This is probably the strangest Godzilla toy you’ve ever seen. It didn’t look like Godzilla, and his damn hand could shoot off! Where did they get this idea from? I suspect the toy was designed by Americans with only a passing familiarity with the Japanese icon. But still, it was Godzilla, and therefore to me it was the coolest toy in the world.
I’m not sure why, but Godzilla fascinated me from early childhood. Whenever any Godzilla movie would appear in the theater or on TV, I was there to watch it. I would stay up until 3:00 AM to finish a movie—they used to come on WGHP’s “Shock Theater” on Saturday nights. (It was always a double feature, starting at 11:30 PM, and Godzilla was always second in line.)
Accurate Godzilla action figures were nearly impossible to find in the 1970s, at least where I lived. The Shogun Warrior was as close as I could get. But seriously, he doesn’t even closely resemble the real thing:
(Believe it or not, that’s King Kong that Godzilla is dancing with, in the worst Godzilla film ever made.)
Godzilla’s appearance changed over the years, but he never looked like the Shogun warrior. Neither did his kid:
The Shogun Godzilla was a simple toy to play with. He had rollers in his feet, so you could push him around on the floor to destroy whatever cities you had built. (I made mine out of stacked cups.) His arms would rotate at the shoulders, so you could smash things—total coolness. But he also had a “fire tongue,” a feature which made the toy more similar to Reptilicus than to Godzilla. A big red lever on the back of the head controlled the tongue. It was absurd. But his strangest feature was the “attack claw.” It was a spring-loaded weapon that you could launch across the room, and had absolutely no basis in any element of the Godzilla mythology. If I’m charitable, I can assume the attack claw was the designers’ best effort to replicate Godzilla’s famous “atomic breath.” But they would have done better to design a water-gun feature that allowed you to squirt water out of his mouth. In fact, in the original Godzilla film, the atomic breath effect was created with water vapor expelled from a nozzle in Godzilla’s mouth.
Today you can get accurate Godzilla action figures almost anywhere. A few years ago when I lived in Alabama, I had one like the example below. Yes, Dear Reader, I lost it.
If you’re looking for the Godzilla Shogun Warrior, a mint condition example with intact fist and working “fire tongue” will probably cost you $100. Expect to pay between $20 and $50 for lesser models, depending on the particular defect.
Here’s a laughable commercial for the Godzilla Shogun Warrior courtesy of YouTube:
Don’t you want to get one?