When I was a kid, my grandfather used to take me out once a week for what he called "Boys' Day Out".  We'd have a meal together, and then he'd buy me a toy at the toy store.  On this particular day, I chose an interesting looking box marked "Stealth Viper" off a shelf from a line of snap-together model kits known as "Zoids".  I had seen previews for the Zoids television show on Cartoon Network, but I thought it was a cheap Gundam rip-off and decided to give it a pass, that is until I put together my first model.  After that, Zoids quickly became one of my favorite hobbies and biggest passions.  By the time I was in 8th grade, I had at least a dozen model kits, so when a friend of mine asked me to join her newly formed Zoids community "Soaring Dragon", I was quick to oblige.  

The community that arose on the Soaring Dragons forum, although composed of different people from all over the world, all shared a passion for Zoids.  One user in particular, BlazingLiger, quickly became friends.  Assuming that the user was a boy, I was shocked when I found out "he" was actually a "she", a girl from California about my own age.  Being from Pennsylvania, and just recently having access to the Internet from my own home, I was thrilled to meet a girl with similar interests and a similar background from a different part of the country.  The friendship quickly turned into an Internet-crush, and over the next two months, BlazingLiger (real name, Megan) built up a close friendship.  Yet, like most stories of childhood romance, all was not to be. 

 Megan's parents, upset over her constant Internet usage and fearful of the less-than-honest predators that were quickly gaining media attention, pulled the plug on her Internet access and forbade her from talking to me or anyone else.  Four years passed.  I was now a senior in high school, and my Zoid collection had fallen into disrepair, covered in dust and boxed in my closet.  Like my relationship with Megan, my Zoids were, in my mind, a forgotten part of my childhood, and they might have stayed that way, had it not been for another member of the Soaring Dragon community who over the years maintained contact with both Megan and myself.  

Imagine my surprise when he put us back into contact.  At first it was just a novelty, but it quickly became apparent that Megan and I still had feelings for each other.  Two years pass, and we are still in contact.  Now in college, Megan transfered to my university to be with me, and with her came my newly rediscovered passion for Zoids.  Together we pulled the Zoids out of storage, replacing the ones that were broken and salvaging those that weren't.  Our collection continued to grow, now approaching nearly 100 Zoids.  

With marriage in the near future, it is amazing to look back and see the amazing romance we have, with Zoids very much at the center of it all.  Our Zoids in many ways represent us, and our journey as a couple.  Both were once childhood passions that were almost relegated to yardsales and "remember whens", nearly forgotten, until the rediscovery of one allowed the reignition of the other.  As we put together our Zoid models, we also put together our lives, and Zoids continue to remain one of our shared passions as a couple. 

 The shared love of Zoids combines with our love for one another and allows us to have a joint-hobby.  When we sit down at the table to put together a Zoid, we put aside any disagreements, arguments, or individual troubles and rediscover time and time again our love for each other and our love of Zoids.  This real-life Romeo and Juliet would not have been possible if not for the simple snap-together model kits that are so much more than a childhood toy--Zoids.  Things change in life, even the forums we originally met on no longer exist, but despite all those changes, our love of Zoids remains constant, and brings us together time and time again, becoming much more than a simple hobby.

So that's it.  Thanks again for your interest.  I think the idea that Zoids are much more than a simple hobby in the lives of those who enjoy them is a powerful idea that has not yet been explored, and I'm excited that you are using your site to explore this aspect of the line.  I think that you and I are not the only ones who have these stories surrounding Zoids and life changing events.  It's just so amazing what can happen sometimes.

Submitted by A.H. via email.

This has been a Zoid.US production. No image may be used without permission. 2009 -WIKD