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[Marushin's Machine Gokin]

Marushin's Machine Gokin

text: Matt Alt, graphics: Robert Duban

June 2000

updated: 05.08.06

Image contributions: Corey Edwards, Yutaka Ishida & Kaikodo, Warren Schwartz, Todd Stadtman, Alen Yen

[Marushin ad] Marushin is obscure. They're REALLY obscure. They're obscure even to collectors of totally obscure stuff. Hell, they don't even seem to have a company logo -- their boxes simply feature the Japanese characters for "Marushin Toy" in a standard-looking font.

They're also tiny -- and so are most of the toys they produced. Marushin's diecast output is limited to a handful of mini-sized Machine Blaster toys that seem to have been ghost-produced by Takemi, a couple of tiny Battlehawk figures, and their only fully "standard-sized" toys, a trio of diecast monsters. The company also seems to have had a relationship with the Nakajima Manufacturing Company.

[Battle Hawk] First things first: the Battle Hawk figures. Takemi's standard-sized Battle Hawk diecasts had already set a standard for cheaply-made toys. Marushin's mini-sized figures proudly carry on the tradition.

Next, you've got the Machine Blaster robots. Not only are the toys stamped "Takemi," but the Marushin boxes even feature photographs of Takemi's standard-sized diecasts! I guess it's safe to suggest that Takemi wore the pants in this particular business relationship.

And finally you've got the diecast monsters. The shows these guys are based on were already nearly ten years old by the time Marushin decided to produce toy portrayals of them (apparently to cash in on the so-called "kaiju boom, " a resurgence in interest in Ultra-series shows that occurred in Japan in the mid-Seventies.) They're not exactly the most famous giant-monster characters ever created, either. That being said, in comparison to the rest of Marushin's stuff, these toys are full-fledged standard-sized diecasts. [Garuban] And, incongruously enough, they're GREAT. In fact, they're total classics of Japanese diecast engineering.

The heavy-duty Garuban, a monster from a 1967 live action show called Captain Ultra, features a detachable head and limbs, tiny rhinestones for eyes, and a couple of tiny plastic buildings to play with. (Marushin also produced a bizarre original creation, "Mecha Gorilla," by outfitting the Garuban body with a new head.) There's also Kemler, who's from the first Ultraman series (1966) which features a pair of beautiful -- and very fragile -- back-fins. There are two variations of this toy - see the list below. As diecast renditions of kaiju (live-action monsters) are few and far between, these toys have become highly sought after by collectors.

And there you have it. None of these properties or characters were exactly what could be termed "hot," and so Marushin quickly faded back into the obscure pool from whence they came, with nary a trace besides their psychedelic "Machine Gokin" brand name to remember them by.

Added 03.27.05: Marushin also made some cheapie plastic toys! See the bottom of the list below.
[Battle Hawk]
[Image] Battle Hawk Additional Images:
inner box art, box back
[Image] Big Hawk Additional Images:
inner box art, box back
[Machine Blaster]
Aston Mighty Car Additional Images:
Robo Kress Additional Images:
[image] Bull Caesar Additional Images:
box, box back
[Image] Sandaio Additional Images:
box, box back
[Image] Boss Palder Additional Images:
box, box back
Robo Kress / Bull Caesar dual box Additional Images:
Sandaio / Boss Palder dual box Additional Images:
[Image] Garuban Additional Images:
inner box, box, box back
[Image] Kemler - ver. 1 Additional Images:
box ver.1
[Image] Kemler - ver. 2 Additional Images:
inner box, box ver.2
Mecha Gorilla Additional Images:
inner box, box, box back
Groizer X Additional Images:
Tekkaman Additional Images:
Tekkaman - clear Additional Images:
"Crystal" Tekkaman Additional Images:
Pegas Additional Images:
Blue Earth Additional Images:

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