Thursday, December 6, 2007
Name of Toy Line: Canfull of Monsters / Monster Toss
Production Company: Bandai
Distributor: Bandai America
Characters and Elements: Tsuburaya
Years of Production: Canfull of Monsters 1979 / Monster Toss 1981
Countries/Regions Available: USA
Size/Scale: Approximately 1.5"
Figure Trade Markings: (c) Japanese Kanji writing on feet
Approximate # of Figures: 15
Details: Tiny, non-articulated, mono-colored, plastic figures, reproduced from a popular, original Japanese toy line based on an equally popular manga series, produced in Japan and distributed in the US with a small, plastic garbage can but without the original story line.
Am I describing M.U.S.C.L.E. figures? Nope. I'm describing Canfull of Monsters and Monster Toss!
That's right, in 1979, Bandai America and Tsuburaya, the creators of the Ultraman franchise, teamed up to reproduce Japanese Ultraman keshi and rerelease them in America under the title Canfull of Monsters. This toy line appears to have been followed shortly afterward by Monster Toss in 1981, similar in every way save the name and the inclusion of a catapult for "tossing" the monsters.
Both toy lines consisted of approximately 15 figures reproduced from the original Ultraman keshi toy line, says Fontilan of the Little Rubber Guys forums. Each of the 15 sculpts can be found in 4 different colors: yellow, orange, blue and green. Unlike M.U.S.C.L.E. figures, which were reproduced several years later by Bandai from their original Kinnikuman keshi toy line but made in a new, harder plastic, Canfull of Monsters and Monster Toss figures were produced using the same material as the original Ultraman figures. Interestingly, however, they are slightly smaller than the original sculpts.
The small plastic garbage cans that accompanied Canfull of Monsters and Monster Toss have been found in yellow, green, and red. At this point, I can't say whether a particular can color was unique to one or the other. It's very likely that each toy line came with cans in all three colors. These cans are identical in every detail, besides color, to the clear-plastic cans later released in 1985 with the M.U.S.C.L.E. toy line. I suppose Bandai figured the garbage can "gag" worked for replacing the original story line of Ultraman and saw fit to use it again with the M.U.S.C.L.E. toy line.
Let's take a look at these guys!
Here's one of the coolest sculpts I've ever seen! Freaking creative!
Don't believe me that the can is the exact same as the M.U.S.C.L.E. can? See for yourself!
Here's look at how the reproduced Canfull of Monsters and Monster Toss sculpts compare to an original Ultraman keshi.
The original is on the left and in the middle respectively.
Fontilan was kind enough to send me a picture of his Canfull of Monsters card backing he was able to purchase a while back. Check it out! Note the date in the upper right corner of 1979!
Note the below pic is actually an edited image consisting of the top and bottom of the card taken from two separate images for the sake of clarity.
Here's two blown-up image of the bottom left and right of the card.
Finally, here's a look at the beautiful red can owned by Scumdogg, and two yellow cans, one of which fontilan now owns.
Related Web sites:
LRG Thread One
LRG Thread Two