Tilly's Zoids

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Dekalt Dragon (Genesis)

aka Decalt, Decalto, Descarteswhatsitfredpotato...I'll just go with Dekalt.

I was never quite sold on Death Raser and Parablade, alternating between liking them and wanting other stuff more. The other stuff always won. Dekalt's moment came when the Genesis line produced one in pearl white, metal flake bronze, Prussian blue, gold and clear/metallic blue, Gildy-style. Gimme, said my brain, and gimme won post-birthday when I was looking to grab a Zoid unlike anything I'd already built.

I went back to my buddies the Legendary Tigers, finally completing the set with this guy. They're my favorite bit of the NJR design-wise for a reason: they take concepts we've seen a bajillion times (like kitties) and turn them on their ear, making for wonderfully entertaining builds and unique designs. Each critter in the lot has something different going on. Brastle is entertainingly foldy, Rayse has lights, Whitz is a modern Grade-Up, and Dekalt...perhaps is a culmination of everything that was good about the NJR's complexfiddly approach with very little of the bad.

Dekalt's box with Gravity Saix for scalethe side of Dekalt's boxbox contentscloseup of sprues

The box is pretty indeed, making a good impression from the start. Everything's covered in teal and runes and the photography is top-notch. It's also smaller than I expected considering the decent size of the finished Zoid - you'd have a hard time packing later more complex cats in there, and Dekalt is heftier than a Zero even sans wings.

Open the box and you get parts. Lots of parts. The motor's spinny bits are pre-assembled, alas, but if you're expecting a simple Whitz-style build like I was...well, you're in for a surprise. The instruction manual is really thick, because it isn't just the default Death Raser and Parablade ones strung together-it's instructions for building the combined Dekalt, plus extra ones telling you how to build the component critters alone if you'd like. I opted for the first option, 'cause Death Raser looks weird in Genesis colors, which are all organized to make the best dragon possible. I don't think I'll bother defusing them, either, so don't expect comments on Death Raser until I can pick up a regular one.

Construction begins with the head (which is easy) and the tail, which is a thousand levels of augh. You know all those little blox-compatible holes? Well, two rows of them per each tail segment are formed around little separate bronze bits, one for each hole. And I hate trimming little bits. Once that was conquered, I moved on to playing with the disembodied head (the teeth interlock properly when closed!) and assembling the rest in a somewhat disorganized way. Dekalt was forgiving of my wandering through the instructions, as well as staring at Doctor Who leading to many delays.

lots of little piecesputting together the little piecesDeakalt's head and body

One reason for lots of pieces? The sides and tail are covered in a myriad amount of amusingly pointy bits of armor. All said pointy went together smoothly other than the pearl spikes below the wings (they fell off, and still do), building the body up to sharp but bulky with a slightly layered look.

The legs are the really fun bit. Sure, the hind ones share some ideas with the Yet Another Bloody Theropod family, including frustrating attachment bits, but they caught my attention for the feet. You can leave the stabilizers off, and with them gone both the claws and the back flappy bits have a decent degree of up-and-down posability. We're not talking loose toes like BF, these can actually curve slightly around surfaces for extra fun on-shelf. Who said motorized Zoids were doomed to lean in awkward poses? It's funny, three of the four I have that don't lean at all have very stiff legs (or front legs, in Dekalt's case). You'd expect it to work the other way around, but Kingliger, Whitz, and Dekalt prove that wrong.

built footbuilt leglots of bits, including two legsDekalt's body, now with armorDekalt starts to come togetherDekalt with Raynos the next day

The front legs are a bit strange, being obviously stolen from Parablade, but they aren't technically one-piece. They've got shoulders and other bits in them, even if they're fixed straight since Blox joints would be a Bad Thing with how loose those get. The toes, sadly, are stuck in place, but like the hindfeet the back wibbly bits are entirely poseable for your choice of tiptoe, grippy, or in between.

I really love this thing's feet. Seriously.

Dekalt's hind foot gripping my handDekalt's back feet flat on the groundDekalt's back feet liftedDekalt rolls over

Moving on to the head, we have one of my only frustrations: those darn actual blox-y Blox. They're hooked together well, but the head itself still likes to escape. The posability itself is similar to a stiffer Fire Phoenix-don't expect your Dekalt to peek around corners, but it certainly can cock its head to listen to you type Zoid reviews. Sadly, its mouth is left dangling wide open, since as a Death Raser it's loose to chomp motorized-style. Some way to close its jaw so it's not stuck with a continuously happy smile would have been nice, Tomy guys.

Dekalt's cockpit openedDekalt in my hand

As a word of warning: that bit connecting Dekalt's neck to its shoulders, the one that's square and pokes into a hole that seems to go all the way into the body? It does go all the way into the body. Don't poke it there, or you'll be making like Mystick and finding your screwdriver for some emergency part retrieval. I was warned ahead of time—otherwise I'm sure I'd have found out the hard way.

The wings are pieced together of what was blades and Death Raser's front claws, leaving them stiff and the tips very obviously claws, but this bothers me a lot less than I'd have thought. In motion they flap with a strong, sudden beat, not a slow up and down wave. The blue plastic involved is shiny, matching the clear blue of Dekalt's eyes very well. They can be poked a reasonable distance upwards, making Dekalt's wingspan less daunting to find shelf space for and easier to store Zoids under.

Dekalt with other Zoids for scaleDekalt's back, sans wings, showing the Grade Up-style portDekalt's wings apart from its body

I love things that actually lift their feet instead of shuffling, so you can guess what my favorite bit of Dekalt's walk is. I'm not sure if my refusal to put those stabilizers on affects it any, but mine leans very heavily back and forth. Combined with those stiff front legs, stomp stomp stomp makes up half its stride. It harkens to other (ex) bodyguard-y critters like Red Horn and Gilvy, and that's a good thing.

Dekalt trying (and failing) to hide on the rugDekalt with its shadow

Dekalt has shades of Gilvy to start: broad chest, pointed nose with a grin, the hindclaws, broad wings and a backpack...how much was intentional, I don't know, but the Genesis versions make a great pair.

Wait, Tilly, you say. You made a Nudist Sporkvinga out of Savinga bits after getting Whitz Wolf. Obviously there's chunks of Parablade sittin' around doing nothing when you have a Dekalt Dragon, so what did you make with those?

My answer...is Thingy. Thingy, similar to many other such constructs, is formed of a Parablade head and neck (sans blade), a body, one Raser tail segment, a pokey tailtip thing, and Death Raser's arms. Perhaps in apology (and perhaps because I didn't dig them on Dekalt's legs), I gave him the railguns too. How he can use them when his methods of locomotion are limited to scooting along on his bum and walking in a continuing headstand, I'm not sure, but I bet he gets headaches easily.

Thingy sitting downThingy in the shadows

Dekalt isn't without issues, but overall it's worthy of the legendary tigers group - even if it's not a tiger, or even a wolf pretending to be one. Rather neglected wherever in canon and fandom it appears-let's face it, anything releasing along with Gildy was gonna get overshadowed-it deserves a second look. So pay it some attention and pick one up today in the colors of your choosing, then watch it try to decide where it belongs. Is it theropod? Dragon? Stompy?

The answer, of course, is that it fits between Gildy and the TV cabinet.

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