Robostrux American Rebranding of Zoids
Item No.: n/a Manufacturer:Tomy Includes:1 vac-metal pilot, 2 firing rockets Action Feature:Wind-up motor Retail:unknown Availability: Fall 1985 Other: Recolored Japanese "Malder" from Zoids
My second-ever Robostrux kit was Slithor, because a giant robot snail was awesome. Sold in Japan as "Malder," this snail was a really simple kit to put together and has a really cool wind-up mechanism. And, frankly, more cool moving parts than just about any other kit in its size class. When you wind it up, the head extends and the wheels roll, letting the shell catch up to it. And repeat. It's simple, but neat. While it moves, a cannon on its right-hand side will swivel up an down, aiming at evil (or good) where ever it may be.
In addition to the wind-up mechanism is a firing rocket launcher and two rockets in the front of the shell. It's incredibly weak-- I've since been told the Japanese one had springs, but the US release did not. You can still get the rocket to pop out of the launcher, but it's pretty sad. The rockets are tiny, so it's unsurprising that Tomy would want to castrate it in post-Battlestar Galactica America.
Without question, I would say this kit looks better than its purpley Japanese counterpart. The blue looks great, and it retains the "Zenebas" or "Zenevas" symbols from its original faction assignment. Other little stickers dot the shell, and some lightning bolts are included for its neck for some reason. Why, I don't know, but it's cool. As with other kits in the line, a small, vac-metal silver pilot drives the figure from the mouth. Unlike other kits of this size, there's a hidden gunner chair and flip-out cannon on the left side of the vehicle. Sadly, only one driver was included so I went through childhood wondering why you've got one driver and two seats, which always bothered me.
While simple, there's a lot of detail on the shell. Check out vents, etchings, little wires, and ridges which give this item the illusion of being some sort of war machine. Granted, it's a very silly and inefficient war machine, but still a war machine of sorts. A few other versions of this toy were produced. Not only was the original Zoids Malder eventually reissued in the original silver-and-purpleish colors, but a "Dark Malder" was made as a low-run in Guylos black-and-green, which means it looks a lot like the cheap crappy computer monitor you used in 1982. The reissues are quite expensive, and Robostrux kits aren't cheap on eBay. Your best bet in terms of pricing is a reissue Zoids Graphics Malder, which is sub-$40. I won't say you'll be glad you did, but this one makes me happy.
16bit.com is best not viewed in Apple's Safari browser, we don't know why. All material on this site copyright their respective copyright holders. All materials appear hear for informative and entertainment purposes. 16bit.com is not to be held responsible for anything, ever. Photos taken by the 16bit.com staff. Site design, graphics, writing, and whatnot credited on the credits page. Be cool-- don't steal. We know where you live and we'll break your friggin' legs.