KaijuZoo Custom Manda
Review by Sanjeev
One obsession of mine that's no secret is my insatiable lust for glowies. The problem with many vintage-style (usually kaiju) glowies, though, is that their paint schemes are...well...either too dull for my tastes or the paint obscures too much of the glow power of the vinyl. I'm no stranger to customizing toys myself, but back in '05, I stumbled across a website advertising expertly-done custom/restoration work for vinyl kaiju figures at reasonable prices. I contacted the owner of the business, John Groff, and a great friendship was born...
His site, KaijuZoo Toys, offered something great for folks either lacking the gumption to take on customizing their own stuff or just not wanting to deal with the hassel of paint supplies, the mess, etc... Now, people can just relax and focus on the color scheme of whatever vinyl figure--glow or not--they want painted. John even offers services to remove old or damaged paint jobs prior to restoration or custom work. Whatever you want, just ask him! Jonee's a bit of a jack-of-all trades when it comes to customizing, and he'll work with you to create a masterpiece!
It's really a great service if you think about it. For example, lots of vinyl kaiju manufacturers these days release unpainted lucky bag versions or other exclusives of their figures--in glow or varying colors of opaque or translucent vinyl. The thing is that most folks may have no desire whatsoever to paint their own figures. I mean, I don't even own an airbrush--let alone have the space to set one up properly! This is where Jonee comes in! Besides being a great guy to chat about daikaiju eiga with, he'll work directly with you via phone or e-mail, and take as long as needed to come up with the perfect paint scheme for your figure. He's an experienced kaiju toy nut, himself, making his feedback in this process invaluable. He's a real fan, a true artist, and it clearly shows in his work.
So as a client, I get to sit back and let my imagination take off. This figure is actually my very first KaijuZoo custom! Sorry it's taken so long to review it properly! ;) It started its life as an unpainted glow M1 Manda figure from Atragon, Destroy All Monsters, and the opening moments of Final Wars. Jonee's transformation of this toy still has me speechless!
This guy's so good, I've gotten into the habit of doing Yahoo!Japan searches for unpainted (glow) vinyls for anything that catches my eye as something that Jonee can transform into a one-of-a-kind work of art.
Now, I've always loved Manda...something about a majestic undersea serpent had me pretty much hooked when I was little. M1's gorgeous sculpt of this monster certainly helped, too! This KaijuZoo custom would actually end up being my 3rd or 4th glowie ever. Ah...the good old days...when my vinyl kaiju could fit on one shelf...or could be counted using just your fingers! (I think at the time of writing of this review, I have somewhere around 120 glowies!)
Anyway, the paint scheme Jonee and I came up with mirrored a previous one he had painted for another client, only this time, he used translucent paints and left more glow vinyl exposed. I was definitely clear about that part: the finished product had to SHINE!! And, oh my head, did Jonee deliver!
Not much more to say about this piece, really. The pictures speak rather clearly for themselves. Again, this was my first KaijuZoo custom ever. Since then, Jonee's painted three others for me, including this Marmit glow Getter 1--yes, he can do robots, too! Next up? I'm just waiting patiently in queue for him to do a fifth custom for me! Stay tuned!
|Posted 21 December, 2007 - 18:29 by Sanjeev