JAPAN RELEASE: DECEMBER 2013
SERIES: 30CM SERIES
MATERIAL: SOFT VINYL
FROM: “Gamera 3: The Revenge of Iris”, 1999
HEIGHT: 12.25 INCHES / 31.11 CM
WIDTH: 10 INCHES / 25.4 CM
LENGTH (nose to tail): 14 INCHES / 35.5 CM
AVAILABILITY: Just released.
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: JOHN STANOWSKI
With the recent release of X-Plus’ 30cm Series Gamera 1999 we now have all three Heisei turtles represented. And I think it’s safe to say that this is easily the most impressive of the bunch.
I have to admit I was surprised to see Gamera 1999 with such a small head. It didn’t look that way in the movie, did it? Yeah, it did. It’s just a lot more obvious on the figure with no fire and smoke and shadows from the film getting in the way. (This is why I’m worried about upcoming Godzilla 2014 figures with super obvious elephant feet.) Well, small head aside, this is one amazing vinyl!
Not only is this figure a good likeness, it’s pretty big! It stands significantly taller than the Gamera 1995 and especially the Gamera 1996. And without a crouched pose like the other two have to varying degrees, the 1999 figure looks… grand.
One thing I really love about the Gamera figures are the shells. They’re so un-Godzilla-like and shake up the status quo on the X-Plus shelves. The shell on the Gamera 1999 figure is especially impressive. I’m not talking about the sculpt but the suit itself. This time around those armor plates get more jaggy and radiate outward making for a more menacing appearance. And, yes, the sculpt captures that. It’s a shame the wall gets to see it more than I do.
JOINTS & SEAMS
As for non-glued joints, there’s quite a few. There’s one above both knees. (They can rotate, but really shouldn’t.) And, curiously, there are two, TWO, on each arm. One above the elbow and one above the bicep. These seams are worked into the texture of the skin, but I tend to still notice the lines above the biceps. (Grrr).
The head pops off easily at the base of the neck, though I’m not quite sure why you would want to do that.
As for glued pieces, the top half of the body which includes the front, shoulders and top half of the shell are a separate piece. The center plate on the chest is also a separate piece. On the Ric Boy exclusive version of this, this area is battle damaged so the factory probably had used the same body for both and just added on the appropriate center piece. The front half of each foot is also a separate piece; be careful when plopping him down on the table.
Once again, the pose is pretty standard and I like it that way. Thankfully, this Gamera figure isn’t hunched over like the 1996 version and stands even taller than the 1995 version.
Like the other two Heisei Gameras in the X-Plus catalog, Gamera 1999 is covered in a base coat of black, a dull greenish brown on the chest and dark green on the shell. There are no highlights brushed on the main body (sniff), but the shell is a mix of dark and even darker greens and looks great.
The mouth is a glossy off red, maybe a touch too glossy and the eyes are a sort of light, lime green with black pupils. These eyes are piercing and really stand out!
And a really nice touch is that every claw on both the hands and feet, as well as the spikes protruding from the forearms and shins are made of translucent material that have been touched up with graduated shades of black, brownish tan and finally almost clear at the tips.
Left to right: X-Plus Gamera 1995, 1999 and 1996. Funny how the bodies kept getting bigger while the heads got smaller. The 1999 vinyl is noticeably taller than its two predecessors. I don’t know if that’s accurate or not but they look good enough together. If you have all three and you’re not anal about displaying them “in order” the photo above might be a nice set-up for your shelf.
The 1999ers! Gamera 1999 and Godzilla 1999 were released in the same month, line up in height, and make quite a pair!
Gamera 1999 is 14 inches long from nose to tail, but only 12 inches from toes to tail. It’s easier to fit on the shelf than a Godzilla, but you’ll still have to place him at an angle unless you’ve got the room. Make sure you have the headroom for this guy, too. He’s over 12 inches tall.
RIC BOY EXCLUSIVE FEATURES
The Ric Boy Exclusive version of this figure comes with battle damage. It has a small hole in the center of his chest and another in center of his shell from where Iris impaled him in the movie. (Though in the movie, this hole was much bigger.) The figure’s right hand… isn’t there. Instead there is a bloody stump from where Gamera burned it off in order to free himself from Iris. Brave turtle! This version is further detailed with green Gamera blood at the site of all injuries.
And as a bonus, this figure comes with an extra piece. An attachable “Plasma Fist” (the thing that what finally done in ol’ Iris) is made of translucent material and highlighted with firey yellows and reds.
I did not get the Ric Boy version so I don’t have any photos of it to share with you. Please visit the X-Plus Ric Boy Gamera 1999 page for more photos.
THE BOX / ASSEMBLY
The X-Plus Gamera 1999 vinyl comes in the standard 30cm series blind box with art on the front. Inside the main body and a tail piece are wired in to a plastic shell.
The tail connection on Gamera is triangular and this usually requires a little more effort to attach than with round tails since twisting is required to make sure the tail end flange doesn’t buckle. But, I had no trouble attaching it because, again, I used Rich Eso’s “Squishy Soft” method of not just softening the “butt”, but REALLY softening it up (while keeping the tail cool). It popped right in.
I already said it: the X-Plus Gamera 1999 vinyl figure is easily the most grand of the Heisei figures. The detail, height, pose are all fantastic. If you don’t have a favorite, I suggest hunting this one down!
I’m a tad disappointed, though, that there will always be another version of this guy out there that I don’t have. Unlike other Ric Boy exclusive versions, this one doesn’t come with something extra to add to it. The entire Ric Boy is basically a variant. So choose wisely!
• Link to X-Plus 30cm Godzilla 1999 Ric Boy version.
• Link to High Resolution Gamera 1999 Photos at SciFiJapan.com
• Kaiju Planet Review of X-Plus Gamera 1999
• DiegoDoom Video Review of X-Plus Gamera 1999