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.|
|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!|