Zoids was a model toy line introduced by TOMY in both Japan and America during the early 80’s that featured snap together construction and wind-up or battery powered motors.

The first US Zoids were small, about 4 inches tall, blue, black and white wind up toys. Initially, there were three, the T-Rex, Bird, and Elephant types. These were quickly followed by the Spider and Frog types, as well as two small battery powered Zoids. Tomy also released a giant Zoid with this same color scheme called Giant Zrk, that closely resembled a Brontosaurus.

Designed to resemble dinosaurs or animals, Zoids are essentially giant robots with pilots in their gold cockpits. Later Zoids, and most of the ones released in Japan and Europe, were much larger battery operated creations that looked more fearsome with a beefier construction and better color schemes.

Zoids were released under a number of other names, including RoboStrux in the US, TechnoZoids in the US and Canada, and Zoids2 in Japan and Europe. The biggest differences between the toy lines were color schemes.

TOMY released several other Zoids like toy lines that featured snap together construction and battery or wind up power. Z-Knights were a line of battery powered walking robots with swinging swords and weapons. Most Z-Knights were released in Japan, but a few were released in the US as well.

The second major toy line inspired or derived from Zoids are the Starriors, which were both a toy by TOMY and a comic book from Marvel. Starriors also included a mini-comic inside the packaging. The main similarity between Starriors and Zoids is the gold pilot in the cockpit (which doesn’t open on a Starrior) and it’s wind up mechanism. There is a small degree of snap together construction in the Starriors line, but no where near the flexibility of either the Z-Knights or Zoids.

In June 1999, TOMY announced at a toy show in Japan that they would be releasing a new line of Zoids with all new color schemes.

13 thoughts on “Zoids”

  1. These were jogged back into my memory. They were for little people, but I loved them so much myself! I couldn’t believe they could be so cute and actually work so well.

    Do you know if they can still be purchased somewhere? I now have a little young son that I know would absolutely LOVE these (if I could let him play with them himself! 😉 )

    Thanks for putting up this site! I’ve been searching (couldn’t remember what they were called) and it was fun just to see them again, even in picture!


  2. Remember Stompers? I’d love to see something about those toys. Battery powered 4×4’s with lights and everything. Awesome! Oh, and Robotech had a TON of glue together models in the early thru mid 80’s. Some would actually transform! Like to see something about those too if possible.

  3. Oh, I forgot to mention that I had the Giant Zrk too. I think I still have most of it somewhere….. It was motorized. It would walk and the head/neck would move up and down as well. Man, I wish I took care of these toys back in the day….

  4. Sandy = you can still get zoids, but not the ones I featured on this page. Tomy re-introduced Zoids in the 90s (last pic on page) and they are easy to find in most import stores. But honestly, zoids are cheap. You can get them on ebay for practically nothing.

    Clyde = Starriors are pretty cool. Eventually I do a page on them.

    Enduros: I don’t remember Stompers. I’ll need to look them up. Giant Zrk was AWESOME. Never had that one.

  5. Hi Rick, how’s it going? Long time no talk. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe I gave you one of these for your birthday when we live in Colombia SA. Wasn’t it the T-Rex looking Zoid?

  6. Very cool to hear that you still have it after 25 (yikes!) years. I am still in Albuquerque, working at the University of New Mexico. Everyone is doing good!

  7. I totally agree with the comments on first zoids ! Real poetry. Zoids were very peacefull before the next generations (that are smaller than their guns) – They fright the ennemy with their black legs !!

  8. One of the few classic toys that I actually had some of… I even had the Giant Zrk! The cool thing though was that they could be disassembled and combined in silly ways. The ultimate cool was that the little ones all had these little engine+wing pieces that could be stuck onto the separated cockpit to make a tiny VTOL aircraft! The cockpit pieces on the Zrk could make extra big aircraft. Needless to say, the heads of mine were almost never on their bodies!

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Classic toys and ephemera from the 70s