Chogokin (超合金)

The very first Chogokin produced by Popy – Mazinger Z numbered GA-01 (photo by: Paul Yo)

 “Chogokin” (超合金) is a Japanese term which means “Super Alloy”.  It was originally the name of a fictitious material used to construct the super robot “Mazinger Z” which appeared in a Japanese comics and animations series back in the 1970s.  Eventually in 1974, this term was adopted by a Japanese toy manufacturer “Popy” as the name of a new line of die-cast metal robot toys.  Since then the popularity of Chogokin had grown so much that several other Japanese toy manufacturers, e.g. “Takatoku”, “Clover”, and “Bullmark” also joined the market.  Nowadays, all kinds of Japanese robot toys are generally referred to as “Chogokin”.

Following the huge success of the Chogokin toy line in Japan and other Asian countries, “Bandai” (the mother company of “Popy”) introduced it into the North American and European market by renaming it as “Godaikin” in the 1980s.  Besides the sturdiness of the die-cast metal body, the missiles and fists launching features as well as the transforming and combining mechanism of those later Chogokin productions had won the hearts of many kids at that time.

 

Left: My very first Chogokin – Machine Robo MR-01 from the early 1980s
Right: Vintage MR-01 in brand new condition (photo by: Paul Yo)

My Love for Chogokin

It all began when I was a kindergarten kid.  Like most boys at that age, my favorite toys used to be those toy cars like Tomica, Hotwheels and Matchbox.  Until one day when my father took me to a toyshop for my birthday present, he saw a little robot that could transform into a motorcycle!  He then turned to me and said, “How about I get you something different this time?”  It was this motorcycle robot which had led me to the world of Japanese robot toys.  It also brings back the precious memory of my father’s love for me.

 

A famous Japanese vintage toyshop in Hong Kong named “Whykukok (懷古角)” (photo from Whykukok Facebook)

The Journey Began

I did not start collecting Chogokins until I went to university when I managed to earn my own pocket money.  In the mid-1990s, some people from my generation started collecting Japanese vintage robot toys in order to bring back their childhood memories.  Since this hobby was yet to be popular, the price of Chogokins was still at a reasonable and affordable level.  During that time, one of my favorite things to do during weekends was to shop around vintage toyshops.  After collecting for almost two decades, I have got myself quite a collection of Chogokins already.  However, due to the limited living space back in Hong Kong, my collection had spent most of their time in storage.  It had been my dream to have them properly displayed one day…

Dream Comes True

My family and I eventually moved to Canada in 2018 and settled in this beautiful city – Calgary, where we were blessed with an abundance of living space.  Thanks to my loving wife who gave me her kind support, I was finally able to set up cabinets for displaying my Chogokin collection in our basement.  After weeks of unboxing, tidying up and decoration, I finally welcomed the grand opening of my very own Chogokin Museum!  DREAM COMES TRUE!

My very own Chogokin Museum

My name is Paul Yo and I am going to share more about my Chogokin collection here in Y93 JapanChat Corner.  For those who are interested in knowing more about Japanese vintage Chogokin toys, or for those who would like to bring back their childhood memories, please stay tuned!

IG: yotoystory