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Gorhecks (NJR / Fuzors)

Gorhecks, in my opinion, is one of the most unique and most neglected large windups in the Zoids line. Is it that stegosaurs just aren't cool these days? Gordos, another excellent design, seems to sell poorly, so that may well be true. Is it that it never did anything flashy in the popular bits of the cartoon? Maybe that too. Either way, it's not a Zoid you hear much about.

First rereleased in the late NJR, Gorhecks came out alongside Aro Saurer in the era where much of the battle story was told in the Fanbook Ex. This means if you buy an NJR-Hecks, you also get a fun bit of story, which is all in Japanese but has a couple pictures (and my rough translation, for what it's worth). It involves two good buddies setting out on a mission—against orders—to prove that Gorhecks, once the king of electronic warfare, is just the Zoid the Republic military needs to counteract Dark Spiner's jamming. They succeed, but Verditer Rowen's Gorhecks dies in the process, self-destructing to stop the Dark Spiner from killing Winner Kid after its boosted anti-jamming equipment overheats.

The original Gorhecks (or Cyberdon, if we're talking OER) was black with a bit of white, and sported clear purple fins. An NJR Hecks, less interestingly, comes in two shades of grey, medium olive-ish green, and clear orange fins. It's not a terrible color scheme, just less striking. The Fuzors one makes the body grey darker, the trim grey into silver, and the green into bright PKB turquoise blue. While it no longer has the story booklet, it has a little grey-silver piece with a clear blue "siren" to attach to the back. Interestingly, this makes for a mold change: the Fuzors Gorhecks has a pair of standard pegs on its back to hold the siren on, so if you take it off, any gun that'll fit between the back spines and uses a standard peg can be put in its place. Given that Gorhecks is pretty undergunned (outside of Zoids RPGs ;p), this is a nice chance to add moar guns. Deed's a good shot, he'd (probably) approve.

Build, like I mentioned with Stego, shows off the creativitiy of Tomy's engineers at their best. You begin with body halves and bits of turning head, which doesn't show off much until you start adding the pieces which drive a lot of the motorized action to the sides. Hrm, you think, there's a number of pokey outty bits on these. Sure enough, they don't just move the head, they move the wibbly bars on its back all the fins attach to. The only particularly ordinary parts of the whole affair are the legs (which are one-piece, but stubby enough this doesn't leave them stiff) and the tail, which is about the only non-moving part on the whole Zoid (though the sensor-sporting thagomizer bits can be moved a little, as can the missiles).

Wind up and release Gorhecks, and it pads adorably (and hypnotizingly) along, head turning back and forth as all four bars worth of fins tilt slightly inwards and outwards in a folding motion. There's plenty of spring to drive things, too, so it's not stiff or halting. It's a strong effort among the already very cool large windup era, and definitely worth a watch if motors are your cup of tea. There's a lot of detail molded into the understructure and limbs, making it a nice candidate for painting...about the only thing I can't see it doing super-well is being articulated, at least not without some rather creative cutting and reworking.

So which of the more recent Gorhecks do you want? Well, the Fuzors one has a cooler color scheme, and the back pegs are a very nice molding change. It's also the only way to get a Zoid that's Deed-tastic (though I think I'm one of the only people that likes Deed enough for this to matter D:). However, the blue plastic on mine was slightly dodgy, getting stress-marks around the places the fins go into the movey-bars and thus leaving the fins escape-prone. The regular NJR 'Hecks is also really easy to find now, to the point where I've seen them selling as low as 5 USD a head, and if you're a story dork the Fanbook X is nice.

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