Checking in today with more of an abbreviated review than most, however I still think it’s a cool figure worth checking out. I wanted to review this guy back during Japanese Monster Week, but time just got away from me. It’s the 1995 Bandai Gamera figure! Ohh, exciting!
7 Inch Scale
I wanted this figure forever but couldn’t find a decent price on him. He just doesn’t go up for sale much and if he does a lot of times you’ll find that he goes for a pretty hefty sum. Still if you’re lucky, you can on occasion find him on the cheap. I just love the design of the 1995 Guardian of the Universe Gamera and until the Revoltech Gamera hits, this is the best poseable version of that figure available.
These guys don’t come in packages. There should be a tag on him, but yeah I don’t have that. Oh noes! That’s a big no-no for collectors of these vinyl Bandais in general, but I don’t give two craps.
The sculpt here is pretty good, but this was done in the mid-90’s so this is still during Bandai’s kind of “whatever” period when it came to Kaiju sculpts. Yeah, on occasion they would really hit a homerun, but a lot of the Bandai Kaiju from this era just aren’t that detailed. In the past few years Bandai really stepped it up in terms of sculpting.
The face is key and they captured that very well. One of the things I really liked about the 1995 Gamera is that he had an updated version of the classic Gamera look in terms of his face. As Kaneko’s masterpiece trilogy went on Gamera’s face especially became more and more monstrous, which was great in context of the story but didn’t do much for me in terms of design.
There actually are a few good sculptural elements to this figure, but the paint job is what’s lacking the most. A good sculpt can really be accented by a paint job or it can be ruined by one. The paint doesn’t effect this guy either way. If this figure was repainted with details and washes, he’d be incredible.
His mouth is painted pure pink and while that’s okay, his teeth aren’t big enough to really stand out against it. His tusks aren’t painted great either. His chest has one of those patented Bandai spray paint jobs of gold that just fails to bring out the necessary details. His shell is a different paint spray, but again it’s all pretty “blah” to me. Now to be fair, in Japan this is very much the norm and fits in with the design of these era of figures, but it doesn’t really appeal to the “American” in me.
He’s a big ol’ boy too, coming in at close to 8 inches. While the Bandai scale used to be bigger than the new figures like MechaGodzilla there, he’s still too big. He’s bulky as well and has a very thick body base. It looks cool for the character, but pretty much puts him out of scale with just about everything… Except I think he’d look great with Bandai USA’s 11 Inch Godzilla series.
These Bandai vinyl figures never give you a ton in the way of articulation and Gamera is no exception here. That said, for kids big hard vinyl figures like this are perfect for what they are intended. If I’d had this Gamera when I was 7, he would have kicked all kinds of butt even with his limited articulation.
He has articulated arms, legs and tail. They’re all swivel joints. You can’t get a great range of motion out of the arms or legs and the figure doesn’t look great posed a lot of ways. So you’re pretty much stuck with what you get.
His only accessory is pine scent, just like Moss Man. No, I’m kidding. He doesn’t come with anything. Although I’m sure if you rubbed him down with Pine Sol he could have a pine scent. I don’t recommend it though, I have no idea what the chemical reaction of Pine Sol to a 15 year old vinyl would be like.
Expect to pay anywhere from $15-$30 for this figure and that’s being conservative. I’ve seen them go for a full Ulysses S. Grant and above. Personally I wouldn’t pay more than $25 or so for him. He’s not exactly the world’s greatest toy. Of course if you’re looking for him in less of the “toy” sense and more of the “collectible” sense, you might be willing to pay more. As I said, this guy is getting pretty rare.
Packaging – N/A
Sculpting – 7
Articulation – 2
Accessories – N/A
Value – 6
Overall – 6 out of 10
For a figure I wanted for a good decade or so, Gamera isn’t exactly the best figure out there. I wish I had mad painting skills because I’d probably repaint this beast. With a proper paint job he could easily be a wicked toy. I guess I’m just spoiled with my Chogokin Gamera, because he’s awesome even if the design isn’t as good. If you’re into vintage Kaiju vinyl though, this Gamera is a wee bit above average.
FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER! If you don’t, vinyl Gamera eats an old person. Hey, he’s the friend of all children… He never said anything about geriatrics. So save your Grandma and follow my Tweets!