Endless Toy Ramble by Alen Yen » 2000 » January
Eternal and Endless Toy Ramble by Alen Yen: random japanese toy collecting nonsense

January 1, 2000

01/01/1900: TOY OF THE YEAR

Filed under: Endless Ramble — admin @ 2:12 pm

It was a close call. Garada K7 landed in June with a thump, cushioned on a nice bed of hype. The mighty (yet wobbily) pseudo-reissue made such a splash that you’d think he’d cuddled his way into a shoe-in for Toy of the Year. Lord knows that UniFive deserves applause for the tremendous service they’ve done for Jumbo Love. At the last minute, tho’, evil gets nailed: crushed no less by the old nemesis, Z!

Marmit’s Daigokin Mazinger Z delivers exactly where Garada don’t. In terms of quality, truth to concept, presence and sheer gall, our collective hats are off to a company that has gone out of its way to break the envelope. (It’s not hard, is it, to please a gokin punk? Make it large, heavy and we’ll come.) To emphasize a point tho: it ain’t just the size. The whole idea of making a 17″ articulated diecast toy defies reason. The fact that a company was willing to follow through with what clearly would be a low-run, cost-inefficient hunk, just juices my pilder. That the toy is by all accounts a winner is just icing on the cake.
So check below for raves by Sean Bonner, Bic and Yappy. And start saving those pennies!

Meanwhile: made a quick trip toOuter Limits in Jersey and had my faith restored. The new location was immaculate as usual, and filled with the good stuff.
Notable acquisitions included the totally weird-ass Takatoku Zendagorira. It’s goofy, but well-featured. Hilights of the piece include googly eyes, wheeled feet, and, um, shooting “grapple nipples.”

As Roger Harkavy (at left with Astro Boy) pointed out, this is now two years in a row for me that “nipple-shooting Gorilla toys” have been featured at Christmas. I suppose this is how traditions start. Thanks to Steve G. for his usual good cheer!

Finally: thanks to all of you who have madeToyboxDX such a stunning success through your contributions and your enthusiasm over the last two years. While the last two months have been a bit slow [sorry Josh, I’m on it!] the new year will bring some spectacular changes. So stick around. It’s just starting to get good!

Best regards for you and your families in the coming year,


Jumboland’s Sean Bonner scores at Monster House

“January 1st, 2000. Much like any other saturday. wake up, go to House of Monsters. Only today was a little different. I knew they were getting in some new stuff from Japan but what? I was hoping for an Action Gokin…I got that and much more…Seconds after walking in the door Damien picks up a box from behind the counter:

“‘You wouldn’t be interested in this would you?’The box is huge… is it? No… yes! It’s Mazinga Z Daigokin!!! “Would I be interested??? It’s the closest I’ll ever come to a diecast Jumbo. Of Course! I snatched it up, well tried to…
“The box and everything tops out 10 pounds, the figure itself is over 15 inches and it has to be 98% diecast. The paint is shiny and the smell is like a drug. The only plastic I can see is the clear window on the pilder with Koji looking out and some little pieces inbetween the major joints. I’m totally blown away by this thing.”
— Sean

Mark “Bic” Smith sez

“For 48 hours after receiving my Daigokin Mazinger-Z, I was in a perpetual state of bliss, amazement, and awe. The mere fact that such an insane idea actually made it all the way from someone’s mind, to the drawing board, to a prototype, to an actual produced piece work of art, has reaffirmed my belief in dreams and in attaining a goal. The fact that I purchased one also strengthens my belief that I am as well insane. But now, I see this giant metal figure for what it is, a magnificent statue. It is an ode, a tribute to Go Nagai.

“The articulation of this metal hunk is very limited: rotation about the shoulders and wrists limited bending at the elbows, and rotation around the hips and ankles. I only wish there had been some rotation or bending allowed in the head and/or torso. But, maybe the engineering to do so would have made the costs even more exorbitant. We’ll never know, and honestly, I refuse to waste any more time complaining about it or even thinking of anything ‘bad’ about this piece. The mere fact that this item was even made is reason enough to rejoice and celebrate! Even if it didn’t move anywhere at ALL, just the mere fact it EXISTS is cause for joy in all our diecast collecting hearts. (Yes Roger, after a certain monetary limit, they DO become pieces.) “The coloration and shininess of the metal is top notch. It glistens wondrously, casting off those opalescent sparkles that animators are so fond of when sunlight hits their robot’s metal body. The detail is also top notch. Looking closely into the Pilder, one can make out his helmet, his facial features, jumpsuit and his hands. This Mazinger-Z is, to me, the most beautiful Mazinger-Z I own. (I now have three: a regular SOC, a black SOC, and now the Marmit Daigokin.)

“I do not own any original Popy Jumbo Machinders, nor any of the bastardized Mattel Shogun Warriors, much less any of the Uni-Five reproductions, but I would safely bet that if one were to place the Daigokin in line with some Jumbos, those two foot tall shampoo bottles would be extremely intimidated by this 17″ junior metal-machinder. The only robot I own taller than the Daigokin is the Ultimate Iron Giant, and his goofy metal smile disarms him, makes him into a teddy bear. But this Daigokin Mazinger-Z has weight you can not only feel upon holding, but you can see it, and feel it in it’s presence. It truly has a soul that fills the room. It captivates not only me, but also others who have seen it. I can feel the other robots in my collection looking up to the Daigokin Mazinger-Z (metaphorically as well as literally). I can actually hear ‘MAAAAAAAAZINNN-GOOOO!!!!!!’ every time I look at it.
“Daigokin Mazinger-Z is ready for anything. Now I REALLY need to find a Uni-Five Garada K-7, I bet they would look FANTASTIC next to one another. The bottom line: If I had seen one before purchase, would I still have bought one? YES. Is it actually worth the outrageous hefty price tag? YES, it is to me. If Marmit makes a Great Mazinger, or Gaiking, or some obscure robot in the same manner, will I purchase it? YES. If Marmit were to actually make a ‘line’ of Daigokin robots, would I happily go broke purchasing them all? YOU HAD BETTER BELIEVE IT!

“Overall, I am very happy and pleased with this toy, and am also happy that I had the opportunity to purchase it. MONSTROUS PROPS GO OUT TOJUST BE DISTRIBUTION!
— Bic

Yappy on the The Weight of it all

“First off, a disclaimer: there’s no way I can ramble about the Daigokin
objectively. It was a gift — and probably the single-most extravagant gift I have ever received. Here’s heartfelt kudos to my #1 girl, ‘the Pokemistress.’ XoXoX

“Mushiness aside, Bic’s totally right… the Daigokin is a ‘piece,’ a Franklin Mint-esque memorial to Go Nagai. Bic did forget to mention that Mr. Big-ass Mazinger does have ‘swivel arm battle-action grip’ a la 3″ GI
. But that’s pretty much all its ‘play’ features. There’re no spring-loaded accessories either; in fact, I’d say there was no way to engineer any firing mechanisms for the Daigokin — no non-lethal mechanisms, anyway…
“Cuz it all boils down to the simple fact: THE MUTHA’S ALL METAL.

“Everything except the windshield of the Pilder (and maybe the mini-Koji piloting it). Any gimmick would take away from that simple mind-numbing fact that it’s 17 inches of 99 44/100% DIE-CAST. I don’t have a scale, but it’s gotta be 7-9lbs. It HURTS to hold the damn thing for more than ten minutes (which might mean I need to hit the gym). But it’s definitely much denser than the DX chogokins of yore; I don’t remember having problems carrying my old Voltes V or my Godaikin Tetsujin 28 around when I was 6.

“This all brings up a paradox: The Daigokin’s a collector item, but one that begs to be touched. You can’t help but want to pick it up… to feel that cold die-cast on every external surface… to hear the loud ratcheting industrial strength joints… to feel the AWESOME WEIGHT of it all… THE WEIGHT… THE WEIGHT… oh the madness of it all…”
— Yappy