The following is an Interview with Mr. R. Miske of www.Smeat.net. Better known as Hi-Docker to the Zoid community, Mr. Miske is an old school Zoid collector as well as trusted friend of Zoid.US for a couple of years now. 

Zoid.US: Greetings and welcome to this year’s Zoids Chronicles. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

RCM: I live in the frozen tundra of central Illinois, and run
zoido.smeat.net when I'm not too tired from work.

Zoid.US: Can you tell us a little about your current collection? (What lines does it encompass? Is it mainly current or vintage?)

RCM:  I think I have a good sampling from every release/era, but the bulk is
from the NJR, just because that was the most abundant for so long. I
also have most of the Robo Strux windups, thanks to a lot that I
purchased a million years ago (1995) before the rest of the world
caught on.

Zoid.US: Are Zoids available where you currently live?

RCM: They never even hit Big Lots on their way out of the stores... :(

Zoid.US: How has your collection grown or changed over the last year? Does it have the same focus?

RCM: It's stayed about the same size. I've gotten some new kits, but also
sold a lot of old ones. I've sold most of my duplicates (stuff I got
for customizing projects, since I realized I'd never have the time to
get to them) and recolors (to make room for new stuff). Lately, I'm
looking for bargains on things I  missed the first time around, but
the main focus is on the new HMM kits. I'd like some of the Rebirth
ones, but hoo-boy are they pricey!


I also quit being exclusively a Zoids collector, and have been getting
into Gundam and Transformers, but we're not here to talk about that!

Zoid.US: Do you participate in any Zoids online RPG’s, if so could you tell us a little bit about them and the role you play?

RCM: I've never been interested in any RPG type stuff.

Zoid.US: Let talk re-releases, as we all know TOMY has released some of the classics including but not limited to King G, Gil Vader, Lidier, etc. How do you feel about this choice?

RCM: I was very excited about this, since it meant I could finally have
some classics at a decent price. I was excited about the King Gojulas (
http://zoido.smeat.net/hrz-001-king-gojulas) reissue as well, until
all the quality control issues came up. That was the biggest Zoids
collecting disappointment ever!

Zoid.US: Do you plan on purchasing any re-releases to add to your collection? If you did get any re-releases how do they compare the OJR version (of the same piece) you own?

RCM: I picked up the Zoids Graphics reissues of Twin Horn(http://zoido.smeat.net/vol-5-twinhorn), Sea Panther(http://zoido.smeat.net/vol-7-sea-panther), Puterasu, Hammer Rock, and
Lidier (
http://zoido.smeat.net/vol-10-lidier). I love them all, but
the sticker sheets on the Twin Horn and Sea Panther were kind of
crappy. Otherwise, I was very happy. I don't have any of the originals
of these, except for a broken Hammer Rock, so I can't make a
comparison.

Zoid.US: Have you acquired any of your “Holy Grails” this past year, and what are your new one(s)?

RCM: I got the first two Guylos limited windups that came out, Gator and
Molga (
http://zoido.smeat.net/2008-gator-guylos-specification
http://zoido.smeat.net/2008-molga-guylos-specification)! Also, the LB
gatling parts (
http://zoido.smeat.net/zoids-special-gatling-parts-on-lb-red-horn),
that were a promo gift that came with the ZED zoids. This was the
gatling gun from the ultra rare LB Dark Horn, which was too expensive
for mere mortals, so it was nice to at least get a good deal on the
gatling parts.

The last few things I saw that would be Holy Grails were so expensive
(for so little plastic) that they crushed my will to live, and almost
made me quit Zoids (this was 2006-7, the dry spell). The Genesis
Redler, and the LB Dark Horn: so awesome, so rare, so expensive... :(


Zoid.US: Do you collect Prototypes?

RCM: I never developed an interest in them, probably as a defense mechanism
for my wallet ;)

Zoid.US:  If so, how do you feel about the bad relationship between Chinese factories and both Japanese and American toy companies? I.E. Prototypes and Test Shots being sold on auction?

RCM: This is a tricky one; I haven't given it much thought.

Zoid.US:  Any new Zoids custom projects this year? If so, tell us about ‘em!

RCM :  I still have a ton of WIP stuff from, like, three years ago that I'd
like to finish. The hard part for me is painting. My apartment has NO
ventilation, and the basement/laundry room only has ideal conditions
(not too humid, not bone-chilling cold, not flooded) a few weeks out
of the year.

   * Dark Spiner redo
(
http://zoido.smeat.net/2006-08-dark-spiner-custom-wip): still need to
paint it
   * Killer bee custom
(
http://zoido.smeat.net/2007-05-killer-bee-custom-wip): I keep
changing my mind on what to do here
   * Berserk Porygon: the "evolved form" of Poryzoid
(
http://zoido.smeat.net/2006-03-poryzoid): I am not happy with the
pink, but otherwise it's pretty much done


Zoid.US:  After a year of building and acquiring, has your favorite Zoid changed?

RCM: My favorite changes from week to week! Especially if I pull one out of
storage or one I haven't looked at closely in a while--I'm always
finding something to appreciate. The two I've most enjoyed in the last
year were the HMM Shield Liger mk-II(
http://zoido.smeat.net/hmm-005-shield-liger-mk-ii) for the incredible level of detail, and Hammer Rock
(
http://zoido.smeat.net/tag/hammer-rock) for its versatility.

Zoid.US:  Where and how are your Zoids currently displayed?

RCM: Sadly, 80% of my collection is boxed and hidden away, since I live in
a tiny apartment. The rest is displayed haphazardly on any available
shelf space or flat surface. I need a setup like in this pic!(
http://www.flickr.com/photos/fixes/3146953501/)

Zoid.US: How much would you estimate you spent on Zoids this year?

RCM: Not much, compared to previous years... probably under $400.

Zoid.US:  With the major strain on the economy, has your buying pattern been affected?

RCM: I've had to cancel so many pre-orders, it's not even funny! And no
more Yahoo Japan either. The worst part is how bad the dollar has been
doing against the yen. Since I started paying attention (around 2000),
it's rarely gone under 100yen to the dollar. Now it's rarely (if ever)
going OVER 100. This makes imports much more expensive. If shout-outs
are allowed, I'd like to give one to Toy-Wave. Prices have been lower
than anywhere else, and in US dollars too. Even with the extra
shipping charges (from HK) I still come out ahead.

Zoid.US:  We all spend lots of time on our hobby, how do your friends and family

feel about your collection?

RCM: I have a very tolerant and encouraging girlfriend. She even digs some
of the kits, and her only complaint is if I leave a bunch of parts
lying around when I'm working on something. My cats like to help me
build, either by lying on the sprues or by attacking the instructions.

Zoid.US:  Where do you see your collection 10 years from now?

RCM: Hopefully all on display!

Zoid.US:  What challenges or obstacles have you faced in collecting Zoids?

RCM : Lack of money! That's the main one. All the rest can be overcome.

Zoid.US:  What advice do you have for aspiring Zoid collectors?

RCM: Preorder whenever possible!

Zoid.US: Thanks for your time bro, also I don't think I ever thank you enough for answering relentless emails whenever I find something questionable on YJ :P  

This has been a Zoid.US production. No image may be used without permission. © 2008 -WIKD