At long last I have finally acquired the mighty Gilvader. This is probably the most rare and definitely the most desirable Zoid in existence. I purchased this Gilvy along with several other Zoids in a lot, Gilvy was not running and had been disassembled. Luckily it was complete and undamaged except for the copper parts inside the motor which were destroyed due to batteries being left in the motor case too long. A bit of surgery on the motor internals and replacement with parts from a donor kit with similar internal parts (Radox) and Gilvy was back in business.
Gilvy is a big and complex Zoid, building it is a real treat! As is typical of Tomy, parts fit is perfect and the complex motor mechanisms are as ingenious as they are simple. At 22" long, Gilvader is a mere 1" shorter than the mighty Mad Thunder. At 8-1/2" tall and with a 20" wingspan, this big boy needs lots of shelf space. Power is supplied by 2xAA for the 3 lights (one in the eyes, one in each wing) and 2xC for the motor. One could argue that King G has more complicated movements than Gilvy, but while the King contains all movements in a pre-assembled motor housing, Gilvy's mechanisms are mostly part of the assembly process in true Zoid fashion.
The small shafts that spin the sawblades in the wings are particularly interesting, they attach via springs to shafts on the motor which turn gears that in turn spin the sawblades. If you think about designing sawblades in the wings that spin (driven off a motor in the torso) while the wings are also moving up and down, you'll get an idea of what the engineers were faced with, but as usual their solution looks amazingly simple. AND the sawblades light up! Wow!
As you can see, Gilvy is incredibly detailed. Everywhere you look there is texture and color, but you really need to see Gilvy to appreciate it's massing. Looking at it from different angles is a real treat, especially getting down at a low level and looking up at it- very impressive!
Gilvy's styling is quite unique in the world of Zoids. While most Zoids are very business-like in appearance, no-nonsense war machines, Gilvy is more stylish, swoopy, streamlined. It's exotic looking, like something out of a fairy tale.
The movements are wonderful. Leg movement is not particularly complex, but the legs are jointed at the knee providing a decent walking movement. The jaw opens and closes, the tail bobs up and down, the wings flap up and down, the sawblades in the wings spin and the sawblades above the back also spin. It's hard to believe all of this is driven off of a motor that is nearly identical to Salamander! The previously mentioned lights light up the eyes, mouth, sawblades on each wing, and small translucent "buttons" on the top and bottom of each wing (at the center of the sawblade).
All in all Gilvader is a brilliant design and a Zoid I will often glance at before heading to work along with the other pillar of Zoid-dom: King G!!
Height- 8 1/2"
Power- 2 x C, 2 x AA