Gaijin Gunpla

As promised, here is the review for the MG Zeta Gundam Ver. 2.0 a kit that came out in December 2005. Holy moly, that’s eleven years ago. How do you properly evaluate a kit released so long ago. Surely it won’t compare well to the newest Master Grade releases?

I have decided that I will force myself to forget all the kit I’ve built which were released after December 2005. That’s fair right? To give you an idea where the Zeta 2.0 now fits in the MG timeframe check out this link. There are 5 pages showing kits that came out after the Zeta 2.0 and many before that. I do have experience with the MG Gundam Mk-II Ver. 2.0 Titans and MG Wing Gundam Zero Endless Waltz Ver and if you count the MG Wing Gundam Ver. Ka as the MG XXXG-01W Wing Gundam EW Ver. then I’ve built (and reviewed) that kit. Have I really not built that many older kits?

Let’s go in the other direction. Let’s look at kits that released shortly after the Zeta 2.0. Hmm. Okay, I’ve built both the F91 and Crossbone X-1 Ver Ka. That’s a start. So let’s hop in the way-back machine, setting the dial to early 2006. (Gonna rest and enjoy my Christmas in 2005 one more time before building this thing.)

Overall Look: 10/10

Zeta fans rejoice! An updated version of the original Master Grade kit the Zeta Gundam is here! Holy moly, it’s been 11 years since that first release in January 1994. So much has changed in engineering in these Master Grade kits since then and now this represents the newest in Bandai’s techniques and technology. We’ll talk about that later on but for now let’s just enjoy how great this kit looks as a 2.0.

The larger areas such as around the legs seem to be sporting more details and more colour separation.

The Gunplars who have been around since the start of the grade will love the looks of this version and people who have come along since the grade’s inception should still be impressed. Love that head!

Colors: 9/10

All the standard colours of the Zeta Gundam are here and look great however, there are certain areas of the kit where the yellow trim is actually done with a foil sticker rather than plastic. I hope in the future Bandai will do away with the use of foils for colour on MG kits. That would be a special day.

Weapons: 9/10

You’ve got the shield, Beam Rifle, and Hyper Mega Launcher which is just massive.

It actually elongates as well as having the hand guard covers flip open and the handles swing out.

It’s a beast of a weapon.

However, due to its massive size and Bandai not designing much to counter that. You may find that when in robot mode there isn’t much the Zeta can do with his glorious weapon.

That’s kind of the best I could do after 5 minutes of trying to get this in its hands.

The shield attaches to the back of the arm sturdily but you do need to swing that arm around to get the shield on the side of the kit which does look a little awkward.

It does extend as well.

The rifle looks great and is light enough it can be gripped without too many problems.

You also get a couple of beam saber blades.

Articulation: 4/10

It’s a transforming kit with giant wings connected to its back so I didn’t think it would be able to do too much but I was a little surprised at how little it could do.

The legs actually feature quite a bit of articulation at the knee and hip.

But it’s difficulties in standing even straight mean that the articulation that is provided to you goes to waste. The front armor on the ankle all but guarantees that foot isn’t going anywhere.

And the arms at the shoulder don’t move much at all.

The hip skirts are the most articulate area on this kit which is due to what they have to do when you start transforming it but the other areas are quite lacking. Even the head seems to hardly turn.

Even trying to get it to stand back in a normal neutral position after posing left me with a wobbly kit.

Bandai does provide a big display base onto which you can mount this big guy in order to get the most out of this kit but this got me thinking, what about the other MG kits with posing issues? They too could use some kind of base which would allow you to show off the action the kit is capable of. Does such a thing exist here in 2005?

Build Design: 9/10

This kit is made to do one thing, transform. Actually, this kit was made to do two things, transform and look awesome. I’ve already written about how it looks so let’s talk about how it transforms.

Step 1: Fold in the V fin.

Step 2: Tilt up the upper part of the torso and then the centre part of the torso.

Step 3: Push the head down and swing the torso up over top then close the lower torso sections.

Step 4: Tilt up the center block of the front skirt, lower the side skirts, then spread the legs wide separating the frame pieces of the skirt assembly.

Step 5: Swing the legs at the hip joint back towards the center… then look at the manual with some confusion.

Step 6: Try to do what you think you are seeing in the manual and become frustrated.

Step 7: Remove the legs at the hip joint to give yourself some room to see what is going on in there.

Step 8: Realize that the skirt frame sections are supposed to hook up into the blue armour on the back of the torso.

Step 9: Put the legs back on.

Step 10: Lower the skirt centre block and tilt the front skirts downward.

Step 11: Swing the arms inward.

Step 12: Separate the wings from the centre portion of the backpack and swing them out.

Step 13: Spread the wings outwards then tilt them up.

Step 14: Bring out the large section of the wing, swing out the little frame latch found underneath that, then secure the wing in its final position.

Step 15: Bring the wings into place above the arms then look at the sequence in the manual that shows you just how the wings fit overtop the arms.

Step 16: Configure the frame part of the shield.

Step 17: Push it into place making sure it covers and connects in all the areas it is meant to.

Step 18: Swing the side skirts around and put them into place against the torso making sure that the tabs found on the underside of the frame area pushes into the hollow it is meant to go into.

Step 19: Unfold the center piece of the backpack.

Step 20: Elongate the legs at the knee then bend them in an unnatural direction and fold the feet up.

(This seems awkward looking to me. Why not leave the leg straight out? Which looks better?)

Step 21: Realize that you have to fold the little wing out still.

With your Zeta transformed into the Wave Rider mode prepare the Rifle by folding up the handle and scope and flipping out the rear connection tab.

Plug that tab into the space for it on the top of the Zeta.

Flip your Zeta over.

Prepare the Hyper Mega Launcher.

Flip open a tab here as well.

This plugs into this space exposed by taking a small red cover off.

Looks good but you can’t fully appreciate it until you’ve got it on that wonderful included base. Let’s talk about that a bit now.

Here is the basic form. You can see it comes with a launch pad.

To mount your kit onto this base though you need to bring up the arm.

There are two positions/angles you can have it in.

The attachment adaptor is quite well designed. It slides into that arm and can have four different positions of its own allowing you to alter the angle your Zeta is positioned at.

When in Robot Mode you plug it into the skirt frame hearing a nice ‘click’ as you do so.

I can fly!

To mount the Wave Rider form you’ll likely reposition the adaptor so it is lower.

It plugs in the same way but hearing the ‘click’ is most important now because the weight of the kit isn’t directly over the adaptor.

It’s not easy though because the transformed Zeta and the Hyper Mega Launcher can get in the way. I found it easiest to plug the adaptor into the Zeta first and then into the arm on the base.


This thing is a little unstable with that Hyper Mega Launcher attached but it still looks pretty cool.

Some aspects of the 2.0 don’t really do it for me. One example being the hands. They have fingers that can bend somewhat but you’ll never get a nice tight grip on the weapon handles. Bandai may want to rethink those.

Fun Factor: 10/10

This is a pretty complex build and if that’s the kind of thing you like, and I’m assuming you do because you like Master Grade kits, then this will keep you busy and entertained for quite some time. It’s a fat box filled with runners each with a tonne of parts. Will this new 2.0 kit be the standard of Gunpla going forward? Only time will tell. But if future releases fail to wow us like the Zeta does then at least you’ll have this first 2.0 to keep you company until another special kit comes along.

That’s not to say that you’ll always have a blast with this guy. The transformation is tricky and mounting it on the stand may grow tiresome but that’s really the only way you can play with this kit. I guess some sacrifices in playability have to be made in order to get the main draw, the transformation gimmick, to work.

Extras: 9/10

You’re given a total of three figures with the Zeta 2.0, one of which has some assembly required.

There are also more than enough markings in the form of stickers and dry transfers to keep you busy.

You’re given these little things.

They mount on the arms of the Zeta.

And when you’re not using them you can store them on the underside of the base.

That’s pretty sweet. You can also store the adaptors there as well.

Yes, there is a second adaptor with this kit. This one allows you to mount your Mk-II 2.0. That’s a pretty neat bonus.

The 2.0 Zeta may not blow away the previous transforming Zeta MGs such as the MG Zeta Plus A1 Test Color and MG Zeta Plus C1 Type of a few years ago but it is a step-forward for Bandai. Now that 2.0 looks to be a thing, with two releases in a row, I suspect we will see plenty of them in the future as Bandai goes back and redoes some of their older MGs with their new know-how and ideas. I’m sure if they do a transforming MG kit again in the future, they’ll iron out the problems here and it will be just that much better. As long as it can stand up I’ll be a happy camper. Now that 2.0 is here, it gets me excited thinking about what Bandai will give us when they move to 3.0

The future is now!

12 Responses so far.

  1. Jason says:

    Trust me when I say that you can’t begin to appreciate the articulation in on this kit unless you have built the Zeta 1.0. As beautiful as that kit looked in pictures it was a floppy mess from the start. It was literally a rag doll. I don’t know what cheats they did to get it to hold poses in the photos but I suspect it was glue. And don’t even mention the fail that was the Waverider…

    The crowning achievement of the 2.0 is that it could actually hold itself together in both forms. That it could pose at all was a huge bonus.

    • R.E. says:

      I’m able to pose mine just fine. It’s a matter of alignment. The wave rider actually locks in place with a few aligned tabs and the all important clip from the collar to the shield. This, believe it or not, actually makes the kit look sharp or floppy. If you notice in the transformation when the head sinks in, there’s this strange clip thing protruding out of it. This actually clips to an H-shaped slot on the shield which, if done right, holds everything in place from the wings to the body and the arms. Just make sure the long tabs folded on the internals of the wings are flipped out and inserted into the inner recesses of the shield along with the circle parts on the clips on the red part which makes up the nose cone. Now, the legs, I forget if I found a tab that holds it in place but I think there was something for it as well. I do admit that the manual isn’t exactly the best especially back in 2005 but if you play with it enough, it’ll lock in place right.

      One thing we probably can agree on is that this kit sure is fussy to transform but the engineering was astonishing for its time topped only when you find how they incorporate all this in the RG.

  2. Bocalt says:

    Thanks for the review, I just ordered this kit as you nearly finished building, thanks for giving me the extra boost. As much as I enjoyed the review, I still wonder how well it aged next to say the mess of the Delta plus, the Rezel, its own RG,etc…

  3. Paolo Alexis Falcone says:

    I remember buying this kit the first time it came out (previously owned the 1.0 just a few months earlier).

    The Zeta 2.0 is worlds apart in terms of stability and articulation compared to the 1.0 whose arms and wings always sagged. Not to mention it sported the sharper look that I loved from the anime (Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam brought me to the GUNPLA craze so many years ago). Sadly this unit got washed away in a flood a few years ago.

    Then after seeing and building so many RG Zeta Gundams (which I think is the Z Gundam to beat), I’d like to own an MG Zeta once more.

  4. Scubasage says:

    While I don’t have the Zeta 2.0, I have the Zeta 3 P2 Type Red Zeta instead, and the trick I found for the Hyper Mega Launcher is to use the arm with the shield as a rest to keep the gun raised. It’s still leaning downwards, but having put the Red Zeta on a high shelf, it now looks like it’s purposefully aiming down at the viewer.

  5. Brian says:

    It’s great you reviewed this kit as if it was released in 05! But how would you compare this kit with some of the more modern kits, especially ones that are not Ver Ka? I’ve had my eyes set on the Red Zeta for a bit and I built P-Bandais of old kits (i.e. Destiny Impulse, Red Frame, etc.). There’s no doubt even the most fantastic kits-if-the-year materials show some age.

  6. Harold says:

    As someone who built the original 1/100 Zeta (the thing that preceded the MG), this kit was amazing. The original was obviously not even a snap-tight, and still had many problems, and if I remember correctly had polycap-like antennas (the horns)…

    Anyway, this is probably my favorite gundam up to this date and this review brought back memories for sure.

  7. Alberto from Italy says:

    Boys, after a loooong trying, there’s a way to make Zeta hold the Hyper Mega Launcher:

    1) first of all, don’t care of thrusting the lower handle hole in the hand peg: just close the hand around the lower handle, as you did with the old 1.0 kits weapons.

    2) put the ending part of the HML under the armpit, so that it is slightly leaned against the side of the body;

    3) put the other hand on the side HML handle.

    It is shown in a picture on the box or in the manual, I can’t remember well.

    It will aim a bit to the left, but at least it does stay in place even without the hand peg/handle hole gimmick!

  8. R.E. says:

    I have some gripes about the wave rider mode on this review.

    1. The cockpit on the shield is not attached right; it’s supposed to sink in further and flush into the shield. A tab on the front of the cockpit is not slipped in properly into its slot.

    2. The rifle is not folded properly. It’s still extended and it should be tucked in to its body.

    3. The landing gear were not properly shown off which attaches to the hyper mega launcher which helps it as a display option. I feel this should have been credited in the extras.

    4. The beam saber handles which were used as beam guns in the show shown to be able to pop out in wave rider mode similar to how they are jettisoned in MS mode isn’t featured either.

    5. The hands are supposed to be closed and tucked as near the cuff as possible but I guess that’s a matter of taste.

    On to the robot mode which is a bit less than in the wave rider review.

    1. The grenade pods that go on the arms are able to slide out to pop a pair of grenade rounds hidden in the cuffs. this is a pretty important feature as it shows a significant level of detail that we don’t see much in many kits later on without part swapping. Or at least started the play trend in a way without sacrificing it’s main function as a transformable unit. Although I’m known to be a dumb animal so just ignore the last few things I said and focus on “The pop out grenade rounds were not featured.”

    2. Ankles are not popped down to the proper MS position, hence the knee articulation will be bad. This is most obvious with the position of the thruster covers on the rear of the leg being in the up position as it is tied with the ankle assembly to clue you in on whether the ankles are on the right positions.

    3. This is also another matter of taste but I can’t help but notice that the hyper mega launcher’s top handle is also set in wave rider mode even when “deployed” and held. You should be able to pull that out and up to cover the unsightly gap where the cable going into the main body runs into.

    Just the two cents of a rambling rabid animal. Please pay no heed.

    • R.E. says:

      I regres my 4th gripe on the Wave rider mode. I had realized I mixed that up with the HGUC and do apologize for the misinformation. However, I would still stand behind the rest and hope to inform readers about these missing details.

  9. Alberto from Italy says:

    Guys, I forgot one thing about holding the Hyper Mega Launcher.

    Watch very carefully the picture of Zeta holding the HML on the side of thw kit box, please.

    You’ll notice the peculiar position of the left arm: the shield is oriented DOWNWARDS, so the left palm is oriented UP, and the left thumb is oriented LEFTWARDS when holding the left side handle.

    If Mr Syd would be so kind as to sending me an e-mail by writing to me or in some other ways (I entered my e-mail address when I started writing this message, I could send him some photos illustrating the gimmick!

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