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Popy Toys

Popy Toys was a Japanese toy manufacturer of the 1970s and early 1980s & often associated with gem like quality. It was owned by Bandai and  was founded in 1971.  Popy then merged back into the parent company in 1983. The company is best known for its ground-breaking ??? or "Chogokin" or literally Super Alloy robot figures.
Note: ??? Chogokin, Sometimes Chougokin or Cho-gokin
Popy toys featured a number of other innovative features , for instance Raideen is often considered the first transforming (full) toy, and thus a precursor of the world-famous Transformers line. The same toy also introduced the idea of a predominantly-black ‘premium’ coloration.  Black re-coloration has since become a recurring theme in many toylines, especially those in Japan.

In the early 70's the parent company Bandai spun off the toy division Popy and allowed them to utilize an unproven toy material for Japan-- die cast metal. That zinc based metal soon gained the trade name "Chogokin" or super metal alloy. In the late 70's the United States was introduced to this masterful company with the "Shogun Warriors" toy line. Mattel re-packaged and distributed an assortment of the Chogokin super-robots throughout the states.

Popy robots are often considered to be jewelry-like in their refinement and represent the pinnacle in engineering for die cast engineering in Japan. Much of the paintwork utilizes at least 4 colors and has an exacting glossy polished appearance. Chrome parts, transforming mechanisms, shooting fists, swords, axes, hidden compartments, and even magnets are used throughout the line. Later in the 90's the parent company Bandai decided to recapture the essence of these toys with the "Soul of Chogokin" robots (see the Bandai index).

DX or deluxe versions of Popy Japan toys were re-released in the United States (1984-1986) under the brand name of Godaikin (see the Godaikin picture index). Godaikins are nearly identical to the Popy, Japan releases.

Note that Popy made toys were used in a variety of lines outside of Japan, usually without the company’s name being used. In the late 1970s, Mattel had licensed a selection of figures for their Shogun Warriors range with success. Bandai’s American and European arms distributed a number of figures under the brand name Godaikin (with the latter later using Robo Machine umbrella) in the early 1980s. In 1983, Tonka licensed Machine Robo designs for their Gobots franchise – most of the major characters such as Cy-Kill, Turbo, Bug Bite, and Fitor were based on Popy designs. Perhaps the best known 1980s export of Popy was the Voltron series, which used the Popy figures Golion, Dairugger XV and Arbegas as the Lion, Vehicle and Gladiator Voltrons respectively.