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Gul Tiger – Tilly's Zoids

Tilly's Zoids

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Gul Tiger

Gul Tiger sports a miniaturized charged particle cannon in its back that exhibits great destructive force. Its armor is strengthened, its power increased, and shock warfare its specialty. It can gather intelligence on the enemy at the front lines, and singlehandedly carry out a variety of operations. It is a menacing battle mecha that will keep attacking until its enemy is completely destroyed!

Gul Tiger is a bit infamous in model fandom, and for good reason: it's blinding orange and yellow, and for all its claims of being a cat, seems to be part ergonomic office chair. It's also one of the first Gradeup Zoids, along with SiegZeekdober, Kingliger, and Houndsoldier, and the Gradeups are a bit of a...dividing issue among fans. The smaller ones like Gul Tiger are all battery powered (so as to use the moving weapons gimmick) and sport very simplistic construction...other than motor boxes you have to build yourself, complete with gears and little metal contact bits.

Back when I got my Gul Tiger, the Genesis line was still running, and Rebirth Century was but a glimmer in some future marketer's eye. Thus, it didn't come cheap. It was prebuilt, too, but it had a vintage box and a few already-stuck stickers that looked salvageable.

Normally, I take Zoids apart and clean them to have the fun of rebuilding, but I encountered an issue early on with my Gul Tiger. Its previous owner had glued it completely together other than legs to body...and with the sort of glue that melts plastic to plastic. To add insult to injury, the motor wouldn't start and the eyes were glued in wrong, forcing the two sides of Gul Tiger's head slightly apart.

Gultiger fron the frontGul Tiger and Gravity SaixGul Tiger versus Gravity SaixGul Tiger in hand

After failing to get the eyes out of the head (I tried a blade, the very tip of which is still stuck in Gul Tiger's eyes) and successfully cleaning spiderwebs out of the large, spider-eggsack-worthy (I know this because there was an empty one) spots on the inside parts of the legs, I attempted the most important part: getting the motor to live again. My hope was the contacts and the escapist motor box bits within hadn't shifted, and the old motor was just a bit stuck. Insert battery, wiggle legs...for a moment, there was nothing, and then Gul Tiger gurgled to life in my hands. Emphasis on gurgle, 'cause this cat had seen better days. But it ran, grating and old and impressively stubborn for a kids' toy. Many of the small Gradeups are a bit clompy as a side effect of their one-piece legs, but Gul Tiger sells it better than most. Thanks to its lower, slinkier profile, it moves in a cranky rolling stomp. One has to wonder how it reaches its top speed (a respectable 260 kph). Does it bounce?

Once I'd peeled off all the half-dead stickers, I was left with my reasonably coherent Gul Tiger, still clinging to its Guylos logos and protecting a very Zenebas-y Guylos pilot. I then stole the pilot and gave it to Dark Horn. I don't think Gul Tiger's ever quite gotten over that, as it now likes to eat spare pilots and wound people's artistic sensibilities by combining a green Demantis pilot with its orange and yellow head.

Gultiger eats spare pilotsGultiger's new bright green pilot

For all people diss the yellow and orange, the wise addition of black lets Gul Tiger pull off a striking coloration that one could argue is suited toward its specialty, shock warfare. Startle the enemy with your armor, and then blow them away! Speaking of which, the fluff in the intro tells no lies (though it is overdramatic): the next time someone tells you only rexy dragony things have CPCs, show them Gul Tiger, because that's what the big barrel is for.

Gul Tiger, generic poseGul Tiger, side viewGul Tiger's Gradeup port and backGul Tiger from behindGul Tiger roars

I can't comment on my Gul's construction, but it looks like it would have been cool in a gradeuppy way. Nothing too involved, more fun with gears and bits of metal followed by a relaxing build around large windup in complexity. If you get the Rebirth Century one, expect the motorbox work to be already done for you. You'll still get gear fun, because it comes with the Gyrocrafter, a hoverfan gradeup unit.

Should you get a Gul Tiger? Color aside, it's a very sleek design and I like it quite a lot. It's very different from standard cats of the NJR...it even sticks out amid the other Zoids of its time. Unless you really, really want to build your motorbox, go for the rerelease, which will net you both kitty and upgrade unit for less than the price of either one vintage. I wouldn't put it at the top of a want list, but I wouldn't let it pass you by in the flood of reissued designs either. Give its cheese a chance.

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