CollectionDX Network
CollectionDX - Toy Reviews, Toy News, Japanese Toys and Action Figures

Tripus (Glow)


51 comments posted
Wanna know how dumb I am? I

Wanna know how dumb I am? I don't think I even realized this guy was supposed to be an enemy of Captain Maxx! Ha! Now I'm suddenly more interested in it. But I think I would have to go with the original green color scheme, since I have a red Xam and a Yellow Eyezon. The colors on this glowie don't really do it for me.

"This must be settled the way nature intended....with a vicious, bloody fight!"
Onyx Blackman
Principal, Flatpoint High

NekroDave's picture
Posted by NekroDave on 18 March, 2009 - 10:06
Way Cool

Now this is something I can get into! Very nice!

Leonardo Flores
CollectionDX Staff Writer-West Coast Bureau

Showapop's picture
Posted by Showapop on 18 March, 2009 - 11:54
I don't own any Chinese glow

I don't own any Chinese glow vinyl, I worry a little about the glow power...but I MUST have this!

The colors are incredible and I love the way it's supported by those three tentacles. I've come close to buying the green one several times, but I'm gonna hold out and go for this one.

Gareth Infinity's picture
Posted by Gareth Infinity on 18 March, 2009 - 16:18
"In a vinyl hobby full of

"In a vinyl hobby full of pretentious, hyper-limited releases, he continues to put out great product that's affordable, accessible, and genuinely fun, regardless of your age. Beware: these are actual toys. You have been warned!!"

It's 70 dollars for a generic vinyl monster figure.

kidnicky's picture
Posted by kidnicky on 18 March, 2009 - 22:36
Perhaps you're new. Okay,

Perhaps you're new.

Okay, it's $70 for a top-of-the-line quality, standard-scale vinyl...produced by one guy in San Francisco. Compare this to, say, Shikaruna Koubo, who's one dude that produces generic (non-character) kaiju toys in Japan for vastly more. Or compare to Bemon. Or Blobpus. Or Real x Head. Or Secret Base...

Don't get me wrong: I love all these guys and have plenty of their figures, too (well...except for Bemon's stuff!). The key differences are twofold. Number 1, Mark's prices are consistently better, and now that the Chinese vinyl he uses is almost totally on par with Japanese (except, perhaps, in terms of glow power), you can't beat that value. Secondly, and probably FAR more importantly: you'll be able to find this toy in Newbury friggin' Comics or whatever other kitschy record stores that sell this kind of stuff are in your neighborhood.

The hoops you have to jump through to get the "boutique" toys made by these other neo-kaiju makers are orders of magnitude greater. You generally have to know people. And you often have to deal with heads who think it's all some kind of "art scene"...not just collecting damn toys.


Incidentally, speaking of glow power, I added some pics in the gallery comparing this guy to his Japanese counterparts. Yes, there is less glow--even on the completely unpainted plugs/sockets--but it's not bad at all.


Sanjeev's picture
Posted by Sanjeev on 19 March, 2009 - 14:37
Yeah,I realise it's more

Yeah,I realise it's more affordable and easier to come buy than a lot of the art stuff,but I think you're exaggerating a little bit about it being a toy. Let's face it,a figure of a made up kaiju with a 70's era sculpt and articulation is solely aimed at the skinny jean velcro shoe crowd,the less familiar with kaiju eiga,the better. The whole vinyl/art/urban/genric kaiju figure culture has turned into a contest to see who can pay the most for the cheapest looking toy.

kidnicky's picture
Posted by kidnicky on 19 March, 2009 - 15:19
Again, I'm not trying to

Again, I'm not trying to make excuses for "TEH MARKET", but that's just the way it is when it comes to vinyl. There are shockingly few people, worldwide, collecting retro-style vinyl...but we're a pretty fierce bunch.

It sounds like you want this thing sold at Toys R Us for $15 a whack. THEN it would be a toy, right? Well, the thing is, I'm absolutely certain that if Mark could do that, he would. And I think that is what makes this a true TOY. Mark is an artist and his designs are amazing (if you're into this sort of stuff)...but what separates him is that he *wants* people to have his toys. He doesn't want there to be an air of upper crust associated with his stuff. You can see it in the way he plays with his son, you can hear it in his voice when he talks about the toys he's passionate about, and you can see it in the stuff he actually produces.

Could Mark have manufactured these figures in Japan? Probably. Higher quality? Almost certainly. Same pricepoint? Fo'geddaboutit.

Like I said, there just aren't that many adult vinyl collectors who go for that retro look. Most of these operations (even the "big" guys like M1, Marmit, and Marusan) involve only a handful of people. They can't move thousands of units, like Bandai with their low quality, factory-produced figures. Sure, *they're* toys...but just because Mark and others are forced to charge more just to stay in business doesn't make their productions any less so.

Now, when it comes to certain unscrupulous producers out there "flipping" their own goods by artificially controlling the markets (underproducing or under-delivering hot sculpts that they could easily pump out more of...or selling directly on auction sites instead of offering people an affordable retail price and a chance to purchase something in-store)...well, that's just messed up. I think anyone who knows anything about Mark or his stuff can agree he's NOT like that.

Then you have the "urban" vinyl and the bugie platform toys. Things that look more like a blob or a drip than a city-stomping monster. Don't even get me started...


Sanjeev's picture
Posted by Sanjeev on 19 March, 2009 - 18:44
But the fact is,the price

But the fact is,the price tag is the whole appeal of this toy. If it were somehow sold for 15 dollars at Toys R Us,it would languish on the shelf,because it looks like a dog toy compared to the other offerings at Toys R Us. For example,keeping it in the realm of kaiju,let's pretend money isn't a concern. Which would you rather have: The big Bandai Mechagodzilla,currently sold at TRU,which isn't the best sculpt ever but clearly looks like Mechagodzilla,or this Tripus thing which sort of looks like something. Come on,it's no contest. Any kid or non collector who saw this toy at your house would be like WTF is this thing? It's only when I come over,see the toy,and give you the "I know that's expensive" nod that it becomes worthwhile.

kidnicky's picture
Posted by kidnicky on 19 March, 2009 - 20:00
I'd rather have the Tripus

You can't speak for everyone's tastes.

It looks cooler, I like the colors, it glows, it's more original and unique. I like it better.

Yeah there are a lot of people out there that buy toys only to show off, but those people SUCK. Sanjeev and I (please excuse me for speaking for you...gosh I hope I'm right!) are not those people. We buy what we like.

I don't jump on the hottest thing because it's the hottest thing. That's stupid. I plan to jump on a glowie Tripus when it goes up on the webstore because it is cool.

Gareth Infinity's picture
Posted by Gareth Infinity on 19 March, 2009 - 21:50
Good discussion

Overall this is a good discussion, and I think that both sides have a few valid points. There are some people who just collect J-vinyl or vinyl in general because of the price, and if a piece loses value or heat will drop it from their collection. But I don't think that's the case in general. Right now the market is in the tank. I saw some Blobs I have at Mandarake the other day for about $25 a pop new in bag. Did that make me like them any less? Nope. Even though they were marked down cheaper than a McFarlane figure (or whatever your equivalent is), I still think the figures' intrinsic value (sculpt, paint, feeling) is the same.

So while I wouldn't say that there aren't people who collect based on popularity/price, I can tell you for a fact that's not everyone. Look at most of the big vinyl collectors and ask them what their favorite pieces are. I am pretty sure that in their top 5 will be a relatively common, inexpensive piece that they like just because of what it is. I have unmarked bootleg minis that I got for $3 that I still like more than some figures that cost me over $100.

And sorry, but if you're saying the sculpt on the Tripus is inferior to a Bandai sculpt, you're not even in the ballpark. Bandai is going for one thing in their sculpts, and generally they achieve it. Mark is going for something else in his sculpts and I think in this case he did an amazing job. Its like comparing a monster truck and a sports car, in their most basic function they are similar (vehicle, vinyl toy) but in terms of everything else they are going for totally different goals.

This figure (particularly the paint) slays.

VELOCITRON's picture
Posted by VELOCITRON on 19 March, 2009 - 22:20
This is like the second time

This is like the second time in a week I mentioned Bandai,but I don't want anyone to think I'm some sort of Bandai fanatic,I was just trying to think of a kaiju figure found at Toys R Us. My point is,you can go to a TRU or Kmart and buy a toy that has
a similar theme (daikaiju/monster)
more detailed sculpt
better paint apps

I realise the sculpt and the paint apps are purposefully lacking detail as an artistic choice,but the fact remains,you're paying more for less.
I do kind of like the retro look,but I don't think Bullmark was charging 70 bucks for this stuff back then,even adjusting for inflation.

And Gareth,I wasn't saying anything negative about you or Sanjeev personally,I just dislike this toy and the scene that's sprung up around these things.

I didn't mean anything egative about Nagata either,I'm well aware the guy's a diehard tokusatsu fan.

kidnicky's picture
Posted by kidnicky on 20 March, 2009 - 09:02
I can see if you just don't

I can see if you just don't like these sort of toys or just don't like them enough to pay the price for them. That's fine. But to keep comparing them to Bandai's to make your point is off the mark. I've seen few if any Bandai vinyls that have better paint apps than this, certainly none at Toys R Us and none at all that glow. Furthermore, the average Bandai vinyl is 6" tall. This is 10" tall with much thicker, higher quality vinyl. And of course, it's got more than just a tag for packaging. Add in the lower production run and of course it's gonna cost more. I should also point out that the large size MG and Godzilla you referenced at Toys R Us were initially $25, not $15. They just got marked down because they weren't selling. Large size Bandai's at Newbury Comics were usually closer to $30-35.

That said, I am disappointed that the prices keep going up, though. The first few were only $40 and now it's nearly double that. Initially, that was sort of the trade off.. a lower price for Chinese vinyl. But now the lower price is gone and it's still Chinese vinyl, although the quality is improved and I understand that production costs have gone up. So I think the truth lies in the middle. It's not the bargain Sanjeev described it as, but the price is understandable, if regrettable. I also think this lies in between art object and toy. This is a display piece. I'm guessing no one who buys it is actually gonna be playing with it. But as Sanjeev said, knowing Mark, if he could produce a gajillion of these things and sell them for $15 and have kids everywhere playing with them in their sandboxes or at the beach or whatever, that's what he'd do. I have not one doubt about that.

"This must be settled the way nature intended....with a vicious, bloody fight!"
Onyx Blackman
Principal, Flatpoint High

NekroDave's picture
Posted by NekroDave on 20 March, 2009 - 11:11
Kidnicky, I'm not confused

Kidnicky, I'm not confused about you being a Bandai fan. And I don't take any of this stuff personally. But if you think that BC's Mechagodzilla is even in the same realm as this toy, then I can't keep quiet.

Okay, yeah, they're both toys...but like Velocitron said (hey, Ricky!!), I think that's where the similarities pretty much hit the brickwall, head-first, at top speed.

"More detailed sculpt"? Umm...okay. That MG doesn't evoke the fun imagery of a guy in a suit, which is what was *actually* on your screen when the movie was playing. Nor does the sculpt feature any of the charm of classic kaiju figures that ALL this stuff has descended from. So what were they going for here? Yeah, it's super-detailed, but in my opinion, it looks like what the movie makers wanted this thing to look like on the screen. Hyper a comic book representation of the character. Frozen, devoid of soul.

This is exactly why I hate Soul of Chogokin or Katoki Gundams. They actualize or recon everything into what they think the original artists wanted to depict...NOT what real fans sensed and fell in love with. How much soul is in your average SoC toy? Not a whole lot. GX-04 versus GA-37. GX-27 versus GA-51. There's simply no contest.

The classic Bullmark and Marusan toys captured the awe and clunkiness of kaiju magnificently. They didn't go the hyper realistic route because that wouldn't be very interesting. You simply can't transfer the simultaneous sense of city-crushing ferocity and lovable charm these monsters had on the screen into toy form just by creating a 3D carbon copy. Exaggerated proportions, insane color schemes, and fundamentally classic geometry is what made these toys back in the 60's and 70's so damn genius.

And speaking of color think MG has better paint apps!? Holy hell. Cheap paint masks with numerous over- and under-sprays? That's better to you? Granted, Tripus was done in a factory as well, but they're done by hand with airbrushes. It's a whole other dimension beyond what Bandai does. That level of care and attention shows with Tripus. MG? Not so much. And like Ricky said, this colorway slays. The color choices and the layout of their application...brilliant.

Okay, if you say that you genuinely don't like the sculpt or the colorway, then that's fine, like Nekrodave said. Nothing can change that and there's no arguing the point. But to say that you're getting less for more is just absurd. You have a hand-painted, high-quality, heavy vinyl produced by one guy (an amazing artist) versus a paint masked figure with low-quality, thin-walled vinyl produced by an epic corporation. In my opinion, Tripus is orders of magnitude superior to pretty much any standard Bandai. I'm with Gareth Infinity: I buy what I like, and there's a reason I have this toy and *not* the MG.

And I don't get how before, you tried to take money out of the picture...and then went back to it by saying Bullmark wasn't charging so much when they were in operation decades ago. I thought I already addressed that: Mark Nagata, Velocitron, and other producers out there are NOT Bullmark. They are alive and operating, present tense. Bullmark is long dead. They are one-, two-, three-person operations. Bullmark was a huge conglomerate that spawned numerous subsidiaries. In its time, Bullmark vinyls WERE what occupied the shelves of Japanese toy stores. I don't think too many fans looked upon them as "dog toys". In fact, if you look at the relative popularity of those toys compared to Bandai kaiju of today, the Bullmarks were immensely hotter.

There's little doubt in my mind that toy collectors in 50 years and see Tripus as a "masterpiece", while the Bandai kaiju will be looked upon, at best, as omake or other such vintage curiosities.


Sanjeev's picture
Posted by Sanjeev on 20 March, 2009 - 12:02
My point with the money was

My point with the money was that if they were comparable price wise,I think most people would take the Bandai. So why is it when you add on a high price tag,the Tripus becomes "art"?
This looks like what the hottest,best kaiju figures looked like *30 years ago*. If you walked into Best Buy tommorrow,and they had Betamax players next to the Bluray players,and the Betamax cost more,which would you buy?

And again,the Bandai MG was the first thing off the top of my head,but we've all seen vinyl toys that looked way more detailed than this. How about those Gamera X-Plus crane toys? Or the new Gamera right on the CDX front page? You want them to look like a guy in a suit? What about that Titanosaurus a couple years back that had the flap on the back? Or the Showa MG with wrinkles on the ankles?

How is a MG figure that tries to depict the suit accurately less a representation of what I "actually saw on screen" then this orange Futurama character with random airbrushed colors on him?

The whole vinyl "neo-kaiju" market is like pogs or Image comics or beanie babies. The cool crowd will move on to the next thing,and there's going to be warehouses full of half assed original character figures that noone knows what to do with.

kidnicky's picture
Posted by kidnicky on 20 March, 2009 - 14:20
"My point with the money was

"My point with the money was that if they were comparable price wise,I think most people would take the Bandai."

And this is where you are all kinds of wrong. Although I know people who have Bandais (including myself), I've never met someone who actively collects them. If anything, they're usually just a gateway to better, and more expensive, vinyl. Most collectors don't buy Bandai's at $15, yet they do buy Max Toys (and other lower run vinyls) at $70+. Why in the world would you think that if they were the same price, suddenly the Bandais would be more popular??!?!?

And it's crazy to compare these toys to electronics. It's apples and moon rocks. One speaks to the past, the other to the future. And even so, if I were a Betamax collector, yes, I would choose the more expensive Betamax over the less expensive Blu Ray.

"This must be settled the way nature intended....with a vicious, bloody fight!"
Onyx Blackman
Principal, Flatpoint High

NekroDave's picture
Posted by NekroDave on 20 March, 2009 - 15:39
"Why in the world would you

"Why in the world would you think that if they were the same price, suddenly the Bandais would be more popular??!?!?"
They're made better. Designer vinyl has the illusion of value because of a high price tag and an elitist fanbase.

As far as Bandai collectors,I wouldn't call myself one (I do have all the U.S. ones since they were so cheap),and I don't know anyone IRL,but there are a LOT of people out there who strictly collect realistic vinyl portrayals of kaiju from actual movies,which means Bandai for the most part.

kidnicky's picture
Posted by kidnicky on 20 March, 2009 - 18:46
You are the only person I've

You are the only person I've ever heard say Bandais are made better. Let's compare 4 Bandais with some their corresponding pieces from M1, Marmit and Marusan. These are just the ones I happen to have in my collection with matching characters from both styles.

Do you really think the Bandais are the more well crafted of the two?? Are you sure?

Man, I love that scene. Anyway, of course, what you can't tell completely from pictures is the quality of the vinyl. The Bandais are the ones out of that bunch that feel like dog toys. The vinyl's cheap, the paint is cheap and they're smaller.

"This must be settled the way nature intended....with a vicious, bloody fight!"
Onyx Blackman
Principal, Flatpoint High

NekroDave's picture
Posted by NekroDave on 20 March, 2009 - 19:40
This is a pretty interesting

This is a pretty interesting discussion, and I definitely can appreciate what's being said, as it's similar to how I feel... I own a couple of the Bandai Ultraman villain vinyls and some of the CMS Corp Patlabor mecha vinyls. The Ultraman kaiju are a blast, and look great for like ten dollars at the comic shop, but there's nothing there to make me pay anymore than that. The CMS Patlabor vinyls are fantastic, but the only thing that finally got me to buy them was their being on clearance from BBTS for less than thirty dollars each... they're big and fun, but only one of them was even articulated... the other I had to hack up and make a fun toy myself. Between all of the vinyls I bought I thought they were OK to fiddle with, but mostly end up on my shelf left alone. The pricepoint for anything other than cheap Bandai vinyls or stuff on clearance just doesn't add up for me fun or feature-wise... the sculpts aren't amazing, the paint apps are hit or miss, and the actual playability (and articulation and features) just aren't there for the cost.

The 'soul' thing is an interesting point as well... In the past 3 months I've bought a handful of vinyls, a smattering of Popy Chogokins, and just last night 3 super-robot SOCs (Great Maz, Garada, and Getter Poseidon) and honestly, the SOCs are the most fun figures I've bought in a long time... Poseidon is probably my new favorite toy, and I'm a card-carrying Real Robot fan first and foremost. The Popy figures are fun, and I'm having alot of fun searching around and wheeling and dealing for them. The best part of my enjoyment from the Popy figures comes from restoring them and fixing them up, just like I enjoy collecting sad G1 Transformer toys and putting some time into fixing them up... I rarely buy complete minty fresh Transformers, because while I fidgit with them for a while, I get much more appreciation out of fixing up the less stellar examples, and the same seems to go for the vintage gokin stuff. But if you take something like SOCs or Revoltech figures, they're set to go out of the box, fairly priced for what they are, and offer endless enjoyment to me.

Back to this goofy guy here, I think the general idea of the kaiju vinyls is neat, but I don't see the pricepoint either... I understand why it is what it is, but that doesn't mean I'm going to spend it. I have no problem supporting low-run products when I can appreciate the work that went into them and they appeal to me... I buy limited production resin kits all the time, and some of my favorites are from a guy I know in Canada who sculpts and casts the kit in his basement. I guess that doesn't really prove my point or anything, but the one thing I can say is, man you guys are a f****n niche within a niche.

EDIT: Dave posted at around the same time as me, but aside from the first example, I like the Bandai figures better... they're more realistic and dramatic looking... neon colors do not make a better toy to me. The Hedorah (sp?) especially speaks to me... sure the designer one is larger, but look at how goofy it is... I understand the Hedorah is a ridiculous monster anyway, but at least Bandai tried to do something with it and make it a bit more dramatic and imposing looking... the designer one looks like they just accepted it was going to be ugly and gave up, and then threw paint at it.

Prometheum5's picture
Posted by Prometheum5 on 20 March, 2009 - 19:50
I agree with Promethium,the

I agree with Promethium,the first example( I can't remember this guy's name),I like the figure on the right better,since he has better eyes and "vest" details. But for Titanosaurus,Hedorah,and Godzilla,the Bandais are a thousand times better. The high-end figures just have random colors splotched around their person. I guess the Heisei Godzilla is supposed to be melting down like in G VS.D,but the gold teeth,claws,and eyes just aren't doing it for me.

kidnicky's picture
Posted by kidnicky on 20 March, 2009 - 23:10

Hi Sanjeev!

I'll admit some of the Bandai stuff is well sculpted, I was just looking at that Hedorah the other day thinking about what a nice sculpt that actually is. But to be honest, like Sanj said, the vinyl is junky and the paint sucks. And that goes for all of their vinyls. I used to collect Bandai Gamera vinyls back in the 90's and those were actually pretty decent figures. Nice size, decent vinyl quality at least. The Paint apps were lacking, but what do you expect? But then when Gamera 3 rolled out (1999), the sizes shrunk, the sculpts got worse, and the paint went down the tube. And as far as the "vinyl aesthetic" goes I think they haven't risen above that.

Again, if you dig SOC, that's awesome. Some of them are very cool, and I can appreciate the detail that goes into them. Same with Revoltechs. But people aren't buying "boutique vinyl" for playability or authenticity. We're buying it for the soul, for the craftsmanship and history that goes into it.

And I hate to say it, but if you're comparing vinyl to beanie babies or POGs in terms of collectability while you're collecting Bandai stuff, you've got the wrong end of the stick. Like I said, Revoltech stuff is cool and I can appreciate it, but I constantly see it going for less than half sticker price five months after release. Same for most of the Bandai stuff (vinyl and chogokin), it just doesn't hold its value. The vinyl stuff also goes down in price at times, but because of the size of the runs (generally under 50 per figure) its very, very unusual to see a figure marked down to half off new in bag.

Again, who cares if you like the figure? But I think if you do look at the "collectability" of the figures, vinyl is in the lead.

And any "serious" collector I know of who collects realistic kaiju is into CCP or X-Plus or maybe Inspire. Bandai doesn't even enter the discussion.

VELOCITRON's picture
Posted by VELOCITRON on 20 March, 2009 - 23:30
He didn't show CCP figures

He didn't show CCP figures in the example photos though. And looking at the photos provided,how can you say the Bandai Hedorah's paint is the one that sucks? The one on the right looks like an Easter egg. Maybe it's been awhile since you saw the movie,but just a reminder,the *SMOG* monster was not a mixture of cream white and beautiful springtime pastels.

kidnicky's picture
Posted by kidnicky on 21 March, 2009 - 09:11
Ok, it sounds to me like

Ok, it sounds to me like when you said "made better", you must have meant "made more accurately"? I cannot accept that you really think the quality of a Bandai is higher than an M1. If so, I'm gonna just step away since we're really not speaking the same language. So what I gather from this conversation, is simply that you want characters that you know with movie accurate portrayals, with a preference to an adequate quality/low price ratio rather than a high quality/high price ratio.

I can understand you're disdain for instant collectible, super low run, high priced "art" pieces, since I share it, but I don't think that's what we're looking at here. So when you say it's "only appeal is it's price tag", it's a slap in the face to Mark and everyone who buys one. This IS higher quality, it DOES cost more to make and for people who like this sort of thing, it's worth every penny. You just don't happen to be one of those people.

Perhaps part of the problem is that really no one here at CDX cares much for accurate sculpts so we never review any of the higher quality, movie accurate companies like Velocitron mentioned (CCP, X-Plus, etc. ) since we don't own any (or many at least. I know I've got none, and I don't think Sanjeev has much, if any). I'd be curious to know if you think those companies are worth the prices they charge for the higher quality stuff. I'm guessing not since you also said the FEM King Ghidorah was too expensive. Looking back now, in that thread you said if you were gonna spend that kind of money, you should buy an M1, Marmit or Marusan instead! Now I'm all confused! What exactly do you want in a toy, besides a low price?

"This must be settled the way nature intended....with a vicious, bloody fight!"
Onyx Blackman
Principal, Flatpoint High

NekroDave's picture
Posted by NekroDave on 21 March, 2009 - 10:42
" So what I gather from this

" So what I gather from this conversation, is simply that you want characters that you know with movie accurate portrayals, with a preference to an adequate quality/low price ratio rather than a high quality/high price ratio."
I'm not opposed to a highly priced figure that also has a highly accurate sculpt,not at all. In the case of the Ghidorah you mentioned,it was part of a diorama that will likely never be completed,and it has an obtrusive light up gimmick. A collector who wanted a Ghidorah figure could probably find a better looking one for pretty close to the FEM price.

We're getting way off topic here,and obviously I'm not going to change anyone's opinion,nor do I want to.
In my opinion,there's really no need for more generic faux retro toys,but obviously some people really like them and that's fine too.

kidnicky's picture
Posted by kidnicky on 21 March, 2009 - 21:01
That's cool. I was just

That's cool. I was just having a hard time getting a grasp on what you like. And I hope I didn't sound too combative. Been in a bad mood recently and when you said "the price tag is the whole appeal of this toy", it really rubbed me the wrong way as it, intended or not, comes off as a slap in the face to Mark and everyone who genuinely likes this toy and others like it.

And I hope I didn't sound down on Bandai, either. I have probably 2-3 dozen of them and their MG1975 and Big Scale King Ghidorah were my first two vinyls and I still love them both. I just consider them toy crack. The very best toy crack out there, but toy crack none the less.. LOL.

"This must be settled the way nature intended....with a vicious, bloody fight!"
Onyx Blackman
Principal, Flatpoint High

NekroDave's picture
Posted by NekroDave on 21 March, 2009 - 22:55
I'm pleased this thread has

I'm pleased this thread has progressed pretty nicely over the weekend!

Again, the way I see it, this is one of those agree to disagree things. And that's just fine with me. If you dig Bandai or other hyper-realistic toys, that's flavor. But then it doesn't make sense to comment on a review of a classically-designed toy if you're going to judge it based on those sensibilities. For example, I almost never comment on movie TF threads--just like I never comment on country/western music forums--I don't like that stuff, so why would I even attempt to apply my aesthetics to them???

Beyond opinion, however, there *IS* an objective reality about quality of the raw materials involved. The fact of the matter is, regardless of how you view the shape it's in, the raw vinyl that goes into Tripus is orders of magnitude superior to that which goes into Bandai kaiju toys. Tripus has very dense vinyl (poured in proportionally larger amounts to produce much thicker walls than in Bandai toys) that can achieve far more consistent surface quality and dimensional stability than Bandai vinyl. This is mostly because Bandai's vinyl incorporates a far greater percentage of recycled materials that lead to higher failure rates and overall lower grade performance (permanent warping, warping due to temperature changes, inconsistent surface texture, etc). I've had Bandai vinyls actually tear/split from being handled too roughly. That'll NEVER happen with Tripus.

There *IS* also an objective reality regarding the economy of scale. As we've been trying to explain, there just aren't that many classic vinyl collectors out there. As such, these companies are drastically smaller. Now, does that mean their product is necessarily "better"? Of course not--that's pure opinion. It does, however, mean that their price modeling is radically different. For example, the first two classically-sculpted vinyls Nekrodave pictured above (Hipporito-seijin and Titanosaurus) are made by Nishimura Yuji of M1go. The company, M1, is just Yuji-san and a couple others, if that. Do you even know ANY name at Bandai even remotely responsible for any of the kaiju shown above?

Bandai quality is where it's at because they pump out thousands of these toys at low cost. They can afford the expensive paint masks, dozens of roto-cast facilities, conveyor belts, hundreds of workers, and other infrastructure needed for an assembly line. M1 has one rotary mold. The painting gets done in someone's apartment. Pieces are generally made one at a time. There's no need to pump out more product because, again, there aren't that many of us to buy it...but even if there were, I doubt they'd cross over to Bandai's model because they'd want to preserve their standards of quality.

And for the record, Bandai does produce higher quality vinyls using more expensive materials and processes in smaller runs of larger (standard scale, with thicker walls) figures for people like us. Just look up their Popy/B-Club Bullmark reissues.


Oh, and I completely agree that the "boutique-ness" of much of the vinyl collecting sphere is a total turn-off. The fact is, there are a bunch of self-loathing hipsters who think it's cool to be a geek. To them, it's a "scene"...and most of them have ZERO regard for where these toys come from; they just care about what's hot at the moment. I mean, Kidrobot founder, Paul Budnitz, said that "nostalgia equals death". F that and F him. That's the most idiotic thing I've ever heard, especially when considering that he owes his company's existence to the history of vinyl in Asia.

Most of their toys look like drips or cubes with mouths or other crap like that. And not coincidentally, most of those who buy them wear UGG boots and have hat collections worth more than my car. There's simply NO comparison between that "scene" and true vintage kaiju vinyl appreciation.

I'm not going to say that the hipster mentality isn't invading the kaiju space. It is and it saddens me. Who knows there the hobby is going... But then again, almost universally terrible writing and moronic gimmick covers almost killed the comic industry in the 90's. It came back though. Ya just can't keep a fundamentally sound medium and fanbase down. I think the same will prove true about vinyl toys.

But sure, I could throw up my hands in disgust *now* and punt ALL modern vinyl toys. But then I'd be missing out on so many serious gems out there like those produced by MaxToyCo, Blobpus, Gargamel, Real x Head, Secret Base, Zollmen, Bemon, etc...not to mention all the great modern character toys (Toho, Ultra, Daiei...) produced by M1, Marusan, Marmit, Toygraph, Popy/B-Club, and so on...


Anyway, it seems to me that there is a growing division among many Japanese toy collectors, and it seem generational. There are a lot of older guys who grew up with Jumbo's, Shogun Warriors (in the States), and Bullmark-style (even bootlegs) vinyl kaiju.

Now, there is a huge growing generation of younger fans who've grown up on proper anime and modern collectibles, that prefers Soul of Chogokin to Popy Chogokin, and so on. That's totally cool. It's just an interesting thing to notice.

I do have to warn against the sentiments that seem to be the undercurrent of this thread, though: that one generation's aesthetic sensibilities are somehow superior to another's. I'm definitely guilty of that most of the time! But keep in mind: we're ALL members of a pretty absurd hobby. I mean, really...we throw outrageous money at ridiculously obscure toys that, for the most part, aren't even meant for us...and then wax poetic about them, ad nauseum, online! ;)


Sanjeev's picture
Posted by Sanjeev on 24 March, 2009 - 10:56
Well Said!


Leonardo Flores
CollectionDX Staff Writer-West Coast Bureau

Showapop's picture
Posted by Showapop on 24 March, 2009 - 13:29
Can I just say,one more

Can I just say,one more time,I'm not some kind of Bandai cheerleader or something,I said Bandai since they're the biggest,and everyone would know what I meant. I have Bandai figures,X-Plus figures,those Toho bobblehead dudes from Suncoast,plush,candy toys,etc. I'm not pro-Bandai or pro-any one company.

And honestly,when I judge a figure,the quality of the actual vinyl material itself isn't really an issue. I throw these things on a shelf and they sit there growing cobwebs,it's not like I'm dragging them out in the yard for some battles.
That would be fun,though. ;)

kidnicky's picture
Posted by kidnicky on 24 March, 2009 - 18:43
I'm the same way with

I'm the same way with articulation. A figure with 10 joints might as well be a fixed posed statue for all the workout I'm gonna give it. It's just gonna sit there either way.

"This must be settled the way nature intended....with a vicious, bloody fight!"
Onyx Blackman
Principal, Flatpoint High

NekroDave's picture
Posted by NekroDave on 24 March, 2009 - 19:10
When I get a well

When I get a well articulated figure,for the first day or two I'll change it's pose around till I find one I like,and then like you said,it remains that way forever. When the Toy Biz (i.e. good) Marvel Legends first came out some friends and I were all about setting them all up like they were locked in combat or what have you,but the novelty wore off.

kidnicky's picture
Posted by kidnicky on 24 March, 2009 - 20:10
See, I'm the total

See, I'm the total opposite... I am an articulation whore. Marvel Legends and Revoltechs are some of my favorite figures... followed by modern stuff like Yamato's offerings. I get no joy from a toy that sits on the shelf and looks boring. Most of my figures get a good amount of handling and messing around with, but they still have to be able to keep a good pose on a shelf and be fun to mess around with on my desk while I'm working or bored. I'm a fairly arty person, so stuff like the Revoltechs really speak to me, with the sculpt being specifically designed to complement the articulation, and look the best on the shelf. I agonize over finding good poses for figures... the standard 'standing up straight' or 'heroic d**k-thrust legs spread' do nothing for me, I need figures that can convey motion and look like they jumped out of the animation. That's my problem with stuff like Jumbo Machinders and alot of vinyl... most of it looks neat, but most of it does almost nothing in your hands. The only Jumbos I'd consider owning are later ones with the elbow joints, and the vinyl I'm most interested in checking out right now is Mechabot, because it combines vinyl funk with some articulation.

Prometheum5's picture
Posted by Prometheum5 on 24 March, 2009 - 20:50
'heroic d**k-thrust legs

'heroic d**k-thrust legs spread'

Like I said in the Bootleg Super Warrior comments,there's just a certain type of content you ONLY find here at CDX. :)

kidnicky's picture
Posted by kidnicky on 24 March, 2009 - 21:03
Easy on the PG-13 language,

Easy on the PG-13 language, guys. Remember: family site! ;)

First off, kidnicky, don't worry, dude. We get it. You don't own stock in Bandai. My former posts were more about the universal debate: realistically-detailed toys versus "classically"-sculpted toys. Gimmicked-out toys that reproduce exactly what was depicted in the movies or cartoons versus toys that emphasize and inspire imaginative play. Adult collectibles versus toys for children. This argument has come up many times before and it'll come up again... And I wouldn't have it any other way!

Anyway, hot damn! We've got a discussion that actually crosses generational lines now! Articulation. I think most people who are aware of what I like know that I have a pretty eclectic collection. That said, I pretty much in the middle of the articulation debate. There needs to be some; I can't stand fixed-pose statues. Sure, I loved the FEM DAM Battlezone pieces...but only because of the final battle scene diorama concept and the interactive lights/sounds gimmicks. Other than those, I have three busts/statues in my entire collection. They were given to me as presents and I probably never would have bought them for myself.

But on the flipside, I care nothing about Revoltechs. Fantastically articulated, sure, but the only characters they've done that I even remotely care about are robots...and why have a rubbery "action figure" of a robot when I can have a diecast toy of it with shooting fists??? Don't get me wrong--I love the dozen or so Marvel Legends figures I have, but only because the old Toy Biz ones were bigger and less rubbery than anything Hasbro puts out these days. Plus, superhero characters are rendered fine as "action figures"...I'm not expecting a diecast Wolverine with shooty fists (then again, a diecast Iron Man WOULD be hot)!

So, the bottom line is that I most definitely play with my toys. I have lots of classically-sculpted vinyl kaiju that my girlfriend and I take off the shelves and play with regularly. Same thing with my vintage diecast. Just a little bit of articulation goes a LONG way!

Since I never could manage to muster the attention to pull an SoC off the shelf to play with (because of all the fiddly parts, floppy joints, bags of accessories, etc.), I'm getting rid of them in favor of their vintage counterparts. Again, it's the GA-37 versus GX-04 debate. The GA-37 looks great on the shelf, AND it has enough articulation to make it a wonderfully playable toy, while not having numerous bits that fall off or extra parts that don't actually add to its fun-ness as a toy.


Sanjeev's picture
Posted by Sanjeev on 25 March, 2009 - 11:37
"Fantastically articulated,

"Fantastically articulated, sure, but the only characters they've done that I even remotely care about are robots...and why have a rubbery "action figure" of a robot when I can have a diecast toy of it with shooting fists??? "

Well,I only own two Revoltechs,and I probably won't buy any more,but I like the two I have: Rodimus Prime and Gaiking. In their defense,I don't really consider them "rubbery" at all. I know they aren't the most durable things to ever exist,but for 20-25 bucks a piece,I've got no complaints. Rodimus isn't available as a diecast toy (besides his toes),and frankly I just don't care enough about Gaiking to spend more than 20 bucks on his figure. I've never seen the original show (allthough I do love the homage video game series Darius) and I've only seen like 4 episodes of the new show. I just don't have enough interest in it. It would be like sitting through 15 minutes of the new Star Trek movie,then spending the rest of the day wearing those rubber ears.

The point being,they're cheap fun. Plus for a lot of people,space is a concern,especially in Japan.

Also I now want a diecast Wolverine that shoots his fists. More than ANYTHING!
I'm pretty sure there is a diecast Iron Man in Japan,I think I saw it in ToyFare a couple months ago. Tommorrow I'll see if I still have the issue,right now I've gotta crash.

kidnicky's picture
Posted by kidnicky on 26 March, 2009 - 20:42
@kidnicky, about Rodimus

"Rodimus isn't available as a diecast toy (besides his toes),"

What about the Titanium?

Gareth Infinity's picture
Posted by Gareth Infinity on 28 March, 2009 - 10:08
I know the Iron Man you're

I know the Iron Man you're talking about... there were line drawings of it a few months ago and it looked fantastic, but I haven't heard a thing about it since.

Prometheum5's picture
Posted by Prometheum5 on 26 March, 2009 - 20:57
@Gareth Infinity- Titaniums

@Gareth Infinity-
Titaniums don't count. Those things are nothing but a waste of money. They're made of big heavy sections of diecast metal connected to each other by cheap plastic clips! In all seriousness,the Transformers Classics Hot Rod from a couple years ago which was all plastic is 100 times better than the one made up of mostly diecast,and that's just sad,any way you look at it.

kidnicky's picture
Posted by kidnicky on 28 March, 2009 - 21:01

I know they suck, but they do exist, so I had to be a jerk and say that you were wrong :P

I want to get rid of all of mine, really.

Gareth Infinity's picture
Posted by Gareth Infinity on 28 March, 2009 - 22:04
Okay, okay...Nekrodave says

Okay, okay...Nekrodave says he doesn't care about Iron Man, but he wants the flavor to keep flowing. Well, we can do that and keep it on topic!

So, like we've been saying, it's cool to have different views about vinyl. Some dig Bandai/CCP/X-Plus and others who make dynamic, realistic sculpts of kaiju. Others dig the old school funk with its silly proportions, outlandish color schemes, and bash-around play value.

And if I may be so bold, I think we can all agree that the pretentiousness of "the vinyl scene" can a kite.

Well, what about some of these "neo-kaiju" producers who make their non-character toys in a very realistic sort of manner? Sure, Mark Nagata produces his kaiju creations in the classic Bullmark style, but certainly not everyone does this. I'm not going to go into fight figures, but when talking about "proper" kaiju, there are similar small operations who make what I'd consider very realistic sculpts.

So, this inquiry is directed mainly to kidnicky, but by all means, anyone who has an opinion on the toys I'm about to post, chime in and let's see where this takes us...

First up, let's take a look at Blobpus. He's known for making a few sculpts of rather demonic-looking monsters. They are all his own creation and aren't based on any existing media. Check out this Tokyocube page for some Artshocker one-offs to get a feel for his work. Do these float your boat?

Next, Shikaruna Koubo. This guy primarily makes toys of what are known as "pachi-kaiju". These patch-work monsters are essentially public domain monster characters from various sources back in the day (most notably from the manga, Sekai no Kaiju). The most popular of these monsters is Zagoran. Since they're in the public domain, *anyone* can make toys of them. Shikaruna Koubo's interpretation is fairly faithful to the comics and depicts a more realistic/ferocious side of these monsters. Here are some shots of some of his toys as well as some great scans from Sekai no Kaiju. And here are a lot more shots of his stuff on flickr.

Lastly, I'll mention Dream Rocket. He (or they...not sure) makes two distinct lines of toys: the Akakage kaiju series (monster villains from the tv show, Akakage or Red Shadow) and the Monster File series (their own creations). These tend to be a little more on the classic Bullmark side of things, but they feature more detailed sculpts and complex color schemes. Once again, flickr has some great pics of these toys.

I have a feeling you're still not gonna dig these, but I figure I'd bring them up even if it only serves to let folks know what's even out there in terms of independent vinyl kaiju toy production. Let's hear what y'all think!


Sanjeev's picture
Posted by Sanjeev on 28 March, 2009 - 22:29
The Koubou and Dream Rocket

The Koubou and Dream Rocket stuff is OK,if that's your bag. If you came up to me with one of them and said,"Hey,I don't want this any more,you want it?" I'd take it,but I don't think I'd ever buy one.

kidnicky's picture
Posted by kidnicky on 29 March, 2009 - 09:18
I thought the Dream-Rocket

I thought the Dream-Rocket stuff was the best looking of the ones you posted... the Blopus is the worst by far, being exactly what I don't like about vinyl figures... most of Blopus's figures look like they were left in the sun too long and melted, or were just made of snot to begin with.

Prometheum5's picture
Posted by Prometheum5 on 29 March, 2009 - 12:19
Hahah....okay, so it sounds

Hahah....okay, so it sounds like Blobpus is out, huh? That's kinda interesting--I woulda assumed more people would be into the whole demonic aspect of his sculpts. Most kaiju are rendered as forces of nature or only slightly mystical beasts. I don't really know of any that are outright demons from hell! I figured that would appeal to some! ;P

Yeah, Dream Rocket is pretty hot. In case y'all haven't seen, we've got some decent Dream Rocket coverage here, including the MaxToyCo exclusive glow Balbagon, my first DR piece!

Anyway, kidnicky, would you throw down for CCP vinyls? Though they make character toys, they're considered "boutique", I guess, but they're as realistic as Bandai figures and MUCH higher quality. They're standard scale (~10") and use vastly superior vinyl. Here is a recent Hedorah they did with light-up eyes (with Godzilla's reflection in them!). And here are some more.

And, lastly, I'm not sure this "counts", but there's always Y-MSF. They (he?) is another small operation that specifically makes mid-size (Bandai-size) figures of characters that Bandai hasn't made. So, their goal is to allow Bandai collectors to complete the Toho cast. If you look through, you'll see most of Y-MSF's releases.


Sanjeev's picture
Posted by Sanjeev on 29 March, 2009 - 13:05
Good timing!

I just bought a GID Balbagon myself! I've been wanting one for ages, since I first found your review, Sanjeev.

AND I just bought my first Shikaruna piece, a mini Maity (Mighty). It's one of their much cleaner (my brother calls it boring) sculpts, seen here:

No one to whom I show it seems to like it, what do you guys think?

Gareth Infinity's picture
Posted by Gareth Infinity on 29 March, 2009 - 15:34
The CCP figures you linked

The CCP figures you linked to are the neatest of the bunch so far... the flaming fist Gamera is actually awesome, with a really dynamic pose, but at the end of the day I think it's feel closer to a statue than a fun toy to me, as it just won't have much articulation to complement the great sculpt.

Maybe I just don't like kaiju tho, and that's my real problem... I just bought Mechabot: A Hero Reforged off ebay, and am looking forward to getting it. It seems to combine old school robot sleekness with vinyl funk AND some articulation, so we'll see how I like it.

Prometheum5's picture
Posted by Prometheum5 on 29 March, 2009 - 15:46
Yeah,the Hedorah wasn't

Yeah,the Hedorah wasn't bad,but the CCP Gamera 3 is awesome.

kidnicky's picture
Posted by kidnicky on 29 March, 2009 - 18:53
Congrats on the pickup of a

Congrats on the pickup of a gid Balbagon, Gareth Infinity! That's a tough to find piece...but, yeah, when I first saw it (I think Nekrodave first showed me Mark's gid release), I fell in love and needed it immediately. As for the Shikaruna mini's, I actually don't have any! Then again, I'm not a particularly devoted mini collector. That Mighty's pretty cool, though. I'm not that impressed with that particular colorway--it seems a bit washed out with not quite enough though it were a glowie. I love that sculpt, though. It's cool to see a "realistic" toy representation of how it looked in the comic.

Prometheum5, Marmit puts out a lot of vinyl super robots. Have you seen my review of their glow FLOSR Getter 1? Not super-articulated, but HUGE, glowy, and painted by John Groff, a real master! As for Mechabot, I think Steve Forde is awesome and I love what he does, but I just never got into the actual Mechabot toy. From what I understand, it's a real high-quality piece, but the sculpt just doesn't do it for me. I'd pick Combat-R Zero over Mechabot.

kidnicky, I figured you'd dig CCP. That's cool. If you don't mind the general lack of articulation on the more realistic kaiju sculpts, then it's all good. MOST of the time, I need at least a little articulation. Tripus only really has the shoulders (since you don't do much with the legs), but that's perfect for me. That's fine for taking him off the shelf and bashing him around with some other silly monsters! I just don't get that feel from most CCP pieces (though I DO have the giant-sized adult/battle-damaged glow Hedorah in my avatar!).


Sanjeev's picture
Posted by Sanjeev on 30 March, 2009 - 11:41
Mini Maity

I just got it awesome! Is this the best-articulated mini ever made? Head, all four arms, legs and tail ALL move. I couldn't believe it!

Now, couple weeks' wait for the Balbagon...I don't know if I'm capable.

Gareth Infinity's picture
Posted by Gareth Infinity on 31 March, 2009 - 14:48
Fully-articulated!? A mini!?


A mini!? Damn...I want YOU to post a review now! ;)

Incidentally, for those who didn't check the link, here's the illustration from Sekai no Kaiju that John's Mighty mini's based on:

Have you seen the clear Mighty mini? Not too bad...and pretty damn cheap ($16ish before Y!J fees). I stick mainly with the full size Shikaruna figures, but unfortunately, I don't think they ever did a gid Mighty, so I'll probably never get a toy of that sculpt. :/

John, are you interested in the Dorol sculpt? I'm kinda on the fence about it. It's supposed to be huge, but because if his weird posture, the articulation doesn't offer much play value (and there aren't many interesting poses you can put him in). Then again, the hand-paints (not the stock red one) are killer....and you just can't go wrong with all the skulls! ;)


Sanjeev's picture
Posted by Sanjeev on 31 March, 2009 - 22:06
I know, right?!

While I was waiting for it to arrive in the mail, I went back and forth in my head wondering how articulated it would be. I'd seen a picture of the head turned, so I knew that. Kind of looked like the legs might be able to move, but I wasn't sure. And I would've been completely satisfied if only the lower pair of arms could move (rather than both pairs), but I wasn't getting my hopes up. The discovery of eight moving joints on a 4" mini blew me away!

I'm not usually too much into unpainted stuff, but I wouldn't mind having more of this guy around. So that all-clear's pretty cool. Dunno if you could tell from the pic, but mine's actually a kind of frosty clear yellow. Dunno about writing a review, heh, but I'll try to at least get some nice pics one of these days.

And, they really do need to put out a glowing Mighty, but personally I'd be more likely to pick it up if it were a mini. Most of the fun, less money.

The Dorol's not bad...most of the hand-paints I've seen are pretty nice. My absolute favorite is the painted clear one from that thread:

Gareth Infinity's picture
Posted by Gareth Infinity on 31 March, 2009 - 22:42
I really like the CCP

I really like the CCP T-shirt the girl in the flickr pics is wearing,but unfortunately I don't think a shirt designed for the average Asian man is going to fit an American Dorito Enthusiast like myself.

kidnicky's picture
Posted by kidnicky on 30 March, 2009 - 15:57
I LOVE them all!!!

Good God this was an entertaining read!

I collect all of these types. From cheap ass recycled Bandai to higher end re-issues , and modern vinyl. I like all of them because I have a love for all types of kaiju. If I see it and it grabs me, I will usually buy it.

I was laughing out loud reading your posts kidnicky!

"or this Tripus thing which sort of looks like something. Come on,it's no contest. Any kid or non collector who saw this toy at your house would be like WTF is this thing? It's only when I come over,see the toy,and give you the "I know that's expensive" nod that it becomes worthwhile."

"How is a MG figure that tries to depict the suit accurately less a representation of what I "actually saw on screen" then this orange Futurama character with random airbrushed colors on him?"

"how can you say the Bandai Hedorah's paint is the one that sucks? The one on the right looks like an Easter egg. Maybe it's been awhile since you saw the movie,but just a reminder,the *SMOG* monster was not a mixture of cream white and beautiful springtime pastels."

Alright enough of that, but I had to share my favorites.

Great posts everyone! Keep giving us the intelligent perspectives, they are much appreciated.

Grandzinga's picture
Posted by Grandzinga on 6 October, 2009 - 19:03