The Elephander is a type of Zoid, one of over 200 species of biomechanical lifeforms depicted by TOMY's Zoids model, toy, and media franchise. The Elephander is cast as the villain in Zoids: New Century for much of the series, and later appeared in several Zoids: Genesisepisodes.
The Zoid's base form is very heavily armoured, comparable to the Iron Kong or Gojulas. While relatively slow, the Elephander is surprisingly agile for its size and bulk. The Zoid's trunk gives it further flexibility, giving its trunk-mounted weapons a greater range of mobility.
The Elephander's greatest asset, however, is its adaptability. The Zoid's trunk weapon, back weapon, ears and head can be replaced with different modules to allow the Elephander to complete different tasks. With the right equipment, an Elephander can easily be swapped between different roles. Three standard Elephander configurations exist:
- The Assault version is the most common configuration. This version mounts a claw module on the end of the trunk which is capable of grabbing and crushing other Zoids, and sports a small pair of beam cannons. A powerful pair of larger beam cannons is mounted on the Zoid's back, giving it a considerably offensive punch. To supplement its thick armour, this version mounts a pair of energy shields in its ears.
- The Command version uses a different head module that, while less heavily armoured, carries more advanced communications equipment. The Assault version's rear turret is retained, while the Energy Shield ears are replaced with a pair of rocket launchers. The trunk claw is replaced with the ESCS unit (Energy Sword and Cannon Shield), a unique weapon that is able to function as a heavy beam cannon, a beam sword, or an energy shield.
- The Scout version is the rarest of the three and the only one not designed for combat. This version retains the head module from the Assault version, but replaces the ears with a sophisticated sensor array. The rear turret is replaced with a 3D radar mast, while the trunk weapon is replaced with a magnetic anomaly detector designed to locate land mines and other buried objects.
Battle Story appearances
The Elephander was designed during the Guylos invasion of the Western continent in ZAC 2099. However, by the time it reached the frontlines in ZAC 2101, the war had turned in favour of the Helic Republic, and the Guylos Army was on the retreat. The Elephander helped to slow the Helic advance to a degree, being able to withstand the heavy bombardment by the Republic's Gojulas and Ultrasaurus Zoids.
During the final Guylos withdrawal form the continent, a small force of 100 Elephanders stayed behind to protect the retreating Guylos forces. These Zoids were eventually destroyed, but not before holding off a far larger Helic force to buy the retreating forces enough time to escape.
The Elephander first appeared in Zoids: New Century episodes 6, and later in 12 and 19. The Zoid was first piloted by Backdraft pilot Sanders, and was later taken over by Captain Stigma Stoller. On one occasion, the Elephander was piloted by Major Polta in an off-screen battle.
The Elephander confronted the Blitz Team, specifically Bit Cloud in his Liger Zero, on three different occasions. After leaving the Backdraft Group, Stoller joined the Zoid Battle Commission and had the Elephander considerably modified to challenge Bit to a legitimate battle.
Until the appearance of the Berserk Fury near the end of the series, the Elephander was the most powerful Zoid the Blitz Team had ever faced. Over the course of the three battles between the Elephander and the Liger Zero, all four forms of the Liger Zero and two of the Elephander's three forms (Assault and Command) were displayed. In each battle, the Liger Zero faced the Elephander in a different CAS unit.
In the second battle, Bit and the Liger Zero were both abducted by the Backdraft Group and Bit was forced to take part in a battle with the Elephander, under the threat that his Liger would be destroyed if he didn't. The Liger Zero initially proved no-match for the Elephander, but when Stoller had the chance to finish him off, he chose not to deliver the final blow. When the rest of the Blitz Team came, Bit was able to use the Schneider Unit against the Elephander, allowing him to break through its E-Shield, but Stoller snapped Bit's main blade in the process, and thus they agreed the battle was a tie.
In the final fight, following Stoller's defection from the Backdraft, the Elephander used the Command form's customised trunk. With the new ESCS modification, Stoller was able to overwhelm the Zero Schneider. Knowing victory was impossible with just the Schneider and Jager, Bit (reluctantly) switched to the Panzer unit at the Liger Zero's insistence, which had armour heavy enough to withstand the Elephander's missile barrage, even though it was dysfunctional at that point (Stoller at the same time switched out his back-mounted turret for the Assault Gatling unit). The Panzer's powerful Hybrid Cannons were then finally able to shatter the Elephander's shield. The Elephander seemed to be defeated, yet the Hybrid Cannons of the Panzer did not manage to freeze the Zoid's systems, and only managed to knock it over. In fact, the recoil of the weapons caused the Liger to overheat and temporarily shut down. The Elephander used this opportunity to close in, preparing to finish off the defenseless Panzer. Once again, Stoller would have been victorious, but before the final blows could be struck, the Backdraft Group interfered, deploying a horde of Zabats which knocked out the Elephander, before being defeated themselves by the reactivated Panzer's massive rocket attack. Following this battle, the Elephander wasn't seen again.
The Elephander appears on three instances in the Zoids: Genesis anime. In two of these appearances, the Elephanders are under the control of the Hiyabou clan led by Hakku. The third appearance shows a herd of wild, zombie-like Elephanders, which attack the heroes. These Elephanders are shown with dead pilots in their cockpits. Unlike in New Century, the Elephanders seen in Genesis were coloured brown and orange and had additional spike-like ornaments. The Elephanders in Genesis appeared much larger than the model kit depicted. They are seen easily towering over zoids like the Lanstag, which is actually taller than the Elephander according to the model's data. Through the series, Elephanders do not make use of their energy shield (as with all Genesis Zoids, except the BioTricera's barrier). The Elephander's nose cannon is slightly different from the one in New Century, as it fires from both barrels simultaneously, while the one in New Century only fires from one barrel at a time.
The Elephander is the antagonist of the second chapter of the Zoids: New Century manga adaptation. Piloted by Stoller, it is depicted as a powerful and ruthless Zoid, shown impaling a Godos on its tusks even after the pilot surrendered. It faces the Liger Zero Schnieder in combat, and is defeated by it.
The depiction of the Elephander in the manga adaptation differs somewhat from the anime. It possesses an E-shield powerful enough to deflect a charged particle beam, which is also shown to be capable of protecting the Zoid's flanks. Its strength comes from its modified Zoid core, which grants it a 300% increase in power. However, this also proved to be its downfall, as it quickly depleted its shield energy, causing it to fade out after heavy impacts, allowing the Liger Zero Schnieder to disable it with its blade attack.
The Elephander appears in the Zoids Saga series of Game Boy Advance Games as a 'wandering monster'. In the first game, all three variants of the Elephander design were included, along with the Assault Gatling-upgraded Elephander. Zoids Legacy and later games in the series dropped the Scout and Command variants. The Elephander was also featured in the Zoids VS series, with two variants, the Elephander AG (Upgraded with the CP-15 Assault Gatling Unit), and the Elephander SS (Stigma Stoller's verison).
The Elephander was featured as part of the Zoids Scramble release of Zoids Trading Cards.
New Japanese Release
- Assembly required. (Snap-together, no glue needed. Scissors or X-acto knife recommended for trimming off excess plastic bits.)
- The model's colours are moulded into the plastic, and it does not need any paint. Some sections come pre-painted.
The Elephander kit comes on ten frames, along with a battery-powered motor, two different semi-transparent canopy covers, thirty-two rubber caps, two small blue pilots, and label sheets. The Elephander is moulded in dark blue, black, and silver, with red caps, and a green cockpit window. There are numerous painted details on the body of the Zoid.
The Elephander’s construction isn't overly complex or difficult, putting it roughly in the middle of the range for Zoid complexity. The major problem is the trunk, which can be quite difficult to keep assembled. The Elephander uses a single "AA" sized battery for motion. Once activated, the Zoid walks forwards and raises its trunk. Its back weapons, trunk weapons, ears and canopy can be manually positioned.
Extra parts and instructions are provided with the Elephander model, enough to form three different variants. These variants are known as Standard, Command, and Scout. The model can be changed between the three configurations once built. A single upgrade kit has been released for the Elephander, the CP-15 Assault Gatling Unit. This consists of a large missile box and a Gatling gun. The unit is mounted on the back of the Elephander, and can rotate 360 degrees.
A chromed version was released by Leoshop of Taiwan.
New American Release
The Elephander was released by Hasbro as part of the New American Release. Apart from changes to the box, no alterations were made.
New Pacific Release
The Elephander was also released as part of the first wave of New Pacific Release Zoids. No changes were made, apart from the packaging.
Despite being one of the first Zoids released in the NPR, the Elephander sold poorly. Unsold Elephanders could still be found on store shelves until early 2006.