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ZCDX-03 Hover Cargo (Hasbro DX Playset)

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ZCDX-03 Hover Cargo (Hasbro DX Playset) - 4/12/2010 3:30:44 AM   

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With all the recent Zoids arriving, I have been feeling the urge to build them all. However, with college final looming right over my head right now, I have had to push that aside to allow studying time. With Zero arriving, it just got to be a bit much staring at a shelf of unbuilt Zoids though, so I decided to put together the easiest of the bunch to hold me over until next week ends. So, without further ado...

ZCDX-03 Hover Cargo DX


First thing to note is the nostalgic rush a old style Hasbro box gives, with its shattered purple layer of Japanese text and the lens-flared lightning filled background. The front pro dly lets you know that this Hover Cargo also comes with a Shield Liger and Dibision - free of charge - and subtly lets you know this is a playset - not a model kit. My main gripe with the front image is that it shows everything open and moving, and as such the Hover Cargo isn't instantly recognizable as a Hover Cargo, I think a image like this belongs on the back. The back uses the same image, without the motion blurs, and lets you know the various features of the Hover Cargo, some stats, and a block of legal text. Interesting to note, it shows the three other sets of mini Zoids released by Hasbro (note: not included D:). The side flaps are nice and clean, logos, name of the set, and the same image of the open Hover Cargo. The top actually has some different images (bonus!), showing the various features in action with cool action-y terms!

The Tomy version came with Liger Zero, Raynos, Command Wolf AC and Gun Sniper WWU; whereas the Hasbro one just comes with a Shield Liger and a Dibison. Despite that and different packaging, they are identical. Both saw a limited "regular" release, only being produced in 2001 and seen in stores until 2002, with the Tomy one becoming harder to find.

The box of the Hover Cargo is actually a lot larger than expected, being as wide as a headless Bear Fighter model kit, and a good bit taller than one too. Opening the box reveals a giant mess of cardboard with a Hover Cargo poking its hiding head out and a bag with instructions and -surprise!- stickers. The stickers were a complete surprise to be, I do not remember having stickers on my original Hover Cargo years ago (like, '01, man I'm old). They are pretty cool and nifty, I may apply them at some point (unless Darwock feels like making some watersides…). The instructions themselves are a laugh, consisting of two simple steps; they don't even have a back side!

Build Process

Building the Hover Cargo is intense, labor intensive, and totally draining. First, you have to pull everything out of the bags. Then you attached the side wings (note: They just snap into place), be sure you have them facing the right way! Re-attach the shell clamp since they like to pop off when the box moves, even though this isn't noted in the instructions. Then you plug in a few guns, test the catapult and sides, and give it a good push to make sure everything works. Ta-da, done. And you thought building a HMM Iron Kong was hard…


I'm not going to lie, I absolutely love the Hover Cargo. Its awesome, its big, it carries Zoids, and Doc Toros has done everything under the sun to his. Even in the Web-comics this snail makes a great mobile base of operations. Zoids needs more transports like these, they just make sense. A large scale transport that can be used to house soldiers, move Zoids, repair Zoids and evaluate in battle situations is just a killer idea, and I can totally see these playing vital roles in their respective militaries.

The Hover Cargo Playset though, is pretty awesome as well. I enjoy the little functions it has: the opening head that moves the front stabilizers, the opening shells, the slide-out launch ramp, the move-able guns and even the back ramp (despite the fact it doesn't reach the ground). I am also quite impressed with the level of detail, there's little bits all over every surface of the Hover Cargo, makes it feel more machine like and realistic. I also love the high-quality plastic used, it feels strong and durable, unlike some later Zoids releases in the series. The fact that there's tons of painted details, done so well, just adds so much more to make the Hover Cargo look great. That's what it seems to do well, look great, and be fun to push around and play with.

I do have a few issues with it though. The Hover Cargo is nowhere to scale with the mini Zoids included, let alone with its own details. The ramp is far too massive, but I guess this is to allow for use of the mini Zoids, and looks odd when slide out. Another issue I have is that the Hover Cargo is different in design to the anime version. Quite different, actually. From a glimpse they look the same, but when you actually compare them there are tons of differing details.

- Cool transport, timeless design
- Has a decent amount of playability
- If you're a fan of NC/0 or the Blitz Team, you need this
- Small, easy to store
- Rolling function never gets old
- Comes with Mini PVC Zoids

- No build whatsoever
- Differs from the NC/0 Hover Cargo in design
- Scale is non-existent all over it
- Hard to photograph
- Getting harder and harder to find (Hasbro version is scarce, Tomy is non-existent)
- Doesn't really fit in amongst other Zoids models

All in all, I find the Hover Cargo to be quite an enjoyable figure to own. Its not for everyone, as I'm sure many would rather have a model kit than this, but for those who want a Hover Cargo, this is great. The playability with the folding parts, the rolling head, and the other moving parts is just entertaining enough to never be dull, especially if you have a lot of mini Zoids. Depending on what mini Zoids you want, either the Hasbro or the Tomy release is a perfect choice, as that's the only deal breaker between deciding between the two. I'd say the Hover Cargo earns a solid 4.5 out of 5, its main flaws being listed in the Cons section above.

< Message edited by Arya -- 6/12/2010 7:56:32 PM >


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RE: ZCDX-03 Hover Cargo (Hasbro DX Playset) - 4/12/2010 3:50:44 AM   

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Great review! I still have my Hover Cargo that I bought years ago in a WalMart xD I love it. I do agree it is off scale tho. I think it should have been bigger xD

But for me, the fact that it was a Zoids play set, made it all the better. When I was younger I would stuff all the Zoids inside or in a ziploc and take this thing places and play with it. It was just a great toy.

I agree with your pros and cons, and since im a HUGE NC0 fan, I agree it is a must have.

Great Review =D


Retired Zoids Cosplayer, Avid Zoids Model collector, Furry, HardCore Fursuiter.

(in reply to Arya)
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RE: ZCDX-03 Hover Cargo (Hasbro DX Playset) - 4/12/2010 4:12:33 AM   

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i remember this! oh where did it go?...its been so long...i miss it alot now...dam you childhood toy abbyss, dam you to hell!

great review


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RE: ZCDX-03 Hover Cargo (Hasbro DX Playset) - 4/12/2010 3:43:08 PM   
Zoids Fanatic

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Nice review.

Man, I wish they release them in America again.


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RE: ZCDX-03 Hover Cargo (Hasbro DX Playset) - 4/12/2010 4:35:51 PM   

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From: Wisconsin
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The Tomy one has a Zero, standing Raynos (larger than the regular gashapon one, which is in a flying pose), Command Wolf AC (also larger, more to scale with the card game mini, but with AC weapons), and Gun Sniper WWU (larger too).

Result: the Zero and the Fox (assuming you can find the later gashapon sets to get the Fox) are wildly out of scale with the other Zoids. D'oh!

The Hover Cargo is pretty fun, though. It's good for display stuff!


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(in reply to Zoids Fanatic)
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RE: ZCDX-03 Hover Cargo (Hasbro DX Playset) - 6/12/2010 7:15:39 PM   

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Hmm, even at 35 I have to admit to having a soft spot for the playsets! The HC is ace. Can't remember if mine is Hasbro or Tomy and he's on too high a shelf for me to check quickly, but I'd wager Hasbro.

Are there any differences in the other sets between Tomy and Hasbro? My Whale King is defo Tomy...

Good review, thanks.


ZOIDS...Monster machines with the power to bankcrupt.

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RE: ZCDX-03 Hover Cargo (Hasbro DX Playset) - 23/1/2011 6:02:25 PM   

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From: Florida, but born in NYC and raised in Georgia.
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 I love my Hover Cargo, and I love the little Gashapon Zoids. They are pretty much above my head right now on a nearby shelf. Every once, in a while, I still play with them. They are more fun to play with because I feel less worried about loosing some small part, or something snapping. I wish I managed to get the last set (which I guess happens to be set 1). And it is a shame that the Whale King and Dragoon Nest never saw a release here. It is also a shame that they never released the rest of the Gashapons here, which would have been fun to collect. It is also a shame that they never made the rest of those carrier Zoids.

And finally, it is a shame that they are so rare and expensive, that it is impossible for a small-time collector like me to get my hands on them. It is a shame that they stopped making the little Gashapons in particular, because due to their small size, they could easily be sold for a low price, and could be very collectible. I have to admit though, that the playsets are pretty big. Except for Hover Cargo. He is pretty small compared to Whale King and Dragoon Nest. I remember getting him for about $21.


So many cool Zoids...

So little time, and even less money.

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