Mattel Astro Robots

Mattel Astro Robot Retailer Catalog Ad (found online)
Shortly after the initial run of Mattel's Shogun Warriors toys in Europe, Mattel Italy released a series of toys in response to the popularity of the TV release of the anime, Blocker Gundan 4 Machine Blaster. The image above seems to be from an early 80's Mattel retailer catalog - I'm not sure which as I don't have a copy (the image was borrowed from a google search).

The anime was based on a common giant robot theme - four guys each piloted a spaceship that would become the brains for four giant robots. These would fight in individual combat until they needed some more oomph - that's when the four robots would link up in some circular configuration to create havoc-inducing tori that in turn destroyed their enemies. Here's an Italian-language intro:

 Mattel supported the Italian version of the cartoon with the release of four die-cast figures and the jumbo machinder figures above - notice that they are basically a mashup of various existing Shogun Warrior toys with new heads approximating the figures from the series (legs from Raydeen, torsos from Goldrake, etc but interestingly molded in new color plastic). Each also had an interesting weapon. Each robot is numbered:

  1. Gundan I - Robocles (Terremoto Stellare)
  2. Gundan II - Bull Caesar (Sfondamento Galattico)
  3. Gundan III - Sandaioh (Turbine Solare)
  4. Gundan IV - Boss Palder (Tempesta Spaziale)

There were a few interesting things about this toy release - notice in the ad above there's a "Shogun" logo (in the top catalog image) that takes part of the then finished Shogun Warrior logo. This didn't appear to be used, at least on the Astro Robot boxes which use a similar typeface "Astro" in red and "Robot" in white and as a departure from the previous Shogun Warriors, sold in lightweight windowed chipboxes. I don't own any examples but here's another image I got from somewhere.

Box image found online
These appear to have only been released in Italy, based on the Italian box text and lack of alternate languages common on the Shogun Warriors jumbo releases. I've been told they are very difficult to acquire, especially with weapons and more so in boxes (the boxes are somewhat fragile). I'm actively seeking a Sandaio (Turbine Solare) loose and any boxed examples. Thus far I've managed to acquire 3 of the 4 but only one has its weapon:

Mattel Astro Robot Trio I own
Mattel Astro Robot Boss Palder
Mattel Astro Robot Robocles
Mattel Astro Robot Bull Caesar
Some of the figures have harken borrowed from Goldrake and each has a large club or axe accessory. I love how the various bits are molded in new plastic - check the yellow and green missile-launching fists.The heads are rather cheaply and quickly molded, not much detail for the most part.

If you have any additional information please contact me (or even better, if you have a Sandaioh for sale or any boxed examples for sale).

Collection Shot I found Online
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