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Chogokin GoDaiKin

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GoDaiKin (from Japanese gōkin (alloy) and dai (big)) began in 1982 as a second attempt for Bandai America to market their wide array of Chogokin (super robot) toys in the West. The parent company Bandai had previously tried to market various Popy Chogokin and Popynica toys in the US as Shogun Warriors, under license through Mattel. As Bandai sought to increase their US market share, marketing GoDaiKin directly was intended to control costs on the already high-priced toys. The line was presented without context, whereas the figures represented popular main robots from various Japanese anime and tokusatsu shows.

The selected robots were divided into three categories in the original Japanese Popy release: Standard (or ST), Deluxe (DX), and Big Scale. Standard figures were typically 5-6 inches tall and had various weapons and features, sometimes a simplified conversion into a vehicular form. Deluxe figures were impressive sets between 10-12 inches tall in their combined robot forms, typically with an intricate conversion or combination sequence, and including a plethora of weapons and accessories. DX sets were packaged in large foam trays with a windowed cover, then boxed in an outer box with a plastic carrying handle on the side, although this later gave way to lower-cost window box packaging. Big Scale (sometimes simply listed as Vehicles) were large carriers from the Popynica line that could interact with a given DX scale robot set. Due to their lesser popularity, only a few ST versions of figures were marketed, and they always overlapped a character that was available in DX scale. The distinction between DX and ST toys was only referenced with (L) and (S) next to the figure' names in the included product catalogs. Despite the lack of any storyline context, the final waves of GoDaiKin were branded GoDaiKin Forces, and divided into three groups with no real thematic relation.

GoDaiKin toys tended to be very high quality in their construction, almost always featuring large die-cast metal parts, vacuum-metalized “chrome” (especially on weapons and accessories), pre-applied sticker decorations, and firing projectiles. The latter feature was unusual, since a large part of Shogun Warriors' failure was attributed to a supposed lawsuit about a boy choking on one of the tiny projectiles, leading to numerous safety laws resulting in neutered launchers in toylines like the Transformers. All these traits, however, amounted to tremendous prices - well above what the average family would spend on a childrens' toy. Smaller DX figures like Machine Dolphin started at around US$40 (25% more than Generation 1 Jetfire, a high-end figure), and ranged up to $80 or more for figures like Tetsujin 28. With these prices ranging from $110-$220 in 2015 dollars, sales were sluggish at best. Despite that, the line hung on well into 1985, and the final “Forces” wave saw some distribution in Europe until the following year. In the end, GoDaiKin simply could not compete with the lower-priced and infinitely better advertised Transformers, or even GoBots, another Bandai series being marketed by proxy through Tonka.

 

Big Scale

Bio Dragon

Dyjupiter

Goggle Caesar

Shuttle Base

Deluxe (DX)

Abega

Bio Man

Combattra

Daidenjin

Daileon

Daimos

Daitetsujin 17

Daltanias

Dancougar

Dynaman

Gardian

God Marz

Godsigma

Goggle V

Golion

Laserion

Leopardon

Machine Dolphin

Machineman/Changeman

Sun Vulcan

Tetsujin 28

Vavilos

Voltes V

Mini

Combattra

Daitetsujin 17

Grendizer

Leopardon

Mazinger Z

Voltes V

ST (Standard)

Bio Man

Dancougar

Dynaman

Laserion

Machineman

Vavilos