Packaging - 5/10The Zako Soldier comes on the same card as the rest of the line. The artwork is fairly minimal; the Superior Defender and Bandai's logos at the top of the card and yellow design which I think is supposed to be a dimensional portal behind the figure. It is sparce but not bad. The bubble has two inserts which add some visual appeal and displays the Zako Soldier nicely with its armor off.
The downside of the card is that the back is completely generic. The five main characters are shown along with a small blurb for the show's background. There is no information about this figure or any of the other releases currently available.
Sculpting - 7/10There isn't a lot of detail that you can cram on such a small figure, and it wouldn't be in keeping with the simpler style of the show. But they still managed to keep enough detail make a visually interesting figure.
Paint - 4/10The paint applications are all very well done given the limited pallette used, but sadly they have two short comings. The first is that the overall scheme is rather dull. It is based on the designs for the Zaku's in the original Gundam series. But what works for a military design doesn't work well here.
The second problem is an inconsistent finish. The Zako's head, feet, wrists and one shoulder pad have a gloss finish while the rest is a matte finish. As a result the hands don't match the rest of the figure and the darker body colors seem even darker.
Articulation - 8/10 (5/10 with the armor on)One of the things that attracted me to this figure after passing on all of the other releases in the line so far was the articulation on the inner frame. Nineteen points on a figure that is just a hair over three inches is rather impressive. Unfortunately, the armor greatly restricts the movement of most of the articulation.
Accessories - 5/10The Zako Soldier comes with a machine gun, heat hawk and two halves of its armor. The armor snaps on snugly and can be blown off by pressing down on the figure. The gun and axe can both be held securely. They are all very servicable but not impressive.
Value - 6/10This is certainly no ground breaking figure, but at $4.99 you get a good bang for your buck. The only sortcoming is that if you are a fan of the show, you'll need to have an entire army.
Happy Hunting:I picked up the Zako Soldier at the west side Target in Madison, WI. It seems to be shipping with the latest wave of SD Gundams. You should be able to find it as stores restock post X-mas at all your favorite toy departments.