Great Moments in Remote Control Toy History: Bandai’s RC Mechagodzilla
When a company makes a remote control (RC) toy based on a character or vehicle from a popular franchise, the toy should (1) be a fun and functional RC toy and (2) it should look and behave like the character or vehicle after which it is modeled. For as modest as these requirements sound, the majority of licensed RC toys usually falter in living up to one or both of these requirements. For example, even though the Star Wars franchise has released some impressive RC toys through Hasbro in recent years, the RC Star Wars toys that were released by Kenner back in the '70s and '80s were very awkward and clumsy in both appearance and performance. Thankfully, Bandai understood the elements of a great licensed RC toy and provided one of the best to Godzilla and kaiju fans back in 2008: the RC Mechagodzilla.
Bandai’s RC Mechagodzilla was 20 inches tall and based on how the character appeared in 1974 during his big screen debut in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla. It made roaring and laser beam sounds; various parts of its head, hands, knees and feet would light up; and its torso and arms could be operated to “attack” other toys. Its head would even spin around and around to imitate the force field generator effect. Sure, the toy doesn't have a flying mode and it doesn't really "walk" (it actually waddles along on its wheeled feet and uses its tail for support), but Bandai went to great lengths to ensure that the RC toy behaved like its campy cinematic counterpart.
Unfortunately, such an impressive collectible doesn’t come cheaply. When it was first released six years ago, it cost over $800 in American money; since it has been discontinued, the price of the RC Mechagodzilla has inevitably skyrocketed to kaiju-worthy heights. Check out the Japanese commercial in the video window below to see this fantastic RC toy in action.