Those variants were in the first time found in Belgium, so they are commonly called "Belgium variants", in comparison to the UK versions. In fact, the difference is to make between "made in Japan" and "made in Singapour" versions. It seems a lot of Zoids has those two different versions, and they can be found everywhere in Europe, there is no determinate place for each or each variant. I tryed to make a resume of all was spotted about them. All of this was done with the help of informations gathered by Colin, Andy and myself.
"UK" version : it is written "made in Singapour", the parts has a bubbly form, the connector metal parts of the engine are silver, and the lower grey back has a round peg.
"Belgium" version : it is written "made in Japan", the parts are more finely detailed, the colours are more matte (the black, the grey parts and even the caps), it has gold engine connectors, the caps are a little smaller than the UK ones, and the most significiant difference : the lower back has a square peg, which means another mold was done for it.
Another variant can be seen, but that can appear in the Belgium and UK : the shoulder gun can have some little details (little lines) for the seat, or can be plain smooth. My Gore, which is a UK, has a smooth seat, but my Badox has a seat with the lines.
Here are photos to compare.
Tarantulon and Hellcat
The body halves are flat silver grey. A comparison of the heads, you can see the different grey :
The "Belgium" has the same variant as Gore.
The "Belgium" back fins do ot fit in the "UK" parts, they are too big.
The colour is more blue for the arms and legs, and there is a different alignement of the pegs for the feets.
Same thing as Zoidzilla, the guns are incompatible with other versions, and the feets don't have peg underneath.
Other variant have been spotted for Gorgon, Mammoth, Krark and Redhorn. Here you can see a comparison between Mammoth guns : japanese on the left, Singapour on the middle and a Gorgon one on the right.
To add to the confusion, there were two Trooperzoid seen with "made in France" written on them (see above, it seems it is the bluer one), and the same thing was seen on Mantazoid (here are the three version, France, Singapour and Japan, you can see that the Japan one is silver, probably from a Robo Strux Sekta) :
And those varaint don't mean that there was a release in UK and the other versions for the rest of Europe, because in France, the Gore I have is a UK version, written "Singapour" (mainly french Zoids are the Singapourian ones), with the round peg. But "made in Japan" Zoids were also sold in France.
Another Trooperzoid "made in France" that I found, with his sticker sheet, that has a very different aspect than the regular one, and which was printed in France too.
With the Trooperzoid was also sold a Scorpozoid, written "Tomy France" under the head, and with the same sticker sheet aspect. I'm not sure it is the good canopy for this one :
Those Zoids were really made in France, there was a production factory in France between 1985-86, and those models were done specialy for the french market. There were seen Trooperzoid, Scorpozoid, Mantazoid and Brontozoid. Maybe all the white heads were produced there, but I found nothing about the giant Zoids yet. Appart from the colour shade, I didn't see a mold difference yet.
Here are other variants (thanks to Tony Hunter for all those photos). First, some variant parts from Gore.
For the first part (the mecanism from the arm) the difference is big. It seems the left one is the singapourian and the right one the japanese.
Here are other photos of Trooperzoid legs. There we can see that the peg are not the same between the japanese and the singapour versions, which means you can't mix those two versions. The same thing can be seen on Zillon, with also a variant in the weapons.
There are also variants in the instruction booklet, if they were printed in Japan or Singapour. here are comparison between two Gore versions. The bluer is the Singapour one, and it is not an effect of the photo, the japanese one is really darker.
And another funny thing, I discovered inside that there was not only a little difference in the shoulder gun, but for all the sprue ! On the japanese version, the missils are not inclued in the sprue, but they are on the singapourian.
The last thing spotted, in october 2007, this box :
It is the OJR box, but on the front a big picture was stuck, with the OER art on it (with a little difference on the left upper corner). This mix between the two box was seen in France, and was probably sold in the eighties. Now for which occasion I don't know, maybe a pre-Spinefin model. The Zoid inside is the OJR, with OJR instructions and catalog.
Now, let's see Zray. Thanks to Tony Hunter who made a very big work, here are informations about the differences between the Japan and Singapour versions :
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