Friday, September 20, 2013

1978 Popy Toys Catalog

Oh Japan, how i love thee.  The Popy Toy Corporation is not terribly well known to North Americans but their influence definitely had an impact on us.

In 1978, they had a tremendouse amount of cool licenses such as Gatchaman (Known to us as Battle of the Planets), Starzinger (which we called Spaceketeers) and your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man, who suddenly had a cool car and giant robot.

There is a lot of goodness in here from the crew of the Bacchus 3 to the whacky ships from "Message from Space" and some Shogun Warriors thrown in for good measure.

The 1978 Popy Toys Catalog will make you wish you were born in Tokyo, unless you were, then I guess then it would make you thankful. I don't know...

More Japanese Influenced Toy Lines:


Alphacentaurian said...

I would totally buy a Rocky vs. Ken "Tried to Kill Him with a Forklift" action playset :)

It's surreal to see Spacekateers merchandise.

C. Elam said...

My slight knowledge of Japanese and better knowledge of tokusatsu comes in handy here!

1) As you noticed later in the catalog, the big robot puzzling you was Daimos.

2) Both the little robot you didn't recognize and the ship next to God Phoenix are from the TV series Uchu Kara no Message: Ginga Taisen (Message from Space: Galactic Battle). It's more a spinoff of the movie rather than a sequel, as they aren't connected very much. The robot is named "Tonto" and is essentially the Beba 2 of the show. Here are the opening credits. A movie edited together from some episodes was released to TV and home video as "Swords of the Space Ark" or "Space Ninja".

3) The Ultras are Ultraseven and Ultraman Ace. The Ultras were in a bit of limbo on TV in 1978, so those are interesting choices. The franchise wouldn't make it's big comeback until the next year (with feature films and a cartoon series "The Ultraman").

Muscato said...

In 1988 when I first went to Tokyo, one of my first stops was the city's largest toy store. I forget its name, but it made FAO Schwarz look like a Dollar Store, and it was sensory overload in an absolutely indescribable way. There's a lot about Japan not to love (tiny apartments, crushing conformity, etc., etc.,), but when it comes to toys, the Land of the Rising Sun rocks.

Plaidstallions said...

Mr Elam,

Your knowledge solved a MAJOR mystery for me. In the sixth grade I traded a kid from South America for their weird little gum cards from this Japanese show. Turns out it was Message from Space: Galactic Battle!

C. Elam said...

Glad I could help! Swords of the Space Ark is a good introduction, despite having all sorts of issues AND omitting the robot almost entirely. The space1970 blog wrote about the show last year, and I turn up in those comments, too.


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