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Valkyrie Hunter D

Akai Koudan Zillion & The Acquisition of a Grail

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It all started with an infrared toy gun game (similar to Lazer Tag) that Sega had created during the mid-80’s called Optical Trigger Zillion. The toy grew so popular that Sega worked with Tatsunoko Productions to make an animated series which centered on the Zillion guns. And so began the anime, Akai Koudan Zillion.


Among the subcontractors who worked on Zillion were producer Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, and character designer Takayuki Goto. After making Zillion, Ishikawa and Goto would later form anime industry giant Production I.G. Incidentally, Mamoru Oshii also scripted three episodes of Zillion under a pen name, and would later work with Ishikawa for Patlabor: The Movie. Mecha designers included the studio responsible for Southern Cross designs, and rumor has it that Zillion mecha designs were originally made for the scrapped Robotech Sentinels project. Zillion ran for 31 episodes during 1987 and spawned an OAV, Zillion: Burning Night. Sega would further capitalize on Zillion by producing two video games for their Mark III/Master System. Sega even molded their new light gun accessory for their game system to look like the Zillion gun itself. It was during this time that Sega also released toys based on the show, including the original Zillion light gun toy, with new packaging based on the anime.


The only way to buy the toys in the US was to rely on some specialty import shop, and even then one would be really lucky to see such a shop sell them. That’s exactly what happened when I was around 10 and saw toys of Champ and Apple, two protagonists from a Zillion video game I was really into at the time, inside an import hobby shop in LA. My uncle kindly bought me the Champ toy, and I remember the store owner saying that he used to sell the “bike and other vehicles from the show” too. “Bike?!” I thought to myself. “Show?! What show?” It wouldn’t be until a couple years later that I learned of the Zillion anime and its associated merchandise.


The desire to get the other toys that store owner mentioned just grew into a small obsession through the years and even with the internet, it was still hard to obtain Zillion toys. Well, that obsession has finally come to an end as I have finally acquired a nice little set. So let me share my joy by showing off this little gallery I’ve prepared of some rarely seen toys.

The first few pictures are of the transport vehicles used by the main characters of the show, the “White Nuts”. They are usually flown into their mission areas by a huge, white VTOL jet-the Big Porter. The Big Porter then drops off another vehicle that carries the White Nuts which could vary from an APC, a submersible, and even another jet. Just like in the anime, the smaller vehicles fit in the Big Porter quite snugly. The red APC features foldable winglets and pull-back motor for the center axle. The yellow submersible has a wind up motor for the main screw, and according to the instructions, can be placed in water. I haven’t tried this, and I don’t think I will in fear of rust damage, but the motor still seems very strong even after all these years. The blue jet features a small ramp and storage area for the tiny replica motorbikes the White Nuts use. The last picture of this set shows these motorbikes still on the sprue inside a plastic bag. I will probably lose them if I remove them from the sprue as they are just as long as my pinky nail.


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The next four pics are of two of the White Nuts themselves, Champ and Apple. Each comes with their own respective Zillion gun, eyepiece, and shoulder pads. Also included are instructions and a sticker sheet for the fine details. Of note is that Apple’s head, neck, hair and torso are all one piece, so no neck articulation for her. They are just a tad taller than the standard 3 ¾” GI Joe figure, and feature just as much articulation. I was real happy to get Champ back as I lost
my original one during a move.

wk1t_zps5a6c8d97.jpg wk2t_zpse101e9fe.jpg wk3t_zps0d3449a3.jpg wk4t_zps9eb66ae3.jpg

Next up are pics of the White Nuts’ main combat motorbike, the RidingCeptor. The tires are made of solid rubber, which surprisingly had not degraded one bit. Included is a sidecar which houses a pull-back motor and a hidden machine gun.
According to the instructions, the sidecar features a mechanism which allows it to separate from the bike once it’s in motion. I tried this out, but the sidecar would not separate. It did travel at a good clip across the kitchen table though. Also included are parts to attach a huge honking cannon to the sidecar. The cannon also comes in handy later, as
you’ll see.

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The last piece of the set is a toy of the Tri Charger, the White Nuts’ transformable ATV. Also included is figure of the third member of the White Nuts, JJ. As an ATV, the Tri Charger is solid except for the front metal arm that is attached to the front wheel. The joint for the arm is simply not secure enough to support the front of the ATV, so it collapses when placed on the ground. It was quite an ordeal to actually make this make this thing look the way it should, without a tilted front wheel. Each rear wheel also has a strong pull back motor, but this feature is rendered useless because of the weak front wheel assembly. As a suit of armor though, the Tri Charger really shines. Transformation is easy, and the legs are strong enough to support the top half. The only problematic areas I found are the plastic links which hold the helmet to the chest piece. The links are segmented to allow some flex, but too much stress on it leaves a stress mark, as the ninth photo shows. Despite this, it’s still a pretty cool toy, especially when the cannon from the RidingCeptor is mounted on its shoulder.

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Just a few pics of JJ and his ride. It seems both the RidingCeptor and the TriCharger are portrayed much larger than their animated counterparts. This is especially true with the Tricharger; just watch the anime’s opening and compare its relative size to the rider.

jj1t_zpsb83f0c6c.jpg jj2t_zpscd4585ec.jpg jj3t_zpsa8753987.jpg jj4t_zps563eae2e.jpg

Overall, Sega did an excellent job with these toys, especially how they put in features even for the smallest ones, and the Tricharger is just on par with the likes of the Gakken Ride Armor. I’m real happy to finally have obtained my grail; my curiosity has been fulfilled, and now I feel if I had to stop toy collecting at this point, I wouldn’t have a problem...I think.



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Wow. I never knew there were this many Zillion toys. I vaguely remember seeing I think the bike on Yahoo Japan auctions. Never the big plane toy. Plus it has attaching vehicles! I love the SEGA videogames. The first one was really good. I can't remember the second that much. I have both on my list to get again. Along with the anime. I only have one episode VHS tape and Burning Night. And that episode tape doesn't even start with episode 1. I'm positive the full run wasn't released over here. I'm still looking for cels from Zillion too. I rarely see them. Especially good ones. I do still have a few Zillion posters rolled away somewhere. I have the soundtrack too.

Edited by JetJockey

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Anyone else able to load bigger pictures? Either the forum is wigging out on me, or the thumbnails only are linking to.. themselves. :lol:

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Wow. I never knew there were this many Zillion toys. I vaguely remember seeing I think the bike on Yahoo Japan auctions. Never the big plane toy. Plus it has attaching vehicles! I love the SEGA videogames. The first one was really good. I can't remember the second that much. I have both on my list to get again. Along with the anime. I only have one episode VHS tape and Burning Night. And that episode tape doesn't even start with episode 1. I'm positive the full run wasn't released over here. I'm still looking for cels from Zillion too. I rarely see them. Especially good ones. I do still have a few Zillion posters rolled away somewhere. I have the soundtrack too.

Yep, the whole series was never released in full, at least in the U.S. Japan got a DVD box set not too long ago for the whole series with excellent artwork, and it goes for quite a pretty penny. Carl Macek and Streamline Pictures did release the first five episodes and the OAV on VHS during the 90's. The translation for the episodes were actually done well with nothing cut out AFAIK. However, it's a litlle jarring to watch the OAV right after those five episodes as the OAV takes place after the entire series. And the soundtrack is killer 80's stuff, gotta love it.

Anyone else able to load bigger pictures? Either the forum is wigging out on me, or the thumbnails only are linking to.. themselves. :lol:

The thumbnails should link to bigger pictures in my album and they seem to work now. Maybe this was during the forum maintenance period?

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Valkyrie Hunter D -

Did stickers come with the big ship toy? I was looking at the images and considering putting it on my list to find.

I hope someone releases the complete series on DVD/Blu-ray over here one day...

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Valkyrie Hunter D -

Did stickers come with the big ship toy? I was looking at the images and considering putting it on my list to find.

I hope someone releases the complete series on DVD/Blu-ray over here one day...

Yes, indeed it does. All the toys came with stickers, actually. The last pic in the first photo set above shows the sticker sheet for the Big Porter. It contains the main yellow stripes and cockpit markings for the smaller vehicles.

Don't hold your breath for a domestic DVD/BD set. I think Zillion is just too obscure a series to warrant a dedicated set. The fansubs out there are pretty good though.

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Cool thanks. I'm going to watch the show and probably get that big ship. Having all the other small vehicles be able to link up is just too cool.

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Guest davidwhangchoi

wow, thanks for linking me here valk D, the toys look very cool

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I'm glad they made a girl character first unlike what other companies keep doing with Mospeada. But I would be surprised if we don't get at least JJ after Apple.

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On 6/5/2017 at 3:06 PM, JetJockey said:

I'm glad they made a girl character first unlike what other companies keep doing with Mospeada. But I would be surprised if we don't get at least JJ after Apple.

Reviving and old thread, rather than unnecessarily creating a new one.

Has anyone picked up the Apple figure? Worth it?

As to other figures coming out, I think this is part of a line of female-only figures, so this is likely a one-and-done.

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2 hours ago, RavenHawk said:

Reviving and old thread, rather than unnecessarily creating a new one.

Has anyone picked up the Apple figure? Worth it?

As to other figures coming out, I think this is part of a line of female-only figures, so this is likely a one-and-done.

I like mine; nicely painted with crisp lines and no overspray.  It's a cute rendition of Apple that reflects her character, so yeah, it was worth it.  As a bonus she comes with Opa Opa as well.

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On 8/17/2018 at 2:50 PM, Valkyrie Hunter D said:

I like mine; nicely painted with crisp lines and no overspray.  It's a cute rendition of Apple that reflects her character, so yeah, it was worth it.  As a bonus she comes with Opa Opa as well.

Was on the fence about buying it, but then saw that Amazon has the figure for $30-40 less than the various usual online retailers, so took the plunge. Looking forward to it.

 

Edit: Scratch that. just went on to check on my order, and it shipped, for the price I originally paid yesterday... and the price for the remaining stock went up by $30.

Edited by RavenHawk

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20 hours ago, RavenHawk said:

Scratch that. just went on to check on my order, and it shipped, for the price I originally paid yesterday... and the price for the remaining stock went up by $30.

Nice catch!

If I had to guess which company will make more Zillion stuff in the near future, I'd have to say Evolution Toys...as much as I hate to say it.

Edited by Valkyrie Hunter D

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1 hour ago, Valkyrie Hunter D said:

Nice catch!

If I had to guess which company will make more Zillion stuff in the near future, I'd have to say Evolution Toys...as much as I hate to say it.

I REALLY wish we'd gotten that CMs Tri-Charger!

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22 hours ago, RavenHawk said:

Edit: Scratch that. just went on to check on my order, and it shipped, for the price I originally paid yesterday... and the price for the remaining stock went up by $30.

FYI, I paid $66 Sunday night. Today it's at $141. Never seen a price jump around so much on Amazon before.

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31 minutes ago, RavenHawk said:

I REALLY wish we'd gotten that CMs Tri-Charger!

I know, it came sooo close. CM's put out a teaser for it (as well as Dirty Pair figures) then went under.

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1 minute ago, Valkyrie Hunter D said:

I know, it came sooo close. CM's put out a teaser for it (as well as Dirty Pair figures) then went under.

All I've managed to ever find is that one teaser silhouette image, not even a prototype.

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Not sure 

On 7/17/2013 at 3:43 PM, Valkyrie Hunter D said:

Yes, indeed it does. All the toys came with stickers, actually. The last pic in the first photo set above shows the sticker sheet for the Big Porter. It contains the main yellow stripes and cockpit markings for the smaller vehicles.

Don't hold your breath for a domestic DVD/BD set. I think Zillion is just too obscure a series to warrant a dedicated set. The fansubs out there are pretty good though.

https://www.amazon.com/Zillion-Complete-Blu-ray-Kazuhiko-Inoue/dp/B07FPYV36Z/

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3 hours ago, RavenHawk said:

I was wondering when this was going to list. Thanks for posting it!

I wonder if the box looking old and weathered is intentional?

Yeah, it is some neat package design.

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On 8/20/2018 at 9:39 PM, RavenHawk said:

FYI, I paid $66 Sunday night. Today it's at $141. Never seen a price jump around so much on Amazon before.

 

Sometimes prices jump like that when Amazon hits its rock bottom price. Usually after people purchase. I've seen it happen a few times before. I keep forgetting to check Amazon for figures. Strange they got this one so late as she was released late last year.

 

On 8/20/2018 at 9:52 PM, Valkyrie Hunter D said:

I know, it came sooo close. CM's put out a teaser for it (as well as Dirty Pair figures) then went under.

 

Can you post that teaser of CM's Tri-charger? I'll search MFC for it as well as the Dirty Pair figures. But post those figures too if you can. More vintage anime stuff would always be a good thing.

 

7 hours ago, danth said:

 

Cool. The Japanese release is really expensive last time I checked. This has Burning Night too.

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51 minutes ago, JetJockey said:

Can you post that teaser of CM's Tri-charger? I'll search MFC for it as well as the Dirty Pair figures. But post those figures too if you can. More vintage anime stuff would always be a good thing.

This site still has a section for the CM's Dirty Pair figures: myfigurecollection.  As for the TriCharger, I can't remember where I found it, but it was still in old album of mine:

 

trycharger.png

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11 hours ago, JetJockey said:

 

Sometimes prices jump like that when Amazon hits its rock bottom price. Usually after people purchase. I've seen it happen a few times before. I keep forgetting to check Amazon for figures. Strange they got this one so late as she was released late last year.

 

 

Can you post that teaser of CM's Tri-charger? I'll search MFC for it as well as the Dirty Pair figures. But post those figures too if you can. More vintage anime stuff would always be a good thing.

 

 

Cool. The Japanese release is really expensive last time I checked. This has Burning Night too.

f868d9c48a8cfb13.jpg.7b146ab485c04791bfbf499724713d65.jpg

 

Literally the only item I could find anywhere online.

 

I ended up ordering the Blu Ray at Best Buy yesterday. $1 cheaper, so no real difference (and they price match, if needed), and I had points saved up. Really looking forward to it.

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11 hours ago, Valkyrie Hunter D said:

This site still has a section for the CM's Dirty Pair figures: myfigurecollection.  As for the TriCharger, I can't remember where I found it, but it was still in old album of mine:

 

trycharger.png

This is what i get for replying to a post before seeing that someone else already did. Sorry for the double post on the image.

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On 8/21/2018 at 10:57 PM, Valkyrie Hunter D said:

It's hard for me to squeal when I'm eating crow.

Heh, sorry about quoting you like that. Was going more for "Rejoice, it finally happened!" and less "This comment aged poorly!" :D

And to be fair, anyone holding their breath would be long dead.

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5 hours ago, danth said:

Heh, sorry about quoting you like that. Was going more for "Rejoice, it finally happened!" and less "This comment aged poorly!" :D

No worries, I'm just glad there was enough perceived demand to make the BD set happen.

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Just now, Valkyrie Hunter D said:

No worries, I'm just glad there was enough perceived demand to make the BD set happen.

Now if we could get enough perceived interest to get Arcadia to do a Tricharger and Ridingcepter...

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1 hour ago, RavenHawk said:

Now if we could get enough perceived interest to get Arcadia to do a Tricharger and Ridingcepter...

Considering my early negativity and the production of this new BD set, let me say:

Don't hold your breath for Arcadia or Sentinel to make Zillion toys. I think Zillion is just too obscure a series to warrant a dedicated set of toys. :p

Attached is an image from Forbes.  I think it was art from the Japanese set made a few years ago. I would love a bigger, high quality print of it.

zillion_anime-1200x1688.jpg

Edited by Valkyrie Hunter D

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19 hours ago, Valkyrie Hunter D said:

Considering my early negativity and the production of this new BD set, let me say:

Don't hold your breath for Arcadia or Sentinel to make Zillion toys. I think Zillion is just too obscure a series to warrant a dedicated set of toys. :p

 

Well played.

 

My Apple figure came in the mail yesterday, so I thought I'd post a few pictures for anyone on the fence about it. Everything that I've seen online was just stock images.

 

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It arrive in a nice, very sturdy and solid outer box.

 

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Inside was a foam insert, the actual product box, and a free gift (picture taken after I removed everything but the insert).

 

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The package included this artwork. I think it's referred to as a pencil board (please correct me on this if I'm wrong).

Basically very heavy stock, almost cardboard, with this artwork on the front.

I was not expecting this, and was pleasantly surprised.

 

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The product box itself came wrapped in tissue paper. Not a big deal, a little more protection to keep everything mint, but definitely added to the impression of getting a high quality item.

 

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Apple herself comes in this very nice box, with generous display windows.

 

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And here she is, along with Opa-Opa. Nothing amazing to the base (relatively thin plastic), but it gets the job done and the connection for her foot (metal) is very nice and solid.

I was impressed.

I took the picture next to the other most recent items I've received, to give a sense of scale (Arcadia Garlands in front, listed at 1/24 but really 1/18, and Sentinel MOSPEADAs in back, which are 1/12 and noticeably smaller).

I'm very happy with this purchase. I paid $66 on Amazon on Sunday, and it was well worth it, in my opinion. Is it worth the $160 that Amazon is charging today, or the $105-120 that most other sites seem to be charging? That all depends on your love of the show. For me, I wouldn't pay much more than what I did, but then I'm really a mecha and vehicle collector, and not into just character figures.

I hope this is helpful to people considering the figure.

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So, if it's ok to share some of my personal joy at the moment...

After a decade of searching online, hearing statements that "those pop up on eBay every once in a while", this just arrived on my doorstep 5 minutes ago:

 

20180829_132117.thumb.jpg.b400df9d9de21929313f9e52d7a1ddd8.jpg

 

The box looks pretty much pristine for anything I've gotten used from Japan, nevermind a 30 year old toy.

 

20180829_132223.thumb.jpg.8da4daa276584898c91a277cb3fbf7e0.jpg

 

Everything seems to be here. Stickers still un-applied, accessories still in the baggie, and even the flexible attachments to the helmet are there, undamaged.

I think it's complete. Anyone with one of these able to confirm?

 

I'm just giddy like a little kid finally getting this... and nervous to take it out and transform it.

 

Now to spend the next decade trying to find a Ridingcepter...

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