JAPAN RELEASE: May 2013
SERIES: Toho 30cm Series
MATERIAL: SOFT VINYL
FROM: “Gamera: Guardian of the Universe”, 1995
HEIGHT: 9.75 inches / 24.76 cm
WIDTH: About 11 inches (not including tail) / 27.94 cm
LENGTH: About 13.75 inches / 34.92 cm
AVAILABILITY: Easier to Find
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: JOHN STANOWSKI
In 1995, director Shusuke Kaneko (Death Note, Azumi 2, GMK) released the first of the Heisei Gamera trilogy, arguably some of the very best kaiju films of all time. X-Plus follows up the 2012 release of the 30cm series Gamera 1996 vinyl figure with this new, 1995 version.
X-Plus released their first 30cm series Heisei Gamera vinyl figure (from 1996’s Attack of Legion) just last year, so it was a total surprise for me when they announced another less than 12 months later. And a fine job they did!
Once again X-Plus has produced yet another excellent vinyl figure that looks just like its movie counterpart. And similar to its ’96 predecessor, the 1995 Gamera is a myriad of sculpted textures from reptilian skin, intricate breast plate patterns and turtle shell ridges. The fine detail around the head is amazing from the ridges running over his cranium to the super fine wrinkles radiating around his eyes.
Gamera’s hands are particularly impressive… and expressive. You can almost feel his blind rage and urge to dig his claws into a Gyaos. The inside of his mouth looks crazy real and organic with flaps of pink flesh unfolding as he roars.
The sculpted detail on the back of the tail is utterly amazing with overlapping plates of… tail scales(?). I suspect though, and I’ve checked three times already, that the tail came from the same sculpt as the 1996 version released last year. The tail plates are virtually identical.
I also feel confident saying that X-Plus also double-dipped with the feet which are virtually idential sculpt-wise as the ’96 version. Finally, I’m compelled to “suspect” the shell itself was also borrowed but I can’t really tell if that’s the case. The shells on both the ’95 and ’96 figures have the same number of segments in all the right places though the later is a lot smoother. The new 1995 figure does have a curious “kink” around the edge of the shell near the shoulders that looks like it was forced into a new shape. Either way, who cares? If that’s how it was with the actual suit, then it’s fine with me.
The post is pretty standard but Gamera manages to pull it off really well. ‘Nuff said. (Click on the photo below for a larger version.)
JOINTS & SEAMS
There are no joints on this figure which were intended to be used as articulation. The tail is the only joint which isn’t glued and you need to attach that yourself. And when you do you’ll find that the seam between the two parts is an utterly perfect match!
There is a seam which runs across the chest and over the shell but can’t be seen unless you look for it. The elbows and knees have glued joints and are somewhat noticeable depending on how you look at the figure. For the most part they are hidden in the sculpt. Finally, I’m sad to say that there is an obvious seamy line running around the base of Gamera’s neck.
The X-Plus Gamera 1995 vinyl figure is enveloped in a light black (really?) that is very similar to the color used on the X-Plus 30cm Series Godzilla 2001. (Coincidentally they’re both Shusuke Kaneko’s kaijus.) The breast plate seams to have the same black as a base but with subtle brown highlights. The shell is a dull yet vibrant dark green much brighter than the 95’s dark olive green. The claws are a brighter-than-usual off white with brownish shading. The inside of the mouth is vibrant with fleshy pinks and oranges which gives it a really organic and eww! look.
SIZE & FOOTPRINT
The Gamera 1995 vinyl figure demands more space on the sides due to his wide stance and large feet. He’s almost 14 inches long from nose to tail but you only need to consider his feet when putting him on the shelf. Unlike the 1996 version, this figure can actually face completely forward on a standard shelf, though it may be precarious having his center of gravity so close to the edge. But you can do it.
This figure scales just fine with other 30cm series figures. Yes, it’s true that he is shorter than the rest, but he’s a turtle! He’s supposed to be shorter, rounder and stockier. He makes up for his lack of height with his bulk.
Gamera 1995 comes in a blind box with the usual awesome box art and a tray inside in which rests the main body and the tail piece.
Gamera ’95 vs Gamera ’96
At first glance, the biggest difference between the two is the pose. Where the X-Plus Gamera 1996 lurches menacingly forward, the 1995 version stands tall.
The next thing to notice is the difference in head size. I never really noticed a change in this from Guardian of the Universe to Attack of Legion, but going by these figures the ’95’s head is noticeably larger and somewhat reminiscent of the Showa design.
The ’96 has webbed fingers and elbow “spikes” where the ’95 does not. The paint scheme is almost the same with the exception of brigher claws and a more vibrant green on the shell than the ’96’s dark olive.
I don’t know… is there room for two Heisei Gameras in the same collection? Hell, yes.
IS IT REAL? OR IS IT X-PLUS