Shogun Warriors

By Eric S. Brown | Jul 03, 2013

Recently, the wife and I were relaxing as the kids were asleep and channel surfing.

We ended up catching an episode of "Toy Hunter." It's a show I can sometimes enjoy as the world of collectible toys often overlaps with the comic book filled world I reside in. As the star of the show went about his usually purchases of rare toys, in the background, there was a set of 1970s, jumbo Shogun Warriors toys.

Suddenly, my head was filled with memories of my childhood. I was a wee lad when the Shogun Warriors were popular and remember well not only the toyline but also the Marvel Comic based on it. The late 1970s were an experimental time for Marvel Comics. They launched series from tons of different genres one does not always think of when they think comics.

They released horror titles like "Werewolf by Night," "The Man-Thing," "The Tomb of Dracula" and more. Marvel also delved deep into the world of Sci-Fi with titles like "Logan's Run," "Star Wars" and "Battlestar Galactica."

However, their branching out didn't stop there. They imported chacacters from several popular Japanese cartoons and toylines to be comic books as well. The Micronauts were one of the most successful of these comics based on toys with their title running for five years and then not only being rebooted by Marvel in the 1980s but later on by others comic companies too such as Image and Devil's Due Publishing.

The Shogun Warrior series didn't see even a fraction of the Micronauts' success, running for only a mere 20 issues, but it deeply impacted the hearts of comic book fanboys and almost any collector who was buying books during that time period has at least some Shogun Warriors books in their collection.

The toyline was far more successful in the states despite burning conterversary over the Shogun toys small parts that were launchable. Yeah, that kind of seems crazy now but back then, it was a huge deal and Mattel took a lot of flak over the Shoguns' small parts being a danger to young children. I, myself, still own a handful of Shogun Warrior comics but sadly none of the toys I had back then, not even the giant Godzilla who was part of the toy line.

In 2010, a company in Japan relaunched the Shogun Warrior toy line with the large figures going for around $100 or more each. And though there is still talk from time to time of a Shogun Warrior film, it is unlikely Marvel will ever reboot the Shogun Warriors in their existing universe.

The old series was a fun read, crossing over with other more main stream Marvel books like Godzilla, the Avengers, and Fantastic Four, and they can often be found for very reasonable prices depending on where one looks for them. A mint condition issue 1, last time I checked, was only listed as a $15 book or so according to Overstreet (the most trusted price guide for older comics on the market).

As to me, thanks to Toy Hunter and my son's fascination with comic book characters from the late 1970s like Rom the Spaceknight, I fear I may be attempting to track down some Shogun Warrior toys from my youth to reclaim a piece of my own childhood and share it with my son.