Saturday, June 16, 2018

Some Notes on Boxes



I've had a chance recently to look at box details and would like to share what I've found.

Popy Boxes (lids)

The Popy box lids (with the exception of the Robot Factory toys which were shipped in thinner boxes that opened on the ends) are all made the same way, with the end-flaps extended (generally printed with the same image that's covered by the sides or just printed black if that's the predominant end-color), glued to the sides so they'll still fold-down flat. Those diagonal creases you see on the sides are so that the boxes can be made/printed and stored flat until the toy is added. Some notes:
  1. The first figure produced has "No. 2600" on the lid at the top - this is/was presumably the stock number.
  2. For some reason the next group of Jumbo Machinders all share the same "No. 2850" on the lid. Also, each of the five had numbering (I'm guessing the idea was to prompt kids into buying the whole series) - I don't believe they numbering continued though - note that this is also why Uni-Five numbered their Jumbo Machinders, to emulate the original Popy scheme. This includes: Mazinger Z (#1), Kamen Rider V3 (#2), Ultraman Taro (#3), Red Baron (#4) and Kamen Rider X (#5) - all were released in 1973 culminating in Great Mazinger (but for some reason his box lacks the numbering)
  3. The sides of all the long boxes are printed right-side up when laying the box on its back (so you can read it when the box is flat, lid up). 
  4. The ends are typically identical while the sides can be custom.
  5. Early boxes contain an accessory booklet having prototype illustrations of the XX accessories instead the production toy (XX-2 is particularly weird, looking like a fist with a giant light-up finger).

Earliest Popy "No. 2600" Mazinger Z Box Lid


Mazinger Z Box Comparison - "No. 2850" added to box on right - Also note the "#1"


Popy Red Baron Box Lid - Note the #4

Popy Liger Box Lid - Note No Numbering

Popy Boxes (bottoms)

The initial release boxes have a yellow pigment added to the interior (presumably to the cardboard insert also). There are also some physical properties that are different:
  1. Yellow pigment
  2. Ends have the flap extended from the sides and then they are stapled flush top-and-bottom (which adds some reinforcement to the overall box and prevents the pointy heads and wheels from busting through during transport). These are also stapled along the edges which may be why they stopped making them this way, as it increased assembly time.
  3. This seems to be the same box bottom used for the entire No. 2850 run (which includes the first five boxed Jumbo Machinders.
  4. When Popy started marketing more Jumbos, they went to the more conventional style bottom where the ends extend and are glued to the sides. 
  5. Note that the cardboard corrugations run side-to-side in orientation to the length (perpendicular)
Earliest Yellow-pigmented Popy Box Bottom
 
Early Issue Popy Box Bottom

Later Issue Popy Box Bottom

Mattel Boxes (lids and bottoms)

In general all of the Mattel boxes are made consistently with with the later Popy boxes with a few exceptions:
  1. The first two-four Mattel Godzilla boxes were printed by Bandai (they are easy to spot because they have "20 INCHES TALL" printed on the front. There's an original release box and a later release box with a printers code - there are also Canadian versions of at least the first box (no printers code) that has French language.
  2. These Bandai boxes are put together the same way as the later Popy boxes - especially the bottoms (they have longer flaps) 
  3. Later Edition Godzilla boxes (there are at least two variants - the regular and the "bloody claw" version) have a differently constructed box bottom, with the cardboard for the ends extending and lapping over extended side pieces to create a triple-reinforcement (the weight of Godzilla must have caused issues in shipping).
  4. Note that of all the Shogun Warriors boxes Godzilla has the end nearest his head printed upside-down (when laying flat with the lid up the head-end is upside down).
  5. When Mattel makes a change to the text they will add a printers code - the stock number followed by a number string, to identify that the printing is different.

Mattel Godzilla - First Issue Canadian left, "Bloody Claw" later issue right -

Mattel Godzilla Printers Code

 That's all I have for now - need to add some additional photos for reference.

-- John

All Mattel images and captions are copyright Mattel, all Popy images and captions are copyright Popy/Bandai and used without permission. All other content, including images and editorial, is Copyright © 1997-2018 John Eaton and/or contributors unless otherwise stated. If there are any comments or objections, please contact John Eaton, by clicking here.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Updated Toynami Pages




Made some updates to the Toynami pages by adding the following:
Let me know what you think.

-- John

All Mattel images and captions are copyright Mattel; all Popy images and captions are copyright Popy/Bandai; all Funko, Super7 or Toynami images and captions are copyright by their respective license holders and as with the previous, used without permission. All other content, including images and editorial, is Copyright © 1997-2018 John Eaton and/or contributors unless otherwise stated. If there are any comments or objections, please contact John Eaton, by clicking here.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Page Updates for May 2018


 A few updates for May 2018


All Mattel images and captions are copyright Mattel; all Popy images and captions are copyright Popy/Bandai; all Funko, Super7 or Toynami images and captions are copyright by their respective license holders and as with the previous, used without permission. All other content, including images and editorial, is Copyright © 1997-2018 John Eaton and/or contributors unless otherwise stated. If there are any comments or objections, please contact John Eaton, by clicking here.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Before you Order from Venezuala Read This

I recently was glad to find a fairly minty Famosa Dragun for sale on eBay. It included the Famosa version of the Star Shooter along with a few stars and a decent looking box. This is/was probably the best condition example of this international Shogun Warriors variation I've seen so I bit.





I eagerly awaited arrival of the Dragun, knowing from past experience that it sometimes takes a bit of time to reach the US (it's taken in excess of 60 days for me to receive items from Mexico and a bit less from Brazil). Note the auction ended on January 22, 2017.

What I ordered

Here are the rest of the auction photos:












What I received

The package arrived on Feb 1 2018, so about 40 days which I didn't think was bad. The problem was with what I actually received:










Notice I only receive about half of the box bottom, the figure (with shooter) and a note indicating that the original package may have been damaged (English on one side and Spanish on the other). I reached out to the seller and filed a PayPal claim (note, if you can use PayPal and pay using an American Express card in case there are any issues - PayPal is usually pretty good to the buyer but when they aren't AmEx will always side with you as a card holder - so you won't be out the amount of purchase). The seller was apologetic and explained that DHL must have forced an inspection and that he would make it up to me. Lucky for me he had the box for a Famosa Gaiking - he sent me the box along with a handful of Famosa missiles so he made good on the sale.

I've since learned that it's fairly common for packages coming from Venezuala to be searched and if the packaging gets messed up, well tough. I think part of the problem are the weights in the legs (plastic sand-filled bottles) of these jumbo machinders - they look like drug packages and will cause these boxes to be opened and searched. In any case, this is my story so please use care when ordering from there. If you know someone in another country (like Uruguay or Peru) have the package sent there first then forwarded to yourself in the US - that's something that was recently recommended to me.

-- John

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Some Notes on Fists


From Left-to-Right: Popy Great Mazinger; US Mattel Mazinga 2nd version; Popy Daimos; US Mattel Daimos Comparison 1


Some Notes on Color and Sculpts


Troy Varker asked me to help him do some color matching - he had custom created a Daimos right "Open Hand" and wanted to get the color right. I lined up a few of fists from the collection and chose the best color match. From Left-to-Right: Popy Great Mazinger; US Mattel Mazinga 2nd version; Popy Daimos; US Mattel Daimos.

From Left-to-Right: Popy Great Mazinger; US Mattel Mazinga 2nd version; Popy Daimos; US Mattel Daimos Comparison 2

From Left-to-Right: Popy Great Mazinger; US Mattel Mazinga 2nd version; Popy Daimos; US Mattel Daimos Comparison 3

Notes in no particular order

I've known for some time that the difference between the Popy right Great Mazinger fist and the US Mattel Mazinga 2nd version  fists use different sculpts and have differing color - the US fist is has a larger enclosed hand and is a lighter navy blue (the Popy fist is very dark blue, almost black). What I noticed today is that the wing is also different - the Popy version is has a longer point, extending out further than the Mattel.

Upon closer examination of the Mattel Daimos fists, it's fairly obvious that it was cast from the Mazinga fist - the mold marks and sculpt are exactly the same (same fist) however the Daimos fist loses a little detail where the pinky finger curls under so I don't believe they are based on the same master. More likely the Mazinga fist was used for the initial casting then modified with the plunger (so the fist could be fired) along with the ring for the Daimos cubic cuff.

US Mattel Mazinga Right Fists: Left 1st Version, Right 2nd Version Color Comparison




To really get a good luck at the color differences, the fist on the left above is from a Mattel Mazinga 1st Issue (same as Popy Great Mazinger) and the right is from a Mattel Mazinga 2nd Issue. Notice the left is much darker - it almost looks black.

US Mazinga Left Compared to pair of Popy Great Mazinger Fists


For some further analysis, is you compare the fists to those that come with the ZZ-1 Accessory (yes both fists exist - you only get one per set but if you buy enough you'll find the matching pair to each fist), you'll see that the sculpt is completely different. The fist part matches the Popy GM fists but the find is longer and a bit thicker.

Dragun Variations

John Olson asked me about one of the fists on a Mattel Dragun he owns - it's sculpted completely different from those I've pictured in various posts. Note that it's the US Mattel 2nd Version (larger firing mechanism with saw-blades):

John Olson's Dragun


Notice the short base for the firing part - it's cut even and squared with the wrist which is quite different from the earlier Popy version and later Mattel versions.


These are the three variants that I have:

Popy Dragun and US Mattel 1st Version

US Mattel 2nd Version

US Mattel 3rd Version (no saw blades)
 The main differences that I've observed have more to do with the axe firing mechanism - the earlier version has an attachment plate one one side (the outside of the hand) while the later US Mattel version has a base that goes completely around the slit for the axe so it's in two pieces. I believe if the mechanism is removed it will be constructed a bite sturdier than the Popy version as most of the Mattel mods to shooters are an effort to improve the mechanics.
Popy and US Mattel 1st Version Dragun Axe Shooter

US Mattel Dragun 2nd Version  Axe Shooter

For the European Goldorak/Goldrake, the hands use a later mold so they are larger and a bit more bulbous than the original Grendizer. The Grendizer is also molded in slightly darker navy plastic and has an overall shorter length:

European Goldorak/Goldrake left, Popy Grendizer Right

European Goldorak/Goldrake left, Popy Grendizer Right

European Goldorak/Goldrake left, Popy Grendizer Right

Anyway, that rounds things up for now. I hope you find this useful.

-- John

All Mattel images and captions are copyright Mattel, all Popy, Banpresto, Unifive or Yutaka images and captions are copyright Popy/Bandai and used without permission. All other content, including images and editorial, is Copyright © 1997-2018 John Eaton and/or contributors unless otherwise stated. If there are any comments or objections, please contact John Eaton, by clicking here.