The Mysterious Cities of Gold was a French- Japanese co-produced animation series by the company with the hilarious name, well at least when you were a kid, DIC Entertainment and Studio Pierrot, a less funny name which is strange considering it is named after a clown! Anyway, the series premiered in Japan on NHK on 29 June 1982 and ran weekly for 39 episodes.
I first caught the series on BBC 1 in the early 80s and was beguiled by the mythical adventure story of a young Spanish boy named Esteban who joins a voyage to the New World in search of the lost Cities of Gold and his father.
The impressive looking background art, sharply drawn characters, and the beautiful soundtrack kept me entranced throughout the whole series, becoming my favourite programme of all time. Against the poorly animated dross on most of 80s children's animation this series really stood out and as a result It informed my formative years and introduced me to the wonders of the ancient world including the Incas, Aztecs, Atlantis and El Dorado. Even at the age of 35 I still regularly revisit the programme every year and I can attest to the fact that it still holds up as an impressive piece of work, even with those rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia taken off.
Whilst browsing through the internet I came across an advertisement promoting the sale of the Golden Condor from the MCOG. Now for those who know the series the Goldon Condor was a magical machine created by the people of Hiva which the children find in episode 18 that uses solar power to fly. It is this magical machine that most people remember the series for mostly, it was features prominently in the opening credits and looked beautiful in the show when animated. The condor flying with the track St. Elmo’s Fire by Haim Saban and Shuki Levy is ingrained in my mind and still gives me goosebumps whenever I watch the series. A chance to own a metal 1:25 scale model of the golden condor was too good an opportunity to pass up as memorabilia to do with the show is extremely rare and expensive. I already own a replica MCOG medallion and an original animation cel and douga but the condor was what I desired so I bought it for just under £100 pound, a high price for someone on a lowly teachers wage but was it worth it? Well, I'll be doing an unboxing soon so watch out.