Sunday, 14 June 2015

Grandstand Convertors: Zetanoid

Zetanoid is a typical Convertor - nasty and capable of adopting a host of different forms. One minute he can be an awesome warrior robot and the next a futuristic fighter-plane with many variations.
He is always kitted out in immaculate battle-dress and is extremely arrogant, ready to take on any challenge.

Zetanoid is one of five figures of the 1985 Grandstand Convertors line which has its origins from Takaras early Diaclone toyline. There are multiple jet configurations although both the box and instructions only show the one jet mode and the robot mode has a very regal appearance emphasised by the use of chrome.

The robot head is unusual looking, not quite what the Transformers ended up looking like, however it is very detailed and certainly looks the part.

Packaged in robot mode, it requires a little assembly out of the box. The chest and upper leg sections are die cast metal making this figure quite heavy; and as you'd expect with a figure this age there is little articulation with the only movement being in the elbows. The wrists are spring loaded and can either be fitted with the fists or two smaller space craft accessories. Both the fists and small space crafts have spaces for the Diacone pilots. There is a larger blue space craft which slots on Zetanoids back along with the yellow horn accessories which plug into a port on the blue space craft.

It comes with quite a few accessories which are prone to be lost, any loose examples of this figure are bound to have a few missing. 

Interestingly this is the only Grandstand Convertors figure to come with Diaclone Drivers / Inch Men. They aren't the original pilots that came with the original Japanese or even the Italian GiG versions and these also came with a third pilot. The pilots are however the same as the American Kronoform version (more on that later).

Transformation to jet mode is simple, pull down the red chest piece and extend the central chromed cockpit, remove the head horns and swing the head forward. Fold the arms backwards then fold the lower legs outwards and up to the side of the body; fold down the feet and then rotate the red wings on the side of the legs.

Jet mode is small and compact and the 2 die cast wheels on the robot arms which are now underneath the jet mode allow it to roll back and forth. Even though this figure came with two drivers and the original with three, there are spaces for five drivers, seven if you plug in the 2 smaller crafts to the robot wrists underneath the jet mode.

A few simple minor adjustments will also transform the jet mode into different variations:-

The original Dai-Attacker (Source: eBay)

Originally this figure was called Dai-Attacker, released in Japan by Takara in early 1982 retailing for 2900 Yen. The main way to tell this version apart from later releases is the copyright stamp. On the back of the right leg is a circular stamp saying "Takara Japan", on Zetanoid this stamp says "Takara 1981 Taiwan".

GiG's Dai-Attacker (Source: eBay)

The Italian Diaclone series licensed by Takara and released through GiG was pretty much identical to the original Japanese release. Although I do not have a photograph I believe this figure has the same trademark stamp as the Japanese version.

In 1983 Takara attempted to break into the North American market with a series called "Diakron" releasing a red Sunstreaker, blue Trailbreaker and black Ironhide as well as Multi-Force-14 (Gats Blocker). Late 1983 into 1984 the follow up series by Takara called Kronoform was released simultaneously with the first series of The Transformers.

Kronoforms Attakon (Source: eBay)

Dai-Attacker was released through the 1984 Kronoform line and was now called Attakon. Attakon however only came with 2 Diaclone Drivers, the same which came with Zetanoid. It is Attakon which was repackaged and sold in the UK as Zetanoid; even Zetanoids instructions are basically a photocopy of the back of Attakons box - just a bit lazy!

Back of Attakons box (Source: eBay)

Zetanoids instructions almost identical to the back of Attakons box above.

In closing its hard to recommend this figure due to the price tag that goes with it nowadays. Zetanoid is certainly the cheapest version of the mould as even the Kronoform version goes for a lot and obviously the Diaclone version even more so. Though Zetanoid may cheaper than its counterparts, it is very hard to find complete and boxed and is still one of the more expensive Grandstand Convertor figures fetching between £100 and £150 if its boxed and complete.

1 comment:

  1. These have always looked like very cool toys with a lot of playability.