1995, the year Toho decided to “retire” Godzilla was also the year Daiei decided to bring Gamera out of his retirement. The film, Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995), helped usher in a new era of kaiju films. With state of the art effects for the genre, the first entry in the soon-to-be-called Gamera trilogy was more than a success. Not surprisingly, the film was accompanied with a multitude of toys and collectibles, including this vinyl figure which is now long out of production. Is it worth tracking down? Let’s find out!
Standing as seven inches from its feet to the highest point of its shell, this figure is sculpted entirely in hard vinyl. The arms, legs, tail and head are all separately sculpted pieces and the entire figure isn’t too shabby either. There’s plenty of detail in its body and is actually pretty good, especially when compared to other figures that would follow (such as Iris). The teeth are all separately sculpted into the mouth but the most detail is easily in the arms with a tremendous amount of ridges and bumps going down them and into the palms of its hands.
Gamera was only released with an attached tag.
Being a basic vinyl figure, Gamera has very typical articulation in the arms and legs. Its tail can also rotate. The head is a separate piece and can be wiggled around, but isn’t made to move about.
If there’s one fault with this release, it is the paint. Gamera is molded in a green vinyl with the only paint applications being some shading on its shell, forehead, and chest. The claws are painted this same shade which bleeds over onto the toes. The teeth/tusks are painted white with the mouth a pink. The whites of the eyes are painted but the eyes themselves would be a lot nicer if the pupils were painted black, but they remain the same color as the rest of the green vinyl.
This isn’t the bad a figure given it’s now over twenty years old. This incarnation of Gamera is generally skipped over in favor of the 1996 and 1999 versions, so there’s not much to choose from as far as typical vinyl figures go. It does tower over six inch figures, but does scale in pretty well with Bandai’s eight inch line (remember, Gamera was smaller than Godzilla). I do feel it’s a bit too short when compared to the Super Gyaos that was released alongside of it, however. All in all, Gamera is a pretty solid release. There’s nothing too memorable here or to write home about. There have been plenty of better and worse figures before and since its release.