|Character Design||Go Nagai|
Review by NekroDave
It is becoming more and more apparent in recent years that the influence of Popy's Jumbo Machinder line of toys was more far reaching than anyone had previously realized. Initially, it was thought that Mattel's line of Shogun Warriors were the only other source of Jumbos. Then the line of Spanish Nacoral Robots was discovered, as well as bootlegs from countries such as Italy, Hong Kong, Korea and Mexico. Recently, more jumbos from Venezuela have come to light and these are nearly identical to the Nacorals, even bearing the same names.
Famosa is known to have released 6 different Jumbos. Each came packaged in the same box. The front of the box shows the Great Mazinger Shogun Warrior with it's right hand replaced by a missile launcher, just like the box of the Nacoral Great Mazinger. It is in fact the exact same image. The style of the box is the same, except that now it says "Mazinger Z" on the front as well as the company name in the bottom left corner. One side of the box shows the Great Mazinger and Gaiking Jumbos, while the other side shows Dragun, Daimos and Gaiking again. On the top of the box is a checklist of the toys with a mark specifying which toy is inside.
The Great Mazinger toy is much like the Nacoral Great Mazinger....sticker on the chest, 14 missiles (the missiles are slightly more orange than others), two missile launchers and a different head. But the size of the two toys is slightly different with the Famosa being a little bit smaller. The head in particular is thinner. The chest on the Nacoral is a bit more robust than on the Famosa version, though it is difficult to see in pictures. My Famosa version did not come with stickers on the knees, although some do.
The only other difference is that the Famosa Great Mazinger has some VERY noticeable woodgrain in the molded plastic. It's obvious both in the chest and in the legs. I find this pretty interesting. I'm not sure if it means that the Famosa toys were made before the Nacorals or after. Or if the same prototypes were used for both or not.
Earlier, I said that Famosa made 6 Jumbos but only named 4. It turns out that they made 2 versions of this toy. (The 6th Jumbo was a fascinating and rare hybrid of Gaiking, Daimos and Dragun!) The first was released in the late 1970s and the second in the early 1980s. The first version had a small circular base attached to the feet. This was a battery operated "bump and go" feature. The toy would roll around and change directions upon contact with an obsticle. This version also came in a slightly different box. There is a yellow box on the top left corner denoting this feature. The following pictures were from a Venezuelan auction.
Now that the existence of these toys is known, they are appearing with a good degree of regularity, especially the Great Mazingers. Gaiking has also been seen several times. But getting Dragun is MUCH harder, and the Daimos has not ever even been seen by anyone I know in Venezuela. Some even speculate Daimos was not actually made. It would seem this and the hybrid Gaiking are the real prizes of the line. Time will tell. This toy originally retailed for 280,00 bolivares (approximately $13).
|Posted 18 November, 2006 - 22:21 by NekroDave|