After taking a short break due to life
and it's chaos, I am proud to present my first "post-break" catch.
After some searching in my "old haunts" I came across a video depicting a very nice store
store display, one that I had only seen once or twice over on the Ultrasaurus Red site.
After viewing the video, I realized it was created in Italy. I decided to attempt to contact the producer via
a youtube message, and didn't think I even had a chance at hearing back.
It was with a stroke of great luck (or perhaps destiny?) that the owner of the piece was highly receptive, friendly,
and willing to entertain the notion of perhaps selling this treasure.
Negotiations took place throughout early hours of the morning.... a price was decided after
countless emails and much negotiation.
For me this was only half of the battle, the other half was discovering the history behind this piece.
I did speak with Lionel, and he remembers seeing a total of three pieces. Two of which are in his possession,
the third he remembers seeing in a toy store. This is the fourth piece to have surfaced into the collecting realm.
Why is it so rare?
I am happy to say that I do have the answer, and I am going to post snippets of the conversation directly
from the emails between Stefano (the previous owner) and myself to retain as much integrity as I can.
"My grandfather had toy store. My father inherited it, now it's me and my sister. Over the years we have treated thousands of different items, among those were the ZOIDS. I remember the time I sold many, so that the Tomy sent me the demo Zoid that is what I sent you. This Zoid has come already mounted on its pedestal and once powered the Zoid moves. A lot of kids came to see it. It 'been a good operation that has paid off. But now after all these years, the games change constantly and this Zoid has been stored in a locker. Zoid could not wait any longer enclosed within a cabinet, so I made home video and Zoid has seen the light! Now the Zoid runs along the ocean in pursuit of his lost power. Zoid is now in the network and his name will live forever."
This intrigued me even more, and I wanted to question how this piece was originally obtainable which I thought would give some insight into its scarcity.
My mind wondering, anticipation taking a firm grasp on my collector's mind, I had to dig deeper.
This is the reply I received:
" I remember that at the beginning we made small sets of Zoid because the product was new and we wanted to first see if people liked it. Then slowly our orders have grown up and we decided to take the entire ranges in quantities significant enough. This zoid was given if I remember correctly, the shopkeepers who ordered the complete assortment bundle consists of the supplier, which included the entire range in different quantities. It was not for retailers who took in limited quantities. And it was not an item for sale to the public. So now after all these years, I think that very few have remained in circulation."
Now everything came together, it had become crystal clear: TOMY only sent displays to the wholesalers who were successful, meaning they were consistent order placers. Very different from today's standards where every company under the sun will be more than happy to give you a pen, notebook, or small piece of plastic garbage. Back then, the display had to be earned, and was very much a trophy for those who were successful with the line.
This Saber now rests with it's fellow comrades here at www.ZOID.us and takes its place alongside it's regularly released (and prototype) brothers.
It is this piece that sparked the new level of rarity here at www.ZOID.us titled "Epic". Epic not only in it's rarity, but Epic for being a true store front display that forged many childhood dreams, ignited the passion for Zoids for countless children, and was probably written down on more than a few Christmas or Birthday wish lists.
I would like to personally thank Mr. Stefano Ghiringhellis who sold me this piece (and retained it's history), his grandfather for starting the toy store, and his father for not throwing out old display items! Although not updated, you can take a look at his site here:
Every time I get a piece (of this nature) I feel like I am getting another piece of the puzzle revealing more of the mystery of our beloved line.
I am still working on a compilation in actual book form, alas I don't think I will ever know the entire history of the line. It seems that just
as I am set on having something figured out a piece like this comes along and skews the whole thought process. I am ecstatic to be able to
share time and space with this piece, and to bring it's history to fellow collectors, I hope you enjoy "Window Saber".
Upon taking the unit out of the box
there were some things that were completely different than I had
The first being that the display base is full on metal, and the second being the length of the base coming in at nearly a foot long.
Luckily, it came with all the original equipment needed to function, I went and picked up an adapter at Wal-Mart.
Saber still had his pilot.
I also did not think it would be dual sided, as it is. Note the lines present on lower righthand side of both corners, at first glance I thought this was done by the store but flipping the unit displays the same lines, perhaps used as an old school text allignment check? Below is the opposite side.
The next image gives a better idea of how large this piece really is.
The post that holds the Saber is thick metal, I imagine that forging a custom bracket would not have been the most economical of choice, and perhaps this is another clue as to it's rarity. The bracket is hollow to allow the wires to run through.
The wires comes directly from the battery box, and run down the bracket to an adapter. (Note that one of Sabers hose ports has been drilled out to allow the wire to fit into the battery box.)
This adapter then plugs into the power source, which was still labeled by the toy store (which I thought was awesome).
As the Zoids 2 line hit in 1996, I imagine that this was released to vendors before the launch. The word "power" was not officially used for this line in its formal release. When activated, the unit sounds louder than normal battery powered Zoids and I suspect that this is because of the higher amount of voltage being delivered as the engine is not designed for actual outlet use. The display has remained in excellent working condition, and I leave you with a video of it in action.
Remember, should you have any Zoids prototypes or store displays for sale I am always buying, please: Email me!
This has been a Zoid.US production. No image may be used without permission. © 2012 -WIKD