Saturday, April 14, 2007

[Review] Post-Traumatic Scar; No Love for The Last Kaiju

Well, well, while everyone is off having fun (well, was having fun- past tense now) at the Kaiju Kollision show at Super7, I'm finally getting around to updating my blog. Sorry mecha-heads- tonight's a kaiju night again, but I promise some Souchaku Henshin sampling in the near future.

One of my rather perverse joys in collecting toys is picking up the grossly unpopular (or sometimes just unknown) and splashing it all over this page. Sort of the uncool of the uncool, if you will. The world must know. For a while, I was collecting the semi-obscure European G2 Transformers (i.e., the neon-colored ones) which were generally disfavored by all of the Gee-Wun-ites out there. Unfortunately, as the Transformers craze blossomed into a full-on frenzy, even these started being priced on the south side of ridiculous. So now I'm picking up Gobots and God forbid anyone should start grabbing those up (although I did get into a bidding war over some of the more obscure figures, which ultimately ended at over $100 a piece- and no, I didn't win). Stay away ya bastids, they's mine's crap.

When you talk neo-kaiju, there's probably no more uncool than The Last Kaiju. I don't mean this as a slight against the figure itself; it's just that whenever Blobpus is being discussed, the conversation always includes the phrase, "but not the big one, I don't like that one." I guess in the collector's eye, The Last Kaiju has its share of strikes against it. It's big- standard size 9" sofubi and is fairly difficult to display. It's fairly pricey per piece (although given how much the smaller Blobpus goes for these days, that's sort of a relative statement). And I guess it's kind of an ugly sculpt. It doesn't have the redeeming squiddy cuteness of the regular Blobpus or the cheerful sharky appeal of a Zagoran. I think this all has a bit of tinge of irony, because people are going ga-ga for the Blobpus right now, and pieces are being snapped up like chum. But not the big one. They don't like him.

Blobpus The Last Kaiju is the second brainchild of a collaborative effort from the bowels of a company called Munie Maderie (no, the name of the company is not "Blobpus," despite what everyone seems to think). The creators and designers of MM's toys are Kaji, Tiger Jet Michiko and Akiko Ayai, and the Blobpus concept actually originated from their role playing game storylines, as I understand it. They even took it so far as to make a manga based on Blobpus and their RPG story. So yes, Blobpus apparently grew out of a game much like Dungeons and Dragons, which would make its creators a bunch of nerds. I used to play D&D; I am a hopeless nerd. So this is a toy that has great personal meaning and significance to me. Made by nerds, for nerds.

I'm not sure who or what The Last Kaiju is exactly. We were treated to a history and bio on the original Blobpus character in Super7's issue 12 (check it out!), but no word on the origins of his bigger bro (and winged cousin, for that matter). I would only have to assume that this is the grown-up form of Blobpus, but so many questions remain. Why is there a cluster of skulls on his right arm? How did he develop the extra eyes on his head? Perhaps that is a story for another day and another gaming session.

Although The Last Kaiju is a fairly unpopular sculpt, I think it is a much more interesting design than many of the 'hot' figures. Whereas the Zagoran is like the fasionable house designed by a modern architect, Blobpus The Last Kaiju is the rickety old house at the end of the street with 20 closets and furniture covered in sheets. Or something like that. I'm pretty tired, so it makes sense to me. What I mean to say is that Blobpus TLK (getting lazy) has a much more intricate design than many of the more mainstream neo-kaiju. You really have to turn it over in your hands and play with it a bit, before making a judgment. (Also, the skull cluster on its arm is removable with a weirdo little knob underneath. In contrast, Blobpus has nothing underneath his arm extension. I know because I got a bunch of guys on skullbrain to pull the arms off of their toys to figure this out. Hahaha.)

This particular Blobpus TLK was released at Wonderfest in the summer of 2006, as both an unpainted GID and as a painted version (shown here). As a sidenote, Blobpus of any variety are pretty hard to pick up after-the-fact, due to their low production numbers (which have been estimated to be in the 10-30 range per colorway); I was fortunate enough to snag this guy off of Mandarake. The GID vinyl used is fairly glowy as those things go, but it's a little lighter in shade than many other GIDs. I really like the subtle paintwork used on this Last Kaiju- it reminds me of moss or algae gathering on a stone in the forest, or maybe seaweed growing on a deep-sea leviathan. The paint also enhances the shadowy look of the glow, rather than totally obscuring portions of the figure, as is the case with many painted GID vinyl toys.

While I don't know if I'd call this my favorite sculpt, it's definitely just as good as other popular gloppy figures, like the Damnedron. Unlike its smaller brother, who can fetch around $100+ these days, depending on the colorway, The Last Kaiju can still be found for at or below initial retail in most cases. There's even a pretty purple one still sitting around at Mandarake. So show some love for this fellow with the scarred heart and give The Last Kaiju a chance. Or don't- makes it easier for me!

Here's some more shots in higher lighting. They look a little too sterile for me, especially with this toy, but it gives you a good idea of Blobpus TLK from all angles.

Oh, and what do you suppose is in these boxes? They just showed up out of nowhere today... But there are some serious fumes emanating from them!


John Lock said...

First off: this is my first comment on your site, though it is long overdue. Normally I'd dispense with the obligatory praise, but your ultra high quality pictures warrant express mention. Very nice (how much).

Having said that, two observations:
1. You've begun to brandstamp your pictures. I think it's quite warranted actually given how high quality they are.
2. Quote: "no matter what that girl last weekend told you, good things DO come in small packages."

Someone say something to you recently? Perhaps late at night?

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