Review by NekroDave
One of the small things I took away from the recent trip to San Francisco was the knowledge that HobbyLink Japan was now carrying vinyls. Since I stopped collecting die-casts, I really hadn't been to the site in awhile. But as soon as I got home, I took a look through their company list on the left side of the page to see if anything caught my eye. Sure enough, there was a listing for M1 and although the list was short, it did have a couple of things I needed, including this newer, elongated version of Manda.
Manda is from the movie "Kaitei Gunkan" (海底軍艦), released by Toho in 1963 and known in this country as "Atragon". I haven't seen it, but it looks awesome.
Manda had been released in several colors by M1 in the past (and don't forget Sanjeev's custom glowie), but although the figure was nice, it was bit short and you couldn't replicate scenes from the movie, such as wrapping itself around the ship. So in 2008, a new version was released along with a vinyl toy of the Gotengo itself (sold separately).
The new version of Manda features an all new paint scheme and two additional body segments. There is a new curved neck in between the head and fore-legs and also new curved segment just before the hind legs. These two parts make the figure longer and more twisted than the original, while maintaining the same basic sculpt.
The downside it, unless you have the Gotengo to display it with, it doesn't really display that well on it's own, imo. I mean, it looks good, but it will take up more space than the original and posing it can be a pain since it's not really well balanced in any pose other than just wound against itself. Try to spread it out some and it will just fall over.
The good news is that the new paint scheme is really beautiful. The gold fins really catch your eye and the white lines on the fins on the side of the head on the original are removed, which I think is huge plus. I don't need racing stripes on my kaiju.
This figures is packaged in a bag with a generic M1 header card, albeit with a little white sticker across the bottom of one side saying "TM&© 1963,2007 TOHO Co., LTD." and that little gold foil sticker now says "2008" beneath the circled picture of Godzilla. (I just linked the following images from the Matango gallery rather than upload new pictures of the same basic thing.)
Manda is a great figure when combined with the Gotengo and is available at HobbyLink Japan. Great news for non-Japanese collectors since now you don't have to pay the typical import markup fees associated with vinyl kaiju. No more paying $90-100+ for something that really cost $55! Here's hoping that HLJ stocks much more vinyl in the future!
|Posted 3 March, 2009 - 10:31 by NekroDave|