Thursday, July 3, 2008

Gorilla by Buta No Hana

    It seems I have stumbled into Gorilla Month here on my blog. So let's keep the trend alive with this little beauty: Gorilla (ゴリラ) by Buta No Hana (ぶたのはな)

    Buta No Hana makes mainly mini sized monsters and dinosaurs. Many of the monsters made are Ultraman villains and even a few Ultramen. The other series released are these quirky little dinosaurs (and some elusive cavemen) that are like those vinyl toys you may have bought in the drug store or the back aisles of Roses or KMart as a kid. Obviously the Buta No Hana dinos are better quality... and they are significantly smaller.

    I suppose this figure is Buta No Hana's take on King Kong. Or It may just be a large ape, as it is marketed with their dinosaurs as opposed to their monsters. Whatever it is, it's crude in an endearing way, it's playful... it's fun as Buta No Hana's toys always seem to be.

    Turtletooth on skullbrain has this to say about the figure:

    "When Toho came out with their Godzilla vs. King Kong movie in '62 they didn't have a liscence to use the King Kong character from Universal.

    Because of that there is always an issue with Toho not wanting to license anything associated with their Kong for fear of stirring up the Universal legal department. As a result most toys related to the Toho Kong are sold as "giant ape" toys. The first was the Marusan giant ape, the Bandai kong is also a generic "ape" figure, and more recently the mysterious company called APES released accurate representations of both the '62 and '67 Toho Kongs. Apparently the legal hubub is so great that a fake company was necessary to avoid the license issues.

    It's interesting that Buta No Hana actually had a license from Toho to make vinyls of the characters from the '62 film. They made a '62 King Goji and even an Oodako (giant octopus) under that Toho license but opted to give their ape figure a generic name."

    That answers the question of where this little guy comes from it seems!

    It also answers the question of what toy I will write about next! (ahem Marusan giant ape ahem)

    The Buta No Hana toys all have a retro feel to their styling as well as a lot of personality. You can almost see the sculptors personality in the sculpts themselves. They remain toys that have a definite sense of humor despite being based on giant monsters that step on buildings and eat people.

    Header //4.5 out of 5//:
    These headers rock. Little illustrations and colorful type really compliment the style of these toys well. I'm not entirely sure what it says (the first little bit is Buta No Hana), but I have been told that all the headers for the dinosaur toys are the same. The only thing I would like to see different is having the header change for each toy it is for. I want a Kong specific header!

    Sculpt //5 out of 5//:
    Normally I would deduct for having little or no articulation, but with minis, usually all you get is a waist joint and the arms in a constant state of updom. I discussed it already, but these and other Buta No Hana toys have great personality and a sense of humor about themselves. Kong's oversized mouth, nipples, and giant bare ass are funny little elements to a normally mean and violent character. The arms being UP is not a problem and actually works well in this case... as it is an APE!

    Despite its simplicity, there is some nice detail in the sculpt. The teeth are great, and the lines around the mouth really add to the facial expression. I really like the shape of the hands and feet as they almost have the appearance of being chiseled.

    Technically, the quality of the vinyl doesn't feel as nice as say an M1Go sculpt, but it is still nice and heavy. The figure is well balanced... no shelf divers here.

    Paint //5 put of 5//:
    No problems here. The colors work well on a pretty over the top colored gorilla. The vinyl is hot pink and there is actually a pretty complex color application here with a lot of orange, some yellow, and even silver teeth and golden eyes.

    I wouldn't have thought that orange would work well over pink, but obviously it does. To be as bright as it is, the figure isn't garish. It's quite impressive.

    The bright colors on a gorilla greatly add to the playfulness of the sculpt I think.

    Coolness //5 out of 5//:
    Funny little gorilla with a big ass.

    Value //2 out of 5//:
    If you can actually find this one, it's probably going to cost you about 3 times retail. If you can ever find one at retail, or near there, however, jump on it if you like it because these things are worth holding on to.

    Overall //4.5 out of 5//:
    Positives: Great paint and color, personality, unique sculpt for a gorilla

    Negatives: Pricey for its size

    Said it already, but pick this guy up if you are a fan and can find one. They are standout pieces in an ape collection and will make all your gorilla collecting friends drool!

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Gorilla by Buta No Hana

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