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Tri Charger


19 comments posted
Not rare enough that you can't be patient

These things pop up on ebay with enough frequency, but always with a crazy starting bid. After reading this review I can see why. I have similar problems with 80's G.I.Joes falling apart, but back in day those things were sturdy enough to take some real abuse. So many great plastic and rubber toys do not survive due to materials, so this specimen looks like a great find. Thanks for sharing!

Materialist Zen's picture
Posted by Materialist Zen on 1 March, 2009 - 17:31

Haha, I remember being a kid and watching tapes of this show. I've been wondering for years what its name was! I always thought the designs were pretty neat, and wondered why there weren't toys. I guess I was wrong about that part.

Dkun's picture
Posted by Dkun on 1 March, 2009 - 17:56
His feet are supposed to go

His feet are supposed to go into those nooks in the legs.

Shinji Aramaki did not design it by the way, it was Ammonite and Kunio Aoi.

The toy appears fragile, but one of the ones I bought was loose and is still intact. Now a kid playing with it could probably destroy it in a few minutes, but it holds up with multiple transformations quite well.

These do go for quite a bit because they just didn't make that many and the whole toy line was ended abruptly along with the show since it didn't do well. Which is a shame since the show is quite good and the designs are really great.

The instructions are easily the worst I've seen in some time, completely skipping the third mode of the toy where it can roll on the rear wheels while the upper section is in robot mode. Basically Sega had one piece of paper to put the instructions on, and the other side had to be used to promote the other toys so this is the result of that. The first one I got was a loose one, needless to say I gave up trying to figure out how to transform it until I managed to get a boxed one.

One other thing it has is the old pull back and release mechanism like old vehicle toys. Only, I wouldn't dare send this thing flying out under it's own power unless there were some pillows in front of it.

duke togo's picture
Posted by duke togo on 4 March, 2009 - 17:17
Looks nice. Has a very

Looks nice. Has a very MOSPEDA feel to it.

Decade010's picture
Posted by Decade010 on 2 March, 2009 - 14:42
Duke, thanks for the info on

Duke, thanks for the info on the designers. Did they design anything else of note? Everything I've found seems pretty obscure. "Love Position? Baqi, The Monster of Mighty Nature?"

The Enthusiast's picture
Posted by The Enthusiast on 2 March, 2009 - 18:05

Zillion's staff is really the Robotech II: The Sentinels staff, many of whom originally worked on Southern Cross. Interestingly enough, the mecha in Zillion is largely reworked versions of mecha designed for the Sentinels. The ship they have that carries their bikes around is a redesigned version of the "SDF-7" spaceship that carts around the GMU tank thing from Sentinels (it has a sea version and another jet as well as the redesign GMU thing), the Tri-Charger is a revised version of the "prototype Cyclone" thing from Sentinels, the purple Nohza robots that are always getting blown up in the Zillion anime are a revised Invid Inorganic design, et cetera.


Destroy All Podcasts DX's picture
Posted by Destroy All Pod... on 2 March, 2009 - 18:05
I thought the enemy suits

I thought the enemy suits looked a little too familiar, I thought maybe Harmony Gold just did another ripoff of something else.

I had read before that they worked on both, but that was long ago when fanzines weren't as reliable in fact checking and I chalked it up to assumptions based on rumor.

duke togo's picture
Posted by duke togo on 4 March, 2009 - 12:36

It's very easily fact-checked. Look at the credits to Southern Cross, Sentinels, and Zillion. Ammonite, Tatsunoko's in-house mecha design team, did the mecha designs in all three. Robotech Art 3 contains information on the creation of the Sentinels, including how a lot of the designs were recycled from material intended for the part of Southern Cross that never saw the light of day because the show was canned early. RA3 also contains much paranoia on Carl Macek's fault. He admits he insisted on having more of the Macross characters in Sentinels because he was afraid when he the show was done Tatsunoko would just cut out the Macross characters and call it a new show in Japan. So paranoid was he about this that he fired all the Japanese writers (including Ohnogi and Tomita of Macross) and had Americans rewrite all the scripts.

Robotech Art 3, the hardcover book of the first Robotech II: The Sentinels collection from Malibu/Eternity comics, Palladium's Robotech II and REF Field Guide RPG books, and the extras on the Robotech II: The Sentinels DVD from ADV contain much of the Japanese art for Sentinels, which shows an uncanny resemblance to the mecha in Zillion, despite predating it. And of course it was designed by the same team. While I doubt Tatsunoko would admit it, they clearly just BARELY redesigned the mecha. Why would they waste all that effort designing that stuff?

You can see some of the Zillion lineart in the back of one of the Malibu/Eternity Zillion comic adaptations and I assume there's Japanese art books somewhere. If I remember, I will try to dig out some of that crap and scan it.


Destroy All Podcasts DX's picture
Posted by Destroy All Pod... on 4 March, 2009 - 14:23
I've got the Zillion art

I've got the Zillion art books, and quite a few of those that you mentioned. I guess I didn't specify it was back in 1989 when I read it, like old Protoculture Addicts and Animag days.

It's been 20 years since I cracked open the Robotech Art 1-3 books as well. I'd like to have a more organized library of all the books and such I have, but with all the web outlets available it made it feel less and less important since so much of it is instantly available.

Ironically Zillion was a better show than Sentinels was, and in an odd twist ended up being licensed by Streamline, Macek's company. He must still own them since it got pulled off Crunchy Roll due it being licensed.

duke togo's picture
Posted by duke togo on 4 March, 2009 - 16:42
99 Mysteries of Zillion

One great Zillion reference magazine that I think I still own that might be somewhere buried in my archives is a supliment book that came with a copy of Animage that I bought back in the 1980's.

The 'zine was called "The 99 Mysteries of Zillion" and it was just that. It had the 99 production, story, design and charactor facts and trivia from Zillion listed in order of from 1 to 99. It was a cool little mag.

The fact that I didn't know anybody who knew about anime back then I believed for many years that the show was called "The 99 Mysteries of Zillion" as I didn't know anybody who could tell me otherwise.


Leonardo Flores
CollectionDX Staff Writer-West Coast Bureau

Showapop's picture
Posted by Showapop on 4 March, 2009 - 17:51
I've got that book, along

I've got that book, along with an Animage Special mook devoted to the show.

I dug up my stuff and the only thing I don't see on yours is the face guard that plugs into the head part. It comes in the little baggie that the little parts came in. Other than that if anything looks missing it could just be mis-transformed.

The Ridingceptor comes with a cannon that can be placed on its shoulder, but that's the only part that is swappable.

Here's a link to a Japanese review that shows the third form with the face guard along with more pics for you to compare.

duke togo's picture
Posted by duke togo on 5 March, 2009 - 11:57
Zillion Tri-Charger

The one Pony Toy Go Round toy that I was never able to purchase! It was proudly displayed in the tall glass case when you first walked in the shop and it blew my mind. One of the few toys I still want from the 80's that I was never able to get and I still mourn that to this day. The entire Zillion line was fantastic and but Pony Toy never seemed to stock any other pieces from the line other than this ( I remember it being about $55.00) and the JJ figure which I bought and since reviewed here on CDX.

Being a big fan of GI Joe it was great to see a line of Japanese action figures in the same scale as G.I. figures with what I admit having one of the best vehicle accessories ever, the Tri-Charger. The motorcycle with the side-car was great looking as well, I've been wanting to pick one of these up for a long time and I'm always checking Yahoo Japan for one ( They usually start out at Yen 350,00) and reviewing one for CDX but you beat me to it! Quality aside, one of the finest looking toys to ever come out of the 80's and still firmly holds my attention. Imagine the lucky kid that has three of these for all the members of the White-Nuts!!

Is there are part missing? I remember it having an extra part that snapped onto the seat area in front of the rider.

Thanks for review!

Leonardo Flores

Leonardo Flores
CollectionDX Staff Writer-West Coast Bureau

Showapop's picture
Posted by Showapop on 4 March, 2009 - 12:00
His TriCharger looks

His TriCharger looks complete to me, I've got a few of them and they all have the same stuff. It's biggest issue is it's not as accurate to the show since it's about twice the size as the anime. That and the fact that the shoulder cannon comes with the RidingCeptor, so unless you have both it's not complete.

I guess I'll need to get off my rear and do a quick review of that one.

duke togo's picture
Posted by duke togo on 4 March, 2009 - 12:44
missing piece

It seems like there should be something in front of the controls (the console sort of floats above a big void), but I'm not in possession of or aware of such a piece.

The Enthusiast's picture
Posted by The Enthusiast on 4 March, 2009 - 13:26
Missing TriCharger Part?!

It's coming back to me, the instruction sheet of the loose JJ figure makes mention of the part but I always assumed it came with the TriCharger or the other Motorcycle/sidecar Combo. It might be for the other motorcycle but it could be for the TriCharger just as well. I can't be sure until I get home tonight and check the instruction. If the part doesn't come with either the TriCharger or the loose figure where do you get the part from?!!

20 year old questions need answers!

Leonardo Flores
CollectionDX Staff Writer-West Coast Bureau

Showapop's picture
Posted by Showapop on 4 March, 2009 - 13:46
The RidingCeptor came with

The RidingCeptor came with parts that could go on the TriCharger. It seems SEGA realized early on that mixing parts between toys was a sure way to make kids want both.

I'll dig it out tonight. Bear with me as I have too much stuff for the limited space I have and it's all just piled on top of each other in boxes.

Also, just look up your old JJ review on the site, it shows the picture of the bike.

Also, just like in his review, the thing is a beast to transform, and the possibility of a bit being out of position is not unlikely.

It's called the TriCharger for three reasons:

1. It has three wheels.
2. It has three modes. Bike, rolling suit hybrid, and suit.
3. It can be operated in three ways. Transportation, battle suit, robot ally.

The show actually focuses on the number three, which points out some of the connections to Southern Cross.

duke togo's picture
Posted by duke togo on 4 March, 2009 - 17:09

Thanks for the kind words. And thanks for the scholarship, it's very humbling. I am working on further contributions, hopefully of some pieces which haven't had as much exposure.

The Enthusiast's picture
Posted by The Enthusiast on 4 March, 2009 - 15:55