Q: All the rest makes sense but what is this “key” thing?
A: Each Zoid design has a unique “key number”. For example, all the permutations of Sabre Fang are “37”, regardless of whether its called “Sabre Fang” or “Zaber” The value of the number itself has no significance other than it being unique.
Q: Why aren’t you using the good ol’ “OJR”, “NAR”, etc?
A: This is a tough one. While I appreciate the vernacular fan-derived names like OJR, NJR, etc, and they do a decent job of discriminating several of the editions just labeled “Zoids”, I have two problems. The first is that they’re 100% fan-derived, pretty English-centric and not official at all. The second is that they’re not inherently specific and some can be pretty spongey from an outside perspective. Take “New Japan Release” for example. This edition started in 1999, over 20 years ago. The NJR is actually now closer to the OJR than the current date. When does it stop being “new?”
Fortunately, most of the editions called “Zoids” also have a slogan or subtitle, and that works really well to discriminate between the editions. The only one that doesn’t is the edition called NJR, also sometimes called Zoids 1999. “Zoids 1999” is also confusing since it sounds like the designs were all in 1999 even though this series produced new designs into 2004. I have decided to call this edition “New Century” since they came out right around the turn of the century as well as a callback to the anime series popular during the same time.
For those still having trouble, here is a “Decoder Ring”:
OJR = Zoids
OER = Zoids
OAR = Pre-Hysterial Monster Machines (PHMM)
NJR = New Century
NAR = Build Customize Mobilize (BCM) – also includes worldwide releases to Europe, Asia, etc, basically identical to Habro BCM Zoids but with Takara-Tomy branding
Q: What about this great custom chrome Zoid that was given out as a prize at XYZ Convention?
A: This list focuses on official Zoids produced by Takara-Tomy, and those under contract by Hasbro, etc. Custom chromed models abound, and for the purposes of this index do not count as official, or even special releases, unless it can be clearly shown that these chromed Zoids came out of Takara-Tomy’s factories and not just a third party (even with TT’s endorsement) taking a few otherwise stock zoids and throwing some chrome on them.
Q: Where are the HMM Zoids? What about these Zoid action figures I remember having? Oh, and there’s this Zoid from VS II that is SOOO cool! Where is it?
A: This index is intended to be a comprehensive listing of official Zoid toys (and some near-misses) by Takara-Tomy. By that measure, Kotobukiya’s HMM Zoids, while amazingly awesome, don’t make the cut. Neither do the various playsets, action figures, gashapons, statuettes, “official” customs, bootlegs, or Zoid designs exclusive to manga, anime, or video games that were never molded in the plastic, so to speak.
Tomy’s MSS Zoids should make this cut and will be included at a later date.
I’m still on the fence on the Academy Zoids out of Korea.
Q: What about the accessories/CPs?
A: Those will be included in a later date.
Q: I’d love to see colors and/or pictures to go with this!
A: Me too! Unfortunately, that is very ambitious, and what killed my first attempt at doing something like this years ago…I got overwhelmed, then distracted, then busy doing other things. Tiny bites make this project more manageable. I hope, at the very least, to have color information listed at some point even if pictures just don’t play nice with the table format.
Q: Great job! Is it done? What’s next?
A: As long as Takara-Tomy keeps making Zoids, it will never be done! But really this is just the start. On top of all the regular updates, I’m also planning on adding more fields like Faction, Motor Type, etc.