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Mechagodzilla

Chogokin
by Poe Ghostal

I mentioned in an earlier post that one of my favorite toys was a die-cast Mechagodzilla figure. It occurred to me that I've never actually written up a review of this great piece.

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974) and its sequel, Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975) were the last of the Showa-era Godzilla films - the campy monster-vs.-monster flicks we Gen-Xers grew up on, which led us to create things like Kaiju Big Battel.

Since my love of robots, dinosaurs, and robotic dinosaurs has been well documented, it's not surprising that Mechagodzilla is my favorite monster after the big G himself.

As a kid, I had a few of the cool Bandai vinyl Godzillas, but I missed out on the Mechagodzilla. Maybe it never even showed up at the Japanese toy import store in Waltham, I don't know. So I had to use a stand-in - usually Grimlock. It wasn't until 2002 that I finally got a vinyl Mechagodzilla. But he was quickly superseded by an even cooler toy - Bandai's die-cast Mechagodzilla.

Standing about 7" high, the Chogokin Mechagodzilla (GD-56) is the ultimate toy for the MG fan. Here's a rundown of his features:

  • 21 points of articulation, including balljointed shoulders, hips and ankles, plus a working jaw and a hinged chest panel
  • Alternate "missiles fired" hands and removable knee missiles
  • Alternate "flying mode" head
  • Spinning head action feature
  • Die-cast parts

Bandai also released a bright chrome version of this figure, as well as a slightly retooled re-release based on the second version of MG from Terror.

This figure is one of the finest in my collection. The Japanese know how to do toys right - at a price, of course. MG ran for about $50-$75 retail when it was released in 2003, but you might be able to find it for a reasonable price on eBay these days. This figure was also the occasion for my very first YouTube video ever. I decided to try and show off his "spinning head" feature. It's a little odd that Bandai chose to put so much effort into this, since MG does it once for about 10 seconds in the first film (to create an energy shield). It's a nice little feature, though.

It was less than a few hours later that I discovered someone else had already done the same exact thing... honestly, what's the likelihood of that? I hate the internet sometimes. (Incidentally, that's Ghidorah: The Three-Headed Monster playing in the background of the vid.)

-- 02/20/10


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