[Alen Yen's ToyboxDX]

  March 26, 2002

04.01.02: In quiet appreciation...
Text, Photos and Graphics by Tim Brisko

have two cabinets full of diecast treasures. Now my description of full may vary from yours, but needless to say, I have enough toys that an individual piece may sit in wait for many months without so much as moving an inch. Yet they sit there patiently, waiting for a special moment of recognition, to be held and to recapture the very joy so many of these pieces brought to me the very first time I held them.

I buy toys for many reasons. Some, like the Marmit 'Fierce Legend Of Super Robots', I pick up to display and admire, to fill out and add depth to the collection overall. Others I buy for the sheer enjoyment of the hunt, to find that odd, obscure treasure that has eluded the radar of many a collector. Then there are my favorites, the toys I buy to get a damn good toy. These days they are few and far between, but every once in a while a new toy comes out that I am just enamored with. In recent history I can think of few, however, one fine piece of toy-making comes to mind. I speak of the Kado-Senshi MS-06F Zaku.

I noticed the Zaku buried behind many other toys as I was reorganizing a shelf. I was moving around perfect grades, jumbo grades, and those little rubber bastards when I realized once again the simplicity and beauty of this toy. I stopped what I was doing, and picked it up. I must have lost almost an hour there fidgeting and playing with this forgotten friend. I posed and reposed him, swapped hands like a mad fool. I arranged him in classic poses from the anime. I had truly forgotten what a spectacular, modern mecha toy this was.

I was a child of the 80's mecha revolution. Sure, I love Mazinger, Gaiking and Getter Dragon, but when I laid hand on my first Takatoku Valk, my Shogun Warriors fell by the wayside. I was forever changed, doomed to the fate of the Mecha inspiration. My dreams were forever filled with Scopedogs, Gundams and of course the venerable valkyries that changed so many American children's idea of a good toy. The Kado Zaku embodies all of the goodness, and the 'soul' of the 80's mecha toy. Sure he has modern engineering, and some wacky child bearin' thighs, but he is a classic take on a classic design.

Articulation has always been my favorite gimmick in a figural toy. The KS Zaku has it in spades. From an engineering perspective, no detail was left unconsidered, from the extra joint added in the shoulder for the ultimate 'armed to the teeth' posing to the PVC skirt armor to allow for all those damned cool kneeling poses.

If you missed this fine toy, they are still readily available, and cheap to boot. I would urge you, even if the funky styling has you turned off to pick one up. In terms of its playful and poseable nature, it will undoubtedly put every one of your MSIA and most every other Gundam toy in your collection to shame.


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