31 January 2011
Robot Damashii x Doraemon = Zanda Cross
Bandai's Robot Damashii action figure robot toy line will have something released in May from Doraemon series: The Zanda Cross (ザンダクロス) from Doraemon: Nobita and the Steel Troops (ドラえもん のび太と鉄人兵団), or more precisely its upcoming that is to be aired this March.
Robot Damashii Zanda Cross stands about 135mm tall, weighs about 60g, and will be released some time in mid-May. The official retail price is set to be 3675 Yen (tax included).
The Wikipedia article names the robot as "Zanda Claus", but since "Zanda Cross" gives more results and fanarts tend to name it that way I will stick with the latter.
In addition to Zanda Cross itself, a 35mm tall "Pippo" will be included as well, which is supposedly the AI unit for the robot.
The appearance of the AI unit has changed from the original manga and movie, which was pretty much blue bowling ball and did not make too much appearance. It looks like the AI unit will have more frequent appearance and a greater role for this upcoming remake.
Doraemon: Nobita and the Steel Troops was originally a tankoubon manga published in 1985. The story is about Nobita being jealous of his friend having a robot toy and wants one for himself too. He begs Doraemon for one greater than his friend's, and later they accidently find robot parts mysteriously appearing in Antartica. Doraemon decides to open up a portal to a mirrored world and built the robot there. Unknown to them its origin and purpose, they thought it was just a great toy coming from nowhere, but it was not long would they realise that it is actually a weapon to aid incoming extraterrestial robot army to invade Earth and enslave the human inhabitants of it.
Two pages showing Zanda Cross completed in full page. My manga is an early localised Hong Kong version, and has remarkely different names to the one that are used for current publications, which follow the original Japanese names a bit more closely.
The story was made into a full length featured animated movie in 1986. This is the original poster for it.
Zanda Cross as seen in the 1986 anime movie. Notice how the 'wing' binders on the back are originally red while it is white in the upcoming remake.
Screenshot of the movie is from here
A fan art comparing Zanda Cross with Hyaku Shiki side by side
Image source here; art by Codman
Gundam fans would recognise Zanda Cross's similarity to Hyaku Shiki. It is said that the designer Takaya Kenji (たかや健二) did base the mecha on it, hence the similarity.
It even has a inner mechanical artwork too :o
Image from honeykicker
It's quite surprising for me (and many others) to see Bandai to release Zanda Cross, even though it's to go with the upcoming remake of the 1986 movie. Some people argued why they haven't decided to release Doraemon first since it too is a robot ^^; (I won't mind getting one if that's the case though).
But still seeing Zanda Cross getting released does give me a rush of nostalgia here, especially since I have the manga and have watched the first movie quite some time ago. However, the toy itself looks rather... Rubbery plastic like from the shots (almost too old school ^^;). We would just have to see it in person how it would look like when it finally gets released.
Toys Daily forum (thread 1, thread 2)