Monday, June 30, 2008

Missile Gorilla 5

    Now this is a weird guy here. MG5, or Missile Gorilla 5, by Zollmen kind of came out of nowhere earlier this year. No story, not much hype outside a single thread on skullbrain...

    I'm not sure this figure got a lot of love from buyers once it was released, but I was excited from initially seeing it when Frank Kozik showed off a photo of a prototype in January.

    Not only goes the monster hearken back to the old die cast toys that had firing missiles, but it is also a goofily grinning King Kong ripoff, so how could I possibly pass this one up? We can just call this one patchi kaiju, since as far as I know it is a made up beast, and it definitely pulls elements of the legendary King Kong.

    Apparently this figure is part of an ongoing line from Zollmen called Monster Parade. There have been a few minis released under this Monster Parade moniker... so perhaps this is a new series of toys to be released by Zollmen.

    Header //3 out of 5//:
    The front of this header is really cool. The illustration of the Missile Gorilla along with another figure, the Omake (that a mini toy of which was included with the shipment!) is really cool. Having the beasts in action, doing what they do best is why we all buy these anyway, right?

    The back, however... zzzzzz

    Just plain red with the zollmen website.

    Also, this header doesn't actually have the name of the toy printed on it anywhere, so that is a little disappointing as well.

    Sculpt //4 out of 5//:
    Maybe I am being too generous here given the lukewarm reaction by some, but I think the sculpt of this toy is phenominal! It has a nice DIY look while still having nice, thick vinyl and feeling very professional. It is what we want in these vinyl babies.

    It is a creative mash-up of robot, gorilla and toy. We get the organic face that almost looks like clay with the subtle waves and bumps and such. While looking this way might look unfinished or rushed on some toys, with other smooth (metal pieces of the chest) and not-so-smooth textures (hair!) coming together on this figure, I can assume that this look was intentional, and it works well I think.

    The hair is done well I think... not overbearing. I do not like it as much as the hair texture on Real Head's Cyclomanion, but it is done well.

    One great touch is the inclusion of a small on/off switch on the back. It's not a real switch, obviously, but a witty little touch that made me laugh when I saw it. You can see it pictured to the left here.

    The remote control antennae on top of his head is a nice touch, and the nipple missiles are hilarious. Too bad they couldn't be real and actually fire like the old diecast toys this is paying homage to. Oh, and if you are going to have nipples on a gorils, you have to have a bare ass also, yeah?

    And the couple little additions add to my admiration of this toy. While not part of the sculpt itself, the broken chain on the right handcuff is a neat addition... and the banner across his chest is cool and reminiscent of olf Japanese toys in the 60s and 70s. I know the Tigermask toys made by Nakajima had banners like this for instance.

    The figure is well balanced to be as top heavy as it is. it has a big head and long arms, but the base is spread out and flat enough to prevent it from teetering.

    There is little articulation, though, and I would have definitely liked to have seen more. A waist joint and especially hip joints would have allowed some cool poses with this one. Being solid from the chest down was a little of a let down.

    Paint //4.5 out of 5//:
    It is a pretty literal and straightforward paint scheme for a gorilla with metal plates on its body, but I think it was the right choice with this being the first MG5. Leave the blues and the pinks for after the toy gets somewhat established.

    The application is clean and well-masked where it needs to be... and soft and faded well where it needs to be. Very solid paint job. the gloss coat on it is fantastic. It looks waxy almost!

    That said, I would also like to see future colorways that are more out there. I believe there is a slate blue that has just been released... and I wouldn't be surprised to see a pink and metallic version as well. Now that the monkey/ape color scheme is taken care of, they can go crazy.

    Coolness //5 out of 5//:
    gorilla --- check
    nipple missiles --- check
    robot --- check

    Value //3 out of 5//:
    Retail is a bit pricey, but it is a good sized figure and Zollmen seems to always include a mini figure with their big releases.

    Overall //4.5 out of 5//:
    Positives: great, glossy paint; heavy vinyl; good balance; nice homage to old battery operated toys; it's a robot gorilla with missile launchers in its chest

    Negatives: lack of articulation; straightforward paint scheme

    If you like the sculpt but aren't nuts about the paint scheme, wait a bit and I am almost certain you will see a crazier color come out. Regardless, though, this is a standout piece that is cool, tongue in cheek and fun.

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Missile Gorilla 5

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