Archive for toys

Some toys are harder than others…

Posted in henshin, Kaiju misc., New Vinyl with tags , , , , , , on February 27, 2011 by REdYOdA

…to find that is!

Also,  how seeing this monster in 1993 sparked a road to collecting and learning about Japanese culture that has been so much fun!

Here’s the multi faced bad guy… named: ‘Itsutsu Banbara’…

Back in 1993 I first saw the character on the back of an album from a band I really liked…it was a .45 LP from HELMET.

I still have it…

(Bonus: click the album to hear one of the songs from the 45!)

I thought the character was so interesting….plus I just had to understand what the hell was going on in that bizzaro picture!

Of course no toy or figure existed of Itsustu Banbara at that time, but after some digging I learned that the scene on the album was from a Japanese show called ‘Inazuman‘. I loved it!

This is one of the first moments I started really getting into the pop culture of Japan and when I discovered the other hero shows…I was hooked! I mean I knew about Godzilla and Ultraman, but discovering all of the other craziness and brilliance coming out of Japan…I really became enraptured!

Here is the episode (well the parts with Itsutsu Banbara…

Finally in 2009, Japanese toymaker Rainbow released the character (which I missed the pre-order for grrr!) and couldn’t find another until a helpful skullbrain board member spotted one at the Mandarake online store in Tokyo…almost 2 years after the pre-order! But it all worked out finally… Thanks Kurumonz!

Toys will ALWAYS turn up when you are persistently hunting them…though some just take a LOT of patience.

If you want to find this guy…here is the Kanji to get started…

Itsutsu Banbara: イツツバンバ

Rainbow Sofubi (soft vinyl): レインボー ソフビ

The harder they are to find and the longer you have to wait…the more special they are when you finally get them.

...and do yourself a favor and head over to Generation Kikaida and pick up the Inazuman DVD’s, you won’t be sorry!


Michael Jackson Transformations!

Posted in Fun Stuff with tags , , , , on February 20, 2011 by REdYOdA

Fun with those wacky but cool MJ Thriller vinyls Marusan released in 2010

Michael transforms into a Werecat & Zombie right before your very eyes! wow.

and there you have it folks…28 more seconds wasted on the internet YES!

>If  the gif animations are loading too slowly for your connection, there are smaller video versions at my flickr…HERE<

Click metamorphosing Mike above to see a video about the making of Thriller (linked part features MJ getting the ‘werecat’ makeup).

Click Zombie Mike to learn the Thriller Zombie dance!

Figures by Marusan.

Chinese 18″ Ultraman

Posted in Tokusatsu, Toy Reviews with tags , , , , on January 22, 2009 by REdYOdA

About a year ago I decided I wanted a large Ultraman in the classic ‘Spacium Ray’ crossed arms pose for display…without paying too much $$$, I found this guy…

(Shown here with the M1 9″ Hyata for size reference)

Ultraman & Hyata

This Chinese made electronic figure set me back about $40. Made by a company called Ruishi Culture Developing Co. (that’s a strange name) in 2004, under official license from Tsuburaya, I thought it looked pretty good regarding detail and proportion.Ruishi 18" Ultraman

It came boxed and attached to a stand with the Ultraman logo…I removed the stand by unscrewing the feet, it just took up too much room! Below is the picture from Ruishi’s website (in English too!)…browse through the ‘Toys’ section and you will see a massive amount of Ultra toys! They make everything from Ultra-underwear to Ultra cutlery!

Ruishi Pic

Here’s a nice Ultra-Mask & Weapon ‘Assenbly’…


Now my one issue with this toy…like I mentioned, it’s electronic, so I popped in 4 AA’s and viola…

Well, besides Ultraman’s weird jerky ‘pop & lock‘ moves…wtf does he say? Sounds like a female voice to me. I do like the little Ultraman theme snipet though.

All in all, I’d say it’s pretty cool for a large display figure… and so what if my Ultraman speaks Chinese and sounds likes girl!

Hyata’s ‘Beta Capsule‘ … just for fun…

Beta Capsule

Bandy and Tahoe…

Posted in Kaiju misc. with tags , , on September 12, 2008 by REdYOdA

It’s actually Bandai and TOHO… but to each their own, I guess.

Apparently this person ‘maretodd‘ aka ‘Phsyco Psychic‘ has been selling some questionable collectibles and has received some unsavory feedback.

The response…ohhh the drama!

Glowing Mutant Chaos Army!

Posted in The Kaiju Art Collection with tags , , , , , , , on August 21, 2008 by REdYOdA

Mutant Chaos Army!

RxH Mutant Formation…ready to protect the human race from Akro-Kaiser!

Above is the latest addition to The Kaiju Art Collection!

Read a little more about RealxHead and Mutant Chaos in my Maneki Neko post.

Kaiju Smogun!

Posted in The Kaiju Art Collection, Toy Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 13, 2008 by REdYOdA


The garbage monster sculpt, originally created by I-K-B toys in 1971, has proven to be a very popular kaiju with vinyl collectors.

Smogun’s popularity is due in part to the character’s mysterious origins, it’s rarity, and the devoted re-issues by Gargamel and Hukkokudo.
With a torso made of tires, cars for feet, a truck for a head, and headlights for eyes, Smogun is a very unique Kaiju…and that’s saying a lot with all of the imaginative creatures out there!

Header Cards:

For those of you new to collecting vinyl… most Japanese vintage, and new vinyl toys are sold packaged in a clear plastic bag with a stapled header card. The header usually features original printed artwork of the enclosed Kaiju. The artwork, either commissioned or painted by the vinyl toy creator, commonly features the monster/hero in some sort of battle scenario with other monsters, probably related creatures in a series that are also available to purchase. The header art usually features very stylized text, exciting action, and vivid, eye catching colors… I’ve actually bought kaiju just for the cool header card alone! See my Salary Ika Post.

In the case of Smogun, the I-K-B header card plays an important role. The refuse monster, having no TV program or manga to encourage it’s sale, the toy depends entirely on the creativity of the sculpt and an interesting header to grab your attention…and your wallet.

I didn’t take this pic…Original IKB Smoguns to show header…
IKB Originals

Smogun’s header features said Kaiju battling it out with another fictional monster named ‘Mosugun’ aka ‘Smogun 2’. If the ‘Bemon’ character was ever produced in vinyl in the 70’s… it’s existence remains unknown…except for the one I have…but you can’t see it…it’s the only one…only I can look at it!

On a side note: ‘Bemon’ or ‘Mosugun’ from the I-K-B header is also released as ‘Smogun2’ by Target Earth Toys. On the flip side of the Smogun header are pictured various ‘pollution monsters’ called ‘Hedorans’ , which bear an uncanny resemblance to TOHO’s Hedorah the smog monster. Hedoran has also been widely re-released by Gargamel.

Gargamel’s happy Hedorans…
We're Hedorans!

Target Earth’s Smogun 2 ‘Bemon’…
Smogun 2

As far as I-K-B Toy’s history…it remains a complete mystery to me . I have been unable to find any more information on the elusive vintage toy company…so hit me up if you’re in the know!

With a little digging, you’ll unearth quite a few customs and colorways of Smogun. It’s also found in standard and mini sizes.

For the Kaiju Art Collection Smogun at the top of the post …I used the Hukkokudo full size repro of the original I-K-B 1971 colorway. I liked the color interplay of green opposed to the original orange.

See it supersized in the gallery!

Zagoran & Zagamania!

Posted in The Kaiju Art Collection, Toy Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 10, 2008 by REdYOdA


For a monster that never had it’s own television program or movie… Zagoran sure is popular…at least with collectors!

He’s been around for awhile in vinyl, I know, It’s just that I finished the above Kaiju Art photograph and got re-inspired by Zag’s awesomness!
Such a great design in this happy cyclops… what’s not to like?
There are a ton of great Zagoran figures out there, especially by two of my personal favorite vinyl
designers/producers: Hukkokudo & Gargamel.

I think Gargamel has the Hukko’ Zag beat in the sheer numbers produced and I believe Garagamel’s Zag was  the first Zag on the scene… but I gotta give my vote to Hukko’ for my favorite sculpt. Don’t get me wrong! I love the Gargamel Zags, I have a couple, I just prefer the Hukko’s a little more. The Gargamel Zags seem, maybe a little too cartoonish to me… I know that sounds weird when you’re talking about a crazy vinyl toy that represents a fictional character…but heh…if you’re reading this, you probably understand me.
Gargamel Zag!

The Hukkokudo (aka The reprint Maker of Lost Kaiju Toys) Zags are a tiny bit taller at 11″ (compared to 9″ for Gargamel). There are definitely fewer colorways in the Hukko’s, but again, I like the sculpt. The back spines are cool (none on Gargamel’s), as are the more raised ‘scales’. The Huckko’s seem to be not quite as polished a sculpt as the Gargamel. The more inurbane sculpts are something that I feel I’m drawn to in kaiju vinyl.

With a tiny bit of detective work you can also find a crazy amount of custom Zags too. Zag customs by Artists: Tim Biskup, Paul Kaiju (I really like PK’s stuff!), Frank Kozik, Mark Nagata, Dead Presidents, and more.

There are sooo many Zagoran variants: Store variants, SDCC’s, Zags in planes, Zag’s in tanks, Zags stuffed with you-name-it, Super7 even had a Zag design contest… with the winning Zag to get it’s own custom production run…by Gargamel! Zags made by Marmit, Target Earth, & Shikaruna Koubo too!
Marmit Zag!

If you want to $ave some dough, there are lots of mini Zags too.

Well, maybe that will cost you more if you’re the completest type and have to have both versions…doh!

Zagora‘ is a kaiju character from a 1967 book written by Toshiya Nakaoka with original artwork by an artist named Kaijita. The book: Shin Sekai No Kaiju (New World Monsters), features Zag and a cast of other fictional kaiju that were also made into toys… but not used in any tokusatsu programs.

That’s all I’ve been able to determine so far…leave a comment if you know more and I’ll edit this post!

Click Old Skool Zagora below to visit the gallery…

Shin Sekai No Kaiju