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Blade Liger BI

Blade Liger is one of those Zoids I find myself collecting variants of for reasons I can't quite explain. It's not an absolute favorite, but there's something appealing about its sleek lines and white-trimmed fins that keeps me coming back. Add in a liking of Fuzors and gunmetal, and it's no surprise I'd be after this limited that really wasn't all that limited.

Gone from star to secondary character in Fuzors, The Blade Liger Black Impact's role in life seemed to be to be beaten up, much to the dismay of fanboys everywhere. Rastani wasn't a horrible pilot, mind—his plot to take down the Liger Zero Phoenix would have worked if not for Roger's impatience—he just got hit with a lot of Act of Plot. His team was a bit like the Tigers, really, who also turned out to be pretty decent folks by the time we got to episode 15. In Rastani's case it'd be episode 18 where he got to shine, after his brother smacked around his Liger (again) and replaced it with the Chimera Dragon. Putting aside old rivalries, he sought RD's help...which was a good thing, as the Chimera Dragon went berserk, and there's nothing better than a hero to fix things like that.

Bladey BI chargingBlade Attack, sort of

Oddly enough, the Blade Liger BI is neither true to the anime or true to the original colors, which were the ones that showed in both prototypes and on the finished boxart. The anime Ligers have blueblack legs and gold claws and blades, the model side of the box shows black legs and silver claws and blades. Open the box, and what do we get? Black legs, silver blades, and gold claws. Buh?

One possible explanation for this comes from Hasbro's Limited Blade Liger that never was: in photos, it was a dead ringer for the box-style and prototype Bladey BI. Hasbro Ligers have plastic feet, so if there were unloved Ligers sitting around all it would take would be a quick addition of the regular Blade Liger's metal bits for a fancy Japanese limited release instead.

Another possible explanation is that Tomy likes messing with our heads. Blue Saberlion on the box and teal inside, anyone?

As far as plastic goes, Bladey isn't metal flake death like some Fuzors Zoids (Leostriker, anyone?), but the gunmetal is a warm shade with good depth and a light sparkle...about the color of NJR Gojulas' fins plus shiny. The black plastic is that irritating hard to trim flaky stuff, but it often seems to be these days. Parts fit on mine was otherwise quite good, the head taking hardly any poking to get together. Stickers, for those who stick 'em, were a total disappointment: stock Blade Liger, no change, no Black Impact symbols! You'll have to buy a Chimera Dragon to get those, which really isn't fair.

Blade guns in useBladey BI from behind

Now, since I'm a Fuzors fan, I wanted my BI to be anime-ish. I lucked out: I had both Shieldy legs and a red Hasbro Blade Liger crying out for black ones. There was much parts swapping, and with a spare set of gold blades from a kind ZoidFans member, I had the best of both worlds. The resulting BI is much more cohesive, and the slight contrast added by the blue in the legs makes it even better. It can still cut a good figure stock, thanks to the shade of gunmetal matching the gold, and a bit of silver paint on claws and teeth is all it'd take to get you one looking like the phantom Hasbro release with added stomp.

Bladey BI with red Blade Liger, which is looking pinkBladey BI with red BladeyBladey BI in semi-dramatic lighting

Conclusion? Whether you like Fuzors, don't care about Fuzors, or even hate Fuzors, BI's a worthy purchase. It's got class, as opposed to some of the flashier color schemes in the line that many people are divided on, and the Blade Liger mold seems to impress even those who aren't big on cats. It's a good buy unless you're utterly sick of Liger legs.

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