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Gun Sniper (and CP-13 Wild Weasel Unit) – Tilly's Zoids

Tilly's Zoids

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Gun Sniper (and CP-13 Wild Weasel Unit)

"This velociraptor-type Zoid was born from the partially-analyzed data of the "Organoid System", and got quick wits and vitality far beyond the ordinary. It's an all-rounder sort of design, easily handling everything from logistical support to assault."
- Gun Sniper's box, on Gun Sniper

"This toy takes the dinosaur concept and gratuitously adds a sniper element. [...] The Zoids line melds two traditional toy categories-construction toys and animals - and adds violent themes, which are then marketed to pre-schoolers."
- The Lion and Lamb Project on Gun Sniper

"Gun Sniper? Isn't that a bit redundant? I mean, it's not going to snipe with a little slingshot and pebbles, though I suppose that's possible."
- Oscar Wilde on Gun Sniper

Gun Sniper was one of the first new windups in the revived 1999/2000 Zoids line, and one of infamously debatable quality...at least in the molding department. On some early Gun Snipers, it led to them looking rather rough and blobby—if by some coincidence you're lucky enough to find a first-run Gun Sniper, you might not want it! This was fixed up some, but they're still not amazing in the detail department, and a lot of them have walking difficulties. Mine's somewhat middle of the road: not great, but it'll wibble forward a bit, and continue further if I whack it on the tail. Rev Raptor, which uses very similar slidey-bar movement, doesn't have this problem.

By contrast, what's good about Gun Sniper? It's got a charm that's hard to define, with the little ear-antennae on its face giving it a bit of "cute" in contrast to Rev Raptor's aggressive lines. The various little guns are movable, and you can tilt the ear-antennae some, giving it a bit more posability and versatility on the shelf. The back boosters, rather than doing something motor-related, have a spring-driven popout gimmick for the easily amused (read: me). Just make sure the little cone things are on all the way before you press the button, or you'll be hunting for them.

It's also got a unique color scheme, which I'm of two minds about. The best description I can manage is dark (slightly greenish) blue, an odd silver-grey, and dark periwinkle...with orange-yellow caps. There's nothing else like it, though it sorta works alongside the NJR Gunbluster—which is odd, as they were released pretty far apart.

Overall, with how Gun Sniper's gotten quite hard to find these days (funny how things change—I remember them being on clearance!) and its quality varies like a very varying thing, I'd recommend Rev Raptor or Snipe Master (especially Snipe Master) for your raptor fix. Kotobukiya also has several Gun Sniper kits lacking in these problems...and lacking in a motor, as is par for the course with the HMM line. Much as I'm a motorized critter fan, the HMM take on Gun Sniper looks pretty tasty, and is the kit I'd recommend picking up if you liked the show's deliciously expressive animation model. It's not like the original kit is going to be walking much.

Wild Weasel Unit

Obviously designed for the Gun Sniper but a bit more versatile than, say, the Koenig's custom parts, the Wild Weasel Unit is one of the only Zoids CP kits still somewhat readily available. You can also stick it on Godos, Shadow Fox, and other Zoids, should you not mind mismatched caps (or have spares).

For your 300 yen (or 5-15 dollars, usually, buying from other sellers), you get a single frame of parts, four orange-yellow caps (which match Gun Sniper's), and a unique sheet of stickers. This is a nice touch, since most of the small Customize Parts reuse the same bland set. Your bits assemble up into a movable radar dish (which can fold up or down at two points), two sets of posable gun arms (letting you position the guns closer or farther away from the Sniper's sides), and attached hurty guns.

To put it on Gun Sniper, you remove the back plate the boosters go on, sticking the gun mount in its place and putting the windup key and boosters on top. Keeping the windup key is all for show, as there's no way a Gun Sniper will walk after you put the Weasel Unit on it. The motor just can't cope, though it'll still wiggle its legs if you hold it up in the air.

In short, the main reason to get this CP is because it looks cool—okay, that's true of all custom parts, but the Weasel especially. I'm not too annoyed about losing the Gun Sniper's mobility in trade for some awesome guns, though I might feel differently if it moved well to start. My only other gripe is one of plastic: my Weasel Unit had some flash issues, including some I had to shave off the back piece to get the guns on. The caps were also already rather hard, not a good sign as to their rubber quality. This is probably a batch issue, and at least it wasn't shatterprone. Speaking of batch issues, some Gun Snipers seem to have trouble keeping boosters on their Weasel Units—the lack of quality control, can you feel it? Blu-tac or a bit of kneaded eraser may help, though I don't have this problem personally.

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