Tuesday, March 10, 2009

[Amapro] New Wave Vinyl Begins.

Amapro - Armor Jack

Way, way before new wave J-vinyl was given its own showcase in Mandarake, there was a quirky toy company called Amapro [アマプロ] and its original tokusatsu hero, Armor Jack [アーマージャック]. This hero's debut came in a 1996 2 minute 40 second promotional film, in which Armor Jack (imagine a blend of Godman and Megaloman) is pitted against (and kills) two monsters. Although there was concern over the viability of the Armor Jack concept, Core Magazine picked up on the two-sworded hero and sponsored production of VCD episodes. From 1997 through 2001, 13 episodes were released in total.

Amapro - Armor Jack & Co.

Showing perhaps incredible foresight, Amapro released a set of bagged vinyl figures in connection with the short movies. Armor Jack and his opponents, Rarigonika [ラリゴニカ] and Naruton [凶悪怪獣ナルトン], were featured in the lineup. Each came bagged with a cardboard backing and attached bromide (4 types in total). A Medicom RAH-style Armor Jack toy would eventually be released as well. I would guess that these first figures were released in the late 90s or early 2000s at latest- probably making them contemporaries of the legendary Fink Shit fight figure. Unfortunately, they have become quite difficult to find, and it was only through a stroke of luck that I found these for sale.

This video, found on Youtube from user 3bainoakaihito, is probably some or all of the original 2' 40" footage from Armor Jack's debut. Totsugeki! Armor Jack!

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