Produced by Kenner in 1994, this is the second incarnation of the Zoid known as Battle Cougar titled "Storm Tiger". Battle Cougar was originally an OJR release and part of the Grade Up series. Battle Cougar is a Griffin Type Zoid that is capable of both land and air combat. It has an impressive variety of weapons which can only be enhanced by the ability to mount additional weapons via the grade up port on the unit's back.
Originally used by the Heltic Republic, Battle Cougar's design is one that I personally had to learn to enjoy. As there was no official Battle Story to go along with the Techno-Zoid releases, thus Techno Zoid version lacks any type of designation. A look at the back of the box reveals the typical Techno Zoid catch phrases:
"Flip up canopy lets pilot "take the Controls!"
"Directional cannon with rotating barrel!"
"Motorized "charging" leg action"
"Poseable massive wingspan"
"On/Off switch gets it in gear!"
Phrases like these always teleport me back into childhood, and are a big part of why I enjoy the Tehcno-Zoids line so much. Another part of my partialness towards this line is the chrome, of which there is no shortage on this unit. The cannons, beak, and horn are all finished in flashy gold chrome. Aside from the aesthetic appeal the Storm Tiger is also significant in that it's the only unit to ever had been re-released out-side of Japan with a standard Grade Up Unit included. The Storm Tiger sports the GU-01 or Hyper Beam Gun. This unit was originally intended for Hound Soldier, and features a pair of large Beam Cannons. Another unique aspect is the motor unit that has to be built, old school style and is not a complete unit with switch that comes with the Hasbro release, but instead hails back to it's Grade Up roots. More on this later.
Storm Tiger was produced in Thailand and is numbered on the box No. 64815. It requires 1 "AA" battery to operate and consists of:
6 Sprues (Including Joint and Crown Gear Sprue)
1 Shaft with Cranks
3 Metal Battery Parts
1 Sticker Sheet
1 One Page Double Sided Instruction Sheet (pictured below)
The GU-01 packaged with Storm Tiger consists of:
1 Shaft with Gears
Below is a scan of the dual sided instruction sheet that accompanies Storm Tiger. When I first layed out the parts to start building I found myself asking: "Where the hell is the motor?" Unlike any other Tehcno Zoid the motor is not assembled and requires building. Let's take an in depth look at the build of this unit.
The first step in the build is placing the two metal battery contacts inside the hollow body cavity, which is then followed by placing the actual motor on the top.
Next, the gears are placed ala Grade Up style into both the main body, and also the upper body.
The two body halves are then fitted together.
The switch is then mounted making the motor assembly complete.
The tail, as well as two hind quarters are placed on the back of the main body unit and held together with a clip.
The build then moves to the frontal side, and the beak as well as two front quarters, upper head and lower chest plate are then fitted and held in place with another clip.
The left side legs are then assembled. The Battle Cougar / Storm Tiger has always had solid legs that do not need any assembly, save for connecting the feet via one cap. I think this is a major part of the design that left a bad taste in my mouth when I assembled my first unit. In this step, the cannons and fenders are also mounted and held in place via one cap.
The same process is repeated on the opposite side, and the Zoid is now able to freely stand.
The horn is then placed on the top of the head, and the cockpit situated, The pilot is seated and the Grade Up Bar or Power Emblem is also placed.
Next, construction begins on the left wing. The wing consists of three separate pieces that all snap together. The same process is repeated for the second wing.
The battery compartment is then placed on the bottom of the unit.
Next the GU-01 unit is started.
The first step in assembling the GU-01 is placing the shaft with gears inside the bottom part of the base.
Three gears are then fitted around the shaft, and top piece is snapped in place.
Each Beam Cannon is then assembled. Two halves are fitted around a cylinder.
The Beam Cannons are then attached to the base unit, and the unit is finished off with the placement of the top long range laser sensor.
The second Grade Up bar is fitted.
The finished GU-01 is then fitted onto the open Grade Up port and the unit is complete and ready for stickers.
The unit is finished and ready for display.
An interesting note is that the model pictured on the box has the inner part of the wings on backwards. The long tip of the cannon which should be forward facing is backwards. Below is a comparison with the other releases regarding wing position.
Storm Tiger is really an awesome Zoid to add to any collection. You get the best of both worlds with the old school motor and grade up port build, along with the GU-01, and gold chrome. What more could you want? This piece is worth actively seeking to add to any collection. Not to be missed!
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