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Gojulas HT

Fans of the original three Clear Zoids have often wished for a matching Republic set, and while I doubt we'll see another similar promotion (the last Z-point drawing involved a Murasame in colored clear plastic and the much-sought-after Genesis Redler colored to match Gildy and Dekalt), we will at least see a rival for the Clear Horn with this release. Yes, Gojulas—while it and the Kong are painted as rivals in an equal sense, until the Kong's development it was Red Horn that took the anti-Gojulas role. They may have been unequally matched in one on one combat, but a group of Horns could take on a single Gojulas and were more easily produced and maintained.

Our clear friend here was a limited edition, as most things are these days, exclusive but not incredibly difficult to find. I got mine through Amenbo for a fair price, and they're still available on eBay and Yahoo Japan for what isn't cheap but isn't pain-worthy...yet. The box is the same size as a regular Gojulas' (that is, large enough to be expensive to ship but still within small packet) and a good deal more uninteresting...oh, it's artsy in its pretty greyscale and angles, but there's no real information on the Zoid beyond base stats. No weapons, no cool story about the origins and uses of Holotech like the Zaber Fang, nada.

Open the box and things get more interesting. While the old Clear Zoids had colored motor boxes and pilots along with red caps, this thing is all clear beyond the caps (which are a milky white) and a few electronic bits. The pilot? Clear. The motor box? Clear, letting you see the white gears and silvery motor inside do their thing. And the clear plastic is nice stuff, less brittle than the old-school Clear Zoids and on the whole pretty easy to cut. I'd compare it to the Hasbro Holotechs, where they felt a bit "squishy" and while I had to take care trimming bits, they didn't make me nervous either.

Battery case, sans batteriesClear pilot

On a very random note, I've found that most clear plastic gives off a unique plasticy smell when trimmed. The most prominent pieces I've found that did so were my Clear Black Geno Saurer and this guy, and both of them seem to have very tough plastic as far as clear goes. I'm not sure if there's a connection, but if you pick up on sensory input in a weird fashion like me, take a sniff the next time you build a clear Zoid.

Gojulases are a treat to build if you like old-school things. They're full of movement and lots of pieces that all have a particular function - lots of levers and turny things and movey things. (As you can see, I'm impressed enough to use very technical terms here.) Each part has its purpose, and as you poke them all together you get the fun of many "aha, so that's how it works" moments if you've never built one...or the fun of working it out sans instructions if you have. Like all its stompy cousins, Gojulas lends itself to an intuitive build as there's not a lot of fiddly things to misplace and the legs will happily tell you if you've got them wrong by a) clicking or b) making Gojulas fall over. Just don't put the tailweight in upside down. They get stuck.

Side view with AAs visibleAnother headshot showing off clearness

(Dawn works well to free stuck metal if you don't listen to the above advice, and it will also leave your Zoid smelling like lemongrass and orange blossom. Mm, fruity.)

This being my third Gojulas, I had it together in pretty short order. The translucent plastic gave me little trouble, and the molding was a definite improvement from my late NJR rerun Gojulas and its mess 'o flash. This fixing-up was apparently done after said late-NJR run and before the Toys R Us Mk.II rerelease, which shares the overall crispness the HT sports. The one bad point? The chest guns were far, far too tight, and I had to shave plastic to get them on at all without cracking. Still, that's better than muddy detail and another horrible tail!

Together, Gojulas will be wanting a pair of Cs and a pair of AAs—be sure to have some pretty batteries on hand, because they're fully visible, and you wouldn't want your Gojulas not looking stylish, right? The AAs power the eyes, which true to the clear motif will blink not red but plain white. I imagine a bit of clear paint on the eye piece would have them blinking whatever color you so desire, so if you've ever wanted a custom Gojulas with something other than red or green, today's your lucky parts-swap day. The Cs set the thing in motion, slooowly creaking and stompstaggering along the floor with a look somewhere between Godzilla and an aging windup toy. That's a good thing, a very mesmerizing and fascinating thing.

Front viewFront-side viewSide viewFrom above

Unless you really hate old-school, there's very little reason not to own a Gojulas of some sort. And if you dig clear plastic, even a little? Oh yes, this is the one to buy. An LED wand or blacklight will make it light up like a bright-colored mofo in the dark, and the clear plastic really is a treat with the redone mold and all its detail. If anything Zoid deserves the nickname "crystal", it should be this guy and not the original Clear Zoids.

Backlit finGojulas with LED penGojuals HT and Terox blinking

The only bad point (besides the tail clip making me even more nervous) is the lack of CP-10, though the battery covers sport the adapters and a regular set can thus be added without fuss. There also is the price, but if you're lucky and get one before they get scarce, you may well be able to beat the real price gouging later on. Adopt one now, before they vanish, and lob a brick my way for finishing on a bad joke.

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