getting too much with this kit but Bandai does make sure you can equip your Z’Gok with four-clawed hands should you want to. However, they don’t give you enough claws to build both hands. Instead you have to swap claws between hands when you swap them on the kit. I would have preferred to be given the enough claws for both but that would mean they would have been throwing in an extra runner and Bandai is trying to keep costs and therefore prices low.

I did notice, however, that because the four-clawed hand frames aren’t from the RG runner the frame joints can be loose. This leads to the claws kind of falling over.

But don’t worry, this guy looks great regardless of which hand you chose.

Bandai also provides a tiny Char.

Though no seated Char to put in the cockpit you assemble. That’s kind of disappointing.

And, of course, you’re getting plenty of markings.

And for those who use stands there is an adaptor for the Action Base 2. Go aquatic!

I like that Bandai seems to be challenging themselves when it comes to the Real Grade line. It would have been easy enough for them to stick to the one type of frame and continue pumping out kits ala the SEED RGs that came earlier. But Bandai instead chose to push the envelope a bit and now that the RG Z’Gok has proven to be a success the future of Real Grade is wide open.

To the future!

9 Responses so far.

  1. Pshyga says:

    Wow it has great articulation, excluding the torso, LOL. I thought the propeller on it feet will pop off often, but they don’t. Nice review syd, I love it.

  2. Ben says:

    Thanks for the WIP and review! Mine arrived yesterday, so might well be going to the top of the build pile…

    It’ll be interesting to see how the RG line progresses after the Z’gok. I’m wondering if we’ll see the other “test patterns” that were shown at the 2012 Gunpla Expo (RG Gouf, yes please!)?

  3. ChopperDave says:

    I have only ever built the first RG and while I liked it, the MG line has always held my attention. That being said the last few RGs look really awesome, and I think I’m gonna have to start picking some up. Thanks for the review Syd!

  4. Tiernan says:

    He looks really great, can’t wait to get one. I wish they would ramp up the production of these kits a bit more – there are a lot of MBs I’d love to see as real grades. As long as their quality doesn’t suffer!

  5. Dave says:

    It’s an awesome and fun build, maybe because everything is new and unique. Even without weapons this kit looks real good because of the details. Kudos to bandai for giving us 2 RG kits with 2 new inner frames this year.

  6. Jeff says:

    Got this kit today and built it. Very interesting design and it really is a fun kit to play with after it is built. Makes me wish for more Zeon RG kit such as the Acguy, Gouf, and Dom.

  7. Max says:

    Flee to the ocean, little sand crab!

    (Are you proud of me yet senpai?)

  8. Nightdreamer says:

    Having done four RGs now, Z Gok has been immensely enjoyable for me. My issue with RGs is they start to feel the same-y from an assemblers POV as the procedures and the designs are similar, so it’s nice to give the wilder, unorthodox bots some love. Wishing for Turn A, although Sinanju is sweet too.

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