1980
OK, let's face it: this sucker is UGLY Butt-ugly. Godzilla as a giant-monster character has a certain charm, but this has to be about the most scabacious, herpes-ridden, disturbing portrayal of the big guy ever attempted. What the hell was Mattel thinking?

There's a Japanese version of this toy as well (called a "Jumbosaurus" instead of a "Jumbo Machinder"), but as you might expect, it's handled pretty well. The proportions are decent, it's got a lizard-like head and big spikes running down the back, and best of all it roars, thanks to a built-in pull-string mechanism.

Mattel's abortion, on the other hand, has been variously compared to a "scabies-ridden cat with leprosy," "a hideously deformed circus-sideshow stillborn," and "a filthy pus-stained abomination with a serious case of advanced melanoma." Actually, I just made all of those up, but I bet if you polled enough people that's the response you'd eventually get. Did I mention that this is one UGLY mother?

Actually, it ain't ALL bad. Although Mattel "revised" the design by removing the voicebox and back-spikes and totally screwing up the head, they did add ONE redeeming feature: a totally lewd fire-tattooed tongue that suggestively slides in and out at the flip of a lever. Yum! And hey, at least they kept the "rocket punch" -- thus managing to singlehandedly deep-six everything great about the Japanese version of the toy while preserving the one retarded feature that they should have been editing out. Alcoholism? Drug problem? Pact with Satan? I dunno, but I wish these guys could have been given a crack at reworking Mattel's Barbie lineup...

Matt Alt

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