Dragun

Mattel Dragun 1st Release Boxed

Mattel No. 9858 Dragun!


In the past, most of my friends that collect Shogun Warriors like Dragun the best of the Mattel releases. Something about his bright red color or about the head spikes really appeals to people. The axe throwing hand and the disc shooter elevates this character to a new level - people just like to shoot things I guess. I believe that there are at least three release variations of Dragun with at least two box variations:

Mattel Dragun 3 Releases Comparison


Dragun First US Release

The first release was like the other Shogun Warrior figure initial releases: Soft head, varying screw/rivet location and wheel trucks molded into the bottom of the feet. Small Japanese language decals are on the chest and shooting hand (instructions!). The Southern Cross (aka "Star Shooter") straps onto the arm (which incidentally doesn't have the two grooves for the later shooters to clip-onto) with a strap/buckle arrangement. The first version comes with 10 projectile "shuriken" (later versions only come with 6) and 3 axes (as a note, some of the first version axes have a spiked mace coming out of the top while later versions have a smooth ball and the handle is a bit thicker where it fits into the throwing mechanism - there's also some color variation to the blue, earlier is a bit darker). The boots have inverted "V" decals and the back of the gloves have spinning Saw blades projecting towards the rear. I believe that the initial Mattel Dragun release is exactly the same as the Popy release, except "Made in Japan" has been added to the back. At some point some additional copyright information was added so some versions have a litany of copyrights.

Mattel Dragun 1st Release Box

 

Mattel Dragun 1st Release Box Front Detail


Mattel Dragun 1st Release Box Side Detail


Mattel Dragun 1st Release Box Contents Detail


Mattel Dragun 1st Release Box Side


Mattel Dragun 1st Release Box Side Detail

Mattel Dragun 1st  Release Front

Mattel Dragun 1st  Release Front Saw

Mattel Dragun 1st Release Back


Mattel Dragun 1st Release Side


Mattel Dragun 1st Release Side 2

Mattel Dragun 1st Release Head Detail

 

Mattel Dragun 1st Release Chest Detail


Mattel Dragun 1st Release Right Fist (no Grooves)


Mattel Dragun 1st Release Spinning Saw Blades


Mattel Dragun 1st Release Axe Fist Instructions


Mattel Dragun 1st Release Leg Stickers


Mattel Dragun 1st Release Wheel Details



Dragun Second US Release

The second release also has spinning Saw blades projecting from the backs of Dragun's forearms but the head is made from a bit harder vinyl and is less likely to bend. The Southern Cross (aka "Star Shooter") looses its strap and gains a large plastic clip. The clip slides into two grooves on the right arm. This version has two screws attaching the wheel trucks to its feet. This version sometimes has the Japanese label above the belt - this gets lost in later versions. There's also a bit of a size difference - the 2nd and 3rd are a bit taller due to the change of the wheel trucks and the slightly different sculpt on the head. On the back the "Made in Japan" has been expanded with a lot more information.

Mattel Dragun 2nd Release Box Contents

Mattel Dragun 2nd Release Head


Mattel Dragun 2nd Release Chest


Mattel Dragun 2nd Release Copyright


Mattel Dragun Fist Comparison


Mattel Dragun 1st Release Head Comparison


Mattel Dragun 2nd Release Head Comparison


Mattel Dragun 2nd Release Star Shooter Groove


Mattel Dragun 2nd Release Axe Fist Detail


Mattel Dragun 2nd Release Wheel Trucks


Mattel Dragun 2nd Release Height Comparison


Mattel Dragun 2nd Release Head Comparison


Mattel Dragun 2nd Release Fist Comparison


Mattel Dragun 2nd Release Leg Comparison


Mattel Dragun 2nd Release Wheel Comparison



The box for first (and second?) release Dragun reads:
  • Star Projectiles
  • Fist holds battle-axes
  • Shoulder spikes
  • Head rotates 360 degrees
  • Star shooter
  • Arms raise & lower
  • Buzz saws
  • Leg Rollers
No Batteries! No Electricity!
Star Shooter detaches! Strap it to your own arm!
CONTENTS: DRAGUN™ warrior 23 1/2" tall, with 3 battle-axes and detachable star shooter plus 10 projectiles & accessories. Arms are detachable. Comes FULLY ASSEMBLED. Axes not for use with all SHOGUN© Warriors.

©Toei Doga
Distributed by Mattel, Inc. Hawthorne, CA 90520. MADE IN JAPAN. Manufactured by Bandai Co. Ltd.
I'm not sure if there's a second release box variation that leaves off the "Strap it to your own arm!" - if there is I haven't seen it - I suspect that there isn't as the later, 3rd version box still has the same text. Note that this version is custom to the US market with the indents on the arm for the Star Shooter - no Japanese release has these (the shooter came with the Popy ZZ-3 accessory so the US version is completely different - as it was made generically for any Popy jumbo, it needed the strap to fit the various arm variations in the figures there).

Dragun Third US Release

The third release simplifies the figure with the removal of the Spinning Saw blades - initially I thought the fourth release added the metallic lightening bolt decals on the fronts of the lower legs but I've since revised my opinion - any variant "in between" is probably a slight production change.

Mattel Dragun 2nd Box Version


Mattel Dragun 2nd Box Printers Codes


Mattel Dragun 2nd Box Contents


Mattel Dragun 2nd Box Details


Mattel Dragun 2nd Box, 3rd Version Figure


Mattel Dragun 3rd Release Front


Mattel Dragun 3rd Release Back

Mattel Dragun 1st to 2nd Box Comparison Contents


Mattel Dragun 1st to 2nd Box Comparison  Details


Mattel Dragun 1st Release Inside Right Fist
Mattel Dragun 2nd Release Inside Right Fist



The third release Dragun box has text changes, although the images are the same. The printers codes: R6493> P643>9858" are added to the front while the sides have been completely edited to read:
  • Arms raise & lower
  • Shooting stars
  • Leg Rollers
  • Fist holds battle-axes
  • Head rotates 360 degrees
  • Arms raise & lower Shoulder spikes
  • Star shooter
No Batteries! No Electricity!
Star Shooter detaches! Strap it to your own arm!
CONTENTS: DRAGUN™ warrior 23 1/2" tall, with 3 battle-axes and star shooter plus 6 shooting stars. Arms are detachable. Comes FULLY ASSEMBLED. Axes not for use with all SHOGUN© Warriors.

©Y. & K. Toel
Distributed by Mattel, Inc. Hawthorne, CA 90520. MADE IN JAPAN. Manufactured by Bandai Co. Ltd.
I believe all these production changes are there to save money as production costs increase. I haven't gotten a good idea of the sales figures for this line but hope at some point to figure that out - I'm sure they exist somewhere.

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