Kaijubilee #03 "Hello Balloon"

Here is today's kaiju artwork.  All I can say about this picture is that it is a meeting of the two most iconic symbols of Japan...that, and I really want to make a T-shirt out of this design!.


The Godzilla Collection (Comichara, Vol. 1) Bandai, 1984

It seems like I always say, "Here's a neat item I recently picked up," but...here's a neat item I recently picked up. This is from a series of games made by Bandai called "Comichara," which is no doubt combining the words "comic" and "character."  This is one of those really cool Japanese toys that are multi-functional: it's fun to play with, but there are several games you can use the pieces to play.
First off, this is called "Volume 1," and the flaps on the jacket list several more volumes, but I don't believe the others were actually Godzilla-related. (A recent Ebay search I did turned up another volume--5, I think--which was Ultraman-themed.) 
The design is ingenious, as you would expect.  It is the dimensions of a manga-sized book, and it's made to LOOK like a book, complete with dust jacket--only a much thicker one, since it is actually a box with a tray holding the game pieces.  A newsprint manual is glued into the cover of the book, which gives information on each character, and then rules for the various games. The fantastic rubber figures will remind Americans at once of the great M.U.S.C.L.E. toy line (which of course was Americanized from Japanese toys anyway), and the larger-scaled figures in this set are to scale with those, but these, like the Japanese "Kinnikuman" originals, are softer and rubbery (I believe the word for these figures is "keshi" but don't hold me to that).

From the back cover, you will notice I am missing one of the Mothra larvae (the straight one), but I got an extra Baragon, and several smaller-scale figures too, so who knows how that happened.  You will also notice the vehicle (blue here), which we will get to momentarily.  Also, I have no idea what the significance of the COMPUTER NUMBER is on the back cover, but it's printed on a sticker, so apparently they all were different.  Now on to the best parts...
The larger-scale figures: Godzilla, Baragon, Mechagodzilla, Mothra larva, King Ghidorah, Rodan, and Gigan.
The smaller-scale figures (large Baragon is left in for comparison): Godzilla, Angilas, Mechagodzilla, Mothra, and junior-sized Baragon.
And here's where things get nutty--a car-type vehicle for your figures to drive around in, which connects to a spring-loaded launcher (which is one of the games).  The Kinnikuman-type figures that are humanoid-shaped are mostly better-suited to actually FIT in this type of car, but I discovered later that the handlebar thingy raises up, so that helps...still, the idea of kaiju driving cars pretty much destroys my understanding of reality...

Here's what's on the inside cover!

Besides various board games (and car-launching games), you can also play a game with your kaiju where you roll them like dice (sort of like PASS THE PIGS, if you have ever seen that game).

Some instructions for launching your kaiju in cars...hold on, Godzilla!

Or, if you get bored, you can play "BOARD GAME"...or bored game, whichever you prefer.
One final surprise was removing the dust jacket--game boards are printed on both sides of the inner box.  American toys are simply never this well-designed!

Kaijubilee #02 "Mothra (for Julia)"

Creative Commons License
Kaijubilee #02 "Mothra (for Julia)" by Sampoerna Quatrain is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://snakeandboris.blogspot.com/2013/07/kaijubilee-02-mothra-for-julia.html.



I just finished making an entire book's worth of Godzilla-related art, entitled KAIJUBILEE.  There are twenty-one pictures to be exact, and every few days, I am going to be sporadically posting one here.  At first, this project sort of started off as a way to make homemade desktop wallpaper, but as you will see, it branched out from there and went into some other directions.  There are several I want to make T-shirts of.  I hope it is enjoyed!

Now, this being the Internets, it's here for you to save and do with it what you will.  You do it every day, and so do I.  After all, the art and designs are mine, but I certainly have no claim over the characters.  For this reason, these pieces all have a Creative Commons license instead of a copyright.  If you want to use the art, you are free to do so, as long as it is unaltered and for a "non-commercial" use.  Otherwise, simply contact me for permission regarding anything "commercial," and we can talk.  More information about the meanings of each part of the license is available at www.creativecommons.org, or by clicking on the symbols below.  These symbols will be seen with each picture, but this is the only time I'll take up space with this explanation.

The first picture in the series is called "MKRM," and I guess I just had two goals:  1) stacking kaiju, and 2) showing Manda some much-needed love.  More kaiju artwork to come; enjoy!

Creative Commons License
Kaijubilee #01 "MKRM" by Sampoerna Quatrain is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


Papercraft Godzilla Diorama!

Here's a fun little project I finished over the last week.  This diorama is made up of parts from four different sources.  The main parts, Godzilla and company, are papercraft designs which I found at a neat little website called Paper Toy Adventures. They have an ongoing kaiju series, and there are several others so far.  I have never attempted any papercraft, but I had some cardstock and access to a color laser printer, so I thought, why not?! Well, to be honest, it's a lot of work.  It took me an hour and a half to cut out the pieces for Angilas, but it was worth it.  It's definitely a hobby for patient people with free time!
I wasn't satisfied with just placing them on a shelf, so I found a street surface, a backdrop complete with Mt. Fuji (easily done by searching for "desktop wallpaper Mt. Fuji"), and a series of free papercraft buildings that another party made, which I printed at half size.
Next, I bent a piece of a wire coathanger at a right angle, attached it to the back of the diorama, and glued that to Mothra, so that she could be in flight. The Paper Toy Adventures template for Mothra also includes a really cool larva, too, by the way.
I was overall pleased with the result, and I might even be tempted to take on a papercraft project again, with future releases.  If you are interested, check out the site--the designs are free, and they will send you a password to give access to their download page.


Revoltech Gigan figure (Kaiyodo)

The other day, as I was reviewing the Angilas figure I had recently acquired, I mentioned that this was the last Revoltech kaiju on my want list...little did I know he would show up so quickly! This figure, often started around $100 on Ebay (which is absurd), was conservatively, and domestically, listed at $19, which I pounced upon.  Vigilance really does pay off.
Like the other Revoltech kaiju, Gigan is beautiful.  The sculpt is spot-on, he's super-articulated, and the colors are outstanding, whereas my Bandai vinyl (that's "Godzilla Island" series, as I recall) is aqua blue instead of green.  I never was happy with that.  There's a decent Gigan vinyl currently on the shelves (usually TRU) in the current Bandai line, if you can find a non-glittered one.
If it was ever relevant to say that Gigan was superior to Angilas in any way, it would be in the wonderful accessories that are included; namely oil tanks and refinery towers.  The piece to the right is the "non-smashed" version of the tower, which you can switch out for the "smashed" one to show Gigan's fury!! Genius!
You know, a complaint I recently read about the Revoltech figures was that it was too bad they weren't "to scale" with vinyls such as Bandai produces.  To this I say BLEAH!  It really doesn't matter, because it's apples and oranges; both types of figures have their place and the collectors that prefer them.  And after all, it gives collector more variety.  I can better understand the complaint that they are shorter than the "SH Monsterarts" figures, since they are more along these lines in realism and articulation, but hopefully the "SH" line will start to include more classic-era characters as it progresses (1964 Godzilla is already forthcoming, for example).

Revoltech scores hugely, yet again, with this figure.  The only other items they had a chance to make in the Toho kaiju realm were the first Mogera from THE MYSTERIANS, and a very nice Maser cannon, but I think I will pass on both of those, and try to save space for what the future holds.  In summary, set yourself a "saved search" on Ebay and watch the prices on this one.  It is very much worth it!


Engrish of the Week: FRESHNCOOL Car Seat Cushion

There's not going to be a lengthy article this time--this is no AIRSOFT SPORT GUN, but it still has some entertaining moments anyhow. 
So why is Engirsh so hilarious? I think our American obsession with an "acceptable" item being a complete and perfectly-presented one is what makes sloppy Engrish so entertaining...at least, to me.  In the United States, we have this bizarre ideal that makes us look for discrepancies, and somehow, we even think we should be rewarded if we find them.  The best example of this is in the restaurant business.  Do you ever wonder why 50% of new restaurants don't succeed? Now, granted, if you find a human thumb in your chili, like a Wendy's customer did a few years ago, then you have a right to complain.  But now more than ever, I see people scanning the fine print and looking for loopholes, which somehow translates into not having to pay for items, or even lawsuits.
Of course, I originally promised this wouldn't be lengthy, so I will get back to the item at hand. In a nutshell, I recently changed vehicles, and I am having a great deal of trouble with the seats...mostly because it is 1,100 degrees (Celsius) outside.  I found this item on Amazon for $40, and so far it does what it claims to do, which is pull air in through a tiny fan, and re-route it through the seat cushion, which is much better than arriving at a business function with my entire back wet like I was in a water-balloon fight before I got there.  Now, that's not to say it won't break tomorrow, but while we are on the subject, and before I veer off yet again, here is the previously-mentioned Engrish for your temporary enjoyment.
The best part here is "hip heat problem," which I didn't know I even had.

Do NOT affect your driving!

Yes, it plugs into your "Cigar socket," which you didn't know you had.  My favorite moment here is the accidental use of the word COOK instead of COOL.

Hey, Daddy-O; my hip new carseat is COOL COOL COOL, man!


Popeye Frame-Tray puzzle (Jaymar, 1950's)

I found this beauty at a flea market this weekend.  The only reference I could find on the Internets confirmed my guess that it's from the 1950's, but that's about all I can tell you.  Jaymar made lots of puzzles featuring many different characters, and I really love the art and colors on this one.  Wimpy is the honey badger of the Thimble Theatre universe...tigers jump at him, but he doesn't care!


"Godzilla" Gameboy Vidpro Store Card (1990) and a bit more...

I love oddities like this...Here's an interesting item--this is a "Vidpro" card for the GameBoy "Godzilla" game, dated 1990.  These cards were used in retail stores, and you can still see similar systems in some stores today.  Either the card showed where the games were kept alphabetically, for restocking purposes (for employees who didn't have full command of the alphabet), or the cards were placeholders, as an anti-theft device, in stores where the games were stored out of the public's reach. The card measures 6 & 3/4" x 4 & 3/4," and reproduces the box art from the game.
And about this game--has anybody ever been able to play it very successfully? The whole thing is such a cluster, I can't get past the first couple of levels, much less ever rescuing Minya (or Minilla, who is AT STAKE they tell us). But, I gotta give Nintendo credit for the guts to even bring the game over to the US in 1990, which was pretty much the Dark Ages for Godzilla.  They even try to bring the buyer up to speed: "Do you remember that Godzilla had a little son? Minilla is his name." Well, thank you, but no American in 1990 is going to remember that, and even if they did, they would think, "What happened to MINYA?" and get extremely confused.  I wish we had gotten more ports of Japanese Godzilla games, actually, but I guess I should be glad we got this one at all.

Since today's post is short, here are a couple of bonus meme-items I made recently.  First off, a visit to my local gas station yielded an ironic sight:
Candy FAIL!

It's funny to think that I can do just about all of those wildly-impossible 1980's technological things on my cellular phone.

Finally, a little Hanna-Barbera Godzilla joke:
Yes, it's awful, and crudely done, but did anybody else ever make this connection? It's the sort of thing that's bothered me for years!


GODZILLA vs THE THING (US Pressbook, 1964)

Here's something that arrived a while back, and it's been on my desk until I figured out a way to add it to the blog, because it is much too big to scan.  Luckily, I received a "real" digital camera, so no more I-Phone photos.  While they aren't dead-on photos, which kept causing shadows and glare, they are sharp enough for the articles to actually be read, and they are very entertaining, so let's get started:

The publicity ideas (and "Seat Selling Slants" here) are always entertaining, and it's mind-boggling to think of any theater today going to that much trouble. My favorites are:
1) "Wherever possible stencil enormous footsteps -- 5 to 6 feet or more in length and proportioned--on busy streets..." There are so many problems there, it's hard to take them all in.  Notice they don't offer to SUPPLY anyone with whatever that gargantuan stencil would look like, much less what it would have to be made from--an entire sheet of plywood? And then you are supposed to paint them onto busy streets? Isn't that vandalism? Not to mention the liability...oh, thanks American International! Not only am I in prison, but in a full body cast...!
2) "Spot all places where buildings have been wrecked or razed in your area....post signs....reading "Godzilla fought The Thing here!"  Once again, there are so many things wrong with this...who writes this stuff? I am sure tornado victims or families who have had house fires wouldn't mind, since it's all in the name of publicity!
3) "Contact local police and fire departments and Defense Department..." Ok, we have talked about this before, I know, but that was ridiculous even in 1964.  This one adds a new level of ridiculousness though, asking theater owners to annoy the DEFENSE DEPARTMENT in the middle of the Cold War to talk to them about the new Godzilla movie.  I'd love to hear how THAT would have turned out!
Also, note at the bottom of that page, there is an offer for Radio Spots.  (See previous post to hear one.) Here, we learn that there were THREE created for the film, which would have arrived on a vinyl record, and that they were FREE!! Is it too late to write in???!??!?!


Revoltech Angilas Figure (Kaiyodo)

I am a little late to the party with this one, but it was worth the wait.  All of the Revoltech kaiju I have seen and purchased are amazing, but this one is a thing of true beauty.  It's a good thing I am not Head Curator at the Louvre, because it would be full of things like this, and nothing else.
Angilas is my favorite. He has always been my favorite. He is the scrappy, loyal sidekick to Godzilla.  He is the King's right-hand-man, and true to his nature, their first meeting was a bout to determine who was the Alpha Dog. (Of course, I should point out that the Toho-preferred name is now "Anguirus," but I have just never caught on to that name.)
After all, THIS is "Anguirus." FAIL.
As incredible as the sculpt is, it is breath-taking in person.  Every detail of fold and scale is meticulously captured.  The articulation is amazing, as always.  The only drawback is his lack of scenery or accessories, but they do include the SY-3, which is fitting, as the likeness of the figure is from DESTROY ALL MONSTERS.
[Make rocket-launching sounds here.]

My advice is, if you have ever even contemplated buying this figure, do it, and do it now.  When he were first released, Angilas was in the $30-40 range, which is now t$100 on Ebay (which is absurd), but you can get him on Amazon for around $60, and oddly enough, it is an item they ship, which qualifies for free shipping if you are in their "Prime" thingy. I don't say this lightly, but this figure is worth $60.  And a kidney.  (Not really; let's not exaggerate.)
My next acquisition is Gigan--you will be mine.