Masudaya / Modern Toys – Shooting Giant Robot
Just when i ended the story behind this robot I realized there are some historical changes made back in time… From this day, 20th of June 2013 the Gang of Five does not exist anymore… Its “officially” the Gang of SIX now 🙂 ! 🙂 Here is the story behind the Giant…..
I started this project about 2 years ago. I just completed my Machine Man and found a complete target robot in India. The robot was complete, not working and all original but the litho was badly damaged due to the moist influences of India. The minute I saw this robot a totally crazy idea flashed to my “sick” brain: …. “what if i could turn this robot into the Missing Masudaya link, Shooting Giant Robot, the sixt member of the legendary gang of five” !!!!
The idea was born and I started to gather all the information i could find about this robot. An easy job because there is simply no info, no pictures or stories to share…
The ONLY available pictures comes from the Modern Toys 1965 catalog. In this catalog the robot ( read: prototype ) is pictured and this is the ONLY available picture of this robot that I and my collector friends are aware of. Giant Shooting Robot is a prototype and is the forerunner of Target Robot that was made in 1965 so this prototype was made in 1964/1964. Its an interesting robot because, when you take a close look at the catalog, the robot has a one piece body ( not like target 2 ), the lithoed panels are loose and not stamped into the body like Target and the tiny holes left and side the robots head makes it very clear that the body that was used came from a Train robot. ( the holes are the tab entries for the Trains head )
Normally it would be impossible to create an exact copy of this prototype out of a single picture but the experience i had by making a Machine Man out of a Lavender helped me out and with that information I was able to fill out the missing links. I tried to think like the Masudaya Drawing table and found out the prototype was made out of various gang member parts:
The body and some of the lithoed panels came from a train robot, the target and the plate behind it from a Lavender and the mechanism idea from the Target Robot. So this robot proved that the idea for Target robot was already there.
First I thought the robot was handpainted but the fact that the details are simply to sharp to be hand painted, the robot must have been made out of a litho testrun. The regular molds were used but the litho is real and made expecially for this sample. It impossible to make these details handpainted and the computer techniques we use these days were not available than. Why this Giant Robot never made it to the production line is unclear. there are 2 theories. The robots color and litho was ordered by an american importer but the did not like the robot and placed no orders, or….Modern Toys created this prototype for the 1965 catalogs and simply no orders for the robot were received, I think we will never find out. Fact is that the robot never made it to the production lines and was never taken into production.
To duplicate this prototype out of a single picture was an almost impossible job and there were some missing links to fill in. First the litho in the 2 triangles…its unique and no other gang member shares this litho. Second, the color… the existing pictures do not show the real colors.. the pics are taken with flash and are made from an old piece of paper. Third… which parts must be used and how the hell on earth could I ever fit them back together and make them also work like a Target / Giant 🙂
This brought me back to my friend Jean Pierre who did some paintwork on my machine man and asked him if he was able to create the “machinery litho” from the 2 triangles. He made some tests and after 2 months he was able to duplicate this part.
Than the color and I think this was the biggest problem to solve. The solution however was simple and came when I was working in my workshop and I was repairing an R-35 Robot. I had to make a new wire to the remote and there I had the solution in hand: the colorsscheme for Giant Shooting Robot ! 🙂 Of course… the remote was made by the same manufacturer in the same timeframe.. of COURSE they must have been using this colors !!
I took 2 modern toys flying saucers ( x-107) and I had the exact colors and green variations for the Giant Shooting Robot. We made some tests and samples and it was indeed the perfect match, it all fitted ! 🙂
Than the final part… the parts: I had to “offer” 3 robots to make an EXACT copy of this prototype. Target, Lavender and Train Robot.
The target for the mechanism and mouthpiece, the lavender for the panels and the train for the body. ( Later I found out that the Train body could been replaced by the Lavender Body. The holes left and right from the head could be made manually and I was able to create the battery compartment into the lavenders Body.
I started to zoom in on the catalog picture to draw every detail again and add the correct lines, details and colors to use. I took the Target apart until the last screw and restored the complete mechanism, added new gears, new wheels, wire, bulbs etc etc. The lavender was taken apart and the panels were prepared to have them repainted. I made tabs into the back of the lavender to attach the Targets mechanism, on/off switch and the battery compartment. I mounted the target mechanism into the front part of the lavenders body and than the robot was ready for a total makeover 🙂
Jean Pierre worked for over 3 months to create all the details in the correct color schemes while I mounted the robot back together and had to make sure all was perfect and that the mechanism should work into the Lavenders body. I ran into more problems that I could ever think of but at the end it all turned out fine.
Well and in the end… almost 2 years after I came up with the idea, the sixt gang member was born again, Modern Toys / Masudaya – Giant Shooting Robot.
The robot works exactly like a Target Robot because it has the exact mechanism inside. The robot is build out of original parts only and I think this is the ONLY way to make a perfect copy of the 1964 prototype. To be honest, the result is even better than I could ever have dreamed of. Looking at the pictures you are not looking at a copy of the prototype, it IS the prototype, its the robot that was pictured for the 1965 catalog….What a wonderful hobby we have and I will add a special section later this week with pictures of the process and of course the GANG OF SIX ! 🙂
For any additional information or any questions you can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org