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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Toy Review: Zoids Blade Liger!

Presenting Van Flyheight's Zoids Blade Liger from Zoids: Chaotic Century and Zoids: Guardian Force.

People have been posting photos of various Zoids on the Facebook pages that I hang out in so I thought that I would take out some of my Zoids from storage and present them.

I'm honestly not a fan of Zoids. I just enjoyed how they looked, the fact that they could move and the fact that you had to assemble them by hand.

My greatest Zoid treasure is actually the Liger Zero - which barely beat a Blade Liger in the cartoons - because I really love how the armor can be swapped out with the parts of other Zoids to boost its capabilities. Unfortunately, my Fire Phoenix and my Jet Falcon are deeper in storage than I expected. It'll take a while.

If you follow the Science behind Zoids, then you know that the Blade Liger is a new Zoid that has nothing to do with the Shield Liger that was considered substandard at the time that the Republican Army encountered the Geno Saurer.

If you follow the Cartoon, then this is Van Flyheight's original Shield Liger, Caesar, rebuilt after it's battle with the Geno Saurer and merged with Zeke, the Organoid.

Personally I prefer the Cartoon origin. There's a certain romantic mysticism behind thinking of Zoids as sentient wild mechanical beasts who choose and have fierce loyalty to their riders that have to be tamed versus them being mere 'mechs.

The Shield Liger retains Caesar's E-Shield Generators that form the mane of the Zoid but now sports four Completion Refrigerator cooling units on it's shoulders and flanks that extend when the E-Shield is in use.

The Blade Liger drops most of Caesar's conventional weaponry, specifically: the Pop-Out missile pods mounted on it's flanks; the AMD Double Barrelled 20mm Beam Cannon on it's tail, and; the pop-up Anti-Zoid 30mm Double-Barrelled Beam gun mounted on it's back.

The Blade Liger adds 32 tons of mass and has grown by 3.2 metters, but now moves a full 75 kph faster than his previous incarnation (un-agmented maximum speed of 325 kph).

The chest mounted tri-barreled Zoid-Shock Cannon on the chest of the Shield Liger has been dropped and replaced by a longer barreled - longer ranged - double Barreled Shock Cannon.

But of course the most obvious difference is the addition of two fold-out Laser blades on the flanks of the Blade Liger. Each Blade is further augmented by long-range Pulse Laser Guns mounted on the back side of each blade.

The last major change is that Caesar now seats two - allowing for the Ancient Zoidian Fiona to sit behind our young protagonist Van Flyheight - and that the cockpit hinges from the skull of the Zoid instead of from the nose of the Shield Liger.

The Zoid kit actually comes with two unpainted versions of Van and Fiona - one seated and one standing - and of course Zeke. The Shield Liger also ran on two AA batteries, the Blade Liger runs on two AAA sized batteries. But don't expect this to run and leap like it does in the cartoon. At best the toy will waddle forward at a slow crawl.

In it's battle mode, the Blade Liger's mane and cooling systems can be extended. Caesar's Blades can be positioned to the side or forward to fire the Pulse-Lasers:

Despite the enhancements, Van and Caesar barely defeated Raven's Geno Saurer - technically it was Raven's arrogance that caused his downfall as he attempted to use his long-range devastating main-weapon point-blank.

Raven survived and he acquired a new Geno Saurer which - with the help of his own organoid, Shadow - also evolved into Geno Breaker which proved to be too much for Van's Blade Liger AND his allies. Van and his Blade Liger only survived because he was blasted off a cliff by the Geno Saurer's Charged Particle Beam.

In their next engagement, Caesar was upgraded with a fold out Attack Booster (BUT WE DON"T HAVE THE ATTACK BOOSTER - this is the Blade Liger's standard fold-out rocket-booster) on it's shoulders that boosted the Blade Liger's top speed to 350 kph. The battle proved to be a draw - though apparently the Geno Saurer could not keep up sustained combat, so it was only a matter of time - and a new villain had appeared on the field: Hiltz with his Death Stinger (Later Death Saurer).

This is the TOMY version of the Blade Liger released between 2000 and 2004 which is unfortunately known for poorly fitting/loose parts - which is not as bad as it sounds, just don't throw it around or expect it to survive rough handling (Though anything that falls off can simply be re-attached).

The Blade Liger is still a wonderful example of toy engineering for it's time and it's Amazon price reflects this. The Tomy Blade Liger is still available on Amazon for a whopping US$ 142.15 (Roughly PhP  6,112.45 plus shipping. It's highest current selling price is US$ 169.05 - PhP 7,270).  It's more expensive than both the Zoids 25th Anniversary Japanese Kotobukiya Model Kit RZ-028 Blade Liger (US$ 88.50 - PhP 3,805) and the Revoltech: Blade Liger (US$ 77.50 - PhP 3,332.50) both of which are highly articulated and pose-able (Though also well known for falling parts).

If you have it, consider yourself lucky.

For the full gallery and review, do visit

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