Mattel Godzilla Game

Mattel Godzilla Game

Childhood Fun with Godzilla

11.19.2022

The late 70s were exciting for so many reasons. The biggest reason was the Godzilla toy boom in America. There were very few Godzilla collectibles, which included Ideal Godzilla Game (1963) and the classic Aurora Godzilla model (1964) and Godzilla Go-Cart model (1969).1 About a decade later Godzilla exploded on toy shelves across the country and in our Christmas catalogs. Monogram Godzilla model kits (1977), Wonderland Godzilla Record (1977), HG Toys Godzilla puzzles (1977), Blue Oyster Cult “Godzilla” (1977), Ben Cooper Godzilla Halloween costume (1978), the GAF View-Master “Godzilla’s Rampage” (1978), GLJ’s Godzilla Bendy Figure (1978), Hanna-Barbara Godzilla animated cartoon (1978–81), Godzilla Battles the Tricephalon Monster Play Set (1979), Marvel Godzilla Comic Series (1977–79), Ken Films Super 8mm Toho films.2 Of all the releases the Mattel Toy Co. stood out: Shogun Warriors Godzilla (1978), Godzilla’s Gang (1978), and Rodan (1979). One of my favorites is the Mattel Godzilla Game released in 1978.

If the Mattel Godzilla Game is a 2 to 4 players board game for ages 5 and above. It includes a space spinner with moving space platform on a space base, and 24 spaceships in four colors (green, yellow, orange, and magenta). Basic instructions are found on the back of the box: “Load the spaceships on the Space Platform! Whirl the Space Spinner! Rotate the Space Platform! Watch Godzilla spring out and grab a spaceship! No one knows when! Player with the last spaceship left wins the game!” There were instructions included (side 1, side 2)3 but I no longer have the paper insert for my game. On it is found the object of the game: “The evil Godzilla is raiding the galaxies, bent on revenge for having been driven from the planet Earth. Now he is hiding behind an asteroid (a small planet) hurling through space. You’ve got to maneuver your spaceships around the asteroid and avoid the horror of being caught in Godzilla’s radioactive jaws. The last player to have spaceships on the wheel wins the game and lives to fight the monster another day.”

The front of the box reads, “Will you survive the mighty monster’s attack?” Players travel across space but must avoid Godzilla’s imminent attack triggered movement of spaceships with the turning of the space sinner. Each player is given a set of six spaceships of the same color. The spaceships were designed after the P-1 spaceship that traveled to Planet X in Invasion of the Astro-Monster (1965), in which Godzilla battled King Ghidorah in space. “P-1” can be found on the side of the rocket on the game art. Godzilla is hiding inside an asteroid waiting to gobble up the next spaceship. When he attacks the game creates a roar like sound.

The box is big (15 x 4 x9.75 inches) but simple. The box art and game art is very attractive. The box art might be the work of Mattel artist William George, known for He-Man toy illustrations. A commercial was created to announce the Godzilla game to its young demographic.

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My parents gifted me the Godzilla Game for Christmas in 1978. For over forty years, although my box is worn, inside my game has remained virtually mint and in great working condition. I have all but two of the 24 spaceships. The box art is as vibrant as it was on that distant holiday. The game was a favorite among my friends. Back then I was the undefeated champion. Like Miki Saegusa of the Godzilla Heisei series I had a great sense of when Godzilla was going to spring his attack.

References

1 “Godzilla in the Good Ol’ U.S.A.” by Robert V. Conte, RetroFan no.#10, 8/2020, pp 70–76.

2 13th Dimension

3 Instructions: The Sphinx: GODZILLA GAME (Mattel, 1978).

Resources

Godzilla Game (Mattel board game)

Wikipedia: Godzilla Game