Review by JoshB
Lately, Yamato has not been making a lot of diecast toys. Their focus right now seems to be on Girly figures, and who can blame them, that’s where the money is.
Every once in a while, however, they surprise us robot fans with something amazing. Such is the case with this Shield Liger.
We’ve seen some amazing diecast from Yamato in the past – most notably the excellent Dangard Ace releases, but this toy takes it to a new level.
See, the Zoids Shield Liger is about 80% metal, and weighs in at 1.8kg – That’s about FOUR POUNDS of gokin. It’s astounding to hold. When I hand it to people, they are unprepared for the weight of it, their hands dipping with the massive beast.
The Shield Liger is one of the most iconic Zoids in the series. There are several variations, but they all seem to have a similar core design as this Liger. This particular representation comes from the anime adaption Zoids: Chaotic Century.
The box is great, with nice hand-painted art on the front and product details on the back. The cardboard is thick and meant to last. Inside the entire toy is packed in Styrofoam.
The styro tray actually has a lid on either side. The top lid gives access to the Zoid, the bottom reveals the stand parts. When you first try to remove the toy, it feels like the toy is stuck, but no, that’s just the weight of the thing.
The toy is self contained – there’s nothing to assemble. There are other parts but they are optional accessories and figures. Shield Liger is ready to go right out of the box.
There’s so much goodness here it’s tough to decide where to start.
The head has the least amount of metal but the most action. Metal on the head is reserved for the two side shield parts and probably some inner parts. There are four panels in all that can open to replicate the “Shield” in Shield Liger.
The jaw can open, and there are alternate jaw parts included but I’m not sure of their purpose. The parts are for the lower jaw, but they look no different. The upper jaw has two large fangs that are exceptionally sharp. The implementation of these fangs is one of the only weak points with this toy. When you open the cockpit, if you don’t do it just right, you push off the blue part on the nose that secures the fangs. Also, if you bump the fangs at all they become loose, and eventually come off if the blue part loosens as well.
Transparent amber cockpits are a Zoids trademark, and here are represented with a large opening cockpit. Inside are seats for two figures, and sitting versions of Van and Fiona are included.
The neck is double jointed and has a wide range of motion that is only limited by the shape of the head.
Each limb is almost entirely diecast. They are really quite amazing. They attach to the body with tight ball joints, and then have a hinge at the knees and then ball joints again at the ankles. The front legs have small diecast flaps that open at the top, and all four legs have a panel that moves right above the feet. Each lower leg has a spring in it, but the spring does nothing – it’s just for show. How cool would it have been to make these legs spring loaded? The important thing to take away here is that each leg is almost all solid metal, and very nicely done.
The body is also mostly metal, with three separate jointed sections. There’s a lot going on in these sections.
First of all you have cannons on either side that fold down with ratcheted joints. When these cannons are folded down, you can see the inner workings of the joints and really get a good look at the level of detail and engineering that went into this.
On the top of the body, just behind the head, is a blue panel that lifts up to reveal a hidden cannon on an articulated arm.
Underneath the neck there is a compartment that opens up to reveal the Zoids Core – a translucent green plastic ball. The core rattles around but does not come out – at least it appeared not to and I did not want to force it.
At the rear of the figure you have an articulated tail which is made of wire encased in hard rubber. You can bend it into any pose you please, and you can also remove it if you like. At the end of the tail is a two-part cannon. The swiveling part of the cannon is a bit loose and likes to fall off when handling.
Let’s not overlook the fantastic paint and detail on this. Each small hose and rivet is painted and detailed with expert precision. The toy is loaded with microscopic tampo-printed details and warnings that can be read with a microscope.
A small dinosaur looking thing called Zeke is included. This non-articulated figure is an Organoid, a mini-Zoid, who can fuse with the Zoid's core to give it extra abilities. Included is Zeke his Organoid form, and a Zoid core that is fused with Zeke.
Standing figures of Van and Fiona are included, but they don’t like to stand much. They would have been better if they had a little base molded on like plastic Army Men.
Finally, a clear stand is included. The stand features an angled base with a long arm that ends with a platform affixed to a ball joint. The platform has a black rubber pad on it to give some grip to it, but unfortunately it’s just not enough. The stand is to place the Shield Liger into an attack position on its hind legs, but the weight makes the figure slide off unless you position it just right. It’s not worth the risk of having it fall for me to display it like this. Also included is an adaptor that can use the same platform with a standard Yamato base.
This is a phenomenal toy. Normally I am not a big Zoids collector, but for this toy I will make an exception. It is just so well made, so well detailed, and so full of metal that I consider It a “must buy” toy. Cheers to Yamato for making another amazing high-end piece.
|Posted 28 April, 2011 - 20:29 by JoshB|