If you grew up in the 1980s, there was no escaping Gremlins. Between the toys you were told weren't age-appropriate to the sugary cereal advertised on TV, it was a pretty strong creature feature so naturally it got popular in Japan and did enough at the US box office to warrant a sequel. With the sequel came more toys, but rather than being made by a mass-market toy company these were cranked out by Applause, which was best known for making PVC figures, plush, and gift items for the specialty market. (Read: not Toys R Us, Walmart, etc.) I remember having to find Gizmo from Gremlins 2: The New Batch at a Spencer Gifts which, in 1990, was about as classy as it is today.
The film is an amazing one, and the toys were a vast improvement over the original ones from LJN. Gizmo in particular got painted pink nails and a sculpt that was closer to the look of the movie character, without the giant eyes and enlarged head. It's closer in line to the coloring in some of the marketing materials, with a lighter brown fur than he appears on the big screen. Measuring at just 2-inches tall (not counting the ears), he's pretty small and spent a good chunk of his life as the driver of various LEGO vehicles I made-- but he held up really well over the years, Applause really knew how to select a good quality paint for these guys.
I have no idea which color Gizmo is molded in as he's completely covered in paint. I can't help but wonder if this is why he seems to have aged so well, there's no yellowing or discoloration, he doesn't seem brittle, and there are no weird oily residues either. He looks and feels exactly like how I remember getting him at the mall so long ago, which is rare for super-old toy figures. Obviously your mileage may vary, but I don't believe I've seen one in anything less than pretty great condition so far.
If you look at other PVCs from Applause at the time (and you can, look below for links) you'll notice that some seem kind of off-model or have wonky paint. For a product of 1990, I'm quite pleased with him. Since his release, Hasbro made a Gremlins Furby and Jun Planning released a number of plush and statues, plus we got some great figures and collectibles from Neca and Funko in the last couple of years. With all of these high-quality new products, the older toys have dropped in price quite a bit. The most expensive specimen of the Gizmo PVC I saw on eBay was $7, with several others at about $1 closing with no bids. If you got the Gremlins 2 Blu-Ray this year and just want a cheap classic figure, this is certainly a good one for the price.
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