MSIA MSN-04 Sazabi
At first, I didn’t know exactly what to expect with this figure, this was my first MSIA figure and I had heard both good and bad comments about this line. I’ll try and keep this review as mutual as possible, and let you decide for yourself.
The Sazabi is a monstrous red mobile suit piloted by Char Aznable (シャア・アズナブル) in the anime film, “Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattcack” (機動戦士ガンダム 逆襲のシャア) taking place in UC 0093. This was the final story of the original saga that started in 1988 with “Mobile Suit Gundam”, and continued through “Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam” and “Mobile Suit Gundam Double Zeta”, and would bring to an end the 14 year old rivalry between Char (founder of the Republic of Zeon) of the Zeon forces and Amuro Ray (アムロ・レイ, Hero of the series) of the Earth Federation. Anyway, the story line, characters and all the politics of the series is way too complicated to be summed up in a few paragraphs so I’ll leave that out and move onto the Sazabi itself.
The Sazabi was commissioned by Char to be designed and built as a custom mobile suit to take advantage of his Newtype abilities (humans with heightened mental awareness, some even possessing telepathic / telekinetic abilities). Built by Luna based contractor Anaheim Electronics, the Sazabi was a very large and heavily armored mobile suit. Despite its large size, it was very quick and maneuverable as it is equipped with a lot more thrusters and verniers compared to mass-produced mobile suits.
The main benefit of this monstrous mobile suit was the use of the revolutionary new technology called the “PSYCHOFRAME”, which involves constructing the cockpit with psycommu (PSYCOMMU stands for PSYchic COMMUnicator system) receptors to increase the pilot’s Newtype sensitivity and responsiveness.
The Sazabi also has 6 funnel units (attack pods located on the back) that could also be controlled mentally by Char using the psycommu system over large distances.
Name: MSN-04 Sazabi
Line: Mobile Suits in Action – Extended
Material: Various plastics
Original Price: ¥3,000 (approx. $38AUD / $33USD)
Height: 145mm / 5.7inches
The packaging appears to be of very good quality, it is compact and not overly big for the contents inside. There are plenty of images of the product and features, but nothing beats being able to flip open the front and see the real thing. Graphics is well managed here, on the front is a nice hero image of the product against the embossed name of the item in reflective silver lettering.
The Sazabi comes with all of its signature weapons, including a beam rifle, pair of beam sabres, beam tomahawk, shield, funnels and of course all the hands to hold the weapons. The tomahawk comes as two options, the short version and the longer sword like version where the beam can actually be removed. There is also a second head included with the top part opened to reveal the escape pod as seen in the anime. I almost forgot, it also comes with a Collection Data Sheet with information about the Sazabi…in Japanese:( (but the pictures are cool!)
Apart from the model kits, there aren’t many Sazabi figures you can actually purchase, which is a shame because this is such a nicely designed mobile suit. It looks really menacing in the anime and the sheer size of it is just awesome. I think MSIA have done a good job in translating this over to a completed action figure line but made it more playable than the model kits. Lots of soft rubbery plastics used in various places to increase durability. However, because soft plastics are used here, the sculptural detail isn’t as sharp and defined as the model kits that use the harder plastics. I also think the hands are too big for the figure, but this seems to be the case across the entire MSIA line.
This figure really ticks all the right boxes in this department. There are plenty of joints and it does pretty much whatever you want it to. Only downside here being that the shield is possibly too heavy for the arm joint as it doesn’t like to stay in the up position.
I can’t really tell if this guy has been fully painted, or just moulded in colour. I can say that the colour is quite even and there are no apparent flow lines in the plastic that I can see. The red on some parts (front apron) are slightly different and I think it is due to the different materials but it isn’t too bad.
There’s quite a bit of painted detail especially in the thrusters and verniers which I think is quite nice.
The MSIA extended line also includes inked panel lines which highlight a lot of the detail quite nicely, although this was not done completely throughout the figure. There are only two printed markings on the figure, one on the front apron and one on the shield – I would have liked to see more.
There is actually quite a bit of detail to show on such a small figure, firstly let’s take a look at the funnel pod on the back. It opens and closes and stores three closed funnels each side which can be taken out of course. All the thrusters are well sculpted and hidden under the aprons and the legs which was a pleasant surprise for me!
The foot even has the spike feature replicated, although I don’t really know what it is for but it does show great attention to detail. Speaking of which, it even has working pistons in the triceps on the arms!!
Ok, I hope I have kept it quite neutral throughout the review to let you make up your own minds about this figure.
I gotta say I really like this toy, at ¥3,000 it is a real value for money product. Although not as sharp as the model kits, and the paint application leaves a bit to be desired, it still displays well in all poses and has excellent play value – definitely earned a place in my collection.
Thanks for reading my toy review!