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BanDai Gamera Heisei Gamera Action Figure BanDai, 2005
Day #1,458: June 6, 2016
BanDai Gamera Heisei Gamera Action Figure Gamera Heisei Gamera Action Figure
...Japanese, I think

Gamera Vinyl Figures
Item No.:
No. ???
Manufacturer: BanDai
Includes: n/a
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $12.99?
Availability: ca. 2005
Other: From Heisei period

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BanDai Gamera Heisei Gamera Action FigureI go out hunting for toys not because I expect to succeed. It's a compulsion - there are places I go eat for lunch solely because of their proximity to places to look for a toy or a record or something. Heisei Gamera was a surprise find in a thrift store, bagged with a SpaceGodzilla and Rodan. As I mentioned in here previously, someone's Kaiju collection got dumped at $1.99 a sack, and I will buy pretty much any vinyl monster toy at that price - especially if that price is for three of them. I don't know a heck of a lot about Gamera other than the quotes from Mystery Science Theater 3000 that the long-suffering Mrs. 16bit has made at me, so all I can really do here is say if it's a neat toy or not. It's pretty neat.

BanDai Gamera Heisei Gamera Action Figure

At 5-inches tall, he's a bit shorter than Toho's monster toys. Marked on the feet with some Japanese I can't read as well as 1999 TNHN and BANDAI 2005 MADE IN CHINA 39916, this little guy looks a lot like a mean, mutant turtle and not immediately like a friend to children. His tusks and teeth are a lot more sinister now that his eyes are smaller, and sure enough his hands and feet look a lot like a mutated turtle. They're wide and broad, wrinkly and significantly less fanciful than monsters of the contemporary Godzilla films. His shell is pointy and jagged, and he's got a long tail - I assume because it looks cool.

BanDai Gamera Heisei Gamera Action FigureArticulation is decent, but not fantastic. The legs and arms are jointed, as is the head at the base of the skull plus his tail. You get the level of movement you might expect our of a hollow vinyl toy, and my sample was abused en route to me. Either the previous owner or the infidels at the thrift store banged him around and his left leg was knocked in, rattling around inside the body and likely crushing whatever internal organs he would have had. I managed to reset it and it looks as good as new... or as good as newish.

Going through these thrift store Godzilla and monster finds certainly has adjusted my toy tastes. Hollow vinyl figures are typically cheaper to produce and can look really good - the sculpting on Gamera is surprisingly sharp, with the metallic underbelly of his shell given all sorts of amazing rings. It's almost beautiful. If you stumble on one of these for cheap (let's say under $20) you should totally get one, and the same goes for other, similar toys. I bought most/all of the Final Wars stuff a long time ago and the format is quite appealing, but mostly ignored in the USA outside a few Ben10 toys and, of course, the occasional Godzilla line. How come I can't get the monster from Cloverfield like this? Why aren't there super cheap vinyl Pacific Rim robots and monsters? Or, if I'm being unrealistic, a Rancor monster or the Gorax or Kraid or any of a number of killer beasts? It's just such a lovely expression of a character, and I assume it wouldn't break the bank to develop (ignoring of course, the licensing).

--Adam Pawlus

Additional Images

BanDai Gamera Heisei Gamera Action Figure BanDai Gamera Heisei Gamera Action Figure
BanDai Gamera Heisei Gamera Action Figure

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