Posted in Toy Photography

Zentraedi Supreme Commander Dolza (Matchbox, 1986)


In 1985, Robotech was one of the most remarkable cartoons on television. While shows like G.J. Joe featured heroes and villains who never seemed immortal even though they were supposed to be regular people, Robotech wasn’t afraid to kill off major characters.

The corresponding toy line wasn’t so great. Matchbox put out 15 figures in the 3 3/4″ scale, covering most of the major characters from the three “eras” of Robotech (really three unrelated Japanese shows that were adapted to make the American cartoon.)

They also produced a number of vehicles… some of which were scaled to these smaller action figures, and others that were scaled more appropriately to match the six 8″ scale Zentraedi figures.

And that was one of the big problems I had with the toys, even as a kid. The Zentraedi were supposed to tower over the “Micronians,” but they just looked like two separate action figure lines.

Here's a screen capture from the cartoon showing Dolza holding SDF-1 First Officer Lisa Hayes in his hand.
Here’s a screen capture from the cartoon showing Dolza holding SDF-1 First Officer Lisa Hayes in his hand.
I don’t have my Lisa Hayes figure handy, so here’s a photo of Matchbox’s Dolza figure standing next to a Star Wars Rebels Mission Series Stormtrooper figure.

Aside from the scale issue, Matchbox did a nice job capturing the likeness of the leader of the Zentraedi fleet. The have all of the detailing on his uniform, and they gave Dolza more articulation that you’d expect.

In addition to rotating joints at his neck and shoulders, Dolza has pivot joints at his biceps and hinged joints at his elbows. Although it serves little purpose, Dolza’s feet also rotate.

You want to make sure to keep Dolza facing forward at all times, though – his back isn’t very pretty, thanks to all of the visible screws that attach the two halves of his body together.

Unfortunately, Dolza isn’t a very dynamic character – think how much fun the Emperor would have been in Return of the Jedi if he couldn’t throw those Force lightning bolts. (Actually, now that I think about it, the Emperor was not a very fun action figure to play with compared to Darth Vader, Boba Fett, etc.)

I think that’s why I never bothered to get Dolza when I was a kid. A few years ago, I had ambitions of filling in the gaps in my Matchbox Robotech collection. While I don’t have much luck finding vintage toys at flea markets and yard sales, many Robotech figures are easily available on eBay.

The problem – most of the ones I didn’t have are either not very interesting or else they are expensive. I did get Dolza, and I’m pretty sure he finished my set of six Zentraedi. (He never got put away with my other Robotech figures, so I’m not exactly sure – I’ll have to double check when I put him where he belongs.)

I know I’m still missing some of the 3 3/4″ figures – Roy Fokker, Scott Bernard and Lunk come to mind – but I think it’s going to stay that way unless I stumble upon some major bargains.