Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Constructing a chronolgy of release for Mattel's Shogun Warriors action figure line PART 1: Zargon but not forgotten
One thing I have learned during my time studying old toy robots and the people whose lives they've ruined is that there are fans of anything but not fandoms for everything. The difference is when it comes to long dead toylines, to be remembered at all is to have fans but to be remembered accurately is to have a fandom. Mattel's Shogun Warriors exist in a popularity limbo where they are not as famous as the Transformers yet not as reviled as the GoBots so people remember them but don't remember much about them. The Shoguns lack the army of roboplastic historians and archaeologists necessary to relate their gospel accurately and refute falsehoods perpetuated by younger, less informed generations of robotards. The websites and blogs I've read where people share their memories of Shogun Warriors illustrate how these toys exist in a cloudy fog of pop culture memory. It is a fog where with the passage of time important details fade like a renegade rocket fist flying away into the distance, leaving behind an incomplete robot without an arm, just as history is incomplete without facts.
I THINK I CAN PROVE THEY CAME IN 1977
Anyone trying to do some online research into the most basic facts about Shogun Warriors will come across as much conflicting contradictory information about them as there are webpages devoted to them. They were over two feet tall! They came out in 1979! Or was it in 1978? Or maybe 1977? They cost $40! As this dimension's Nostrodomatron it is my duty to try to help clear up some of the confusion around Shogun Warriors. (I say "try" because with the way I write I will probably end up confusing everybody more and setting back Shogun Warrior awareness by 25 years.) So join me now my fellow Macrocranians as I explore the myths and mysteries of the Shogun Warriors toyline by constructing a timeline of the toyline's existence built from solid sources like Mattel toy catalogs, product assortment numbers, old newspaper ads and even NSFW porn. Although if you think about it, it's not really a bad thing if your fans remember you having more inches than you really did.
IS THAT YOUR ROCKET FIST IN MY FACE OR ARE YOU NOT HAPPY TO SEE ME?
Pointing out that someone wrote something wrong on the internet about Shogun Warriors is a delicate matter so I want to make it clear I am not picking on the specific webpages I cite that have the questionable or incorrect information. Instead I'm using them as examples of commonly held beliefs all over the internet. I'm not saying the webmasters of these sites are the ones who are the source of the misinformation-I use them because they are merely representative of it. The reason I didn't contact specific webmasters to correct them individually and spare them the shame of apparent ridicule from my audience of five readers is because so many of these same mistakes are made all over the internet that I'd have to correct multiple sites and just addressing them all here in one series of posts is easier. And since there is no definitive compiled source of this information, why in the world would those guys believe me anyways? Short of building a time machine there's no way I can prove what I've come up with is 100% accurate either. But it is my hope that even if I perpetuate misinformation, it's well sourced misinformation. So getter your Draguns and jump in your Solar Saucers because it's time to take on the Shogun Warriors!