Kong count #67 – Greenman vs “Gorilla”

Officially, Toho made two films with King Kong in them, and, barring the continued existence of Gorosaurus and Mechani-Kong, that was the end of it. There was one more screen appearance, however, that’s a little more ambiguous. In the 1970’s the Good Morning Children’s Show had a line of short, 5-minute TV shows featuring the heroes fighting monsters: Redman set the template, and was followed by Go! Godman, then Go! Greenman, and finally Go! Kotaroh Ushiwaka. In a given show, either due to financial or creative constraints, it was common to see former Toho creations (or Tsuburaya creations, in Redman‘s case) recycled as the enemy du jour, so Godman took on Gabara, Gorosaurus, Kamebas, Sanda, Gaira, and Batman (the one from Latitude Zero), while Greenman fought against Gaira, Gabara, Sanda, and Minilla (!), along with several of Godman’s other old baddies. Among Greenman’s roster of foes is the suspiciously-mundanely named “Gorilla.”

gorilla-greenmangorilla-greenman-2

That’s… just the King Kong suit from King Kong Escapes. No horns, frills, paint, nothing to give it a Baragon-style identity-concealing makeover. Well, maybe they just really wanted to have a gorilla in the episode, and Toho didn’t happen to have any other costumes lying aroun-

garogagorilla

Oh, yeah, the Garoga Gorilla showed up on Zone Fighter just the previous year; it’s a newer, nicer head sculpt, but still firmly in the realm of disposable monster-of-the-week TV-quality. That might have been a better way to go if they weren’t just deliberately pushing up against the limits of existing IP restrictions. Or maybe Garoga Gorilla really was destroyed, anyone know?

I guess from an infringement perspective, it could be worse, and Toho wasn’t stepping on the Kong owners’ toes too much. The Greenman/Gorilla fight was just a three-part serial (the 38th overall, for the record) on an obscure kid’s TV show, and those episodes never even made it to DVD. It’s not like they ever licensed “Gorilla”‘s likeness for any sort of merchandising-

butanohana-gorillabutanohana-gorilla-2

It turns out Butanohana has a Greenman toy line with “Gorilla” at multiple scales, as well as alternate sculpts and repaints. Note that this is not to be confused with their “giant gorilla” figure that they made as part of their dinosaur sofubi line. Okay, I think maybe they’re just playing some sort of game of chicken with Universal.

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