Why no Danguard/Combattler JUMBO ? (Marvel Comics)???

Posted by Supersentai 
Here's a topic that I've never heard a good answer for. Back when Marvel was producing the comics with Raydeen, Danguard and Combattra, does anybody know if Mattel made any overtures toward dumbing down either Danguard or Combattra for a domestic Jumbo Release?

The comic went on for almost two years, and I am sure that Mattel had plenty of lead time before the comic even went to press. I can only imagine what a pared down Danguard or 'Battra would look like, (the Argentinian Dangard probably isn't far off), but just got myself wondering along these lines.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/02/2012 10:48PM by Supersentai.
free e-cake for the first posting that isn't mine...
+1

(need my email address for the cake?)
I would go through the whole pantomime of asking what flavor cake, what kind of frosting, etc? But in the interest of saving bandwidth...

( )
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Voila! Your "e-cake" is served!
Those releases would coitinly make sense, but I have no info on why not. Kinda the same cranky question of Why Not??!! regarding the Danguard Rancher head ship Chogokin being a real tease for a Jumbo sized (chokinzoku line?) that never was. I WANT one!
Maybe because they had those character in the smaller die cast shogun warriors line and that was enough for them. Shogun warriors were a huge success but a tiny piece in the world of toys back then.
I guess we did have the DX combiner Combattler, never saw it in stores myself back then thus mostly forget it exists.

Guess the decision to bring that over in a complete set and in separate packaging could have been influenced by his inclusion in the comics, as he was not a part of Force Five.
MattAlt (Admin)
The other interesting thing is that the Mattel Gaiking itself seems to be a modified version of the Dangard Ace (the elbows, and the missile launcher mechanism -- note how close together the "eyes" are?). Perhaps the Dangard production line/molds were "cannibalized" to make the Gaiking instead?

Who the heck knows why Mattel made most of the decisions they did back then... I actually called their research department years back, when we first started running ToyboxDX, and was told that nobody who worked on the series was still there, and they didn't keep any reference material or anything.
MattAlt (Admin)
My other thought is that the Combattra and Dangard may simply have been too expensive to mass-produce, as they have a lot of extra little parts, and too complicated to simplify. (Then again they managed to dumb down Grandizer, which is one of the more complicated JM designs.)
That would be my first thought too, except that the effort to go from the DX Jumbo Gaiking with the opening face to what they did release here smacks of more effort than taking a turn as they did with Daimos.

Danguard could have lost his wings, had the helmet glued on, and had sticker shin blades, infinitely less work that Frankensteining the Gaiking they did release.

With Combattler being a "riding toy", I'm not sure if that potentially could have been a liability issue rearing its head. Although the only mod I could have seen as necessary with 'Battler to make him less expensive to produce would be the removal of the foot joints and leaving out the chest wheel base.
MattAlt (Admin)
And the chest piece... And the little "buttons" on the shoulders and thighs... It all cuts into PROFIT$, man!

(I know. It's actually a pretty weak hypothesis.)
I wonder what the profit margin on domestic Jumbos was back then? They were on sale quite often for around $12.00, but ran up to $20.00 depending on where you went.

One Jumbo took up the space three cases of Star Wars figures (72 figures) took up, so I can't imagine that these were all that welcome at retail.
I think the best bet might be to talk to someone who worked on development of the Marvel title to understand how those three characters were chosen. Perhaps only certain properties were open to licensing for comics, and they didn't necessarily match perfectly with the Popy pieces Mattel chose to pursue? Perhaps Mattel was in control of those choices, and wanted kids forced to sample each scale/branch of the line up.

You know, I have a vague memory of this question being answered...
If you can find the link it's "e-cake" for everyone...my treat!
Sanjeev (Admin)
leMel42 Wrote:
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> I think the best bet might be to talk to someone
> who worked on development of the Marvel title to
> understand how those three characters were chosen...

Agreed...I've always wondered about that!
I bet it's the same deal as what happened with the Transformers comic. They really didn't talk to each other. The guys making the comic probably had no idea what toys were being made and vice versa. And I think that they didn't really care. The mish mash of stuff they brought over and the disregard for the original Japanese stories shows the level of concern that most of the companies had for these lines. If you read the Marvel comic it is just really bizarre. I think it just comes down to apathy and nothing more interesting than that.
Apparently Hasbro forced the Marvel Transformers comic to have specific robots, and the constant changing is what burned out longtime Transformers writer Bob Budiansky, so it wasn't really like that. The place where there was no communication was between Marvel Comics and Marvel Productions, the studio that did the Transformers cartoon. Marvel Productions was formerly known as DePatie-Freling, the company the did the Pink Panther animated openings and spinoff cartoons among others. According to Jim Shooter, then-president of Marvel, the people in charge at Marvel Production had great disdain for the comics people. [www.jimshooter.com] and [www.jimshooter.com].

No idea about the Shogun Warriors comic, but didn't Herb Trimpe work on both books?

-Ginrai
Golden Gate Riot on dead trees at: [www.destroyallcomics.com]



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/07/2012 09:49PM by Ginrai.
MattAlt (Admin)
Thanks for that. I am sure the Shogun deal worked similarly (work-for-hire, "can you make a story for us?" type stuff).

What the heck were the "Mysterions" based on?? Machine Robo?
Not sure, possibly something that never came out in the US due to the Hasbro deal?

-Ginrai
Golden Gate Riot on dead trees at: [www.destroyallcomics.com]
MattAlt (Admin)
Yeah, but I'm saying, what existing series could it possibly have been based on? He says the Transformers were an improvement on the technology. Maybe he's just mis-remembering...
Ginrai, that's really good to know. It's a shame when one creative group doesn't respect another. Working to tie them together seems like it'd make both the stronger for it.
Again, it's tempting to envy people in the entertainment industry who get to work with properties which it would seem like a dream to be able to work with, but for these folks it's just another product. Endless calls, meetings, paperwork, DEADLINES, etc.

It's equally tempting to assume that synergy between divisions within a company would lead to a better product, hence more profit for the aggregate company, but in the case of Marvel, apparently both the cartoon and comic independent of each other did well enough.

It's just a shame that "business" can have such an impact on the quailty of a creative product, such as when a network looks at a show (like Community) and presumably affects the production of the show by pointing to ratings peaks and interferes with the creative process by dictating what aspects to emphasize and which characters "test well".

I'm uncertain whether I'd have enjoyed working on the TF comic either if I lived under the edict of constantly revovling the cast to match the new retail peg fodder.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Supersentai Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It's just a shame that "business" can have such an
> impact on the quailty of a creative product, such
> as when a network looks at a show (like Community)
> and presumably affects the production of the show
> by pointing to ratings peaks and interferes with
> the creative process by dictating what aspects to
> emphasize and which characters "test well".

Yeah, I hear that anime-stuff or whatever--from Japan, I think--suffers a lot from this...

:P
IIRC, in one letter column in Shogun Warriors, the Marvel editor explained that the other robots in the SW line were not available for use in the comics because of a licensing issue. I think that's the closest thing we have to a percipient explanation of why Marvel only got to use Dangard, Raydeen, and Combattra.

Best, MyClone
Ken-A Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> IIRC, in one letter column in Shogun Warriors, the
> Marvel editor explained that the other robots in
> the SW line were not available for use in the
> comics because of a licensing issue. I think
> that's the closest thing we have to a percipient
> explanation of why Marvel only got to use Dangard,
> Raydeen, and Combattra.
>
> Best, MyClone


I'll look through my set for that letter column. (STILL ONLY 35 CENTS!)

This would indicate that Marvel either chose, or was presented with, the three chosen robos, and once the choice was made there was no redressing in response to toy sales. There may also have been legal restrictions on 'synergy', that is, coordinating the planning on both toys and media with the same teams.
Could also be a Dynamic Pro wanted separate licensing fees from Toei or whatever thing.

-Ginrai
Golden Gate Riot on dead trees at: [www.destroyallcomics.com]
In issue 6, the last question in part mentioned "The Warriors you portray are Raydeen, Combatra, and Dangard-Ace, but where are Dragun, Great Mazinga, Gaiking, Posiden, Grandizer, and Raider?"

The answer to this question, "Besides, our contract only permits us the use of the original three robots: Raydeen, Combatra, and Dangard Ace. Okay?"

Good memory Ken-A

For myself, I never grew up with any of the TV series that showed the other machinders and didn't know of their story lines. So, the Marvel comics featuring these 3 Shogun Warriors appeared to be an original comic line and I loved it. I have recently gotten a Combattler and Dangard Ace, and I am fixing them up some as they were very loved and played with toys previously.

I wished Uni-Five could have stayed in the machinder re-release business a while longer as Combattler was going to be the next one out. That would have been super cool to had a minty fresh Combattler.
Sanjeev (Admin)
bourno Wrote:
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> I wished Uni-Five could have stayed in the
> machinder re-release business a while longer...

Amen, brother!
bourno Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
...
> I wished Uni-Five could have stayed in the
> machinder re-release business a while longer as
> Combattler was going to be the next one out. That
> would have been super cool to had a minty fresh
> Combattler.

It is difficult to put together a set of Marvel shogun in the same line/scale. I have several sets of two, and it kills me. Only the original Popy standard line or the Jumbo Machinders will yield all three. Any other attempt requires a mish-mash of pieces.

And why are Yamato Danguards constantly stuck at $500? One of those with a plastic Medicom Raideen and an SOC Combattler might get close to being a modern set. Why did I wait!? Argh!!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/17/2012 09:17PM by leMel42.
Sanjeev (Admin)
leMel42 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> And why are Yamato Danguards constantly stuck at
> $500? One of those with a plastic Medicom Raideen
> and an SOC Combattler might get close to being a
> modern set. Why did I wait!? Argh!!


Oh man...I never thought of that! Damn, that WOULD be a pretty sick trio, huh? But you prefer the Medicom Raideen over the SoC?
I do really want an SOC Raideen as well but I was under the impression that the Medicom was larger, thereby closer to SOC Combattler in scale. I'm guessing I'm wrong? It occurs to me now that I've never seen an SOC Raideen in person.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Oh beats me...I don't really have any SoCs...I just figured it'd be a better fit than a plastic figure.
>
> And why are Yamato Danguards constantly stuck at
> $500? One of those with a plastic Medicom Raideen
> and an SOC Combattler might get close to being a
> modern set. Why did I wait!? Argh!!


They are? Darn it! I was hoping they would eventually fall into the bargain bin like the Groizer X's. I guess we can assume they'll remain up there in price until the unlikely event of a SOC version...
Sanjeev (Admin)
Yeah...totally weird that the Danguard hagane figures continue to command so much, while the Groizer is so cheap. I owned both at one point...and in my opinion, the Groizer was the better toy...

And not to digress too much here, but does anyone know why Groizer- - a Go Nagai character --wasn't produced in toy form by Popy? How did Nakajima score the property? He would have made a great Shogun! ;)
MattAlt (Admin)
Presumably because Popy didn't sponsor the show. They didn't make the X-Bomber or Govarian toys, either.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Truuuu...

I can see not sponsoring X-Bomber because the whole marionette thing is a bit of a gamble, but weird about the other two...
But X-Bomber eventually had the theme song redux by Brian May and Eddie Van Halen (still have my copy of the album), placing it eternally in the cool stratosphere!

As far as the Gn-U Danguard, I remember waiting FOREVER for that toy to arrive. I owned the "special metal" paint edition with the CD, which sure beats the living daylights out of that harsh "metallic" version they were hawking later.

It was a great piece, really translated the Anime Danguard both in scale and design.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Hey, you don't need to convince *me* of the sheer dopeness of X-Bomber...and its theme song!

But, yeah, the Yamato Danguard nailed the sculpt, in my opinion: cartoon accurate enough to satisfy those people...but still captured the sense of majestic enormity that the classic Popy chogokin aesthetic usually conveys. Thing is, the fit and finish wasn't *quite* as nice as on the Groizer. In hand, that thing was basically flawless...even if the sculpt wasn't the masterpiece the Danguard was...
MattAlt (Admin)
"the whole marionette thing is a bit of a gamble"

I don't know the exact deal with X-Bomber, but "Thunderbirds" was one of the single most influential shows ever aired in Japan, so I suspect marionettes probably weren't perceived as a gamble. Dynamic Pro, Artmic, and other companies were independent design houses working for whoever footed the bill. Which was probably a consortium of TV station, ad company, and toy company in this case.

Guess the point I'm trying to make is, the fact Popy didn't sponsor a show doesn't necessarily mean it was second-rate. It just means someone else paid for it.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Ah, good to know. Thanks for clarifying, Matt!
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