King Gojulas is an icon sought out by many Zoid Collectors across the world.
I faintly remember the first time I laid eyes on this beast. It was back in 1990,
and I believe in a catalog. It looked impressive, and the short description of the unit
was enough to fuel any child's dreams for a few months. He retailed for what,
at the time seemed like an ungodly amount of cash. I can remember King Gojulas being
one of the only toys I truly desired as a child, but never obtained.
Let's fast forward almost a couple decades to the present. As the readers of my site know, I have
been aggressively recollecting Zoids for the past year and a half. I have also come up
with the idea of the "Unholy Trinity", or what I perceive as the three most rare and
important officially released that can be added to any collection that has an
emphasis on OJR line. It also just happens that all three are reptilian in nature.
The Trinity consists of Gil Vader, Gungyarados,
and the mighty King Gojulas. There are no concrete production numbers
on any of these model kits. I have wrote to TOMY and tried to obtain this data many times to no avail. I
believe the one fact that most Zoiders will agree on is that these three pieces are very
hard to come by especially in both MISB (Mint In Sealed Box) or MIB (Mint In Box) condition. I
was lucky to obtain Gungyarados in MIB condition, Gil Vader I purchased already built and took much joy
in restoring, and King Gojulas is my latest MIB treasure.
There are quite a few reviews on the King on the net at the present time, and I have even
had the pleasure of viewing a video of him in action. (Which inspired me to make one of my own) Rather than
just doing "another review" with pictures and a step by step build, I would like to go a
little more in depth with this as it completes a void I have long wished to fill. I would
like to make this article more of a reference source covering the history, common
problems associated with the piece, how I choose to house and protect
the piece, and my normal step by step review and pictures. If you are not in the
mood for along winded attempt at tackling all the subjects that are the King
Gojulas then please scroll down, enjoy the pictures, and move on. On the other hand if you
are ready to sit back, relax, and read through this journey with me I suggest you go and
grab your beverage of choice and make yourself comfortable.
Chapter I The History of The King
King Gojulas was released by TOMY in 1985. One of the largest Zoids
ever produced the back story on this piece was that it was brought in (by the Republic) after the
defeat of the Gil Vaders by a fleet of Ourodii. King Gojulas was intend to make the final storm
decimating the Guylos Empire once and for all. As we all know that before this plan happened
Zi was destroyed by a shower of meteors.
King Gojulas was a very advanced toy for the time. The engineering
behind the piece was (and still is) incredible. If we take a look back at the toys of the time,
specifically the larger mechanical high dollar pieces, the Star War's "At-At" comes
to my mind. The At-At was large and moved yet it's features seem stark compared to
the King Gojulas. Yes, the At-At was well semi detailed and stomped forward with enough
batteries to run a small town, but it was no roaring beast that one could build from scratch.
So how did the concept artists at TOMY come up with the idea of a huge reptilian creature that could stomp and destroy an entire large metropolis? This may be purely speculation but one word comes to my mind:
"Godzilla". If we take a look back at the first Godzilla flick that was released back in 1954 we see the Japanese tittle: "Gojira". Gojira... Sound familiar? Gojira / Gojulas We all know what Godzilla was and did, and I cannot help but to think that TOMY took some inspiration from this infamous film monster.
We can look even deeper for an closer match and the results are Mechagodzilla who first appeared in 1974. Mechagodzilla was created by a race of aliens and was Godzilla's enemy. At the end of the movie it took both Godzilla and KING Caesar to bring down the alien created weapon of mass destruction.
The King was released in 1989-1990. Personally I thought I had remembered him back in 1985, but I cannot locate any documentation that is in my favor.
Chapter II The Down Falls of Royalty
I have been closely following the auctions for King Gojulas for the
past year. I have seen many pre built pieces offered and only a few MIB specimens.
I have also seen and been told of a few flaws that I would like to inform
anyone considering the purchase of a King Gojulas a couple tips on common flaws.
First and foremost is the "BHS" or Broken Horn Syndrome. The large red
horn that adorns the top of the King's head is fragile, and tends to be the most
common problem associated with King Gojulas. Adding to this problem is that
fact that the horn normally breaks at the point at which it connects to the top of
the head. This makes it damn hard to detect when browsing pictures of a built piece
for sale. The horn can be glued back in place with ease, and the fracture can be
well hidden. Always take the time to send an email and ask about the condition of
the horn. I have also seen an entire King Gojulas that was painted. I know it
sounds odd and everyone thinks they would be able to tell the difference with ease,
but when looking at 16 different pictures of the same piece even the most discriminating
Zoids collector could end up with a surprise. If you are unsure always ask for more
pictures, a good seller should not mind taking more pictures of a high dollar piece
to entice a potential buyer.
Leg Molding Flaw:
When I received my King everything appeared to be in great shape, about a quarter of the way through building the piece I discovered a fatal flaw. The two left leg pieces (36L and 33L) were melted. This looked like a factory defect. Please always be aware and double check the piece (before you start to build) , even if they are on sprues to avoid this fate.
I must source out a couple of replacement pieces.
Chapter III The King's Castle
With my display cases almost at capacity I had constantly been
thinking: "Where the hell am I going to keep this thing?" Not to mention:
A: I do not want it to get dusty.
B: I do not want just anyone grabbing the piece by the tail in a failed
attempt at picking it up.
C: I do not want to empty a fourth of one of my shelves to make room for
D: I want it to look presentable.
After much thought I decided that the solution would be to take
advantage of the space that I already had dedicated to the collection. I would do
this by enclosing the top of each display case by fabricating a Plexi Glass
cover. This started with a trip to the local hardware depot. I purchased three
large pieces of plexi glass that were approx. 1/4 inch thick. The specific brand is as follows:
OPTIX by Plaskolite Acrylic Sheet .220 24 x 48. The label reads:
* 20 times stronger than glass
* Easy to Cut
* 10 warranty against yellowing.
I also made use of the stores FREE cutting
service. Most large stores will happily (or not so happily) cut any
Plexi glass you purchase using a special glass cutting booth. For me it was quicker
than attempting the task at home with a jigsaw and a square. I planned on
building the case without a back this would allow me easy access to rearrange the pieces.
I would also not need a bottom as the top of the display cases would serve as a base
for the models to sit on.
When I arrived home I took some time and sanded each piece of Plexi as
the edges were semi-rough and I wanted to ensure a tight fit. I had also purchased some
silicon epoxy toseal the sides of the display. It is important to note that when
choosing a sealant do NOT skimp. For a couple dollars more per tube you can get a silicon
that will dry clear. Most cheaper silicones will dry with a yellowish tent ruining
the looks of the display.
The sealant I used was:
100% Silicone Sealent for
Lexan sheets and other Plastic
Produced by: GE
After sanding the edges I began to start putting together the
enclosure. It also helps to grab a friend to help with this. A big thanks goes out to my
brother in law for help with the project. A big thanks goes out to MILES! I also picked up some
screen frame corners which are basically 90 degree plastic pieces that I thought would
increase the support for the corners, as well as tie in with the larger display cases as
they were also black.
The only problem with the screen frame corners is that they each had a
plastic lip in the center that had to be shaved off. I used a Dremel, and it took
about 5 minutes per piece.
I started by applying a small layer of the silicon to the front and
corner piece. I did apply it liberally, as the tube stated it can be tooled for up to
6 minutes from the application. After putting the two first pieces together we used a
damp rag to wipe off the excess.
The rest of the Plexi glass piece were then finished in the same
fashion. We used rocks and water bottles to support the already affixed
Crystal Springs you can make the check payable to : WIKD
When finished I covered the display case with a sheet and let it setup for
three days. After the display was dry, I used a box cutting razor blade to clean up more
of the excess and finished by giving the unit a good cleaning with some household
The following is a breakdown of the materials and costs:
OPTIX 1/4 thick Plexi Glass 3 sheets at $36.00 per sheet: $108.00
Lexan Plexi glass Silicon Expoxy (Clear Drying): $6.00
1 Set of Screen Frame Corners: $2.00
For a total cost of about: $116.00
This was far cheaper than having a separate custom case built by
someone else, and also allowed me to get the exact dimensions I
wanted which was something that the pre built cases in catalogs
didn't offer. It was also a fun project that I have always wanted to
try. I highly advise anyone thinking about making some homemade
displays to go ahead and give it a try.
Chapter IV The King Has Visitors
The following is my account of building the King. It was a fun build that took about two and half hours. If you would like to check out the instruction booklet I have scanned the entire manual.
Please click below:
King Gojulas consists of:
1 Mega Huge Hella Big Box:
It measures approx 21.5" x 13.5". It also has a various curious list on the front listing all of the King's weapons;
"All of the Arms of King Gojulas"
Blade Horn x 1
Super Sound Bluster x 1
Missile Pad x 1
Gun Flusher x 1
Super Gatling Cannon x 1
Double Cannon x 2
Multi Radar Antenna x 4
Crusher Tail x 1
Big Claw x 2
"The greatest and the strongest battle monster machine in Zoids history. Battle action set up for the final fight."
The box even comes with a handle to lug the beast to your best friends house!
To top all this off, on the bottom of the box, you even get a ambiguously gay dinosaur!
For all the people who enjoy stats:
The contents of the box:
1 Body Unit which contains the speaker, motor, and lights. It measures a massive 11" x 7.5"
8 Frame Sprues:
1 Gear Sprue
1 Instruction Manual
32 Caps on a Sprue
1 Sticker Sheet
2 Separate Caps
2 Rubber Rings
When you hear people speak of how large the pieces are they are not joking.
You also get two large body halves which begin the construction.
The gear unit is then produced. This is the box that will operate the three spinning chest guns.
The three chrome cannons then are put into place.
The wheels come next, and there are the real thing. Thick rubber and a wide plastic rim make for some impressive tread.
Two large blue rods are then fitted. These provide they tail movement.
Below are the pieces that form the head.
The head is then fitted and locks into place with a 90 degree twist.
There are several rods that operate the leg and arm movements that are then placed into position.
Next work begins on the legs and feet. Pictured below that parts used and a complete leg piece.
Next to attach them.
The King can stand.
Now to build the arms. Below a completed arm and the parts you use to construct one.
The arms are then attached in the oddest manner I have ever seen. Very un-Zoid like they are held in place by two large pegs. There are no caps, and nothing to lock them in!
The King is them put to the side while the tail takes shape. The tail starts at the very end and works it's way back to the base using the same pieces that only differ in size.
The tail is attached to the unit via a very large peg.
Note the blue rods I pointed out earlier.
Next come the tail spikes (or fins).
It's very interesting how the piece actually interlock, and you can tell when the unit is in motion that the extra work makes for way more fluid movement.
The spikes are then placed on the back, one of which also doubles as an on/off switch.
A closer pic of the on/off spike.
Next the Grade Up bar is placed as well as the 4th and last chrome piece onto the piece that doubles as the battery compartment cover.
To finish the build the horn is placed.
Chapter V Stickers fit for a King
Let's begin by examining the sticker sheet that accompanies King Gojulas.
Note the four red stripe stickers that are akin to Gojulas Giga, they are also a bitch to put into place. As you can see the only really interesting thing is the Republic Crest on the upper left.
The sticker process took me three hours to complete. I believe this was partly due to the amount of stickers, and mainly due to being very neurotic about their placement and trimming.
For some reason I really like the Armer stickers.
Above: The first red stripe has been placed.
Instead of trimming, I decided to overlap the stripes.
The RBOZ (Republic Battery Operated Zoid) NO1 stickers are a very close fit. So close in fact that they have the slightest overhang that you can barely see, but you can definitely feel. This is the worst because you know that in time the sticker will collect dust particles and eventually begin to peel.
This could only be done with one tool, Scalpel Stat!
Combined with a steady hand it works wonders.
If you look closely you can see the shaved pieces still affixed to the balde.
The crest stickers were the hardest and took the longest to trim.
I detached the battery compartment to place the final stickers, and was finished.
Chapter VI All Hail the King!
With King Gojulas complete I took the opportunity to snap a few pictures.
A question that I have already been asked: "Is it worth it?" comes to mind. I can tell you that King Gojulas is worth every penny you spend on him. He is unlike any other Zoid in both his build and movement. When switched on the lights blink lighting up his menacing red eyes, and the King stomps forward with his tail swooping back and forth. This is where most Zoids stop yet the King is just warming up. Right after he takes that last step he pauses, and well maybe it's better if I show you.........
Click Below: King Gojulas Video .avi file
Watching King Gojulas do his thing is an experience not to be missed, building King Gojulas is most fun, and the feeling of owning King Gojulas is priceless...
I was lucky and obtained the pieces I needed to complete the King. Here are a couple of recent pictures of His Highness finally complete. A big thanks to Bill in New York for the spare pieces!
I was lucky enough to have a friend send me the King Gojulas Gashapon. It consists of two pieces the body and then the tail which fits into the body. I was amazed at the articulation of this little guy. The chest cannon rotates, the head swivels, and the arms can be moved. Just a great little piece that I proudly display under the real thing. Thanks Docker AKA The King of all Zoid Photographers! If you haven't, take some time to check out Zoido!
ZOIDS are © 1983-2006 Tomy. ZOIDS is a trademark of Tomy Company Ltd.
All Photographs Copyright © by WIKD "1" EnterpriseZ - All Rights Reserved - Use By Permission Only