Saturday, March 24, 2007

[Review] Gama-Got!

Boy it's been a while since I've posted anything up here. Rest assured, I have not abandoned this blog, nor my ceaseless pursuit of obscure toys. I was off-island last weekend, and work's been kicking my ass- curse this high-tech remote access to office e-mail!

Anyway, this week we have for your consideration, Tim Biskup's rather sizeable Gamagon!

I'm not certain of the origins of Gamagon, but he is an original Biskup creation, and has been released in a number of colorways:

Red w/ blue/black spray
Orange w/ blue/black spray
Glow w/ green/blue/orange spray (S7 exclusive)
Yellow w/ green/orange spray (SDCC 2005 exclusive)
Black w/ silver/blue/red spray (Gama-Go x Gargamel collaboration)
Glow w/ orange/black spray (Ningyoushi exclusive)
(Am I missing any?)

This particular version was originally intended to be an SDCC exclusive in 2005, but issues with the factory delayed its release until mid-2006. Nonetheless, it was definitely worth waiting for with the lowest production run of any of the Gamagons (100 pcs.) and great fruity colors! I somehow managed to pick up one about a year after-the-fact on Toy Tokyo, which mysteriously (and quietly) put out a number of out-of-print Biskup pieces in late February of this year.

Although these figures are rather expensive, large hunks of vinyl, I couldn't resist grabbing it when it came up on the website. I've always wanted a Gamagon- ever since discovering the little airplane included in the bag- and this sweet colorway rarely comes out for a straight-up sale.

The figure comes packaged in classic kaiju style: plastic baggie w/ header. The bag is printed with Gama-gon's 'logo,' which adds a little something extra, visually. Biskup, being an accomplished artist in 2-D mediums, lost no opportunity in giving Gamagon some beautiful header art, depicting it fighting one of Biskup's other skull-headed creations (it has a name, but I can't recall it at the moment). Only some Gamagons are baggied; I believe the orange and red at least were sold in a large box.

As the relevant issue of S7 will explain, Biskup's inspirations include the artwork of the 1940s and 50s, and this probably contributes to his character designs, which are at once simple and surprisingly intricate. My favorite part of this piece is, as I mentioned, the little airplane that fits snugly into Gamagon's hand (although note that some Gamagons come with 2, and some come with none). With Gamagon's childlike appearance, though, it looks more like a toy in his hand, than a vehicle filled with edible human snacks.

Gamagon is made from a lighter-weight, matte yellow vinyl, which doesn't feel quite as good as the squishy or glossy vinyl found in Gargamel and Secret Base releases, but this probably kept the cost of the piece down considerably. The color combination on this piece is probably my favorite of all the Gamagons released (with the possible exception of the S7 GID). The warm yellows and oranges combined with a shocking green on his face really remind me of a ripe Hayden mango. Mmmmm.

Couple of complaints, though. The paintwork is not perfectly clean, as would normally be the case for many Japanese vinyl releases. In particular, one of the eyes has a blemish, which appears to have been a piece of debris that was on the figure during painting. Also, there is a rattling noise when moving the figure around, which is probably a vinyl shard left inside the body. I hate to sound like such a bitch about relatively minor imperfections, but at this kind of price point, I don't think it's unwarranted.

At the end of the day, there are worse purchase decisions that you could make than the SDCC Gamagon. On one hand, I love the sculpt and the color choices. But the paint blemishes, errant pieces in the body, and overall cheap feeling of the materials definitely lower my assessment of this figure. These are defects that should not be present on such a limited-run, high-end toy. Despite the low production numbers and exclusive availability of this Gamagon, it should not cost you much more than $100, even nearly a year after its release.

No comments: