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Hanuman and the Five Riders

Published June 25, 2024 Updated June 26, 2024

A selection cards showing characters from the 1975 Thai-Japanese film.

1975 Japan Thailand Childhood Movies & Film Myths & Legends Pop Culture Sci-Fi Superheroes Add to Collection

Above: poster for Hanuman and the Five Riders, a 1975 Thai-Japanese superhero film by Chaiyo Productions, featuring a crossover between Hanuman from the Ramakien and the Japanese Kamen Riders.

Hanuman and the Five Riders, a 1975 Thai-Japanese superhero film, showcased a crossover between Hanuman from the Thai epic Ramakien and the Japanese tokusatsu (live-action) heroes, Kamen Riders.

Above: promotional still from Hanuman and the Five Riders, featuring Hanuman from the Thai epic Ramakien alongside the Japanese Kamen Riders.

Chaiyo Productions, under producer-director Sompote Sangduenchai, used footage from the Japanese film Five Riders vs. King Dark without permission, leading to its ban in Japan. Sompote’s films, known for their “Thai-style kaiju” and characteristic 1970s special effects, often reused footage from other movies, creating a unique but disjointed viewing experience. Despite being an unauthorized production, merchandise such as these playing cards were produced.

Found at the House of Museums in Bangkok, these cards were distributed as toys in candy wrappers and feature characters from the film. To avoid associations with gambling, which was strictly regulated in Thailand during the 1970s, the cards were designed to look like children’s toys by numbering them from 1 to 10 and using A, B, C instead of J, Q, K.

Above, from left to right: 1 of Clubs (Kamen Rider), 3 of Clubs (Kamen Rider), 4 of Clubs (Hanuman from the Thai epic Ramakien) and 7 of Clubs (another Kamen Rider).

Above: playing cards featuring characters from the 1975 film Hanuman and the Five Riders, found at the House of Museums in Bangkok, distributed as toys in candy wrappers. The “B” of Clubs replaces the traditional “Q” to make the deck more suitable for children.

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By Adam Wintle

Member since March 15, 1997

Adam has been involved in developing the site as well as reviewing new decks and conducting research. He is particularly interested in innovation, Kickstarter and East Asian cards. He is a member of the IPCS and webmaster of the EPCS.


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