Friday, June 6, 2014

トミーのゾイドとStarriorsと歴史: Tomy Zoids & Starriors and History.

Sometimes I feel I am spoiled by the Japanese collectors communities I partake in. To be more specific, the Takara toy brands, and Chogokin/Bandai/Popy creations. The wealth of knowledge brought out in books is amazing. The books that focus in whole or part on the histories, concepts and designer thoughts are such a valuable part of the hobby. Most all of these books brought about and developed by fans, for fans. There's consent and help from the companies themselves of course.

When I come back to home, and think about other communities I see less of what I do in Japan. There is no, and will likely never be a Transformers Generations type book for G.I.Joe. Then there's other toys I collect or admire like Air Raiders, M.A.S.K., Starcom and Starriors, none of which have great resources similar to toy books in Japan. Granted of those 4 I listed only 2 of them made it past a single year of production. But it's one of those one year lines that really got me thinking about all of this, Tomy Starriors. Why can't I find some historical info, and early design work? Of all the lines, it's connection to Zoids should bring about something right?

トミー ゾイド Tomy Zoids 1985 Robostrux www.gangustars.comトミー Tomy Starriors 1984 Japanese robots

I am definitely a "Johnny-come-lately" where Zoids and Starriors collecting comes into it. I had a single Robo Strux toy as a kid. While I adored that toy, it was years before I would add a second Zoids based toy into my collection in the purchase of a Kenner Techno Zoids piece. Then again, another 10 years or so later I grab some Japanese Zoids at a garage sale. The trend as I see it is that I buy Zoids about every 10 years, with me getting a few memorial re-issue sets last year. So you can see, I am not a Zoids die-hard, but really like the sets I have as a very casual collector.

My Starriors story is not so much different. I am not a die-hard collector of Starriors either, although much bigger fan of these than of Zoids. I never owned Starriors as a kid, but my brother had 2 figures and I thought they were great. I think that with both Tranfomers and Gobots taking my money, there was no room for Starriors. I feel this was the case for most kids and that's why it was just a one year line. Starriors did stick with me. For years I contemplated collecting them, watching the market,seeing what and where the toys could be found. Then finally in 2012 I started to buy them. And the same feelings I ahd playing the toys as a kid came back, they really are a  lot of fun. It's sad they had to arrive in stores just as Transformers and Gobots did, because they really could have been something if they had a chance to shine on their own.

トミー ゾイド Tomy Zoids 1985 Robostrux www.gangustars.comトミー Tomy Starriors 1984 Japanese robots

Now almost 2 years into collecting Starriors my interest in it's history is growing. The thirst for knowledge, a look into the design and concepts of the line that the collectors archivist section of my brain is craving. I think to myself, since there is no Starriors guides and the only Starriors web based info is limited to mainly toy releases and comic books, I'll turn to Zoids for answers. While some sites state for fact that Starriors is taken from Zoids in design and concept, I wonder if that is true. I know there's a few models that share a release, but the whole line? This is the kind of info I want to know. What was the initial design process for Starriors, how much did Marvel have a hand in the set up of the toy line? Was there more models to be made had the first year been a success?

I been looking for Zoids books for a few weeks now in hopes of finding one that focused on concepts, design and designer interviews that would maybe shed some light on Starriors. As of yet, I haven't found anything that meets my wants. There's no doubt a lot of books on Zoids, but most seem to be model making how-to and tip guides. There's also a slew of books related to the Zoids anime, and some concept guides that seem to recreate Zoids and not show it's original origins.

Overall, this post is a plea, if anyone knows what type of collectors guide Transformers Generations, Takara SF Land and Machine Robo Wedge is, does a similar book exist for Zoids? Do any Zoids books featuring info on Starriors?

80's, Japanese Robots, RATS, robots, Starriors, Tomy, Tomy R.A.T.S., toys, Zoids, ゾイド, トミー, ローボット, 1984 Tomy robot

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