The Redler (EZ-005) is a Dragon-type of Zoid, and one of over 200 species of bio-mechanical lifeforms that form the Zoid race depicted in TOMY's Zoid Franchise.
At the time of its deployment, the Redler was a very fast and agile Zoid, far more so than other aerial Zoids of the time (such as the Pteras). The Redler is unusual for an airborne Zoid in that it is capable of operating both in the air and on land, as well as engaging in combat in both environments. The Zoid also has full VTOL capabilities, and is able to hover in place.
The Redler is armed with a quartet of razor-sharp claws, and a blade concealed within its tail; all are capable of cutting through most types of Zoid armour. Unfortunately, the Zoid completely lacks ranged weaponry, putting it at a disadvantage against other aerial Zoids like the Raynos. As a result, many Redlers sport improvised ranged weapons. Redlers could be equiped with the Booster Cannons to remove this weakness.
Battle Story Appearances
The Redler was developed during Zenebas' exile on the Dark Continent of Nyx as a part of the new Zenebas army. The Zoid was used as the main air-combat Zoid of the Zenebas forces. The Redler was also assigned a special duty; serving as escorts to the Death Saurer alongside the Lidier. The Redler was initially effective against the Republic's forces, but with the introduction of the Raynos, the Zoid's capabilities were overshadowed. Along with the rest of the Zenebas army, the surviving Redlers were absorbed into the Guylos Army.
Following the meteor disaster of ZAC 2056, the Guylos Empire lost the ability to produce most of their advanced Zoids. However, the Redler remained as a replacement for their lost airborne weapons. The new Zoid would be the mainstay of the Guylos air force for many years.
The Redler was used by the Guylos Empire during the invasion of the Western Continent. The bulk of the Zoids were refitted with ranged weapons, greatly increasing their effectiveness. However, the introduction of the Storm Sworder and return of the Raynos did hamper them. Later, the Zoids would serve alongside the Zabat, supplementing the new Zoids.
The Guylos Empire also developed a new version of the Redler, known as the Black Redler. This version was near identical in performance to the standard Redler, but also had stealth capabilities; making it undetectable to radar.
Chaotic Century and Guardian Force
The Redler first appeared in Zoids: Chaotic Century, piloted by Viola, featuring two cannons as improvised ranged weapons, but the exact details were not explained. Viola's Zoid was unusual in that it was red and sported orange wings (much like the Zoids2 Redwing). She would use the Zoid until episode 21, when it was destroyed by Raven's Geno Saurer. Prince Rudolph had a personal transport Redler in the standard colours which, according to intelligence by Viola, had to be modified as a two-seater (Rudolph had not learned to pilot a Zoid at that point, so it is likely he simply rode in the Zoid and entrusted the piloting to his escort).
The series also featured Black Redlers, which first appeared in the deploy of the Eisenbeck unit in episode 29; these Zoids were significantly different from the standard model in terms of both design and combat capabilities. The Black Redler featured a slightly redesigned head, newer tail blades, and an improved array of external weapons. In the talented hands of some of the best pilots the Guylos Empire had to offer, these new and improved Redlers posed a significant threat to Van and his friends and were actually too much for his Blade Liger to handle; however, they proved no match for the Storm Sworders deployed by the Helic Republic.
New, redesigned Black Redlers appear in episode 43, with the Zoids altered to be more aerodynamic. There are added armor panels on their legs, and their heads are more curved in design, with a trio of guns replacing the two cannons on the old model's head.
In some of the earlier New Century episodes, Dr. Toros is often seen in the command centre or the Hover Cargo playing with a model of a Black Redler instead of watching his team in battle (at one point, he accidentally breaks the Redler model's head and gets terribly upset about it). No Redlers actually appeared in the show, with the Zabat taking its place as airborne cannon fodder.
The Zoid was intended to appear in the Zoids: Genesis anime, and was even mentioned once in the dialog. However, with the cancellation of the Genesis Redler, the Zoid never appeared on-screen.
UK Zoids Comics
Zolkon's only appearance in the UK comics was limited to a promotional flyer of dubious canonicity. It was not clear if Zolkon was a unique Zoid or a common type.
The Zoids Saga series of Game Boy Advance games introduced several additional Redler variants. One was the Redler Interceptor, which sported high-speed boosters and additional weapons (these are stylised versions of the CP-09 Booster Cannon upgrade kit). Another one was the Bloodler, a black-and-red Redler with expanded capabilities and weaponry. A third variation that was seen mostly in Zoids Saga was the Redler FS, piloted by pilot "Fran". It was used against the main team, and featured much more armour variation than the standard units. The Redler can also be seen in Zoids VS III for the Nintendo Gamecube, where it is one of only a few fully flight-capable Zoids.
Zoids Trading Cards
The Redler was featured in the Original Battle Game and Trading Collection Card releases of Zoids Trading Cards.
The Reddra was released in Japan as part of the Zoids (1983) line in 1986, with production continuing until about 1988. The Reddra (as it was originally known) kit comes on five frames, along with a wind-up motor, eight rubber caps, a small chromed silver pilot and label sheets. The Reddra is moulded in bright red and black, with silver weapons and smoke-coloured canopy and wings.
The Zoid uses a wind-up motor for its motion; once wound, the Reddra will walk forward and flap its wings. The Zoid's head can be raised and lowered, and the blade in its tail can be flipped out.
Super 1000 Zoids
The Zoid was released in the UK and Europe in 1988, as part of the Super 1000 Zoids line. It had the name Zolkon. There were no changes to the model aside from packaging.
The Zoid was released in the Technozoids line in the U.S. and Canada, under the name Dragonfly. This version was bright red, bright orange, silver and smoke. An uncommon variant exists that has black parts instead of orange.
The Zoid was released as a part of the Zoids 2 line, under the name Redwing. This version was chrome red, bright red, black and silver, with a clear-orange canopy and wings. Viola's Redler in the Chaotic Century bears a strong resemblance to the Redwing.
The Reddra was released in 1999 with the first wave of the Zoids (1999) line, and was named the Redler. The Zoid was light purple, black and silver, with smoke-coloured canopies and wings, and a light blue pilot.
An optional weapon was also released for the Redler, the CP-09 Booster Cannon. The kit consists of a pair of large cannons with boosters that mount on the Redler's wings.
Several chromed versions were released by Leoshop of Taiwan.
Zoids: Build Customize Mobilize
The Redler was released in North America, Australia and Europe as a part of the Zoids: Build Customize Mobilize line. This version was identical to the 1999 Japanese version, save for the packaging.
The USA version bore Hasbro branding, while the international version bore TOMY branding. The European release started in 2004.
A limited edition Redler that was released alongside one of the Playstation games, this version was moulded in colours similar to those of the original Reddra, albeit with darker smoke-coloured wings/cockpit like the 1999 version and a blue pilot instead of silver.
Black RedlerA limited edition version of the Redler was released by TOMY in 2000 at a convention, along with the Blue Command Wolf. This version was black with a grey trim and opaque-green canopies and wings, similar to those of the Dark Zoids. It shares this colour scheme with the elite Black Redlers featured in the Zoids anime; however, the model lacks any of the additional modifications featured in the anime, instead coming in the standard mould.
A version of the Redler was planned for the Genesis line, as a part of the subset that included the Gildragon and Decalto Dragon. This version was to have been recoloured in white and bronze, with a clear-blue canopy and wings. However, the Zoid was cancelled before it reached full production.
The Genesis Redler was meant to precede the other two Dragon-Zoids. After the Redler was cancelled, this place in the line was given to the Mugen Liger.
A Redler was released as one of the two prizes available in the 2005 TOMY Z-Point campaign. The release had a black-and-white body, dark blue wings, and light blue cockpit 'eyes'. The Z-Point Campaign Redler was limited to 400 models. These were identical to the planned Genesis Redlers.
Prototype Redler Mk II
Another prototype Zoid was shown alongside the prototype CAS for the Konig Wolf at Wonderfest in 2004. This Zoid was based off the Redler MKII that was seen in the Silver Zero video game. What appeared to be an instruction sheet beside the Zoid addressed it as "Codename: Shooting Star" and it was coloured flat grey with some tape. Strangely, it did not appear to have caps. The Zoid was coloured in light grey and dull gold. The Shooting Star appeared to have flexible wings that could fold up. The Zoid was never seen again, much like the Prototype CAS for the Konig Wolf.
The Zoid was showcased along with concept art; these drawings showed what could have been the final prototype for the Zoid since the pictures shown were much more detailed than the actual prototype model. In addition, some of the drawings showed what appeared to be interchangeable parts, which could be either a CAS unit or another version of the Zoid. These ideas likely never made it to the prototype stage, as they were not seen at Wonderfest as a model kit along side the Shooting Star.
The prototype was based off of the Redler MKII seen in the Silver Zero video game, as mentioned above. The four colour variations available in the game matchthose of the regular Redler: purple, Reddra-style red, Black Redler colours, and an unknown blue.