• Michael Sue


Updated: Aug 29, 2020

Like many serious robot toy enthusiasts, Shogun Warriors is what started their love affair for all things mecha. These giant metallic heroes captured our imagination, and I remember as a kid, growing up in Illinois, watching Tranzor Z at my grandmother’s house right before I went to school, and being in awe as I saw Tranzor Z shoot its rocket fists and wreak havoc on its enemies. It was one of the first times I had experienced Japanese anime, and I remember thinking of how different and exciting this cartoon series was compared to everything else that was on the air in the U.S. at the time.

It was only years later as an adult did I stumble upon the toy line, Shogun Warriors. I remember seeing the comic book as a kid, however, I was never as eager to read a copy as I would the Punisher or Conan the Barbarian, both of which I had read only because my dad had introduced them to me. But after I became an adult and started collecting vintage toys, once I had discovered the Shogun Warriors, particularly Great Mazinger, it was an instant flashback to my childhood.

If you were in the U.S., Great Mazinger or otherwise known as Mazinger Z was briefly released into the U.S. airwaves as Tranzor Z in 1985, of which, 65 episodes were dubbed into English. Great Mazinger told the story of a giant super robot created by Dr. Kabuto and his fight against his colleague and arch-nemesis Dr. Hell. Before their conflict against each other, both had been scientists who had discovered a very strong metal alloy in Mt. Fuji, that had previously been used by an ancient civilization who had built giant titans to protect them. Having found a prototype of these different titans, rather than use these metal alloys for good, Dr. Hell decides to use these metal alloys to re-implement these giant titans, so he can create an indestructible army to conquer the world. Wanting to stop Dr. Hell, Dr. Kabuto then creates Great Mazinger to combat against these mechanized giant monsters. Each episode would then showcase this fight between giant robot and giant robot beast.

Although Great Mazinger had a number of powers and abilities, among its more signatures moves was its rocket fists. Both of its fists would detach like rocket missles, but instead of a warhead, the fists were the warhead, and Great Mazinger would be able to fly its rocket fists throughout the air, hitting and smashing into whatever was necessary, and then returning back to its arms.

Great Maziner would also be able to shoot an extreme beam of heat from its V shaped chest, and melt everything that came into contact with its beam. This would often be a finishing move for Great Mazinger, so that its enemy would literally just turn into dust.

Great Mazinger also came packed with firepower. In addition to be able to shoot a number of missles from its belly, Great Mazinger would also be able to shoot minature missles from its fingertips. These projectile missles would slow down all of Great Mazinger’s enemies enough so that Great Mazinger would be able to get in closer and do some face-to-face physical combat with its enemies.

Released in 1978 by Mattel and manufactured in Japan, as one of its Shogun Warriors as Great Mazinger, this version of Mazinger Z (pictured above) was actually the third version of Mazinger Z. Standing at almost two feet in height, the most notable difference between this third version and the other two other versions was that its V-shaped chest was just a decal, where as the other two versions had a detachable V shaped chest. In addition, this version came with 10 clipped vane rockets. Accordingly, since this version doesn’t cost as much to make, it naturally is more common.

According to Shogun Warriors.Org, the box of Great Mazinger provided the following description:

Box Text:

• Gauntlet Fists

• 2 Swords

• Arms Raise & Lower

• Leg Rollers

Head Turns

• Fist Fires Rockets

• Triggers

• Rockets

No Batteries! No Electricity!

CONTENTS: GREAT MAZINER warrior 23 ½” tall, with rocket-launcher fist, 10 rockets, two swords and accessories. Arms are detachable. Comes FULLY ASSEMBLED. Swords and rockets not for use with all SHOGUN Warriors.

Do you remember Great Mazinger or Tranzor Z? What do you remember about it? Do you own any of the three versions? Please share with us a picture from your collection.

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