|Character Design||Go Nagai|
|Toy Design||Katsushi Murakami|
Review by JoshB
The Shogun Warriors. Invincible guardians of world freedom. These toys are the ones that sparked our imagination back in the late 70s, and shaped our idea of cool. Not everyone had a Shogun Warrior – at the time most kids were busy with more affordable toy lines such as Star Wars, Micronauts and Mego Super heroes. But those of us who got them knew that we were onto something special.
Great Mazinga was one of the original Shogun Warrior characters, and probably the most recognizable. You ask people of that generation if they had one, and they may not recall the name (“Great something?”) but you describe the bright red V on the chest and they go “That’s the one! It shot fists!”
Like the rest of the Shogun Warriors line, Great Mazinga was actually a repackaged Popy toy. The first release of Great Mazinga was simply titled “Mazinga” and was identical to its Japanese Counterpart.
The version shown here is the second version, a greatly dumbed-down version for the american market. Gone are the knee and waist decals. Gone is the multi color scrander with chrome engine nozzles. Nope, this one was clearly designed to be cheap and easy.
It's still a good toy, and its likely the one most kids got back in the day. The whole body is diecast metal with plastic being reserved for the head, chest V and arms.
The arms shoot off with a satisfying "Plink!" when the buttons on the arms are pushed.
Great Mazinga comes with two cheap red plastic swords. These can be held in either hand, but cannot be stored in the legs like with the Jumbo Machinder version.
The scrander is detachable.
The box is a classic example of 70s package design, with the clear plastic tray, die-cut window and side flap. This particular specimen is from the Josh C10 Fraser collection, and I have tried my best to keep it C10. I believe this came out of a sealed case. Yeah, I opened it.
To me, this guy (or any version thereof) is one of the cornerstone pieces of any vintage Japanese toy collection. It is relevant in so many ways, it set the stage for so much that was going to come. One can argue that this toy was the one that sparked the imagination of kids in the late 70s, fueling our now current frenzy for all things giant and robot.
|Posted 4 June, 2009 - 08:21 by JoshB|