The picture above is actually of the Bullmark version of Mechanikong, but there has been indications that a Marusan version of King Kongs mechanical double does exist. 1967 saw Toho release the film "King Kong Escapes". This film was the second and last time King Kong was featured in a Toho film. Along with King Kong, Toho introduce one of fandoms favorite kaiju, Gorosaurus. Mechanikong was first featured in the Rankin/Bass Saturday Morning Cartoon "The King Kong Show" then brought to life in Tohos "King Kong Escapes" as Kongs main opponent. Japan based toy company "Marusan" produced vinyl repesentations of King Kong (known as "Giant Gorilla" due to copyrights) and Gorosaurus.
But the question remains, did Marusan produce a Mechanikong? It would make sense that they would, but there has never been any proof that one exist. The Bullmark Mechanikong has been confirmed by the traditional Bullmark stamp on the foot, but there has never been a Mechanikong found with a Marusan Stamp
The first piece of evidence to suggest a Marusan Mechanikong exist is found in Yuji Nishimuras "Godzilla Toy Museum" book that pictures a Mechanikong along side a cream belly Gorosaurus, a painted variant that has only been produced by Marusan. The picture dates "1967" while a second picture shows two paint variants of the Bullmark Mechanikong dated "1970"
In Sean Linkenbacks "An Unauthorized Guide to Godzilla Collectibles" book, Mechanikong being manufactued by Marusan in 1967 is listed, but no picture was made available.
As a vintage collector myself, I've been on the hunt for the Marusan Mechanikong, along with several other vintage collectors and no has ever came across one. Brian Flynns "Super 7 - The Book" had a feature on "Toho Kaiju" vinyl figures and states a Marusan version does not exist.
When reviewing the Bullmark Mechanikong, I'm amazed by the detail and accuracy compared to the actual Mechanikong suit. The figure does miss on the bulk and posture of the actual suit, but every line and detail of the figure is very accurate for a toy made in 1970. Even the grenade belt is included.
Comparision of Bandai Mechanikong and Bullmark Mechanikong
There are three variants of the Bullmark Mechanikong. A light Blue verison with silver highlights on the face, chest, and knees, painted on a light grey vinyl.
The second is a slightly darker blue with silver highlights, only found in the area of the eyes, and painted on a slightly darker grey vinyl.
Last is a much darker blue with silver highlights on the face and chest, painted on a much darker grey vinyl.
There is also a flesh non painted version of the Bullmark Mechanikong that's either regarded as a bootleg or a test sample.
The price range for a Bullmark Mechanikong can vary. Of all three verisons, one is not rarer than the other, though the light blue version is the most desired. The problem this figure has is paint rubs and scratchs are very common and is difficult to find the paint on the Bullmark Mechanikong in pristine condition. A fair price for the Bullmark Mechanikong is upwards in the $200-$300 range, but a Mechanikong in pristine condition can command more.
As of this writing, it's fair to say a Marusan Mechanikong does not exist. It's possible Marusan had plans to manufacture one and fell through for some reason, Once Bullmark took over the molds from Marusan, they took it upon themselves to release the figure. Of all the Marusan and Bullmark figures, Mechanikong is one of the very... very few figures that has not been reproduced or reissued in any way. If there is a collector out there that can provide a sample of a Marusan Mechanikong, it would be most appreciated and would solve the mystery of the existence of the Marusan Mechanikong.
Special Thanks to Greg Cordaro and Jordan Leitner for their contributions and support for this article.
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