EMZ-31 Sea Panther

Originally released as one of the more rare OJR oddities, this is Sea Panther or EMZ-31. Sea Panther is a Hermit Crab type Zoid and up until

this year was harder than hell to locate. Call yourself lucky, (or perhaps unlucky is you plunked down over $300.00 USD on a MIB OJR version)

that this kit saw a re-release as the seventh  Zoids Monthly Graphic release. I scored my kit on Yahoo Japan, and being the first

Monthly Graphic release or "Super Real Action Magazine" as the box also states acquired, I was highly impressed by the packaging.

The box is bigger than I would have imagined at approx. 12” x 9” which is a giant compared to the OJR box in which it was first released.

The box is composed of thick cardboard with bright and colorful graphics.

The box is designed to be stored like a book, and the cover can be opened to reveal the goodies that await inside. A Velcro tab is used as a closure.

The bottom lefthand side of the box also states that a “present” is included.

The first Monthly Graphic releases contained pieces of a diorama base which when collected and assembled formed a somewhat rustic looking display base.

Sea Panther features a sprue of extra weapons, more on this later.

The side and bottom of the box denotes the contents, as well as the volume number in bright yellow letters.

Taking a gander at the inside of the box reveals a very atheistically pleasing layout with

two sprues on the left and old school clamshell cockpit, chrome pilot, motor and caps.


Sea Panther consists of:

4 Sprues

1 Clam Shell Cock Pit Assembly

1 Motor (Wind-up)

1 Pilot

6 Caps

1 Sticker Sheet

 

Construction begins with housing the motor.

The axle then runs through the frame. The head and missile battery are placed. All are secured with a clip.

Next the tri posted piece that forms the magic of the movement is placed, and the first claw is held on via one cap.

The same process is finished on the otherside and the crossbars are formed.

Next, the first set of legs are placed.

Next the last legs require an "L' shaped piece that connect them to the motor.

The same process is repeated on the other side.

Both back legs are now hooked ino the motor via the "L" connector.

The cockpit is then built and pilot seated.

In this state Sea Panther truly looks like a hermot crab without it's shell.

Next the shell is assembeled.

Both shell halves line up on each side of the middle piece.

When complete the hatch slides not unlike Lideir.

The final three pieces are then added. The back of the shell acts as a support and holds the unit

together. The cannon and radar unit are affixed to each side.

The unit is then ready for stickers.

I believe Sea Panther is the only other Zoid save for Gungy that features the awesome skull logos.

As an added bonus Sea Panther comes with an extra sprue of additional weapons.

This sprue featres some unique items like torpedo missiles, great for

storing away for that rainey day custom project.

Complete

 

Conclusion

Sea Panther is just DAMN GREAT. Its truly a treasure and masterpiece of

 

1980’s toy craftsmanship. The barnacles that adorn each side are an extra nice

 

Touch and just make it seem more realistic. The movement will just blow you away.

 

It scutters along in true crab fashion. I was amazed at this unit. I was surprised at the size,

 

As for some reason, I had envisioned it as a smaller unit. It is literally twice the size I had expected.

 

Take a look for yourself:

It’s a very nice treat and a must add to any collection. I did have a problem

With the sticker sheet and the adhesive. One of the top two “eye” stickers peeled

Off within minutes of action. Other than that minor annoyance this piece still withstands

the test of time. I will still seek out the OJR version. Do NOT MISS this one!

 

CRABTACULAR BONUS

 

In honor of Sea Panther, I am adding a bonus to this review.

 

Most of us have the other crabby counterpart Killer Dome in our collections,

 

but few remember the little comman Zoid by the name of Crabraster.

 

Released back in 1983, these have become somewhat difficult to locate. Crabraster

 

consists of:

3 frames.

The body holds two side plates which house the leg inlets.

Eack inlet holds 4 legs.

Next the claws are built.

The pilot seat inserts into the body and the legs and claws are

positioned inside.

The pilot is seated and two eyes are set, the crab is complete.

Zoids Crab Family Portraits

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