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Shogun Warriors were a line of toys, licensed by Mattel during the late 1970s that consisted of a series of imported Japanese robots all based on then-popular giant robot anime shows. They were originally manufactured in three sizes, the 24-inch (610 mm) plastic versions, the 3.5-inch (89 mm) diecast metal versions and the slightly taller but much more detailed and articulated 5" diecast versions. There were also several vehicles offered and a set that could be put together to form Combattra (Combattler V).

Shogun Warriors included the following

Cover of a Shogun Warriors comic featuring Combattler V and the Fantastic Four

Jumbo Size (21" - 24" tall polyethylene)

Die-cast Action Figures (5" tall painted or chromed white metal)

Die-cast 2-in-1 Figures (5-6" tall painted or chromed white metal)

Die-cast Collector Figures (3" tall painted or chromed white metal)

Die-cast Vehicles (painted or chromed white metal)

  • Varitank
  • Solar Saucer
  • Vertilift
  • Shigcon Tank
  • Shigcon Jet
  • Sky Arrow
  • Daimos Truck
  • Bazoler
  • Nessar
  • Kondar
  • Cargosaur
  • Heli-Capter
  • Grand Car
  • Sky Jet
  • Jetcar
  • Dangard Launcher
  • Rydoto
  • Liabe
  • Grandizer Saucer (European Market)

Die-cast U-Combine Combatra Vehicles (painted or chromed white metal)

  • Battlejet
  • Battle Clasher
  • Battle Tank
  • Battle Marine
  • Battle Craft

The most attractive features on these toys were the spring loaded launcher weapons such as missiles, star shuriken, and battleaxes. Some robots were able to launch their fists. The later diecast versions of these toys were also attractive for the ability to transform into different shapes. Raydeen, for instance, was changeable into a birdlike spaceship. These "convertible" editions were the precursors to the "Transformers" line of toy robots but unlike the later toyline it was not unusual for minor dissasembly to be required to achieve the secondary form. There was even a robot named Megatron in issue #18 of the comic, then the name was used multipe times for the leader of the evil Decepticons from Transformers. Also, the second form was not always an apparently useful one, a "giant skull" for instance.

Like certain other toylines of the 70s, the Shogun Warriors came under pressure due to safety concerns regarding their spring loaded weapons features. Children would launch the weapons and hit other children or pets in the eye, or else they would swallow the plastic missiles. Toy manufacturers were facing new regulations due to reported child injuries as a result of playing with these toys. Consequently, many toy companies were forced to remodel existing toylines with child safe variations (such as spring loaded "action" missiles that would remain attached to the toy). For this reason, as well as decreasing sales, the Shogun Warriors toyline disappeared by 1980.

Several of the anime from this toyline were seen in the 80s as part of Jim Terry's Force Five series.

Shogun Warriors Comics

Shogun Warriors was licensed in 19791980 for a 20-issue series by Marvel Comics, which was written by Doug Moench and featured art by Herb Trimpe. In the comic, the Shogun Warriors were created by a mysterious group called the Followers of the Light. Human operators were chosen from all around the world to operate the massive robots in order to battle evil.

Marvel was only able to license the following three Shogun Warriors for the comic:

  • Raydeen (piloted by Richard Carson, American stuntman)
  • Combatra (piloted by Genji Odashu, Japanese test pilot)
  • Dangard Ace (piloted by Ilongo Savage, an oceanographer from Madagascar).

The series is firmly rooted in the Marvel Universe, as evidenced by their interactions with Doctor Demonicus in issues #12-14 and the Fantastic Four in the last two issues of the series. Issue #15 was a fill-in issue written by Steven Grant with art by Mike Vosburg. The series took a dramatic turn with issue #16, as the Shogun Warriors' mentors were destroyed by the Primal One and his followers. This alien force decided that Earth's technology had outpaced its morality, and so it was their duty to destroy the Shogun Warriors as well as other powerful humans, including Reed Richards and Tony Stark.

Though he never appeared in the comic series, Red Ronin (a robot created for Marvel's Godzilla comic) was mentioned occasionally and was frequently talked about in the letters pages.

External links

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