Yujin Shooting Game Historica Metarion Capsule Toy Yujin, 2007
Day #874: March 11, 2014
Metarion Fram Gradius 2, not to be confused with Gradius II: Gofer no Yabo
Shooting Game Historica Series 1 Gashapon
Item No.: n/a Manufacturer:Yujin Includes:Stand, option Action Feature:Some assembly required Retail:300 yen (or about $4) Availability: 2007 Other: Metarion or Metalion, whatever
Behold, greatness! The Metarion was blown out by NCS for $12.90 in a set with the Vic Viper and a ship from Darius Gaiden. I'm disgusted with myself that I dragged my feet to get the partial set, because I missed out on the R-Type R-9A Arrow-Head but I digress! Well, I made the wrong digression - we're here to talk about the Metarion, a lesser-known ship due to it appearing in the MSX computer game Gradius 2 in Japan. It's different from the arcade Gradius II game, which actually never came out in America (and was released as Vulcan Venture in Europe. The Gradius chronology is graduate-level gamer dork stuff.) The game did get ported a few times, I have it on Sega Saturn's Konami Antiques MSX Collection Ultra Pack as well as Salamander Portable on the PSP. The latter was tuned up a bit with less-choppy scrolling... and was remade as a 16-bit quality game for the Sharp X68000, which you'll never play, so who the Hell cares? (Konami: please port this to any online game service that features controllers with buttons. Thank you.)
The ship is light grey and cast in a soft plastic which is easy to bend out of shape - mine is kind of warped. The wings pop off easily, as it comes to you as a small kit. The canopy is easy to see in, and the ship itself is pretty bare save for a couple of blue markings and light grey stripes. The back of the ship's engines are colored as well, and this looks like it is far more 1980s than the other versions of the ship. It's plain, looks like it could exist in the real world in some capacity, and has those swell mandibles that all Gradius ships must have or pay the penalty. This looks like something that you should've seen in Tomorrowland at a Disney park in the late 1980s. Seriously, does this or does this not look like a counterpart to the Starspeeder 3000?
It's relatively big for the price, roughly the size of a Hot Wheels car or Star Wars Titanium Series vehicle. It fits nicely on a clear plastic stand along with a single, unpainted orange Option floating next to it. It's the kind of unusual thing that's oddly simple and if you're a fan of the genre, incredibly touching. I know it's ridiculous but seeing these ships in front of me makes me well up a bit. I mean, I still can't believe they exist and I have them. This genre of gaming is largely dormant, the shoot 'em up seems to have had its spaceships replaced by flying scantily clad schoolgirls and witches - and most people don't have the patience for this kind of "one hit and you're dead" video gaming. The fact that any toys exist is something of a small miracle.
This isn't my favorite version of the ship - this is -- but I love it all the same. It's much cheaper to get a Metarion than a Vic Viper, but at the same time it's not really the same thing either. There's a low-run metal version of the Viper, and numerous rare model kits from Good Smile Company, but I think this is the only version of that MSX ship that you can get. It's a beautiful little vehicle, but seeing it in front of me I realize just how painfully undermerchandised video games continue to be. I assume some of you Marvel and DC fans feel the same way... and any of you Star Wars fans that try to pile on here, well, as one of you know that you're woefully delusional. I really hope to see more game toys just like this one. (Also: Road British.)
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