Monday, May 4, 2009

Gegege No Kitarō



Name of Toy Line: Gegege No Kitarō
Production Companies: Bandai & Marukoshi
Distributor: Bandai
Years of Production: 1985-1986, 1996
Countries/Regions Available: Japan
Size/Scale: 1.5"
Figure Trade Markings: Japanese Kanji / © / Circled capital letter B
Approximate # of Figures: 100+

Details: Like many Japanese keshi toy lines, Gegege No Kitaro began as a manga. It told the story of a spirit (Japanese Yōkai) named Kitaro and his family. Unlike other Yōkai, Kitaro sought to befriend the nature-destroying humans in an effort to make peace. The pages are filled with a number of quirky and interesting characters that translate beautifully into keshigomu figures. Let's have a look!

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Figures released by Bandai and Marukoshi in the 80's were available in a nice assortment of colors such as peach, pink, yellow, dark blue, light blue, green, grey and orange. In the 90's, Bandai released them in semi-translucent glow-in-the-dark material. These figures were available in yellow, pink, and aqua blue/green (and possibly more colors).

The plastic is pretty much standard keshi material: flexible and squishy yet solid and firm. Let's look at some more figures.

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The Lorax

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Gegege No Kitaro were available via capsules containing three figures and a pamphlet, boxes containing 20 figures, and carded bags. The glow-in-the-dark, 1996 release figures were also available in 25-pack boxes. Marukoshi also released special sets packaged in clear plastic cylinders.

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Marukoshi

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Marukoshi

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Marukoshi

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Here's a look at some highly sought after Gegege No Kitaro figures as seen in an issue of Comp-REX, a magazine published by Mandarake, a large vendor in Japan dealing in all things manga, anime, and keshigomu related!

First, the Yokai Daimakyo set released in 1986. (Click on the image to enlarge.)

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Yokai Daimakyo

And some truly interesting, extremely expensive pieces: The Tomb, Yokai Castle, Yokai Gate (all $600+) and the House of Sunakakebabaa ($1200). Hwhat!?

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The Morinaga candy company also released a multi-part, multi-color collection of figures in the 80's. They look pretty nice. Check 'em out:

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We'll have to beg forgiveness as we don't know the characters names. However, if you read Kanji, a number of characters and their names appear to be listed on the following Gegege No Kitaro toy line packaging.

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Click to enlarge

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Famicom!

Be sure to check back from time-to-time as we will surely update this entry as we learn more.

Related Web sites:

Gegege No Kitaro @ Wikipedia

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Anime

Special thanks to rubbersamurai for supplying information and images!

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