Friday, February 4, 2011

No new bots but check out my GB-36 Golion plus other Chogokin Summit goodies!

Popy Chogokin GB-36 Beast King Golion
Well guys, I have nothing new to show off today, but I should have something real soon. I just need to finish paying off a Holy Grail of mine. I was at the Chogokin Summit in 2010 and a friend of mine had me go over to his car to check something out and lo and behold, he showed me my all time favorite Chogokin...the GB-36 Popy Golion otherwise known as VOLTRON! I literally shut the outside world off for a minute while I lovingly cherised every second of the experience. I expressed my love for the figure and he kindly said to me, "Go ahead, take it". What? seriously? Yeah, that simple. At that moment, I had it in my possession. The idea was to work out a trade and a payment but lots of things happened during that time, so Ive been just paying it off since I have nothing tradeable at the moment. What a good friend! 

GB-36 Window
So basically any new additions to my collection will be happening at a slower pace until I pay him off. It is normally not a cheap piece by any stretch of the imagination, but it was a very very bro price. The figure itself was used but all the accessories were complete, box was OK which was good enough for me to be happy with. You guys have no clue how long I've lusted for this piece.

If you guys have only ever known the Matchbox release, then you totally missed out on what this release had to offer. This was a mom's worst nightmare. There were missiles and weapons galore!

GB-36 Tray
Don't confuse this Golion release with the Lionbot Taiwan knockoff. Although the Taiwan version in some cases were close duplicates, it just wasn't the same as a genuine Japanese release. Through some of my own research I came to realize that some Taiwan made figures made it into Matchbox releases and Lionbot releases! I guess to quench the demand for Voltron figures, Matchbox/Godaikin (Name used for Popy releases in the states) enlisted the help of the very same factories that made the knock offs. Why? Because the knock offs were actually of great quality. I still have an old knock off that has some of the longest lasting metal feeling chrome ever. Because the Taiwan factories were now manufacturing legit releases, changes had to be made to the molds to show the Bandai marking for the Godaikin releases. How do I know this? Well I have seen plenty of Lionbots that had the Bandai logo scuffed off the bottoms of the red and green lions' heads! Some were well scuffed, some were done so bad that you would see "BAN" "BAND" "DAI" or other variations when they scuffed them up so quick that they missed some letters! What a mess! I wish I knew the whole true story as what I have just told you is speculation from circumstantial "evidence". There are still some Lionbot hanging around or maybe even still being made but I've seen some bad copies. Some have chrome stickers on the thighs of the black lion instead of real chrome. The Lionbots are probably the cheapest way to get yourself a wannabe GB-36 Golion. The box is similar and it comes with all the same weapons too.

You know what the coolest Golion knockoff is? the legendary Mid-Size Lionbot. It is essentially a half-size Golion! Same exact proportions but at a smaller scale. It is not a myth as previously thought since I was actually able to acquire one through not so affordable means. I will have to update this post one day to show you guys.

Chrome waist/elbows
Anyways, back to my Golion! So yeah, they reason Ive been wanting this so bad is because the first version GB-36 has chrome elbows instead if the gray plastic more commonly found on later releases. I just love the way this looks on the figure!

Robot 8-Chan
If you are not familiar with the Chogokin Summit, basically all us robot nerds get together to show-off, sell, trade and talk robots all day long. I attended this Chogokin Summit with my wife who although not a big fan of robots, tolerates my collecting very well. I think she secretly loves robots because she actually seems interested in them at times. As a matter of fact, she is looking at baby stuff with robots on them...FOR GIRLS. Believe it or not there is a market for robot themed girl stuff. We found some sheets with little pink robots, she wants to get this painting print of a pink cartoony robot for the baby. She even found some stuffed girly robots to go along with the baby's decor. While the types of robot's she likes are not what the majority of my collection is composed of, they are still robots so cool in my book. I'll tell you what she likes. She likes the tin robot aesthetic, Robocon, Robot 8 Chan, Drossel, Panda Z and Tetsujin 28- The "chubby one" Speaking of Robot 8-Chan, while we were at the Chogokin Summit, my wife grabbed me and said, "Is that one for sale?" I asked the owner Josh of CollectionDX fame if it was for sale and how much and he said she could just have it! That was very generous of him and I will never forget his kindness. It's the one you see on the upper left. She loves it. I help her get the figs she wants. I got her the Chogokin Drossel, a pink tin wind-up, a Nendoroid Drossel and a Robocon Chogokin. While they stay in my display case, I always refer to them as my wife's.

Incubot Blue 28 Nekobot
That day was great, I got to meet all the people I've only known through the internet and I got to check out some cool rarities and awesome collections. Alen Yen of Toybox DX/Incubot fame came out and hung out and brought along with him some of his toy releases. You may have heard of his Nekobot USB figures or his Nekosaur Vinyl figures...or maybe even his Voltron USB figure! Yes, that's right, he has the license to make Voltron USB figures. Totally cool stuff. You know I had to pick one up. It was so new that the boxes had not even been printed up yet!

Incubot Voltron USB
I was so happy that he had the Voltron USB's there. I quickly Paypal'd him on the spot since I purposely tried not to bring cash because of all the temptations there. My wife picked up the Blue 28 Nekobot while I greedily clenched onto the Voltron USB. As if this was the only one being sold that day.

POEM Govarian Box
It turns out that while there was tons of stuff to be sold there, I got most everything from Alen Yen. Not only did I pick up the 2 USB figures, but I also got my self a Poem Govarian which I had been eyeballing ALL DARN DAY but tried to restrain myself from buying. I mean it's a pretty ugly figure, but it has certain "charm" to it. I just couldn't resist.

POEM Govarian inner tray
I made a deal with him since I was already buying a few things. Initially I was contemplating so much that my wife finally said, just go and buy him before someone else does. So I walk over and someone has it in their hands. I panicked and was about to make a sad face when he put it down. I made my move.

Clover Virunvee
I also managed to score a Virunvee which he actually tried to give me for free, but I felt like a thief, I had already managed to score a GB-36 and a vintage 8-Chan figure without so much as a dollar being given and now I was being offered another quirky vintage toy! I said, I would just pay for it and I did..I think he even just discounted it because the wing was broken. Wasn't even that badly broken. But that's always subjective. 

Incubot Nekosaur
I'm not sure if I saved this one for last since it was a tad expensive, but Alen also made some vinyl figures in Japan. He made a clear vinyl Nekosaur with some of the clearest vinyl Ive ever seen on a toy. He was selling these normally for $80 so when I saw he had them marked down to $40 for the Summit, I jumped on it. So much for not spending...darn internet phones, there I was open the Paypal app again! I didn't spring for the full clear version. I opted instead for the half clear version. one half is painted a nice dark grey and black while the other half is clear. It comes in a baggie with header card and a clever insert to put inside the figure so that the figure looks like it has mechanical internals. 

Incubot Nekosaur on display
You need to check out INCUBOT Sofubi to see what I'm talking about and then take a few minutes to see what else they offer. I'll admit that even at $40 it hurt a little since it's not really big, but then I realized the love that was given to the creation of this figure and the lengths at which the creator went to to make his creation come true. Coupled with the fact that these figures were made in Japan the same way vintage sofubis (soft vinyls) were made back and the day and it doesnt seem too bad since you are supporting a good cause. And let's not forget the amazing crystal clear's sexy and very hard to manufacture.

Although the Chogokin Summit is long gone, I still remember every minute of it. What's funny is that we had a hotel booked for that night so we wouldn't have to drive 4 hours back home, but our new robot friends chewed into the hotel budget, so we had to cancel and drive home :)


  1. Hey man, love your blog and video reviews. Question for you: I also have a GB-36 boxed Popy Golion, but mine seems to have an odd variance. The Blue Lion's three-pronged mouth blade is packaged in the top right compartment under the Black Lion's cannons in the blue square tray. I've never seen this on any other boxed Popy Golion. I assume it's a factory error, but I wanted to ask the expert. Any thoughts? My Black Lion does have the white oval sticker with red Kanji and the Green and Red Lions have the chrome middles and tails.

  2. Hmm, I would have to see what you are talking about and compare it to mine. I don't have a great deal of experience with the Popy Golion stuff, but it would be great to see what kind of variants exist.

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