In the 70s, cable television brought the Japanese Godzilla movies to a whole new group of young fans that hadn't had much exposure to the monster before. I remember it always being a pretty big deal when the Denver station would run a Godzilla movie. I didn't have cable but a friend up the street did. So, I got to watch a bit of Godzilla here and there at his house.
Mattel brought Godzilla over to the US as a toy in their large-sized Shogun Warriors line. It seemed a little bit out of "left field" to have a big green monster as part of a line of toys that we knew, exclusively, as a robot line of toys. Although it seemed a bit odd, it was still really cool to see a huge Godzilla toy on the toy shelves. He didn't seem to have as many features as most of the other Shogun toys but that almost didn't matter because he was GODZILLA.
Godzilla features articulation at the shoulders, wrists, hips, and tail. He looks like he'd have neck articulation but the visible seam is just part of his construction and doesn't allow for any head movement. Godzilla is made of the same type of "shampoo bottle" plastic as his robotic brothers but seems to have a hard plastic head. This may be due to it needing to house the mechanism for his "fiery breath" tongue. More on that in a second.
Godzilla, despite NOT being a robot still has a couple of action features. His left fist shoots off at the press of a button (further up on his forearm) and actually packs quite a wallop. He also has a lever on the back of his head that extends his "ugly tongue" as one 1978 COMMERCIAL puts it. Another COMMERCIAL called it a "blast of fire." It's basically a silk-screened piece of pliable plastic but is still a fun feature. Other than wheels on the bottom of his feet (like all Mattel Shogun Warriors), that's about it for features.
Interestingly enough, instead of using the superior Popy version of the same toy and importing it to the US like the other Shoguns, Mattel opted to create their own Godzilla with a much less intimidating look than his Japanese counterpart. He's definitely a "softer" Godzilla than the Japanese toy.
At any rate, this US version of Godzilla is a still a fantastic toy and provided hours of fun for the kids that had one. I didn't have one as a kid but enjoyed looking at the Godzilla box on the toy store shelf. I picked this one up last year and I'm very glad I did. He makes a very nice addition to my growing Shogun Warriors collection.
Now, I just have to decide if he's "friend or foe." As the commercial puts it, It's up to me to decide.