- Dr. Who: “He's exactly like the original Kong. With this, the world is ours.”
- Madame Piranha: “It's still not the original. You sure you didn't just build a giant toy?”
- Dr. Who: “A toy? That's an insult! How can you say that? It is the strongest thing there is in the world today!”
- ― Dr. Who reveals Mechani-Kong to his benefactor Madame Piranha (King Kong Escapes)
Mechani-Kong (メカニコング, also known as Robot Kong Mekanikongu) (ロボットコング, is a robot duplicate of Robotto Kongu)King Kong that first appeared in the 1966 Rankin/Bass animated series The King Kong Show, and later appeared in the 1967 Toho film King Kong Escapes.
Mechani-Kong is the creation of the villainous Dr. Who, a mad scientist bent on world domination and the sworn enemy of King Kong. In The King Kong Show and its tie-in media, Mechani-Kong is frequently deployed by Dr. Who to destroy Kong or menace his human allies. In King Kong Escapes, Mechani-Kong was instead built by Dr. Who for the purpose of mining the highly radioactive Element X. When the radiation damaged the machine, Who resorted to kidnapping the real Kong from his home of Mondo Island to force him to dig for the element instead. However, Kong was able to resist the madman's mind control and escaped Who's Arctic base. Dr. Who repaired Mechani-Kong and sent it to Tokyo to capture Kong in order to make him continue his task. After a pitched battle atop the Tokyo Tower, Kong defeated his robot double and sent the machine plummeting to its doom on the streets below. Toho planned to revive Mechani-Kong for several Godzilla film projects in the Heisei series, but legal concerns regarding use of the character caused these films to be scrapped. Mechani-Kong did make an appearance in Kodansha's Godzilla, King of the Monsters manga in the early 1990s.
Mechani-Kong's name comes from the word "mechanical" and the "Kong" part of King Kong's name. In the Japanese version of The King Kong Show and the U.S. release of King Kong Escapes, it is called Robot Kong (ロボットコング, while the U.S. poster for the film calls it the King Kong Robot. Robotto Kongu) Mechani-Kong's Japanese name is sometimes spelled with an interpunct as メカニ・コング.
For King Kong Escapes, Mechani-Kong's head was modeled by Teizo Toshimitsu and its body by Yasuei Yagi. The suit was constructed from the "hard sponge" material used in bath mats. Initially, there were no protective pads on the shoulders inside the suit, but these were added during shooting. For filming of the climactic scene atop the Tokyo Tower, the protective pads were removed. Two sets of arms, a long pair and a short pair, were constructed and used interchangeably for the suit. Some materials have stated due to the difference in the arm length that two suits were created, but chief modeler Nobuyuki Yasumaru has stated that only one Mechani-Kong suit was made. Mechani-Kong's eyes were lit by an 8 millimeter projector lamp. A 1-shaku (Japanese foot) Guignol or hand-operated puppet was also used for the Tokyo Tower scene. A life-sized model of Mechani-Kong's right hand was also made to depict the machine grabbing Susan Watson. The remains of Mechani-Kong after it falls to its demise from the Tokyo Tower were composed of TV circuit boards and pieces of the Atomic Heat Ray Gun props from Mothra and Type 66 Maser Cannons from The War of the Gargantuas.
The Mechani-Kong Guignol atop the Tokyo Tower model
Mechani-Kong was a favorite monster of Heisei series special effects director Koichi Kawakita, who worked on the staff for King Kong Escapes. For this reason, Kawakita attempted to bring the character back as Godzilla's opponent for the fourth entry in the Heisei series. The story proposal Micro Super Battle: Godzilla vs. Gigamoth had Mechani-Kong built by the U.S. military and injecting a team of humans inside Godzilla's body, with radiation leaking from the mecha spawning the kaiju Gigamoth C Type. Further story proposals built on this premise, featuring Mechani-Kong as a human-built weapon injecting a team of humans inside of Godzilla to battle him from within. However, Toho feared using even the likeness of King Kong would present legal difficulties with Turner Entertainment, who blocked production of a remake of King Kong vs. Godzilla prior to this. Ultimately Godzilla vs. Mothra was produced in place of Kawakita's Godzilla vs. Mechani-Kong proposal, while some of Kawakita's ideas for Mechani-Kong found their way into Mechagodzilla in the following film. Kawakita later paid tribute to Mechani-Kong through the mechanical monster Bulgario in The Justirisers and Super Fleet Sazer-X the Movie.
In The King Kong Show, Mechani-Kong is a giant robot bearing the basic likeness of King Kong himself. Its body made of sleek brown metal, with its face, hands, and chest being a lighter tan color. Mechani-Kong has no fingers, and its hands are instead composed of two claw-like pincers. There is also a window in the top of its head, behind which is a room where Dr. Who controls the machine. In tie-in media for the series, such as manga and other artwork, Mechani-Kong is given completely different designs. Some depict it as being almost completely identical in appearance to Kong, only being green in color and possessing bolts on its body. Others portray it with light tan segments on its joints and midsection, two black squares for eyes and a window on the top of its head, behind which is a room where Dr. Who controls the machine.
In King Kong Escapes, Mechani-Kong's entire body is a metallic gray color, with visible bolts on its limbs and joints, and powerful light bulbs for eyes. Mechani-Kong No. 1 has a utility belt containing grenades around its waist. Mechani-Kong No. 2 lacks the utility belt, but has a hypnotic light attached to the sagittal crest atop its head.
- The King Kong Show (TV 1966)
- King Kong Escapes (1967)
- Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991) [toy]
- Adventure! Godzilland 2 (TV 1993) [drawing]
Seeking revenge for previous defeats, Dr. Who began to destroy New Guinea with Mechani-Kong. The military mistook it for the real King Kong, and went to capture him on Mondo Island. While discussing the incident with Professor Bond, who looked after Kong with his children, Susan and Bobby, the military received word of another attack on New Guinea, and the Bonds and Captain Englehorn brought Kong to the island nation to help look into the matter. Kong then attempted to attack Mechani-Kong, but Mechani-Kong was unfazed by all of his blows. After Mechani-Kong knocked Kong to the ground, Kong headbutted Mechani-Kong into the ocean, causing it to short-circuit to the point of breaking down. Dr. Who then had his robot airlifted away with two helicopters using cables that were lowered down and attached to Mechani-Kong. Neither the Bonds nor Captain Englehorn ever found out that Dr. Who had created Mechani-Kong.
Mechani-Kong No. 1
Using anatomical drawings of the legendary giant gorilla-like ape King Kong that he had stolen from Carl Nelson, the international criminal Dr. Who built Mechani-Kong to mine the highly radioactive Element X from the Arctic. Dr. Who intended to sell the element to his mysterious benefactor Madame Piranha, whose country desired to use it to build a nuclear arsenal. When Mechani-Kong began to dig for Element X, the radiation damaged the machine's circuits and left it disabled. Dr. Who was forced to find a new method to mine the material, and kidnapped the real King Kong from his home of Mondo Island. Who outfitted Kong with a mind control device on his head and used a large hypnotic light to further control him. However, the radiation emitted by Element X interfered with the mind control device, and Kong broke free. Kong then escaped Dr. Who's base and began swimming towards Tokyo.
Mechani-Kong No. 2
Under Dr. Who's orders, Mechani-Kong was hastily repaired, upgraded and designated as Mechani-Kong No. 2 (メカニコング２号. Mekanikongu Nigō) Dr. Who brought the repaired Mechani-Kong to Tokyo aboard his ship, then unleashed the machine in Tokyo to retrieve Kong. Kong battled his robot double in the streets of Tokyo, but Mechani-Kong grabbed Susan Watson, to whom Kong had taken a liking. Mechani-Kong began climbing up the Tokyo Tower with Susan in hand and Kong in pursuit. Dr. Who broadcast his voice from Mechani-Kong and told Kong to surrender or else he would drop Susan. As the two Kongs scaled the Tower, Madame Piranha turned on Dr. Who and damaged Mechani-Kong's remote controls, though she was shot and killed by Dr. Who in the process. Mechani-Kong became paralyzed and dropped Susan, who was rescued by Jiro Nomura. The top of the Tokyo Tower then snapped off, with Mechani-Kong falling to the streets below, breaking into several pieces upon impact and exploding.
Mechani-Kong can emit a hypnotic light from the top of its head. This light is capable of temporarily entrancing Kong.
Mechani-Kong has a utility belt attached to its waist that contains numerous giant grenades. Mechani-Kong can pull these grenades off its belt and throw them, either to try and harm its enemies or to dig through the Arctic ice.
Mechani-Kong possesses a high degree of physical strength. The machine is capable of grappling with King Kong himself, considered to be the strongest animal on Earth, and is able to dig through solid ice or scale the Tokyo Tower with ease.
High beam eye lights
Mechani-Kong's eyes are outfitted with powerful high-beam lights, which it can use to temporarily blind opponents.
Mechani-Kong has several loudspeakers inside its mouth, through which Dr. Who can broadcast his voice.
In The King Kong Show, Mechani-Kong was disabled after being headbutted over a cliff and into the ocean by Kong, which caused the machine to short-circuit to the point that it shut down and needed to be airlifted out by two helicopters with cables attached to it.
In King Kong Escapes, when Mechani-Kong was mining for the radioactive Element X, the radiation of the ore caused the machine to short-circuit and shut down, which then required it to be quickly repaired and upgraded by Dr. Who. When facing Kong on top of the Tokyo Tower, Madame Piranha betrayed Dr. Who when she destroyed Mechani-Kong's remote controls (Dr. Who killed her for this treachery, however) and caused it to freeze up, after which it fell off with the top of the tower after it snapped off, broke into pieces on the ground below and exploded.
In the 1992 Kodansha manga Godzilla, King of the Monsters, Godzilla threw Mechani-Kong II over his shoulders and on impact with the ground, the machine was disabled and lost one of its arms. Godzilla then destroyed the now-immobile Mechani-Kong II by shooting his atomic breath at the robot's head, causing it to explode. Though the machine was unmanned, a direct hit to its head window from the Maser Cannons of an ASTOL-MB93 was enough to stun the machine, allowing Godzilla to incapacitate it.
Mechani-Kong appears in the fifth stage of Konami Wai Wai World, called City Stage, as one of the naturally occurring enemies alongside Jumping Hopper, Flyer, and Laserwalker. Later in the level, another Mechani-Kong-like mecha appears named Bosskonger, who serves as the stage's boss.
Having been reconstructed by Dr. Mad Oniyama and christened Mechani-Kong II, Mechani-Kong, now scaled up to a height of 100 meters, was deployed to assist Mechagodzilla III in fighting Godzilla. Mechani-Kong II took Godzilla by surprise, punching through a refinery tank and holding Godzilla steady while Mechagodzilla III was ordered by Oniyama to attack him.
After Oniyama was forced to flee the controls of the two robots by G-Team, leaving the machines unguided, Yosuke Kaneko fired at the top of Mechani-Kong II's head with his ASTOL-MB93's Maser Cannons, stunning the robotic ape temporarily. Godzilla used the opportunity to break free and quickly fight back against Mechani-Kong II, throwing the mechanical ape over his shoulder and breaking its arm. The impact with the ground crippled the robot, which was then quickly dispatched by Godzilla with a shot to the head of his atomic breath.
- Main article: Mechani-Kong/Gallery.
- In an episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy titled "Giant Billy and Mandy All-Out Attack," there was a parody of Mechani-Kong named "Mecha-Gorillasaur," who was piloted by Mandy.
Mechani-Kong's roar is a modified Toho King Kong roar, which was sped up and echoed. Mechani-Kong's roar would later be used for the capsule monster in .
- Mechani-Kong, being a robot doppelgänger of King Kong, was an inspiration for Mechagodzilla, a version of which would later go on to fight Kong in the 2021 film Godzilla vs. Kong.
- In King Kong Escapes, Mechani-Kong's theme is actually an updated version of the military march from King Kong vs. Godzilla. Akira Ifukube later modified and included this theme in his score for Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II.
- Mechani-Kong makes a brief cameo alongside Maguma in a drawing in an episode of the 1993 trivia show Adventure! Godzilland.
- Mechani-Kong is visible among several robot toys in the background as Emmy Kano is reprogramming M11 aboard MOTHER in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah.
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