A new section has been added to Model Kits for the Masterpiece Zoids series, including their stock photos and lore. The Anniversary Zoids will be lumped into this page as a sub-category for lack of a better efficient place to put them. It's worth noting however that these ARE separate series, even if they use the same base Zoid. The AZ line will get its own section if it goes beyond 5-6 kits.
- Zoids 40th Anniversary Project: First Announcement!
Zoids Official has tweeted their first News Bulletin regarding the 40th Anniversary Project. To our incredible surprise, the announcement is the revival of the MPZ series! At least, of the frames and concept. These new kits, labeled under the "40th AZ-01 ~ 03" registration number are planned to begin in Autumn of this year (October, specifically.) The first video down below is the teaser posted on their account, which will begin the celebrations for the Zoids franchise's 40th anniversary!
The last MPZ kit released was the Saber Tiger, which was released in March 2016 for 14,040 yen retail. We can expect a moderate price increase due to the global situation. However, these "more realistic" kits are a unique reimagining of the original Tomy motorized series. A lot of insight went into their design, and I highly recommend looking at one of the videos for the series, which was posted in April 2015. It will be the second video below.
The first of the 40th Anniversary Zoids is the Blade Liger! Staying true to the video's announcement "The culmination of 40 years of Zoids - Evolved ligers are here now!!", the first of these kits will evolve the former Shield Liger design into this iconic Zoid. The Blade Liger looks robust on the Masterpiece frame, and is scheduled for October 2022. This will be the first kit using the MPZ frame to be released in years!
The second anniversary kit is, of course, the Liger Zero! With an all new design, this kit is scheduled for 2023. So far we've only got the wire frame look, but at first glance it appears to be using a highly modified version of the MPZ Shield Liger frame while remaining quite true to the original Liger Zero. Especially by MPZ standards. The MPZ-style caps will be a distinctive feature on this kit.
After well over a decade, the third kit will be the first-ever full size reimagining of the Murasame Liger! AZ-03 is scheduled for 2013, and sports an interesting aesthetic. With a much stronger MPZ influence the Murasame Liger will become even tankier than its initial 2000s release, which can be attributed to applying the Murasame Liger design over the MPZ Shield Liger frame. A detail I appreciate is being able to see the rotating caps through the ventilation gaps in the front of the Shoulder Armor.
This is just the start of the 40th Anniversary of Zoids. With the way the teaser video is set up, we have to wonder, will Wild Liger also get an MPZ treatment? Will we receive a rerelease of the MPZ Shield Liger as part of the celebrations? So far we have kits set up into 2023. There's a lot to ponder, and we're excited to move forward and see what Zoids has to offer!
While not necessarily news, TT also had a display set up to show the walking motion of the Masterpiece Zoids Shield Liger. It seems the sounds aren't properly synced up with the kit, but hopefully that's just the result of it having been running for a few hours.
A final look at the MPZ Saber Tiger has started to appear online! The Zoid is now up for pre-order on sites like AmiAmi, Hobby Search, etc. with a release date of mid March 2016. The kit also includes additional face parts for the muzzle and forehead that can be swapped out with the basic kit, making the Zoid appear to snarl. Retail price is 14,040 Yen with varying discounts depending on your store of choice. There's no extra parts for ordering from Amazon at the moment.
TakaraTomy has posted an interview with their designers who've been working on the Masterpiece Shield Liger. This is a very in depth video which has a lot of very interesting views. It contains CGI renditions of the figure and a wide variety of prototype stages shown in action. Included is also an NJR Shield Liger for a comparison of shape, design, and function. This reveals that the Masterpiece model will indeed be larger than the original version.
Other design aspects are also discussed, such as the semi-realism animal sketches. These were used to rough out the expression of the face and desired shape of the mane. They also go on to say how they compared the original kits to the more realistic motions of these animals to improve the design.
While this video is in Japanese you can get google translated subtitles by clicking the CC button. Subtitles will appear in Japanese. Click the gear icon at the bottom right and select 'Translate' with the language of your country.
The Masterpiece Shield Liger page has been updated with color photos! We now get to see that this Zoid will also have an armorless form, and many transparent parts to accomodate the lights. Seen above is a new commercial featuring the walk cycle and breathing motions. The movement of the paws looks amazing compared to older generation motorized kits.
The kit is scheduled for an October Release at a price of 12,000 Yen. This is roughly $103.
Takara Tomy has teased a new Zoid, though what this figure entails is yet to be seen. It mentions more life like movement than previous figures and possible electronics, with more currently unknown. With the figure being poseable it may be possible that the electronics are just lights, rather than fully motorized as speculated by some. We're still waiting for more information.