.css" /> ToyboxDX: Datafiles: Takemi
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[Takemi Gokin]

Takemi's Big Assed Gokin!

text: Matt Alt, graphics: Robert Duban

October 1999

updated: 10.28.00

Contributions: Tom Franck, Warren Schwartz, Alen Yen, & special thanks to Yutaka Ishida for the use of many images here (visit his sale/collector site, Kaikodo!)

[Red Tiger goes to work!]Ah, Takemi. When other toy companies snapped up the juiciest toy licenses, you soldiered on with whatever sleazy shows you were able to get your hands on. Where others focused on providing the most detailed toys possible, you stayed with primitive expressionism. And while other companies focused on honing their engineering skills to the point of insanity, you just didn't care. I LOVE you guys!

One of the greatest things about Takemi Toys was their apparent lack of competitive edge, which forced them to concentrate on making toys for Z-grade, bottom-of-the-barrel television series. No Mazinger Z or Robocon for these guys. With the exception of their one limited license to produce a handful of Tekkaman toys (Nakajima was Tekkaman's main sponsor), [Machine Blaster Blocker IV] all of Takemi's character toys embodied everything that was derivative about 1970's Japanese television at its worst. Machine Blaster, Battle Hawk, Gingaizer -- without exception, every single one of these shows was a mindless marketing decision aimed at (usually unsuccessfully) capturing audience-share away from more popular series. And Takemi was right there to make toys for 'em.

In keeping with this fine tradition, none of Takemi's toys are particularly well-engineered, either. In fact, the Battle Hawk and Gingazier pieces in particular are downright clunky. However, they've got a certain charm that, for some reason, keeps desperate collectors coming back for more. Join us for a look at what could rightfully be called the "anti-Popy": Takemi's diecast offerings.


I'm sick of listening to you bozos constantly mispronounce words from my adopted tongue, so first things first: "Takemi" is pronounced "tah-keh-mee," not "tay-ki-mee." Got it? Wonderful. Next up, you're probably wondering "whassup wit dat" when you see vaguely familiar brand names like "Bigger-gokin" or "Takemika." The answer is elementary: in keeping with their fine tradition of making toys only for unimaginative, derivative shows, Takemi hit on the idea of using unimaginative, derivative brand-names that sounded suspiciously close to Popy's world-famous "chogokin" and "popinika." The results of their hideous phonetic experiments can be seen on Takemi boxes to this very day.  In short, Takemi used the brand name "Standard Series" to refer to their line of Gingaizer diecasts, switched to "Bigger Gokin" for their Battlehawk and Machine Blaster figural diecasts, and used "Takemika" and "Kuripuka" for their vehicles.

[battle hawk banner]
Many people are surprised when they hear that robot-legend Go Nagai was the "mastermind" behind Battle Hawk. Yep, the very same guy who designed Mazinger Z and Grendizer put pen to paper and came up with this hot little series. Featuring two guys and a woman who enjoy skin-tight pleather outfits and carrying huge battle-axes, the show limped along for six months before Tokyo Channel 12 pulled the plug.
[Image] Battle Hawk Additional Images:
box, box back
[Image] Big Hawk Additional Images:
box, box side, enemy targets
[Image] Queen Hawk Additional Images:
box, box side
[gingaizer banner]
Based on characters from the 1977 Nippon Animation series "Suupaa Gattai Majutsu Robo Gingaiza" ("Super Combining Magical Robo Gingaizer"), this is one of the most mystery-ridden diecast series ever created. In fact, despite, its superficial simplicity, the actual scope of the line boggles the minds of even the most knowledgeable of Japanese toy-masters. Most commonly encountered are the three "Standard Series" diecasts, six inch, non-transforming figures that look like Mazinger by way of Playskool. These were also sold in expanded "deluxe" sets with accessories that would allow them to "transform" into boxy vehicles using chunky plastic add-on parts. (The series of "mini" Gingaizer diecasts includes the same feature.) Think of them as the bastard spawn of a secret love-affair between Jeeg and a set of Duplo blocks.

The most mythical of all Gingaizer toys are the legendary, "Super Deluxe Series" diecasts. Although it seems that they were never actually produced, Takemi tortured toy-lovers with tantalizing catalog-shots of the two robots in the series. Dubbed "Super Deluxe Combining Gokin," the line consisted of large-size Gran Fighter and Bull Gator toys that could combine, with the aid of the mini-sized Spin Lancer, into the titanic "Supernatural Smash Gingaizer." (It looks like a spaceship. Or a boat. Or something.)

[Image] Mini Super Magnet Gattai Gokin Gran-Fighter Additional Images:
[Image] Mini Super Magnet Gattai Gokin Bull-Gator Additional Images:
[Image] Mini Super Magnet Gattai Gokin Spin-Lancer Additional Images:
full catalog page
[Image] Standard Series Bigger Gokin Gran-Fighter Additional Images:
box, box back
[Image] Standard Series Bigger Gokin Bull-Gator Additional Images:
box, box back
[Image] Standard Series Bigger Gokin Spin-Lancer Additional Images:
box, box back
Deluxe Bigger Gokin Gran-Fighter Additional Images:
Deluxe Bigger Gokin Spin-Lancer Additional Images:
box, box back
[Image] Prototype Super Deluxe Gattai Gokin Gran-Fighter
[Image] Prototype Super Deluxe Gattai Gokin Bull-Gator Additional Images:
full catalog page
[machine blaster banner]
Takemi's Machine Blaster toys, based on the seminal 1977 show "Blocker Army IV Machine Blaster," are among the most frequently encountered of Takemi's diecasts. Although it is nearly impossible to find a "Blocker III - Sandaio" in mint condition, the other robots are relatively easy to acquire. Takemi also made "mini-machinders" of the four Blocker robots, and a tiny company called Marushin made little 3" diecasts of the four as well. Bullmark got into the act, too, producing their own versions of two of the Blocker Team toys.
[Image] catalog Additional Images:
scan at 1:1
[Image] Blocker I - Robo Kress Additional Images:
box, box back
[Image] Blocker II - Bull Ceasar Additional Images:
[Image] Blocker III - Sandaio Additional Images:
[Image] Blocker IV - Boss Palder Additional Images:
[Image] Picotto Additional Images:
[Image] Freedom I (kuripuka)
[Image] Freedom II (kuripuka)
[Image] Freedom III (kuripuka)
[Image] Freedom IV (kuripuka)
[Image] Freedom I (takemika) Additional Images:
box, box back
[Image] Freedom II (takemika)
[Image] Freedom III (takemika) Additional Images:
box, box back
[Image] Freedom IV (takemika) Additional Images:
box, box back
[Image] Aston Mighty Car
[Image] Astro Base Additional Images:
box, box top, box detail
[red tiger banner]
These four diecasts are portrayals of characters from a short lived and all-but-unknown 1978 show called "The Great UFO War: Fight, Red Tiger!" Live action, the series featured a football-player theme. The two Red Tiger toys represent different aspects of the same character, and "Ramble Giant" is Red Tiger's huge flying base. For some reason, "Ramble Giant" is often seen romanized as "Ranball Giant." (The translation of Japanese sci-fi names is often an inexact science.) The oddly-named "Slipper Set," which contains two smaller spacy-looking vehicles, seems to be derived from the word "time-slip" (as in "time warp"), not the bedroom footwear.
[Image] Red Tiger - Normal Type Additional Images:
box, enemy targets
[Image] Red Tiger - Angry Type Additional Images:
[Image] Ramble Giant Additional Images:
box side
[Image] Slipper Set
(Slipper X1 & X2)
Additional Images:
box, box back
[tekkaman banner]
Considered by many to epitomize everything that's cool about Japanese toy-design, the Takemi Pegas is a nearly foot-tall brick of molded diecast. It's a sort of throwback to earlier toys in that it features copious amounts of metal and an expressionistic, primitive design. It's rare as hell, it's got a smurf-blue paint job, and it comes in a deceptive box that seems more like a tin-toy than a late-70's diecast. The numerous and ingenious gimmicks only add to the charm: it shoots missiles from its neck, a tiny bust of Tekkaman can be raised from a hatch on the back, and a small Tekkaman vinyl can be placed between Pegas' legs and closed inside. Sure, it's got a globbed-on one-color paint job and the detail of a child's tub-toy, but the fact that the piece outweighs your pet cat makes up for any shortcomings in other areas.
[Image] Pegas Robot Additional Images:
box, box back, box top, box bottom

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