Thursday, November 5, 2009
Giant Robots have invaded the Earth!
I wish this was my original Reideen (aka: Raydeen) from when I was a kid. I also wish I had a giant robot sometimes, though parking it in front of the house might be a problem. This is a great little reproduction by Bandai. I don't know if calling it a reproduction is correct here as the one I had as a kid was probably just imported by Mattel from Bandai.
I found this on a trip to China in a little hobby shop that specialized in all sorts of robots and models, plus a few little odds and ends. I didn't care how much he cost at the time, I was going home with this guy regardless, I think I ended up paying about 20 USD at the time, which I'm still happy I did. Everything about this guy is just like the original. Maybe with the exception of some colors.
So, let me take you back in time, around the late Seventies. My parents would shop on a military base, at a shop called the Four Seasons. It was sort of the gardening shop on base, but it also housed the toys. Probably why I try to buy toys every time my wife goes to buy plants. Four Seasons was known to have a pretty great model section and some strange new robots called the Shogun Warriors. I would say the my entire collection of Shogun Warriors from when I was a kid came form this shop.
Now I do not have any of my original Shogun Warriors from those days, except for a piece that belonged to a 24 inch tall Mazinger (aka: Mazinga), so you can imagine how excited I was to be face to face with a buddy from my childhood in the middle of Hong Kong. I have some great memories of my buddies and I gathering all our Shogun Warriors to do battle, and it didn't matter if you had the little die cast ones like this one or the giant roto cast ones, they were all welcome to the battle.
Raydeen was a two in one, or a transformer. He could change from his robot mode to a cool bird like craft. Yep, before the Transformers and the Go Bots we had transforming robots.
I can remember off the top of my head the robotic warriors I had amassed. In the small die cast category I had Raydeen (going by their Mattel names here), Dangard and a sweet tank called a Shigcon Tank. In the larger class I had Mazinga and of course Godzilla. I miss my Godzilla.
What a cool idea for a toy company to go and gather up all these different giant robot shows and market them under one name. Maybe one day I'll track down a few more of my Shogun Warrior friends, until then I have Brave Mazinga here to battle any giant monsters or robots in the neighborhood.