Review by NekroDave
I don't care what anybody says, I love the Shogun Warrior Daimos. This is THE one for me. The one that brings me back to when I was little. I was just three years old in 1978 when it was released, but I distinctly remember my first exposure to it, hidden away in my parent's closet, waiting for it's Christmas time unveiling. Technically, I think it was a gift for one of my older brothers, who'd led me to that closet in the first place, but we all played with it (as well as the others in the line). There wasn't one in the line that I didn't love back then, but Daimos was my favorite. I loved the red and black color scheme, augmented by those silver and yellow stickers. I loved the slight smirk on his face. Maybe it made him looks closest to human and more easily related to or something. Or maybe it was just the wonder and excitement of looking into that closet and seeing something I wasn't supposed to that I've always connected with this toy. Regardless of why, I'll always love this one.
Of course, it's not the best Jumbo representation of the character. The Popy original is widely considered a masterpiece and most people agree that the Mattel version can't hold a candle to it. Too many changes were made and too many corners cut for this release. Most of the weapons were dumbed down or removed entirely. None of the handheld weapons are included anymore and the parts that formed those weapons originally have been replaced by stickers. The missile launchers on the upper thighs are gone. The ones on the calves are still there, but for some reason the color of those missiles have been changed from red to yellow (4 are included). Instead of both fists shooting, only the right one does.
The stickers on the arms, legs and pelvis of the Popy version have been replaced with a couple original stickers on the front of the legs. Strangely, although there were both English and Japanese language waist stickers on the Popy version, Mattel only used the Japanese language one, an odd choice since this was released in an English speaking country. Of course, this was also released in Europe, but it still seems sort of bizarre to me. Perhaps they wanted some consistency with the other imported jumbos in the line.
Daimos is pretty simple beyond those changes. There is simple articulation at the neck, shoulders and hips, though moving the legs is pointless since you really can't pose it anyway. The right fist is jointed so it can be swiveled, which is cool, but it kind of just makes you sad that the left one isn't the same. Furthermore, the right fist now hangs lower than the left. The missiles launchers on the legs can turn to rest in a dip in the legs. Each foot has one large and one small roller on the bottom.
Ok, so the Popy version is much better. In fact, in looking at Mike's review while writing this one, I like my toy a little less than when I started. But this is still the best Shogun Warrior Jumbos, in my opinion. All of them are asymmetrical in one way or another, but overall, I think this one has the best proportions and color scheme. It's also the hardest to get. Most suggest that is because it was released at the tail end of the line when sales where already sagging, and therefore had a lower production run.
In addition to Popy and Mattel, two other companies would release jumbos of Daimos. Nacoral (Spain) and Famosa (Venezuela) both released versions more similar to the Shogun Warrior. There is also another Daimos that is similar to the Mattel, "Super Daimos" I believe it was called. It had more missiles but it's uncertain if this was a legitimate release or a faked custom. At least one collector from the Philipines recalls a version there that had a hard plastic head with a light up feature (perhaps not unlike the Takara Giant Gorg toy), but at this time there's not a photograph of such a toy. Lastly, if you have the Mattel Daimos, but wanted to make it look more like the Popy, there have been custom sticker and resin repro parts on the web at various times to help with that. So you may see some interesting "hybrids" out there. The Popy add-on stickers are available at the Machindershop Yahoo! Group.
|Posted 13 May, 2007 - 22:34 by NekroDave|