Mattel No. 9860 Mazinga!
Mazinga was one of the first three Shogun Warriors (Raideen, Mazinga and Dragun) released in the US in 1977. Both the Japanese Mazinger and Great Mazinger robots were controlled by a pilot who would fly his plane into a docking port that made up their craniums. The Mattel toy reflected this with a removable plane in the first two versions (called "Mazinga" on the box), and an un-removable one in the later versions (renamed "Great Mazinga" on the box). Mazinga came with two swords (even though he could only hold one), and a rocket firing fist (originally sold as a separate accessory in Japan).
The figure initially came with 14 rockets with rocket holders on his shoulders and legs. Later versions came with only 10. As with the other initial release Shogun Warriors, Mazinga underwent several running changes during its production: (As a note, each version's boxes usually reflected the interior toy's configuration, came with small cardboard inserts, instructions (rarely seen) and a Mattel warranty card). Here is a comparison of First, Second and Third Mattel US release figures.
|First, Second and Third Releases|
Popy Great Mazinger Japanese Release
Prior to the Mattel US release, Mazinga was released as Great Mazinger in Japan. I'm not quite sure how many running changes were made with this release - the example that I have is pretty much identical to the Mattel Mazinga release except the left fist is winged like the right fist - it's also a darker navy blue (almost black) like the Mattel First US release. Also on the back it doesn't have "Made in Japan" which seems to have been added to the export version. There's a very rare first Popy issue relase that has a different head - the points are taller and there are two sets of wing indents on each side. I believe the Jet Condor is also a little different from the second, more common issue.
Mazinga First US Release
|Mattel Mazinga First US Release|
The first release may be identified by several features: The head mold is much more defined and pointed with an unusual arrow shaped hole on top for the removable plane. The right, winged hand is molded in a navy blue while the firing hand has 4 screws holding it together as opposed to the second release with 3 screws (the firing mechanism is made of two pieces with a metal spring). The chest "V" is a separate piece of red molded plastic, very pointed, and juts from the chest - on the first release the "V" is stepped instead of a consistent thickness. The wheel trucks on the bottom of this version's feet are molded on flat feet bottoms, as are the missile holders on the shoulder. The missiles have true triangular vanes (unlike the later versions which have clipped vanes...as a note, the triangular vaned rockets are also provided to Gaiking. The red shield decal on the knees is usually split as it straddles the upper and lower leg. This version comes with 14 rockets (the leg holders hold five each) and two swords.
|Mattel Mazinga First US Release Box and Contents|
|Mattel Mazinga First US Release Head Detail|
|Mattel Mazinga First US Release Torso Detail|
|Mattel Mazinga First US Release Missile Hand Detail (4 screws)|
|Mattel Mazinga First US Release Arm Detail (one ring)|
|Mattel Mazinga First US Release Winged Right Fist (darker)|
|Mattel Mazinga First US Release (split knee)|
|Mattel Mazinga First US Release Integrated Trucks with Flat Bottoms|
|Mattel Mazinga First US Release Side View|
|Mattel Mazinga First US Release Back View|
|Mattel Mazinga First US Release Back Detail|
|Mattel Mazinga First US Release Other Side View|
Mazinga Second US Release
|Mattel Mazinga Second US Release|
The second release was basically a refinement of the first release. The head mold has more rounded corners and the hole for the removable plane is triangular. The right winged-fist is firing hand is now molded in lighter blue (hard to see the difference without comparing the first and second side-by-side) while the firing hand and has 3 screws (if opened, the firing mechanism for each rocket is made of a single piece of plastic with a metal spring). The chest "V" is larger and has heavier points and sharper corners (when looked at from above the "V" is a consistent thickness while the First US Release has a recess with stepped levels). The wheel trucks are now separate, held on with two screws along a protruding squared-chassis. The shoulder missile banks are separate pieces held with screws. The missiles usually have clipped vanes (however I recently purchased a 2nd Edition with full-vaned missiles so that variation exists) and the knee shields are now molded on the bottom half of the legs. This version comes with 14 clipped-vaned rockets (see note above). These changes were probably made during the initial release in 1977 as the 1978 version switched to Great Mazinga.
|Mattel Mazinga Second US Release Torso Detail|
|Mattel Mazinga Second US Release Head Detail|
|Mattel Mazinga Second US Release Winged Right Fist (lighter blue)|
|Mattel Mazinga Second US Release Missile Hand (3 Screws)|
|Mattel Mazinga Second US Release Back Detail|
|Mattel Mazinga Second US Release Repositioned Knee|
|Mattel Mazinga Second US Release Clip Vane Missiles|
|First Release Left, Second Right Shoulder Missile Banks|
|First Release Left, Second Right Shoulder Missile Banks|
|First Release Left, Second Right Brain Condor Holes|
|First Release Left, Second Right Head Points|
|First Release "V" Stepped Profile|
|Second Release "V" Solid Profile|
|First Release Left, Second Right Brain Condor Design|
|First Release Left, Second Right Brain Condor Shape|
|First Release Left, Second Right Brain Condor Engine Sizes|
|First Release Left, Second Right Brain Condor Side Comparison|
|First Release Left, Second Right Brain Condor Bottom Comparison|
|First Release Left, Second Right Back-toBack|
|First Release Left, Second Right Brain Condor Missile Hand Comparison|
|First Release Left, Second Right Brain Condor Missile Banks Comparison|
|First Release Left, Second Right Brain Knee Comparison|
|First Release Left, Second Right Brain Front Comparison|
The box for both first and second release Mazinga:
- Spaceship/Brain Detaches
- Head Turns
- 14 Rockets
- Gauntlet Fists
- Arms Raise & Lower
- 2 Swords
- Fist Fires Rockets
- Leg Rollers
No Batteries! No Electricity!
CONTENTS: MAZINGA™ warrior 23 1/2" tall, with rocket-firing fist, 14 rockets, two swords & accessories. Arms are detachable. Comes FULLY ASSEMBLED. Swords and rockets 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.
Mattel Canada Mazinga
|Mattel Canada Mazinga with white missiles|
|Mattel Canada Mazinga White Missile Detail|
Mattel Europe Mazinga "Z
This other odd variant changes the name, I'm guessing to something more familiar to the European market. I've heard that reruns of a dubbed version of Mazinger Z was playing on TV so the name change may have been made to identify the toy with the TV show. Detailed photos on my example's own Mazinga Z page here.
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