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The Zoids2 and Technozoids version of the Zaber Fang, the Sabre, was supposedly re-issued by [[TOMY]]. Pictures of the kit are found in a collector's site. It is recolored in dark green, dark gray, black and red-orange with the weapons in gray, silver, and gold. The pilot is silver-chromed. No sticker sheet was included.
 
The Zoids2 and Technozoids version of the Zaber Fang, the Sabre, was supposedly re-issued by [[TOMY]]. Pictures of the kit are found in a collector's site. It is recolored in dark green, dark gray, black and red-orange with the weapons in gray, silver, and gold. The pilot is silver-chromed. No sticker sheet was included.
   
There is not enough proof that this is a legitimate model. It is possible that it could just be a custom Zoid repainted from a Zoids 2 variant. However, the pictures on the site shows ''TOMY'' logos. It also contained a label in Japanese that translates into ''Zoids 2 Sabre Version 2''.
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There is not enough proof that this is a legitimate model. It is possible that it could just be a custom Zoid repainted from a Zoids 2 variant. However, the pictures on the site shows ''TOMY'' logos. It also contained a label in Japanese that translates into ''Zoids 2 Sabre Version 2''.
   
 
===New Japanese Release===
 
===New Japanese Release===
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[[Category:Guylos Empire Zoids]]
 
[[Category:Guylos Empire Zoids]]
 
[[Category:Zenebas Empire Zoids]]
 
[[Category:Zenebas Empire Zoids]]
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[[Category:Tiger-Type Zoids]]

Revision as of 21:59, 24 September 2009

The Sabre Tiger (also known as the Zaber Fang in the west) is a type of Zoid, a race of mechanical lifeforms from the fictional Zoids universe.

Sabre Tiger
Zaber Fang.jpg
Zaber Fangs from the New Century Zero anime
EZ-016
Tiger Type
Zenebas Empire/Guylos Empire
Crew 1
Weight 78 tons
Depth 15.6 m
Height 7.8 m
Maximum Speed 240 km/h
Weapons Killer Sabre (2), Strike Claws (4), AEZ 20 mm Beam Gun (2), Small-Bore Anti-Zoid Laser Machinegun, Anti-Zoid Three-Barrelled Shock Cannon, Anti-Zoid 30 mm Double-Barrelled Beam Cannon, SSM Pod, TEZ 20 mm Linear Laser Gun (2)
Equipment Composite Sensor Unit, Infra-Red Laser Searcher


Overview

The Sabre Tiger is a Tiger-type Zoid (although it more closely resembles a Smilodon, a type of Saber-toothed cat), created by the Zenebas Empire, and used during the various wars on Zi.

The Sabre Tiger was the first high-speed, large-scale Zoid ever constructed, as well as being the first of many cat-type Zoids. Its speed made it amongst the fastest Zoids of its time. While its weapons lacked capability when compared to other large Zoids, they were more than enough to deal with the numerous smaller Zoid types of its day.

While very fast and agile in its day, the Sabre Tiger has since been surpassed by newer designs. None the less, it is still considered to be a very capable and very dangerous opponent.

An improved version of the Sabre Tiger was also developed, known as the Great Sabre. This version sported a large pack on its back that allowed it to leap and fly for short distances, as well as carrying additional weaponry.

Battle Story Appearances

The Sabre Tiger was first deployed by the Zenebas army in the early ZAC 2030s, working alongside the Red Horn and other early Zoids. For its time, it was considered to be a devastating opponent against smaller Helic Zoids; anything that it couldn't out-fight it could easily out-run. Initially, the Sabre Tiger was unmatched in its combination of speed and firepower. The Helic Republic did not possess a Zoid that could directly compete with the Sabre Tiger until ZAC 2042, when the Shield Liger was introduced.

To address the Sabre Tiger's lacklustre ranged weapons, the Zenebas Empire developed a new variant known as the Strengthened Sabre Tiger. This version replaced the main cannons with an Imperial Hyperbeam Launcher, giving the Zoid a potent long-range punch. In ZAC 2044, the Empire introduced another new model of Sabre Tiger, known as the Great Sabre. The Great Sabre sported improved weapons, along with limited flight capabilities. The Great Sabre remained in service with the Zenebas forces until the Empire's fall in ZAC 2048.

Following the meteor strike of ZAC 2056, the Guylos Empire lost the ability to produce many of its advanced, high-performance Zoids. In response, the Guylos military began production of a new model of Sabre Tiger for their forces. The new version served during the Western Continent war, where it often clashed with Helic Shield Ligers. However, the Zoid quickly found itself outpaced by the development of newer designs like the Blade Liger.

Emperor Rudolph briefly used a Sabre Tiger during Regent Prozen's attempted coup. The Zoid proved to be ineffective, and was badly damaged by Gunther Prozen's Bloody Death Saurer during the fighting.

Media Appearances

Anime

Note: In the Western dub versions of the various anime series, the Sabre Tiger is interchangeably referred to as either the Sabre Tiger or the Zaber Fang.

Chaotic Century and Guardian Force

The Sabre Tiger initially appeared in Zoids: Chaotic Century. In the first half of the series, Raven used a red Sabre Tiger to devastating effect, until it was destroyed when he tried to force it through Van's Shield Liger's shield.

Raven's Zaber Fang

Numerous variants and customisations also appeared in the series, including a Royal Sabre owned by Prime Minister Homaleff (which Rudolph piloted for a brief period), a heavily customized model mounted with a gatling gun piloted by Major Karl Schubaltz, and the holographic, three-headed Cerberus created by the 'Trinity Ghost'. Great Sabers also appear on occasion, most notably used by the veteran Imperial soldiers known as the 'Three Guards' (whom used them to with effects similar to Raven), as well as the modified pink Great Saber piloted by Stinger, known as the "Stinger Special".

New Century Zero

Sabre Tigers also appeared in Zoids: New Century Zero, most notably the Tigers Team of Kirkland, Omari, and Lineback. The three of them piloted bright yellow Sabre Tigers that sported blue trims, and had a fan reputation as being hopeless but lovable losers.

The Team occasionally use unconventional weapons. In the first episode one mounts a Long Range Cannon of the same type as the Command Wolf Irvine. In a later episode, all three Tigers mount a combination dual-cannon/weather control device setup, similar in design to the CP-04 cannons used by the Command Wolf and other Republic Zoids.

Though not confirmed, it is believed that the team are a reference to a Japanese Baseball team, the Hanshin Tigers. The Team's Zoids are the same colours as the Team's jerseys, and all three members of the team sport Osaka accents. Similarly, the Tigers Team's losing streak mirrors the bad luck of the Hanshin Tigers.

In the New Century Zero dub, the Tigers team changed their team name to the "Fierce Zaber Fangs" for unexplained reasons. (Presumably, the name change was made to better coincide with the NAR Zaber Fang model.)

Major Polta of the Backdraft Team also piloted a Sabre Tiger, which was similar in appearance to the one owned by Harry Champ. Polta's was able to turn invisible and fire a large missile launcher, which dropped large metal stakes or magnetic shield generators.

Fuzors

A pair of episodes in Zoids: Fuzors featured a Holotech Sabre Tiger piloted by a rogue Z-Fighter called Keith. Keith's Zoid was able to turn invisible, as well as evade all sensor systems, allowing him to take out Zoids that would be far more powerful, including a Killer Spiner Fuzor and a pair of Blade Ligers. Keith also destroyed Sigma's Boldguard; however Sigma eventually defeated him with a Leostriker which used special ammunition that allowed it find the zoid even when it was invisible. The series also featured several other Sabre Tigers in bit roles.

The Sabre Tiger's original animation model lacked a lot of the smaller weapons that the model kit features. However, in Fuzors, the Sabre Tiger's 3D animation model had been altered from the version used since Chaotic Century, with these weapons added.

Genesis

Sabre Tigers appear on several occasions in Zoids: Genesis, usually belonging to the various clans. One elite group protect the Zuri officer Colonel Teize and his Brastle Tiger. Sabre Tigers in Genesis are outfitted with "Metal Zi" teeth, allowing them to bite through Bio Zoid Hell Armour.

The Genesis Sabre Tiger uses a completely new animation model, with a larger head and back weapon, and shorter legs when compared to previous animation models and the model kits.

Comics and Manga

UK Zoids Comic

Zabre's only appearance in the UK comics was limited to a promotional flyer of dubious canonicity. The first issue of the planned "Zoids Monthly" would have introduced the character, but it never reached publication.

Chaotic Century

Shortly after Van first encounters Zeke and Raven, a Sabre Tiger begins to attack Van’s village. Raven explains that he has used Shadow to infect the Zoid with a virus, causing it to rampage. Van and Zeke are able to combine and defeat the Sabre Tiger, but as soon as it is disabled, Raven and Shadow merge with the Zoid, resurrecting it.

Video Games

The Sabre Tiger played a major role in both the Zoids Saga series and in the Zoids VS series. In Zoids Saga II (Zoids Legacy), the player is given the option of either getting a 'Liger Type' (Shield Liger), or a 'Tiger Type' Zoid. Selecting 'Tiger Type' will give the player a Sabre Tiger.

In Zoids VS II (Zoids Battle Legends), the player encounters Sabre Tigers in all three battle modes, and in multiple missions of both Republic and Empire Mission Mode.

Both games feature several variants of the Zaber Fang, namely Zaber Fang Old, Zaber Fang AT, Zaber Fang RV, Zaber Fang SS, Zaber Fang RS, Zaber Fang TS and the prototype Proto Zaber.

Models

Original Japanese Release

OJR Sabre Tiger

  • 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.

The Sabre Tiger kit comes on five frames (one of which is a weapons frame also shared with the Death Saurer, Dimetrodon and Red Horn), along with a battery-powered motor, a semi-transparent canopy cover, sixteen rubber caps, a small chromed pilot and label sheets. The Sabre Tiger is moulded in maroon and black, with silver weapons and smoke-coloured canopies. The motor and two of the frames would be later re-used by the Shield Liger.

The Sabre Tiger’s construction isn’t overly complex or difficult, putting it roughly in the middle of the range for Zoid complexity. The Sabre Tiger uses a single "AA" sized battery for motion. Once activated, the Zoid walks forwards with its jaws chomping. The Sabre Tiger's mechanisms were later copied by the Shield Liger and, by extension, the Blade Liger and Liger Zero.

Like several other Zoids of the time, the Sabre Tiger could use a number of different optional weapons that were included in the Empire Customise Set. The Sabre Tiger was released in 1984, and was produced up until about 1987.

Original European Release

The Sabre Tiger was released in the UK and Europe in 1985-1987 under the name Zabre. The model was recoloured in black and light grey, with blue caps and a gold pilot. The label sheet was altered to give the Zoid Helic logos instead of Zenebas ones.

Great Sabre

Great Sabre

In 1987, TOMY introduced a new version of the Sabre Tiger, replacing the existing one in production. This version had a new colour scheme, with black armour and bright red structure in place of the original maroon and black, as well as a red canopy. It also featured new parts, with a large backpack, wings and missile launcher added to the Zoid's back.

Zoids 2

A version of the Sabre Tiger was released in the Zoids 2 line, under the name Sabre, in the UK and Europe in the mid 90s. This version was coloured chrome silver, black and red.

Technozoids

The Z2 Sabre was also released in the US and Canada as a part of the Technozoids line. This version was identical to the European Zoids 2 release, and may have simply been a re-release of leftover stock.

Sabre Tiger Prototype

The Zoids2 and Technozoids version of the Zaber Fang, the Sabre, was supposedly re-issued by TOMY. Pictures of the kit are found in a collector's site. It is recolored in dark green, dark gray, black and red-orange with the weapons in gray, silver, and gold. The pilot is silver-chromed. No sticker sheet was included.

There is not enough proof that this is a legitimate model. It is possible that it could just be a custom Zoid repainted from a Zoids 2 variant. However, the pictures on the site shows TOMY logos. It also contained a label in Japanese that translates into Zoids 2 Sabre Version 2.

New Japanese Release

NJR Sabre Tiger

The Sabre was re-released as a part of the New Japanese Release in 1999. The new Sabre Tiger incorporated several changes from the original version. The red was a darker colour, the canopies are green and the pilot was now a flat blue colour. The battery lid was modified to have a screw-down cover, rather than the clip-down one of the original.

TOMY also released an upgrade kit for the Sabre Tiger, the CP-02 Assault Unit. This unit is based on the flight unit that was released with the original Greatsabre.

Later production runs of the NJR Sabre Tiger have somewhat blunted teeth, a hold-over from the New European Release version.

Several chromed versions were released by Leoshop of Taiwan.

New American Release

Zaber Fang

The Sabre Tiger was re-released in North America by Hasbro in 2001 under the name Zaber Fang. While based on the NJR version's mould, the Zoid was recoloured with bright yellow armour to match the Tigers Team Sabre Tigers in the New Century anime (as this series was the first released in the U.S., viewers would identify more with this colouration). This version also sported painted blue shoulders and tail, a unique feature amongst Sabre Tiger variants.

The Zaber Fang was featured as part of the Hasbro Action Figures line. It had a Japanese red color scheme, despite the fact that it was cast in yellow for the New American Release

The Zoid was also released in the New Pacific Release, in near-identical packaging. Additionally, the Zoid was released in Japan with American packaging and Japanese instructions.

Holotech Zaber Fang

NAR Holotech Zaber Fang

In 2003, Hasbro released a second version of the Zaber Fang. While similar in colour (and retaining the painted parts), the yellow frames were moulded in semi-transparent plastic.

New European Release

TOMY released the Sabre Tiger in the UK in 2003. This version was identical in colouration to the NJR version, but was released under the name Zaber Fang. This version featured stubby, blunted teeth, apparently a moulding change to conform with UK safety laws. This change was carried over to subsequent production runs of the New Japanese Release version and all further releases.

NAR-Style (yellow) Zaber Fangs were later also released in the UK, most likely leftover Australian stock. These ones did not have blunted teeth.

Limited Sabre Tiger

Sabre Tiger Gold

In 2004, TOMY released a limited edition Sabre Tiger. Also known as the Sabre Tiger SCV, this version included the CP-02, and was moulded in gold, black and gunmetal. The model sports the same blunted teeth as the NER version. This release has suffered from inconsistent mould quality, with some having noticeable defects and signs of wear.

Holotech Sabre Tiger

Later in 2004, TOMY also released a version of the Holotech Zaber Fang. This version is distinguishable from the NAR version by the colour of its armour (being slightly more yellow) and also having the blunted teeth.

TDP Great Sabre

In 2005, Toy's Dream Project re-released the Great Sabre in a version near-identical to the original. It does have the blunted teeth of the other recent releases, and has experienced poor mould quality.

HMM Sabre Tiger

Kotobukiya's sixth and ninth release in the HMM line. One of the the best kits because of the fine detail and amount of articulation offered.

External Links

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