Yujin released a series of Gashapon Blox Zoids in 2002. This series could be gathered in Japan in Gashapon machines. In the US we have a variety of similar machines that reside in local grocery stores. One puts a coin (usually quarters) into the machine and twists the crank, the machines then vends a capsule with a small, cheap toy, or perhaps a handful of candy. In Japan the term Gashapon comes from the two distinct sounds of operating the machine. "Gasha" refers to the twisting of the crank, and "Hapon" refers to the plastic toy capsule falling from the inside of the machine into the area where it can be retrieved. The term Gashapon is used to describe the actual machine as well as the toys. Different from US machines, Japanese machines tend to vend nothing but really cool stuff. One can purchase everything from Zoids, to living Rhinoceros beetles.
Part 1 of the Yujin Blox consisted of three Zoids in two different color schemes for a total of 6 pieces. Each piece cost 200 Yen or approx. $1.75 US. The set is made up of a Plant, an Insect, and a Weapon. I believe this is the first time we have ever seen a plant Zoid. The first time I laid eyes on this piece I knew I had to track it down. The Plant Zoid reminded my of the infamous Seymour from "Little Shop of Horrors". It was a must have. The Yujin Blox are designated as PZ1 through PZ6. What follows is an depth construction review of these seldom noted little wonders, enjoy!
PZ-01, the plant Zoid, is a simple yet effective design that results in one of the oddest Zoids on Planet Zi.
The end result is awesome, and believe it or not has actually made it to the top of my favorite Zoids list! It's larger than you may think also coming in at approx. 7.5" tall when fully opened! This is a must have, and acts as a great surrealistic accent when displayed with your Zoids.
The flowers take their place amongst the greats.
Now, to pollinate the plant we need a Butterfly.
PZ-03 the Butterfly Zoid is another amazingly fun Blox. Both head and abdomen are highly detailed, and the wings that adorn this piece are the icing on the cake. This is another beefy unit coming in at approx. 7" x 4.5".
PZ-05 the weapon is the last of the set, and perhaps the most strange. Basically a walking gun, this is the only piece that has a pilot figure. I found this one. to be the most complicated build
It did turn out better than it looks on the pictures, and is a sturdy unit that displays well. Interestingly enough, this is the smallest unit coming in at approx. 4.5" x 2.5".
A closer look at the pilot figures.
The last set consists solely of Blox and joints.
Below is the complete set.
The set is also able to combine and form a single unit.
This insect dragon like beast is a sloppy fusion that I personally would not display. The single units are much better by themselves.
Part 2 of the Yujin Blox, again, consisted of three Zoids in two different color schemes for a total of 6 pieces. Each piece cost a little bit more than Part 1 at 300 Yen or approx. $2.63 US. This series focused on a weird combination of insect like skeletal Zoids. After some serious searching I was able to land a set of these beauties.
The capsules that these sets come in are far larger than the normal capsules of US vending machines. Each capsule measures approx. 3" x 3" and are composed of a more heavy weight plastic, than the capsules we remember from childhood. The set I received had the original price tags of 300 Yen per piece still intact.
Two of these Zoids have interesting arthropod like eyes. The first (PZ-05) is a bipedal dinosaur the second (PZ-07) is an Insect / Liger with a prominent rib cage, and the third (PZ-09) is Insect / Snake. The following is a complete build review on these rarities.
PZ-05 is probably the most complex build of the second set. This is the crimson version of the piece, with the alternate version being the same in structure with only reversed colors.
This piece really stand out with the sculpting of the arms and legs having the appearance of muscles and tendons. It almost looks as if this piece was "skinned" or stripped of its flesh leaving only the muscle structure behind. Compiled with the bizarre insect head this piece has an almost "undead" feel to it.
I started with assembling the legs, and attaching the fins to the body segments.
Construction is finished with attaching all the parts to the Blox frame. The finished product is awesome, and really unlike any other Zoid.
Moving onto PZ-07, this is actually the second one that I will have acquired. The insect Liger with the prominent rib cage was a pleasure to build again. This version is finished in green and tan, the fins that rest on the neck of this piece contribute to it's overall strange appearance. The slender feet make the unit hard to pose, but somehow also seem to fit the overall theme of Liger / Insect / Alien space dog.
PZ-07 also has a considerable number of pieces that all fit on a three Blox body frame.
Again, I started by assembling the legs, followed by the body.
The oddity of the finished piece makes it an intriguing addition to any collection.
PZ-09 is an insect like snake piece. It's hard to pick a favorite but this one is close. The tail features a claw like appendage that is functional. Another strange piece to finish the line up, it's the simplicity of PZ-09 which, to me, makes it good at what it's trying to be.
Construction is simple, with six Blox composing the serpent's body.
The finished piece can be coiled, laid out, or even poised to strike.
The trio makes an excellent addition to any collection. These are getting wickedly hard to find, so if you do come across a set pick them up, you'll be glad you did.
This has been a Zoid.US production. No image may be used without permission. © 2007 -WIKD