4 Inch Scale
So this is how it ends, not with a bang but with a Jiger… Yes, Japanese Monster Week has finally come to a close. This will be the last official Japanese Monster Week post. I still have several Gamera monster reviews coming up in the days and weeks ahead, but I’m ending the promotion at this post. Two of the most hectic weeks in recent memory derailed my plans for Japanese Monster Week a bit, but at least we got quite a few reviews up. DVD giveaways will be announced very soon. Who won?! You’ll find out soon. This is the last post you can reply to, to win a DVD.
On Wester Island in the Pacific Ocean, a large statue of mysterious origin (called the Devil’s Whistle) is located by scientists. Workers from the Expo are interested in returning the statue for display, and try to remove it for transport by ship. The removal of the statue is hampered first by a tribal member of the Wester Island people, then by the unexpected arrival of Gamera, who aggressively attempts to prevent the removal of the statue, only to be shot at by the crew instead. The statue is removed from the island successfully after a volcano erupts.
Removing the statue has in fact, unearthed Jiger. Jiger is a horned quadrupedal reptile somewhat reminiscent of the extinct Triceratops. Jiger is capable of shooting quills from it’s head as well as using a heat ray. Gamera and Jiger do battle, until only one can survive.
Even in the land of somewhat obscure Gamera Kaiju, Jiger is king. Jiger just manages to fly so far under the radar. It could be because Jiger is technically a girl, one of the handful of Kaiju with this distinction, or perhaps because the film in which Jiger appears, doesn’t even have the creature’s name in the US title. The 1970 Daiei film Gamera vs. Jiger, was called in America, Gamera vs. Monster X. It could also be because Jiger seems to resemble Gamera’s more famous other nemesis Barugon. Whatever the case for Jiger’s obscurity, she has one advantage over Barugon and many other Kaiju… A Trendmasters figure!
The packaging is the same as we’ve seen before in this line, all the figures share the exact same packaging. There is a large photo of Gamera’s head from the film, Guardian of the Universe, but actual Gamera logo doesn’t appear anywhere but the plastic bubble. In a lot of ways the packaging mirrors Trendmasters’ Independence Day toy packages. Trendmasters had more black cards for their toys than probably any toy company ever.
The back of the package is the exact same as the one for Gamera. All the figures share the same card, with only the inner nameplate changing. Once again, the bio is terrific and fairly in-depth for the character, if not quite era accurate. This covers just about all of Gamera’s classic Kaiju, but Barugon is noticably absent. I can see skipping Space Gyaos, but why not make Barugon? Perhaps it was too similar to Baragon? Of course Trendmasters figure of Baragon is quite rare too.
Baragon being a Godzilla Kaiju, Barugon being a Gamera Kaiju. Both creatures look similar too. Jiger actually shared Barugon’s roar (though slightly altered) in the feature film, so I wonder what roar Trendmasters gave the roaring Jiger figure?
As a bit of a recurring theme with these Trendmasters Gamera figures, Jiger’s head is a rocket launcher. However, this time it’s really weaved in seamlessly. Jiger actually shot quills from her head and although it looks a bit more like a horn here, it’s greatly done to a perfect effect. The quills were almost like horns in the movie as well.
Of course just like all the Gamera Kaiju aside from the titular creature and the Gyaos, none of these monsters had Heisei designs. Trendmasters was forced to create their own modern designs for the monsters and they did a GREAT job with Jiger.
Opting for a more red color than Jiger’s original orange, they really raised the level of detail with this creature. As I said with Zigra, I feel that this is more what the monster should have always looked like. No doubt Daiei would have wanted Jiger to look more like this, than what they ultimately ended up with.
Jiger has one hand sculpted for digging or clawing and it’s nice to see them change things up a bit. Gamera’s four legged foes often didn’t stand up on two legs like Godzilla’s tend to, but Jiger did a little bit. So this hand allows a bit of that action.
The paint work is good, providing a nice contrast to Gamera. I’m mostly impressed with the spikes on the back, they look quite cool. Jiger looks more like a prehistoric devil dog here and I definitely dig that design. The heavy black wash compliments the Trendmasters design well. Jiger is beautiful.
Decent articulation on the femme fatale of the Gamera Kaiju universe. She sports cuts at the arms, legs and neck. The neck joint is impressive, when you consider that the quill missile fits all the way into the head. It’s actually swirling inside the body if you turn the head. Well done Trendmasters.
I can’t seem to get the tail to turn, but it might just be stuck. Unfortunately the bent hand, much like some of the issues with Gamera, is sculpted as a separate piece and thus really should have been at the very least a cut joint. Instead it just looks like a joint, but doesn’t offer any movement.
Jiger doesn’t look too bad without the quill horn in her head. Given that this happened in the film, it seems even more fitting. The firing mechanism is well hidden, perhaps moreso than any figure yet. It also fires pretty good, allowing kids to recreate the scenes of the quills shooting from the movie.
Trendmasters really repeated a theme here with these accessories, but aside from the Gyaos and Gamera where they didn’t really seem to fit it… The rest have been splendid. Jiger is undoubtedly the pinnacle of this planning, however.
The horn missile looks really good too. Plenty of little detail there, making it look almost like a protruding bone.
Jiger isn’t terribly popular either. She’s right up there with the most available of these figures. It’s a pretty good figure too and one of the only ones that Jiger has had in any form. This is as good as Jiger is ever going to look, so if you’re a fan, you owe it to yourself to get this one. I wouldn’t pay much more than $15, but at that price you shouldn’t feel too bad.
Packaging – 7
Sculpting – 8
Articulation – 8
Accessories – Missile Quill
Value – 8
Overall – 8 out of 10
Jiger ranks high, giving Trendmasters another good score. These simple redesigns are quite good and really give some “umph” to an otherwise bland creature. I would have loved to seen Kaneko get his hands on some of these other classic Gamera Kaiju and I’d be willing to bet that his Jiger would have resembled this Trendmasters version of the character.