Tao of the Machine

Programming, Python, my projects, card games, books, music, Zoids, bettas, manga, cool stuff, and whatever comes to mind.

Phenotype's Zoids site

This page has some interesting Zoids stuff.

Posted by Hans Nowak on 2003-04-12 22:56:40   {link}
Categories: Zoids


$70 for a Spiderzoid. This way I'll never get it. :(

In other news, here's a site with a bunch of Zoid reviews, pictures, etc.

New Blox are coming up. Here's Cannon Diver (some kind of sea turtle?) and Diantler. I suppose Cannon Diver would be alright if not for the ridiculous guns (?), but Diantler looks just weird. A two-legged moose?

Posted by Hans Nowak on 2003-03-11 10:47:19   {link}
Categories: Zoids


(via Slashdot) Real programmers use this keyboard.

In other news, I actually got a refund from the Ebay seller that sold me fake Zoids. Very nice.

Posted by Hans Nowak on 2003-02-25 09:47:29   {link}
Categories: programming, Zoids


I "won" (bought) 4 Zoids on Ebay a while ago. I received them the other day. Everything looked fine and dandy until I actually started building one (a Pteras). These Zoids are fake! Here's what's wrong with the Pteras, for example:
  • The colors are way off. (Roughly, blue and light grey are reversed.)
  • The cockpit cap, normally a see-through "glass", is an opaque light grey.
  • The wings cannot fold and don't move when the Zoid walks.
  • The plastic is cheap. Some parts were already loose when I opened the plastic.
  • The manual looks like a carbon copy, not what you normally get with Zoids. Also, some numbers in the instructions are not correct.
  • The stickers aren't see-through; rather, they have a white background.
The Ebay seller goes by the name of easy258. He's a power seller with not too much negative feedback. I wonder if he made a honest mistake, or is malicious (or just doesn't care about what he sells). I suppose that to the untrained eye, the boxes and their contents would look legit. (The boxes don't have "Tomy" on them, by the way...) I am currently investigating this seller.

Posted by Hans Nowak on 2003-02-22 17:21:55   {link}
Categories: Zoids

New Zoids coming out

Hasbro press release.

I'm not sure whether to stop collecting them now (because I'm running out of room), to collect them all (and damn the consequences :-), or collect just some of them. Experience learns that with Zoids there isn't really "let's get just a few". Sigh...

They're going to release interesting stuff, and instead of having to order them on Ebay, I can now (hopefully) go to Wal-mart, K-Mart or Target and pick them up. I want Nightwise, the only cute basic Blox. (In fact I already ordered it a while ago, but due to a misunderstanding it was sent to the Netherlands. So I never saw it...) Other promising, better Blox are Buster Eagle (ridiculously large guns though) and Fire Phoenix. I'm also interested in that Cannon Spider (what does it look like?). As for the regular Zoids, the Chameleon could be cute, and there are some beasties that were supposedly part of the OER release as well, but I missed them. Hammer Rock (OER name Zore) is one of them. (So is Atak Cat, OER name Helcat, by the way.) Then there's Gorhecks, Houndsoldier, Gojulas Giga...

Posted by Hans Nowak on 2003-02-15 15:57:05   {link}
Categories: Zoids


Almost every weblog has sections that are probably uninteresting to casual readers. Mine will not be different. :-) Expect more on bettas, card games and such. But today's trivial topic is... Zoids!

What are Zoids? They're really nifty toys models. They are usually in the shape of some animal, often a dinosaur, although the more recent models include mammals, fish and even insects. The box doesn't contain a pre-built model; rather, it contains the parts, and you have to build it yourself. This is part of their appeal. Also, most Zoids (except some recent ones) move, either by a wind-up mechanism (the smaller ones) or by batteries (the bigger ones). Essentially, you're building a cool-looking robot.

Zoids made a comeback last year, and now they can be found on shelves at your local Walmart, K-Mart, Target, Toys-R-Us, etc. They originate from the early 80s though. The first models seem really primitive compared to today's products, barely more than a wind-up mechanism with a head, tail and some legs tacked on. Still, to many of us, they have a real old-school coolness to them.

Back in the day, I collected almost all Zoids known to man. I only missed out on one of the older models, or so I thought... turns out there were more, I just never saw them in stores. Unfortunately, Spiderzoid cannot be had for a few dollars these days...

I tend to frown on the current Zoid "movement". It's too commercialized and "kiddified". Nowadays there's even an anime series, which I find uninteresting. :-( Hasbro keeps on cranking out Zoids in ugly colors, with stupid names often different from the OER releases. (Some names don't make sense at all; the 2002 release of "Redler" is actually purple, for example.) I just wish they would rerelease that spider again... :-)

Some links:

  • On Ebay, you can find hundreds of Zoids, some new, some old, some from Japan, some from Europe or the US. (And occasionally an ugly low-quality bootleg...)
  • There's a mailing list, ZoidFans. Many of these people have been around since the 80s. Some of them seem to have an unhealthy fascination with huge guns on small Zoids, though. Freud would have interesting thoughts about that...
  • Jerry Dreiss's homepage. (Has been around for a while too; I remember visiting the site in 1997 when a Zoids rerelease was just a glimmer in the eye of Tomy product managers...)
  • Hasbro's Zoids page.
More links can be found by Googling.

Posted by Hans Nowak on 2002-12-10 21:29:39   {link}
Categories: Zoids

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