Thursday, May 18, 2017

Shogun Warriors Gaiking 24 inch Jumbo Figure

Vintage ad courtesy of
Back in the 70's Mattel released these Jumbo 24" Shogun Warriors figures that were repackaged and slightly redesigned from an earlier Japanese release, which were based on "then" popular shows in Japan. If I'm wrong, please correct me. I know the Godzilla (the most sought-after) was released in 1977 here in the states, so I'm assuming these Jumbo figures were also from around that same year.

7 of these bad boys were released in the United States, each very cool in their own right, but some being more sought after than others. These are Mazinga, Gaiking, Daimos, Dragun, Raydeen, Godzilla and Rodan. Today they are easily one of the most highly collectible vintage toys out there and easily the most pricey, especially if you want one with the original box. Depending on the condition of both the figure, the box, and if they still have all of their original parts, they can go up to several thousand dollars, depending on the specific figure, while others you can get for a few hundred. You'll never get one for under a cool $100 though, and if you do, it's because the person selling it has no idea what they have, or because it's either broken or incomplete.

My personal Gaiking Shogun Warrior
One of the coolest things about these giant's is that most of them came with spring loaded missiles that you could shoot by hitting a button or one of their hands, also spring loaded, would shoot off. Admittedly, while this is very cool, they also became child-safety-hazards and because of this, these Shogun Warriors were ultimately discontinued by 1980 and taken off store shelves. Wah wah wah.

I was barely born in 1976, which would make me only 4 years old when they were taken off store shelves completely in 1980, so I have no idea how or when I eventually got my hands on one, but I can assure you, I did. I have clear and very fond memories of having the "Gaiking" Shogun Warrior and spending countless hours playing with him. I guess it's a good thing that none of his missiles poked my eyes out or that I choked on one.

As time moves on, in this case 4 decades, you tend to forget about a lot of things you had when you were a kid. But when I recently got the collecting bug again, one of the first things I wanted to do was try and find as many of my childhood toys as I could, those that I could remember at least. While doing some internet browsing somewhere (either on eBay or a Facebook toy group) recently, I came across an image of this Gaiking Shogun Warrior and a series of images came flooding back to me. Specific images and memories of being a very little kid and playing with this behemoth of a toy. This is the one I had to have because this is the one I specifically remember having. Lucky for me, Gaiking is one of the easier ones to come across these days, and he's one of the few with very little parts or attachments to keep track of. So my hunt was on, and luckily for me, this was right around tax season, so I had a little extra money to burn through that I set aside for a special occasion.

Original Box
It took me a while but I eventually came across one (this very one pictured above to be exact) on eBay. I could tell he was just a dealer, flipper or reseller and wasn't from his personal collection so he didn't really have any sentimental attachments to it, which was reflected in the price. I hoped I could talk him down a bit though since I knew he was incomplete (missing the missiles) and did not have the original box. I gave him an offer and said if he accepted it, I would pay immediately and he did. A few short days later this big guy was in my hands, expertly packed.

One of the first things I noticed was that for a 40 year old toy, he was in excellent shape. One of the biggest issues with these guys is that the stickers tend to wear off, peel or fade in time. And they all have stickers on them except for Godzilla and Rodan. But the stickers on this one barely looked aged, which was awesome. These Shogun Warriors are so huge in the collectors market now that there are those who make reproduction and replacement stickers for these guys now, so if you ever need to fix them, there are a few places you can easily purchase them from now. But this guy only has a few and they're still in great shape. What I did notice though was that he didn't have any of his missiles, of which there are 6 total for him: 2 on his chest (nipples?) that shoot out with the push of a button and 2 each secured on each shoulder. These shoulder ones are mainly for decoration but also to replace the ones on his chest after you shoot them. But just like the stickers, there is a company that specifically makes replacement missiles for all Shogun Warriors, along with various other parts should you need them, and they're a life-saver. Sure you could spend countless hours and many of your hard-earned dollars trying to track down original Gaiking missiles, but replacement missiles are just as good and best of all, they're brand new and are 100% identical to the originals. You can order replacement missiles and a whole lot of other attachments and "key" pieces that easily get lost over time at Shogun Plastics Each part is Made-to-Order so just send them a message on their "Contact" page to place your order, which is what I did to get my 6 replacement missiles, making him 100% complete, minus the original box. If you know of anyone who makes reproduction boxes for these, PLEASE let me know. I would love to order one.
My personal Gaiking Shogun Warrior with replacement missiles

So there you go. Ultimately I got Gaiking for less than what he typically goes for, and the best part is he is in such great shape and I didn't have to hunt down a ton of missing parts and accessories. Now if I can only get either an original or a reproduction box....

I got a lot of very helpful and useful information regarding these at a killer site called For some more in-depth info on everything Shogun Warriors related, you can also visit another rad site called

Final thought. It blows my mind that these monsters retailed for just $13.99 back in the late 70's. I just can't believe it. 

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