Sunday, April 23, 2017

Repairing a Mattel Shogun Warriors Godzilla Lever



Recently there have been several ads on eBay regarding the repair of the Godzilla Lever - the red stick protruding from the back of the Mattel Godzilla's head that projects the "tongue" of flame. The first Godzilla I ever owned, purchased at an estate sale back in the 90's for $20, had a broken lever - there was just enough to friction-grab with a finger to make the flame but still, a defect. Since then I've owned about a half dozen Godzillas will broken levers - currently I have three. Initially I thought about buying one each of those offered on eBay (only two at the time - since then a third option has been offered) but settled on the one offered by Derik Larson of Shogun Plastics. I've purchased from Derik before - his missile replacements are the best you can buy, in my opinion and an improvement over those offered by Popy and later Mattel.

These are the current ads:

Ad #1: Premium Replacement Lever for TOHO 1977 Mattel Shogun Warriors Godzilla by seller megos_and_movies

 


***Premium Replacement lever to install in your flaming tongue mechanism! Never before offered until me!! Original Design; not a recast!!

If you’re here looking, then you already know you need this premium manufactured part for your Vintage 1977 TOHO Godzilla. This part was meticulously designed in CAD software (not an undersized recast) and 3d printed. For the purists of the hobby, to prevent fraud, the part does not look exactly as the original; but it functions exactly the same and is much stronger. I have received great praise from my part regarding all aspects. Plus, because it is not a shrunken recast, mine fits proper without modification because its tolerance is true. Don't be fooled by a exact reproduction recast - it is smaller than the original. This sale is ONLY for the replacement lever as seen in the photo with the tape measure. The flame assembly and Godzilla are only photographed to illustrate what it looks like installed. Feel free to ask any questions. I will assist the best I can if you need help installing.

*Note - The response to this part has been greatly appreciated. If you have a 1st Gen head with the three visible plug holes on his leftside, the head will need separated differently than a 2nd Gen head and is more challenging. I also offer installation service, at additional cost, if you require it. Just look at my other eBay items for sale.
It goes without saying, if you buy this part, please be advised some novice mechanical abilities may be required. To ensure 100% satisfaction, I would ask you open your head before buying one of my parts - that way when you receive your purchase, all you have to do is assemble and Play!
My Notes on Ad #1:
This is an interesting design - looks to have been a CAD copy of the original with an extended lever 3D printed. In my mind a bit clunky but functional - it's also the first attempt to fix a common problem, so kudos to the seller. There's a bit in the ad that's misleading "Don't be fooled by a exact reproduction recast - it is smaller than the original." - I believe this was added once the second version (Ad #2 below) was released by a competitor - more info in my notes below.

Ad #2: Godzilla Replacement Tongue Flame Lever-Mattel Shogun Warriors- 1977 Toho - NEW! by seller



Mattel Jumbo Godzilla

Tongue Flame Lever Replacement
Toho 1977 - Shogun Warriors Jumbo Machinder

Exact Replica of the original lever!
Looks just like the original and works just like the original.
Lever is the thicker reinforced version from the 3rd version.
Mattel revised the lever on the 3rd version Godzilla and made it thicker
and reinforced it.

Lever still fits all versions.
Replacement is Made of high impact strong plastic
Cast from the original lever!

Look at the pictures and judge for yourself.

Get the lever with the smooth surfaces of the original,
Get the Lever with the Rich deep color of the original.


My Notes on Ad #2:
As indicated in the first ad, this is indeed a recast of the original lever, using the reinforced design from the later version Godzilla (it has the side bits that make it harder to break). I compared this to the original lever and it's almost imperceptibly smaller (it's common for recast parts to be slightly smaller due to shrinkage, especially when using inferior materials - however this lever is made from premium plastic and has almost no shrinkage - about the thickness of a piece of paper or from a digital gauge, about 50 microns). The plastic approximates the original PVC but is made from more of a nylon material that should improve the durability even more than the reinforcements - it's not like most collectors will be playing with Godzilla in the backyard where he can be dropped - I think that's how most levers were broken, during rough play). The color is quite a good match also.

Ad #3: Premium SLIP ON Lever handle for TOHO 1977 Mattel Shogun Warriors Godzilla by seller megos_and_movies



***Premium all NEW DESIGN, SLIP ON lever handle to install on your flaming tongue mechanism! Never before offered by any other seller!! Original Design, NO head disassembly required!!

If you’re here looking, then you already know you need this premium manufactured part for your Vintage 1977 TOHO Godzilla. This part was meticulously designed in CAD software Don't be fooled by an exact Lever reproduction recast - it is smaller than the original. This sale is ONLY for the replacement SLIP ON lever. handle. This lever handle has been installed on Gen1 and Gen2 heads successfully, without any disassembly of the head!! There will be rare cases where the internal gear of the flame mechanism moved when initially broken years ago and that would prevent proper application.. Please make sure before buying my lever that your broken flame mech lever is in the top position. The SLIP ON lever handle has a very tight tolerance, yet easy installation. In rare cases of Gen1 heads, the tollerance may be snug and when combined with a weak flame mech spring, the lever will install, but the return action of the lever will be reduced.  For best results, pull the tongue out a little; this will move the broken lever into a better position and allow you to slide the handle down over the broken lever stem. This item is intended to let you work the flame action, but not abuse it. The tolerance is within microns and does not require any adhesive.

My Notes on Ad #3:
This is an intriguing design as it allows for a fix without taking the head apart. More on that in a bit. I'm not sure if you need to use a bit of glue or if the friction fit is enough. I think this is a better design than the seller's original offering as it provides an alternative to get the toy working and it foregoes taking the head off and apart.

The Repair

As already mentioned, I decided to go with the second option (the third wasn't available) and contacted Derik for three levers (I also bought a couple of other items - like a replacement shooting fist that allows other fists to be attached to Godzilla - I love it!). Here's a summary of the steps involved in doing this repair:
  1. Remove Godzilla's head
  2. Separate the head's two halves
  3. Remove the mechanism
  4. Remove the lever
  5. Replace lever
  6. Put head back together
  7. Replace head

Repair Details:

1. Remove Godzilla's head - this is the simplest as it requires the removal of the four screws.



2. Separate the head's two halves - there are two different versions of the head - the earliest has plugs hiding screws - the hardest part is removing the plugs without damaging them.


Head with plugs: You will went to use a small metal probe or a micro flat-bit screw driver - in either case you may need to nudge the side of the plug with the tip of an X-acto blade. Once removed the head is easy to separate.

Glued Head: The later heads were glued together - you will want to gently scribe the surfaces to loosen the two halves so the plastic doesn't break - I use the tip of a new X-acto blade, running over the seam until I feel it separate. Be careful not to slip and damage the surface (or cut yourself!). Most of the glue is around the mouth and neck joints. Once it's loose all the way around you can pull the head apart - the pins are glued so they will break but you'll re-glue them when you put it back together. If they are stubborn you may need to use something to pry to head apart or cut apart the pins at the joint line from inside the head.

Godzilla Head - Glue Areas and Pins

3. Remove the Mechanism - the mechanism just lifts out - take a photo so you can get it back in the same place.

Godzilla Head Halves - Note the Placement

Godzilla Head - Old Lever Mechanism

Godzilla Head - New Lever Mechanism
4. Remove the lever - I first tried probing it with a micro-screwdriver and don't recommend this - the pin holding the lever into the assembly is knurled and you won't have much success this way - you can probably pry the lever off with a pair of pliers but you could damage the assembly. Better to use a 5/32" punch which fits the pin exactly. Make sure you have something sturdy supporting the two halves (I used a slightly opened vise in my shop). Don't have a punch? You can use a small nail (cut off the point).

DON'T DO THIS!

Godzilla Head Mechanism - Remove the Pin with a 5/32" Punch

Godzilla Head Mechanism - Remove the Pin with a 5/32" Punch

Use a vise or something sturday for support

5. Replace lever - make sure that the gears and the hole for the pin align and press it in. If it fits too loosely you may want to put a dab of epoxy in the lever hole. Make sure you do a test that the mechanism works before putting the head back together.

Align the gears and hole

Replace the pin




6. Put head back together - align everything up and test fit. Once you're happy you can add a few dabs of super glue and use a couple of rubber bands as clamps.




7. Replace head - the head screws back in much the way it came out. Put the screws in half way before tightening - you want to reuse the same holes in the head and body.

-- 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 © 1997-2017 John Eaton and/or contributors unless otherwise stated. If there are any comments or objections, please contact John Eaton, by clicking here.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Mid-April 2017 - Jumbo Machinder Updates



I've only had time to do a few things on my pages:

Hope you enjoy them - still plenty more to come.

-- John

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Shogun Warrior Updates Early April

Capsule Robo G Chest Detail

Here are the updates up to April 2, 2017:
Hope you enjoy them. As usual, if you have any comments or anything to add please write me.

-- 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 © 1997-2017 John Eaton and/or contributors unless otherwise stated. If there are any comments or objections, please contact John Eaton, by clicking here.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Jumbo Machinder Updates Mid-March

Popy Gaiking Deluxe Box Contents
Managed to snag a Popy Gaiking Deluxe Jumbo Machinder. This has been added to the collection and to his own page. Also added some comparison shots to the Uni-five version and expanded the Mattel Gaiking page with new photos and content. It's basically an all Gaiking update!

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 © 1997-2017 John Eaton and/or contributors unless otherwise stated. If there are any comments or objections, please contact John Eaton, by clicking here. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Bandai Page Updates


Jumbo Astro Megazord Box Front

Added new Bandai Pages for:

Jumbo Dino Stegazord


Jumbo Delta Max Megazord
 -- 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 © 1997-2017 John Eaton and/or contributors unless otherwise stated. If there are any comments or objections, please contact John Eaton, by clicking here.

Joelanta/Toylanta Show Report

Hanging with the Batmobile
Met up with Isidro Alba (who makes some awesome Shogun Warrior stickers) at Joelanta/Toylanta 2017 at the Marriott Century Center (several shows such as Treklanta and the Wes Tillander quarterly Comic Book show are held here). The annual Toylanta show started as a small GI Joe show but has expanded over the years to include many other toy lines - most prominently Transformers but you can find pretty much anything here. Because of this the show has morphed into the more generic Toylanta brand to broaden the scope.

This show is really packed with the hotel parking overflowing to the lot across the street. It occupies a series of rooms, some interconnected and some not, in the back of the hotel. I think the show has really gotten too big for this venue as there are several choke-points where it's difficult to get through the crowds - there are also vendors displaying goods in some of the hallways. There's a wide hall where the guests share table space with several sellers - the GI Joe highlight this year was comics legend Larry Hama who designed many of the characters for the Real American Heroes comic and animated TV series.

I ran into quite a few friends and toy dealers I've known for as long as 20 years - it's hard to get it out of your blood, it seems. My old buddy George Felix (spideegf) was setup with long-time Major Matt Mason collector Rick Porter (framer4u) - they had most of the vintage toys that were non-GI Joe on hand including quite a few Matt Mason rarities as would be expected. There were several booths of interesting items - it was a bit too crowded to take many photos so I deferred - I did get this show of a Barbie Dream House for the mid-mod interior:

Mid-Mod Barbie Dream Home

As for Shogun Warriors and Japanese toys, I only saw three booths of note: On one table was a first-issue Mattel Mazinga with both swords, otherwise missing the Condor and missiles. The missile banks on the legs were also busted up, which is fairly common as these bits become brittle with age. Seller wanted $125 for the figure which seemed a bit high to me but it may be on target for a beginning/asking price. The guy had no idea that it was a first issue and really didn't care unless it impacted the price.

A second guy who had a mix of vintage and new toys had a really ratty Raydeen on the top shelf - missing the shooting arm - the left arm was missing the shield spike - seems that's fairly common - it was so blackened by dirt or ash that it was difficult to tell what condition it was in otherwise. I spotted someone walking out with it and asked what he paid - $15 which I thought was fair but wouldn't want to go through having to clean it up.

The third guy I spotted had most of the Bandai Creations Power Rangers jumbos on a top shelf with boxes. I asked to see a couple and ended up buying both - they were complete and in decent shape with original inserts, bags and instructions. I paid $30 for the Delta Max and $90 for the Dino Stegazord. It seems the recent sales of Jumbo Megazords have been trending upward with this figure in demand (for some reason). Since these figures were retailed for $50 (with a discounted price of around $30 at Walmart) when new, I thought it was a fair price. There does appear to be some paint touch ups on the Delta Max but that may be from the factory.

Jumbo Delta Max Megazord

Jumbo Dino Stegazord
The only other thing I purchased at the con was a Flash Gorden on the Seas of Mongo hardcover - this classic Alex Raymond color hardcover was something missing from my collection. This edition included a King Feature's letter and was probably issued as an advance-reading copy. I paid $15 for it which was the publishers price. There were several sellers with other Robotech style toys, a Godzilla seller and lots of Transformers (mostly new stuff). Of course the highlight is all the 1/6th scale GI Joe and related toys - more here than just about anywhere else you might visit. This has indeed become an awesome toy show.

Me and Dennis Widner

The thrill of course is hanging out with friends and talking about collecting - and one highlight was running into Dennis Widner, The Toy Surgeon (thetoysurgeon) - this guy was THE GUY to go to for an accurate and seamless restoration of the Major Matt Mason and Colorforms Alien figures (he would rewire and repaint to new). He disappeared many years ago and it was fantastic hanging out with him. Quite the talented guy.

Isidro checking out the Batmobile
In any case, I had a blast hanging with Isidro Alba, Rick Porter, George Felix, Dennis Widner, Shannon Stewart, Jeff List, Dale Culpepper, Anthony Taylor, Buddy Finethy and all my other friends.

-- John

Saturday, March 4, 2017

March Updates

LJN Voltron Giant Commander with Blazing Sword

Updates for March 4th

This weeks update includes one of my favorite JMs, the LJN Voltron Giant Commander. This figure is almost identical to the Popy GoLion version and probably the closest we'll ever get to owning one - it's also a fairly good copy lacking the weighted feet and firing hands with missile banks (my example above is missing the wings). I've also added the Popy XX Jumbo Machinder Secret Case - a really amazing accessory.

Finally, after a conversation with Steven Kim I realized that my Mattel Mazinga page was deserving of new images and updated content - lots of errors on that page. I've also added some information on the Canadian Mazinga (white missiles) and the really odd Mattel Mazinga Z issued in Europr.


Case Contents

A few fun photos:

I end up taking a lot of miscellaneous photos that never make it to these pages - I thought I'd start putting them into the updates. Enjoy!

Aphrodite A Detail

Poseidon in line

Starscream KO

T28 Upgrade!
 -- John

 All Mattel images and captions are copyright Mattel, all Popy images and captions are copyright Popy/Bandai, all LJN images and captions are copyright LJN or the current copyright holder and used without permission. All other content, including images and editorial, is Copyright © 1997-2017 John Eaton and/or contributors unless otherwise stated. If there are any comments or objections, please contact John Eaton, by clicking here.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

New Super7 Shogun Figures Line

I woke up this morning with all the Shogun Warrior Facebook groups all aflutter about the new Super7 Shogun Warriors Figure line presented at the 2017 New York Toy Fair...

Super7 Shogun Warrior Action Figures 2017 NY Toy Fair


These prototype test shots are quite handsome, even in gray. The graphics are quite like the packaging for the original Shogun Warriors (note that Super7 must be working with the current license holder). Earlier Super7 produces the Super Shogun Star Wars figures - new jumbo machinders of the Stormtrooper and Boba Fett, in several variations (these tend to debut at the Star Wars Celebration event but can still be purchased directly from Super7 - with the exception of the first Storemtrooper - so please don't pay those exorbitant aftermarket prices).

From the photos the first release appears to include:
  • Great Mazinga (Great Mazinger)
  • Garada K7 (Mazinger Z Villain)
  • Getta Dragun
  • Dublas M2 (Mazinger Z Villain)
  • Mazinga-Z (Mazinger Z)
  • Rokuron Q9 (Mazinger Z Villain)
It's an interesting selection introducing new characters to the US and perhaps echoing the current sofubi release of the classic Mazinger Z villains in 55 cm by companies like Mandrake and others in retro-styled boxes. For myself, I can't wait to once again hold new-packaged Shogun Warrior figures!

From other photos it appears that Super7 will also provide new M.U.S.C.L.E Shogun Warrior figures - an interesting tie-in sure to delight the Shogun Warrior community!

These are the other photos provided by Super7's Instagram:

Shogun Warrior Action Figures:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BQslG68Aoli/?tagged=nytoyfair2017
https://www.instagram.com/p/BQqSo4SgOwG/?tagged=nytoyfair2017


Release date from a few sources is 2017 Spring or Summer. I can't wait!

-- John

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Popy Jumbo Machinder Updates

 Popy Jumbo Machinder Updates

I had a chance to get the following pages online:
That pretty much wraps up my current Popy collection (barring doubles). I'll update the list as the collection expands.

-- 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 © 1997-2017 John Eaton and/or contributors unless otherwise stated. If there are any comments or objections, please contact John Eaton, by clicking here.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Jumbo Machinder February 2017 Updates

No theme to today's update - still trying to get caught up on images I took a few weeks ago. I did manage to update another Popy Jumbo Machinder page - this time...





I also got some additional images and content up for the following JM Accessories:

 

As always, if anyone has any additional information to add, please contact me.

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 © 1997-2017 John Eaton and/or contributors unless otherwise stated. If there are any comments or objections, please contact John Eaton, by clicking here.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

More Jumbo Accessory Updates



Finally had some time to publish to the Jumbo Accessories page some photos I took over the holidays along with additional content describing more of the Popy Jumbo Accessories I have in my collection:

As always, thanks to Matt Alt for the useful translations - also, if anyone has any additional information to add, please contact me.

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 © 1997-2017 John Eaton and/or contributors unless otherwise stated. If there are any comments or objections, please contact John Eaton, by clicking here.

Monday, January 2, 2017

More Updates Including the JM Accessories Pages and Goldorak

I took more photos and updated the Goldorak page - seemed like a good time since I took many photos comparing Goldorak to Grendizer.



Updated Goldorak Page

Also Updated the old Jumbo Fists page - now called Jumbo Accessories, with images and new content for the following:


Also created separate pages for Unifive JM releases:




 All Mattel images and captions are copyright Mattel, all Popy, Bandai, Banpresto images and captions are copyright Popy/Bandai and used without permission. All other content, including images and editorial, is Copyright © 1997-2017 John Eaton and/or contributors unless otherwise stated. If there are any comments or objections, please contact John Eaton, by clicking here.