Growing up, I didn’t have a Shogun Warrior robot, which fired rockets. I also didn’t have the Mattel Godzilla, which was part of the Shogun Warrior line (made by, natch, Mattel), which scooted along on a pair of foot wheels, and which fired its, well, claw. It wasn’t that I wasn’t allowed to have such things; it’s that I wasn’t allowed to have things that weren’t on sale. And while the Shogun Warriors and fire-breathing Godzillas did their time on the bargain rack (after originally selling for roughly $15 a pop), I can say with certainty that my toy-buying dad never found any there for us.
Which means I envied children like the children in this circa 1977 Shogun Warriors-Godzilla commercial. Those kids weren’t at the mercy of the remainders bin. Those kids got Shogun Warriors and Godzillas fresh off the assembly line. They played in shady backyards, too, with nice friends and not cruddy old siblings who mass-executed your dolls. Sure, the kid in the commercial who was Asian had to play with the Godzilla because, you know, he’s Asian and Godzilla’s Japanese, but being racially toy-typed is but a small price to pay for having brand-new stuff.
The worst thing about looking back at this commercial (which otherwise is a thing of retro beauty) is knowing that today, this very day, I could order a brand-new 2014 Godzilla Deluxe Destruction Pack, featuring a Godzilla monster and a MUTO, the Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism creature from the new Godzilla movie which bears a passing, angular resemblance (mostly in the head) to a Shogun Warrior. Heck, if I had the cash to spare I could even fork over $1,575 for a new-in-the-box Mattel Godzilla via eBay. But I don’t want to because what would I do with it? It’s not like any of my friends have time to come over and sit in my occasionally shady backyard, and play with it with me.
I’m fine with all this. Really. I just hope the kids in this commercial knew how lucky they were. Even if their Godzilla did look like Tor Johnson. And even if it did have a shooting-off-for-no-good-reason claw.