Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Shogun Warriors




Back in the Christmas of 1977  I went with my parents to the mall to ask Santa Claus what I wanted for Christmas.  I sat in his lap and told him exactly what I wanted,  A Shogun Warrior!  I distincly remember telling him I wanted "Gaiking" but would've been happy with any of them.  I was sure to tell my parents just what I told Santa, mainly because I was already hip to the Santa gig.

Later that Christmas I notice an oblong christmas package with my name on it and knew exactly what it was.  I tore it open only to find "Raideen" (aka Reideen and Raydeen) Shogun Warrior on the cover.  I wasn't disappointed, in fact I had mixed up the names and thought Raideen was Gaiking.  No matter, I ripped open the package and put all of the sticker decals on him and he was ready to play with!

If you're not familiar with The Shogun Warriors, they are giant robots with human pilots who fight monsters and save humanity.  Based on various animated series (mostly by Go Nagai) that were collected and presented in the U.S. as "Force Five".  It had a very short run here but Marvel Comics picked up the series and ran it for 19 issues.

The toys were really cool, many of them had spring action missiles and spring action fits to knock down the bad guys.  It also knocks down baby brothers which I found out gets you in trouble.  The only bad guy that Mattel got around to making was Godzilla, I eventually got him for my birthday the following year.

Over the years I've seemed to have lost them somehow, I'm not sure how you can lose two 2 ft. high robots but I did.  At one time I had a Raideen coloring book, and I've since bought "Mazinga" and "Gaiking" and other memorabilia like Shogun Warrior Colorforms, Comics, Models and some Raideen Children's Board Books (in Japanese).  It's a series that still captures my imagination today.





6 comments:

  1. I had "Mazinga", the black and blue one. A friend of mine down the street, named Billy, had "Raydeen" and the big "Godzilla" figure, shown in the vid.

    I remember how big these things were... as a kid, one of these probably came up to my waist, in height. Godzilla had a flat plastic tongue-like thing that slid in and out of it's mouth, by moving a spring-loaded lever on it's back (as seen in the vid)... I guess it was supposed to be fire, and not a tongue... but to me it always seemed like a tongue. Billy's family had big large English Sheepdog as a pet, and we used to chase the dog around with Godzilla. Not cruelly, though.... the dog would play along and chase us back. I don't remember much else about the Shogun Warriors, other than that.

    I do remember, to my own recollection anyway, that after the popularity of these figures, we started seeing a lot more anime and Japanese toys in the American market.

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  2. About Godzilla: I think that's the same action figure seen in the background, in episodes of the "Roseanne" show. Looks like the same Godzilla. It was always sitting on a table or a shelf in the Connor's living room. Even during the "Lottery" episodes, when they had become wealthy and 'updated' their house with new paint and furnishings... they had all this expensive elegant furniture, and Godzilla still in the background.

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  3. I take that back, there was a Rodan figure too! I remember a friend of mine had it and they even show it in the movie "Creep Show", you can see it in the kids bedroom in the background.

    Yes, right after Shogun Warriors there was an onslaught of Japanese toys and shows. Micronauts was one (actually it was around the same time) I had some of those and then came Godaikens, Robotech and then Transformers. I wish they would've marketed Battle of the Planets more in the US.

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  4. Micronauts!! I had ALOT of MIcronauts. Wow!... I had forgotten all about those.

    "Battle of the Planets" was a favorite cartoon of mine too. The DVD collection is quite expensive.

    Do you remember "Spectreman"?

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  5. I do remember Spectreman! "Hear a flash like a flame, Faster than a train!"

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