Popy Jumbo Machinders

The first jumbo machinders were produced by Popy in the 70's - Popy was a subsidiary of Bandai that targeted licensed characters from Manga and Anime. The term "jumbo machinder' was trademarked by Popy but over time it's become the term for any large "shampoo bottle" (meaning the interior bits are hollow and roto-molded from PET - polyethylene terephthalate aka "polyester" - a process also used to create figure-al shampoo bottles like the Soakies that were produces in the 60's and 70's - the plastic has a similar feel). With some exceptions the heads are molded in softer vinyl. Generally these guys are about 23 inches (60 cm) tall but there are exceptions, as well as some licensed and knock-off figures that are smaller and referenced as "mini-jumbos." With Popy's success other manufactures like Takatoku, Nakajima and Clover brought their own licensed characters into the jumbo-sized world and this trend, mostly in limited fashion, has extended into the present in big numbers (the Jumbo Megazords produced for the Power Rangers) and in limited numbers and distribution to the collector market (like the Funko/Super 7, Toynami and Mandarake jumbos). Most Americans were exposed to Popy jumbos via the Shogun Warriors - Mattel, in partnership with Popy distributed several characters in the US and Europe under that nom de plume.

I began researching and collecting the original Popy versions sometime in the early 2000s, acquiring a Mazinger Z with Scrander Jet and later a Kamen Rider X - some time later I purchased a second Kamen Rider X that was slightly different - this ended up being a Jugarama knock-off marketed as Aquaman, as you can see Popy's influence is wide-spread.

The first jumbo produced by Popy was of Go Nagai's Mazinger Z - this was in 1972. What followed was an ebb-and-flow of character production extending into 1981 with the Giant Robot Factory concept - these later jumbo's came disassembled and it was up to the owner to assemble his robot. Popy also changed the lines name a few times - from Jumbo Machinder to Jumbo Machinder Deluxe, to Giant Robot Factory and finally Super Jumbo Machinders right at the end. There were also a series of Kikaiju (mecha-monsters) that were made of a softer vinyl that could be used as villains (aka bad guys) so the jumbos would have someone to fight - these were released in very small numbers so are the rarest items to collect. I believe this is the general order of release (if anyone can provide any additional details or information, please let me know). I've included the Bandai releases as the Popy brand has been absorbed into the parent. I've linked pages to my collection to those I own.

Popy Machinders

*1972 Mazinger Z (U5 Mazinger Z)
*1973 Kamen Rider V3
*1973 Ultraman Taro
*1973 Super Robot Red Baron
*1973 Kamen Rider X
*1973 Great Mazinger (Mattel Mazinga, Mattel Italy Mazinga "Z", U5 Great Mazinger)
*1973 Mach Baron
*1974 Ultraman Leo
*1974 Getter Robo 1
*1974 Getter Robo 2
*1974 Getter Robo 3 
*1976 Daikumaryu (Gaiking Space Dragon)
*1976 Combattler V
*1976 Leopaldon
*1977 Dangard Ace
*1977 Daitetsujin 17(Knock-Off)
*1977 Voltes V
*1977 Skyzel (Super Machinder)
*1977 Grandzel (Super Machinder)
*1978 Daimos (Mattel Daimos)
1978 Gotchaman II Pimer
*1978 Jumbo Zaurus Godzilla (Mattel Godzilla)
*1979 Battle Fever Robo (Robot Factory)
1979 Daltanias (Robot Factory)
1980 Daidinjin (Robot Factory)
1980 Gordian (Robot Factory)
1980 Godsigma (Robot Factory)
*1980 New Tetsujin 28
*1981 Sunvulcan Robo
*1981 God Mars
1982 Jumbo Dol Space Sheriff Gavin
*1983 Golion (LJN Voltron Giant Commander)

I usually display 5 JMs and swap them out as I get tired of looking at the same batch.

Kikaiju (aka the bad guys)

1973 Dublas M2
1973 Kingdan X10
1973 Rokuron Q9
*1973 Sparton K5
1973 Taihou Buffalo
1973 Hasami Jagure
*1973 Kame Bazooka
1973 Lens Ari
1973 Green Ghost C3
1973 Garada K7(U5 Garada K7)

Note that in most instances the Mattel versions of the Popy toys had firing weapons added or were greatly modified to simplify the basic toy - the most obvious mods are to Gaiking, Daimos and Godzilla).

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 © 1997-2022 John Eaton and/or contributors unless otherwise stated. If there are any comments or objections, please contact John Eaton, by clicking here.


Unknown said...

Hello sir do you have some information about the ultraman taro jumbo machinder? Please let me thanks

John Eaton said...

What information?