The following is an Interview with Mrs. Tilly, long time Zoider, Linguist, and fellow Zoid enthusiast. Tilly can be visited over at Creative Insanity.

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

Tilly: Hm, I'm never quite sure how to answer that question!

Basic info-wise, Tilly's actually a nickname, but I answer to it.  I
live in Wisconsin (land of cheese) and plan to move to England (land of
Doctor Who) sometime.  I was born April 1986, I always need more music,
and my computer is named Luke.

Zoids-wise, I like battle story, /Zero, and Fuzors most...my tastes are
a big mix of old and new, and I honestly like elements of both.  The
"model kit/toy with a motor and animal shape" is a lot of the appeal to
me, so I'm unusual in that I don't really collect other lines like
Gundam.  I keep meaning to try Z-Knights.

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

Tilly:  It's mostly current, but swinging more towards vintage/rereleases of
 vintage (80s marketing, it's like a curse).  I'm also trying to fill in
 character Zoids for series I like...RD's Zero, Hermann's white König
 Wolf, etc.  About the only consistent bias otherwise is towards
 interesting engineering and shiny/metal flake/chrome plastic.  None of it is
 MIB, other than things I haven't built yet or I'm saving for
 customs/trade/etc.

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

Tilly: They're completely gone in Wisconsin, with not a useful import store
 in sight.  I've had similar no-luck in England, other than the time back
 in 2005 when leftover Hasbro stock flooded shelves.  There were
 stacks, literally <i>stacks</i> of things like Jet Falcon and Seismo.  That
 was great fun, along with the KB Toys sales in the US.  It's all over
 now, though...

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

Tilly: I'm pondering what stuff I might trim out, mainly by sentimental value
 (or lack thereof) rather than resale value.  The way I see it, I'll
 have to move it in a year or two.  That in turn has brought more focus
 onto only buying the Zoids I really like, hunting down parts to fix up
 some of my more battered vintage critters, etc.

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?

Tilly: I've dabbled a lot of places and am poking around again now, but other
 than ZE's old, old RPG my main thing was Metal Machine Music, which is
 now closed.  I did the piloting thing, the judging thing, the staff
 thing...and frustrating as it could be some days, I really miss it.
 There's nothing quite the same.  My character was named Shineryuu, and was
 half-joke (hence the name) and half-serious...and I had a Gorhecks,
 among other things.


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?

Tilly: Happy!  Far as I'm concerned, the more people that get to enjoy an
 awesome design, the better.  I don't care if I paid a lot more for it a
 year ago.  The only things bugging me are the quality control issues and
 prebuilt motors on the Gradeups, but rereleases are rereleases (and the
 NJR had some mold changes too).

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?

Tilly: I already have, so this is a definite yes.  The only ones I'm shying
 away from are the smaller grade-ups, at least if they continue to have
 prebuilt motor boxes.

I don't have any Graphics/Rebirth pieces to compare with originals at
 the moment, but my OJR Gordos has much sharper molding than my NAR.
 Gunbluster the OJR is miles ahead of the NJR (chrome!), so I'm hoping the
 original colors see another run.  Same with Raynos, come to think of
 it.

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

Tilly: Lidier.  And Gilvader, though I wouldn't count it as a grail as much
 any more thanks to Gildragon.  Most of my most-wanted stuff remaining
 isn't models (hello, History of Zoids), but I'm still seeking a Claw that
 hasn't been playing chrome-strip poker and a cheap Museum Horn for a
 parts swap.

Zoid.US: Do you collect Prototypes?

Tilly: Not actively, no.  They're interesting, but not worth the prices they
 hit (to me, anyway).  The closest I have to an oddity is an
 actually-Hasbro Laserstorm.  It's not the PI release, and the seller got it off
 someone who worked for Hasbro back when...but other than no instructions,
 it's pretty much the same.  Not very exciting, but I like the little
 bugger.

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?

Tilly: Bad relationship?  Really, it doesn't surprise me that things like
 that "escape" in this eBay day and age.

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

Tilly: Someday, someday, I will finish painting that poor Hayate Liger.  And
 do something with that spare König Wolf and CP-03.

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

Tilly: I don't think I ever have a set-in-stone favorite.  At the moment I'm
 favoring Gildragon—with the original masers for the Gilvader face
 plus the new pearl-and-blue thing.  I just dig the lines, the
 construction, the engineering...it's a near perfect summing-up of why I like the
 line.  Just throw in a nice windup along with it, maybe Gorhecks.  Got to
 love Gorhecks.

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

Tilly: All over the place, unfortunately.  The shelves are somewhat organized
 (by color, by anime, by faction, by "I want these out of the
 sunlight"), and then there's...my desk.  The only theme that thing has going on
 is "there are a lot of orange ones".  Some Zoids are riding on top of
 other Zoids—in a completely platonic space-sharing sort of way, I
 assure you.

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

Tilly: I don't want to know!

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

Tilly: I suspect everyone's has, but yes.  I'm sticking mainly to things I
 really want...which is, unfortunately, a lot of what's coming out lately.
 Hopefully Rebirth Century will stick around in stores longer than
 Fuzors or Genesis.

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

feel about your collection?

Tilly: My dad's fairly neutral, though he likes some of the stompier ones.
 My mom's adopted an eBay rescue'd Elephantus for the plant table (I
 believe her favorite otherwise is Gustav).  My sister has a few, and still
 keeps her Salamander on display.  My SO collects them too, and is
 responsible for a number of the shinier ones I have around.  Really, if you
 can't at least tolerate each other's hobbies, where's the fun in a
 relationship—or a friendship?  (I'll get off my soapbox now XD;.)

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

Tilly: With a lot of cap issues, as my room seems to eat them (especially
 blox caps, the poor things).  Hopefully, they will also be on some more
 organized shelves.

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

Tilly: The language barrier!  On the plus side, that's given me a chance to
 pick up a little Japanese, and I hope to turn that into some proper
 knowledge eventually.

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

Tilly:  Start out with stuff you really like, don't scramble over labels like
 "limited" or "rare" unless they overlap with "really like".  It's worth
 getting a feel for what'll sell out fastest among what you want,
 though, and preordering where you can.  Multiple places, if you want to be
 sure, 'cause the Japanese toy industry is fickle.

 Have fun.  If the fandom's not fun, if the kits aren't fun—then it's
 time to back off and take a break.  No need to burn yourself out,
 hobbies are for relaxing!

Zoid.US:  Thanks for your time Tilly, I will continue to watch your site as you bring to light more Zoids history!

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