Sunday, June 28, 2009

[Gargamel / ガーガメル] Real or Fake?

Gargamel - Gargamess

I suspect toys are not the first thing to come to mind when presented with this question. I am speaking, however, of bootleg toys. While quite commonplace in collecting vintage toys, they are still something of a rarity in modern vinyl. That is not to say that people haven't tried...

So what do you think of these Gargamel fight figures (Gargamess)?

If you're familiar with their lineup, you know that these are two colors that were never officially produced. Meaning... these are either super-rare test shots or dyed clear "Invisible" Gargamesses jerk bootlegs. Either is within the realm of possibility. Making them possibly the best lucky bags ever, slews of one-off paints and test shot pieces were packed into the 2006 Gargamel Lucky Bags. Hell, there's still stuff popping up from 3 (and a half) years ago that we've never seen before. But there is also a technique to color vinyl, involving a long bath in a boiling pot of dye material. I can't speak from firsthand experience as to the quality of color that can be achieved by this method, but it seems produce fairly good results. A couple of Gargamel experts that saw photos of these guys seemed to think they were dye jobs. Gargamel hasn't returned my calls. (Kidding.)

Gargamel - Gargamess

The vinyl feels pretty smooth and clean, and the color is even throughout. Even if dye jobs are hard to detect, I really don't feel like these were thrown into a vat of boiling color and reassembled. Some of the arms are loose which might suggest disassemblage. I guess there's one way to tell- just cut the vinyl apart.

Well real or no real, the colors are pretty and they'll be a pleasant enigma until I drag these in front of the Gargamel guys and cry like a baby when they tell me they're fake. But I'm about 75% sure they're real, given the circumstances under which they were purchased. If not, there's a bunch of jerks out there that I don't like anymore.

1 comment:

Doc Atomic said...

If these were part of a lucky bag, can't you more or less assume they're legit? And if they're NOT legit, wouldn't that mean that they were dyed by Gargamel? And if so, isn't that the equivalent of them being painted one-offs done by the Gargamel guys?

Of course, I could be wrong about the whole lucky bag thing, in which case... who knows? But if you ask me, the world of vinyl is so fluid, so rife with customs and mods and other tweaks -- both factory and "after market" -- that to a certain extent, you're better off just enjoying the toys for what they are. Worrying about them will only drive you mad. And since we both know that toy collecting is a sickness unto itself, do you really need any additional madness in your life? (Ha ha.)

As you say, the colors are really stunning. I think that, regardless of their origins, they're excellent additions to your collection.