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Raynos

Old-school Raynos is rather ferociously rare, or at least ferociously expensive. Model-wise, it was one of the last large windups in the old line along with Cannonfort and Heldy (possibly partially explaining its rarity). It was piloted by Krüger in Shogakukan!story continuity, and in all takes on its life, Raynos was used to scout out the Dark Continent, proving important with its recon, agility, and ability to arrive at the last minute with shiny Zoids in tow.

But I didn't buy mine normally. I wound up getting it thanks to a parts lot on eBay...which contained things suspiciously birdlike and blue. It also contained things Battle Cougar, and all of a Battle Rover except one arm and a very small leg piece (since sent on to a new owner).

Ah, the blue. It's a color like nothing new, one which has to be seen to be grasped. The closest is probably Rayse Tiger, who is darker and deeper. To assign names, I'd say it's a bit like wedgwood blue. Or maybe it's a dark periwinkle. You decide!

Raynos posed so that the cockpit and pilot are visibleBlue version of the visible pilot picturePurple-tinted version of the visible pilot picture

In addition to this mysterious, fascinatingly blue blue it sports dark grey underbits, white caps and trim, and a smoke cockpit. I have to wonder if this is the reason these guys sell for so much, as there's no way to replicate that pretty very-slightly-purple smoky color short of casting your own. The white caps and pieces are somewhat problematic, too: all white plastic yellows, but these seem to do so particularly badly going by both Raynos and old-school Shieldy. It may be the chemical composition of the plastic itself, but you'd be hard-pressed to find any Zoids sporting this white plastic in minty mint condition. My Raynos is edging into beige. I replaced the worn out caps with black Shadow Fox caps, having used the remainder of my spare white caps on a built Aquazoid.

The stickers are also quite stylish, if you're lucky enough to have them. This particular Raynos' original owner stickered it well, and as old stickers are sturdy things I was able to save the lot despite cleaning the Raynos itself. The wings, for the curious, say "315215"—a number of other OJR stickers have numbers and random phrases in Zoidian, which in the OJR was really just hiragana written with "Zoidian" squiggles. (In the pictures below, the left is the original, and the right is me trying to adjust things to show the real blue.)

Black and white side view of RaynosRaynos' wing with stickers on it.  The blue color is inaccurate, but how the camera tends to show it.Raynos' wing with stickers on it.  The blue color is adjusted to be closer to the actual model.

Negative points in all this? A motor with the gear thing in the wrong spot, so the wings don't flap when my Raynos walks. I have no idea if it originally came this way. It also sports a number of nasty stress marks from the plastic getting bent (especially where the claws attach and on the tail), though only one was bad enough to require glue. Whether the blue plastic was brittle to start or this particular Raynos had a tough life, I don't know. It's also missing the radar dish, but we can say Dark Horn ate it.

Raynos reads a Spiderman comic

OJR Raynos is likely not worth the money unless you get lucky—or you want to spend a hell of a lot more just for a very fetching shade of blue and that clear smoke cockpit. If you can't bear the NJR's...bright...green, try the museum version, which looks quite classy after some panel lining. The Holotech also wears the green much better (it's both a better shade and clear), but it's gotten rare now too.

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