IRON KONG PK
When we think of Iron Kong, many images are conjured within our Zoid oriented minds. I personally tend to think of the solid red Iron Kong affectionately known as Iron Kong PK, or "IKPK" for short. Released in 2000 by Tomy, Iron Kong PK was one of three limiteds,+ the other releases being Iron Kong's infamous mortal enemy Gojulas the OGRE version, and Shield Liger DCS-J. Contrary to Gojulas OGRE (or more commonly "Gojulas the OGRE"), the initials utilized on the Iron Kong PK did not only refer the advanced weapons system it carried, but rather an elite group: the Prozen Knights. Created by Guylos Governor Gunter Prozen, the Prozen Knights were an elite group of highly skilled pilots that operated custom created Iron Kongs.
Iron Kong PK units are not only distinguished by the superior array weaponry, but also the legendary blood red color the units proudly exhibit. The finishing touch remains one of the most iconic symbols in Zoids history, the "Prozen Bee". The Prozen Bee or Fighting Hornet represented the collective Prozen Knight combat style and attitude very well. These Kong's were able to deliver a powerfully destructive sting while moving with both agility and grace. The advantages of upgraded version of the CP-11 (Thruster Unit) were twofold:
1. The Iron Kong PK could avoid the new and improved long range Gojulas attacks. (Float like a Butterfly)
2. Quickly retaliate after successfully evading. (Sting like a Bee)
Released only in Japan, Iron Kong PK also has the distinct honor of having some of the best and most memorable box art. What could be better than a giant, blood red, robotic primate war machine being hailed hundreds of uniformed soldiers?
The whole picture tends to remind me of a Nazi Regime. The Iron Kong PK is one of four Kongs that come complete with (some version) of the extra weapons set. Often dubbed as the "PK" weapons by fans, the only other three Kong's are the MK II Ltd, the Iron Kong Yeti, and the Hasbro Kong. Originating from the vintage (1980's) Empire Customize Set, the PK weapons set is prized by fans. In fact, it is the inclusion of this weapon set with the Hasbro Iron Kong that often boosts the price of the Hasbro unit far above average.
Using the base of the older MK II Iron Kong, Gunter Prozen further upgraded the Iron Kong PK to make it into an even more formidable opponent with the following "PK" modifications :
1. The maneuvering thruster unit was retained and upgraded as discussed above.
2. Heavy or "Imperial" Hyper Beam Launcher replaces the standard shoulder mounted missile launcher.
3. Double barrel 70 mm wrist mounted Cannon was added.
4. Wrist weapons pod added ( 2 x 105mm Cannon 4 x multipurpose missiles).
5. Twin Long Range Ballistic Missiles.
6. Missile Guidance system added to shoulder.
7. Twin Power hoses / cables.
8. Twin Chest power ports.
Taking at look at the Hasbro Kong's weapons set often opens up a mystery. The Hasbro Kong's "PK" weapons set is pictured below:
As compared to the Iron Kong PK weapons set:
We can see that the Hasbro version is not a truly complete set, as it lacks the power cables / hoses, yet does include the chest mounted ports to receive the hoses. When Hasbro acquired the rights to market the Zoids line in North America, they used the "standard mold" which included the additional sprue of weapons. Perhaps the most notable difference is actual motor unit itself, which was designed to fit around the back pack (CP-11) or "Manoeuvre Thrusters".
Taking a look at the Hasbro Kong Instruction booklet with the addition of stickers that display how to assemble the weapons almost completely validates the inclusion of the weapons to be a mistake, or rather an "afterthought". Yet another interesting fact to ponder about the PK weapons set is that Hasbro would not have had much to gain by including the weapons, as there were no "limiteds" released (or planned) for the North American line. To add to the confusion the CP-11 will not fit on the Hasbro Kong without some light customization.
Based on my auction tracking data, Iron Kong PK seems to have either had a more limited production run than it's fellow two limited releases, or tends to be retained in collections at a much higher rate. Let's take an in depth look at building this rare Bloody Beast. The box front has a pleasant mix of primary colors, I imagine that when this unit was displayed on retail shelves it demanded attention.
The back of the box prominently features Iron Kong PK and Gojulas OGRE locked in a legendary battle, the Planet Zi map, and a break down of the PK and it's weapons systems.
The the battle ensues:
The right side of the box displays the PK weapons system.
The left, top, and bottom side of the box duplicate the same scene featured on the front of the box in a smaller scale.
Iron Kong PK consists of:
8 Sprues (Including missile sprue)
1 Motor (with light)
1 Back Pack Cover
1 Thruster Unit
2 Sticker Sheets
1 Instruction Book
Included with Iron Kong PK are two stickers sheets. The first is a normal Iron Kong sheet with the customary decals, the second features a variety of unique labels.
With "Iron Kong PK" centered on the lower part of the sticker sheet, there are a total of 7 PK Bee logo's, 4 Bloody Kong icon's, and 2 smaller (black) Empire shields.
The build begins with assembling the missile casing.
Both missile halves are fitted onto the circular gear.
The neck support is then built.
Next, we see a glimpse of the red color as we apply the outer body shell and affix the missile assembly.
Four clips hold the frame together.
Legs brackets and the chest hose ports are then connected. (Note: I am assembling the straight PK style and not placing the regular version of any parts on this build so I do not have to remove them later.)
The head is then built.
Both sides of the top of the head are fitted around the light, and the back of the head is placed.
The front upper arm is then attached to a bracket which connects to the motor and is held in place via one cap.
Next, the hand is assembled and forearm placed. Each portion is held in place with a pair of caps.
One arm is now complete.
The same process is then repeated for assembly of the opposite arm.
The upper rear leg construction starts with placing a bracket inside of the rear leg.
The leg is completed by placing each half of the foot on the lower leg bracket and holding it all in place are a total of four caps.
The back leg is now complete.
The process is then repeated to form the opposite rear leg.
With the Iron Kong's basic skeleton complete, the outer layer of armor is then placed. 6 plates are attached to the left arm along with one vent and the left arm missile port.
The outer rear leg armor is then placed.
The opposite rear leg is then completed.
The arm outer armor is finished up, and the Kong is ready for it's PK weapon set.
With the shoulder mounted cannon and the chest hose ports previously mounted, the dual barrel cannon and connecting hose is prepared to be placed on the left forearm.
Next, the Thruster unit is assembled. First, each Thruster arm is assembled and held together with the end cap.
Each arm is then added to the main unit and held on via one cap, the canopy is affixed, and the exhaust covers are each held in place with one cap.
The CP-11 or "Manoeuvre Thruster" unit is complete.
Next the shoulder mounted cannon is built.
The cannon is mounted on the right shoulder, hose attached to the open hose port and the Thruster Unit is placed on the back of the Kong. The dual missiles are then added to the missile back pack.
The Iron Kong PK is complete and ready for stickers.
Iron Kong P's intricate stickers extended the total build time for me. Personally, I enjoyed trimming the PK logo's to get them as perfect as possible.
Mid trim pictured below:
The finished trimmed PK logo:
Although not as tedious of a trim, the "Bloody Kong" stickers also trim up well.
Between the two included sticker sheets, Iron Kong PK includes the majority of labels displayed on the box. There are some minor stickers missing including the small warning (with diamond) sticker that rests dead center of the Kong's forehead. I also added a few to the CP-11 to balance it our a bit more. With stickers finished, the Iron Kong PK is complete and ready for display. Iron Kong PK is definitely worth seeking out. The color on this Kong is truly amazing. Not as deep as the Bloody Death Saurer, the Iron Kong PK is more along the lines of a crimson shade. An awesome unit as rich in history as it is in rarity, this elusive beast is not to be missed by the serious collector.
Finally, all my Kongs:
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