Zeek Dober / Ice Blazer 

Note: During the great recovery of Zoid.us (Jan-Feb 2024) the Ice Blazer build was lost! I did manage to find some old pictures, but they are far from "clean" as usual.

To better understand Zoidan history I am combining Zeek Dober and Ice Blazer in one (massive) review!
The unit that would claim a victory for the Empire in ZAC 2055 was a heavily modified version of the Zoid known as the Zeek Dober. A side by side review of both kits will hopefully shed some light on the elusive and exceptionally rare beast known as the "Ice Blazer".

Released in 1989 with production continuing until 1990, Zeek Dober is a "doberman" type Zoid designed by the Guylos Empire. It was created for use not only as a "scout" but also to deliver high speed, stealth type attacks. Being one of the fastest Zoids of it's time, Zeek Dober also possessed a unique type of armor that would contribute to it's covert nature.Contributing to it's "run and gun" type tactical nature Zeek Dober is armed with:

2 x Hyper Particle Cannons
1 x Pulse Laser Cannon
2 x Strike Blades

The innovation of the strike blades allowed the Zeek Dober to pierce and slash through thick armor, their power would only increase by the speeds attainable by this Zoid. First appearing in ZAC 2053, the Zeek Dober would prove to be key in defending against the Republics seemingly unending and constant advance. It was only after the Republic penetrated the Northern part of Nyx (filled with swamplands / towering stone pillars) deemed "The Bloody Gate", and begun moving into the giant canyon known as the "Godcry" that a new Zoid would inhibit it's progression. This new Zoid was named "Zeek Dober", and it would go on to halt the Republic's progression for the next 18 months making the area (known as the "Devils Maze") infamous. The Devil's Maze is perhaps one of the harshest climates on Planet Zi, consisting of a vast series of frozen valleys that included massive glacial cliffs and steep vales. The subzero battlefields of the Devil's Maze were tight and despotic. The terrain would force any successful unit to navigate the steep inclines and  declines with not only speed, but also with precision. The tight turns and minimal space would make former (highly successful) heavy armaments not as significant as they formerly had been. Not only did the bloodshed contribute to it's infamy, but the new Zoids deployed by the Guylos Empire would forever change the history of Planet Zi, making the Devil's Maze one of the most significant battles to have ever been fought in the region of Nyx. Approximately two years into the battle at the Devil's Maze, the Guylos Empire would acknowledge the solid and continous success of the newer design known as Zeek Dober. In ZAC 2055 the Empire would release the ultimate version of Zeek Dober, known as the Ice Blazer.

Released in 1990, Ice Blazer is classified as a "doberman" type Zoid. On top of the typical Zeek Dober armaments, the Ice Blazer replaced the two Photon Particle Cannons with two HYPER Photon Particle Cannons. It held on to the Pulse Laser Cannon. Ice Blazer added a total of three extra weapons including a Beam Machine Gun mounted on it's head, and a pair of Long Range Beam Rifles that were mounted on the lower front legs. The Ice Blazer also retained the strike blades and improved upon them. Basically by adding an additional set and, designating them as a pair of "Hell Strike" blades (perhaps reflecting on their success in combat within the Devil's Maze). It's armaments include a grade up port, Doppler Radar, and High Speed Booster. Perhaps the most significant upgrade was the addition of the top secret, most rare, Zoidian armor ever produced by the Empire: RIMA, or "Reflective Ice Metal Armor".

Designed as the ultimate version of the already successful dober type Zoid, the Ice Blazer is both faster and more heavily armed. The innovation of RIMA lends considerable more power to the Ice Blazer. Not only utilized to reflect and refract enemy blasts and various radar scanning devices, thus making the Ice Blazer very similar to the "stealth" technology found on Earth. The RIMA is one of the first forms of low observable technology employed by vintage Zoid units. RIMA is a passive electronic countermeasure utilized by Zenebas Empire making the Ice Blazer less visible (ideally invisible) to radar, infrared, sonar, and other detection methods employed by the Republic. Ice Blazer was deployed twice throughout early Zoids history, and is significant in understanding the history of the Dark continent of Nyx.

Documented first in ZAC 2055, the Ice Blazer was used to defend the northern polar region of Nyx. When the Helic Republic advanced with it's new "transfighter" type Zoids, the Empire was forced to either come up with an entirely new design, or to modify an already successful model. The Empire would choose the later, and ended up re-focusing on the unit known as Zeek Dober. Ice Blazer was specifically designed to not only operate, but excel in an arctic environment. The creation of the Ice Blazer unit would be one of the largest determining factors of the battle which was claimed by the Empire.
The Ice Blazer would see one more deployment only a year after it's initial release.This time the unit was used in a more "offensive" manner in the central continent invasion of ZAC 2056. Not long after the start of the invasion the infamous meteor strike took place which effectively destroyed all forms of Zoidian existence.

Ice Blazer was released in 1990, and probably did not see even a half a years of production. One of the rarest kits available it contains an entire extra sprue of parts (dipped in chrome goodness). I personally believe that  this is part of what halted the production so quickly, and untimately lead to the extreme rarity of the kit. This also probably contributed to the kit (Ice Blazer) NOT being re-released as part of the Zoids Rebirth series in  2008-2009 as Zeek Dober WAS. Usually, once you get the base zoid and generally make additional parts to fit AROUND the base Zoid, that is NOT the case here. Original parts were altered to  accommodate the extra pieces which translates to a ton of extra mold costs just to add a peg to support a cannon. The chrome is true and neurally reflective in color, not favoring a "shade" as do most of my Zoids 2. The Zeek Dober's red was only retained on the dorsally mounted cannons, leg connection rod, and tail. The battery compartment, feet and Cannon supports are now a very appealing purple. Eyes remain yellow, and the base body black.

The additional sprue also contained the entirely new head sculpt. Ears were shortened, two very small cylinder shaped pieces that almost look as if they are cannons were placed atop the head, the entire sculpt is more "angular". I was also very surprised to learn that the lower front leg armor guard was completely altered (fitted with a peg to support the two new cannons). The blades have turned from a bright yellow to an almost pumpkin orange color. Ice Blazer is bulky. There I said it. Gone are the swift lines and sleek appearance of the flowing Zeek Dober, Ice Blazer is a TANK. Ice Blazer has much more "substance", and when sitting side by side the two units look almost unrelated. It's not a bad thing at all, but the difference is way more discernible than any CP kit could ever hope to be... and it SHOW!. Should you ever get the chance, be sure and pick this up. I obtained this unit from overseas from a great fellow collector who wanted to make sure it would be built and enjoyed. A huge thank you to you Sir, Travis H, you finally got to see him built!

This has been a Zoid.US production. No image may be used without permission. 2016 -WIKD