Monday, March 14, 2011

Zoomoth



Name of Toy Lines: Bravoman, Genpei Tōma Den, & Kongō Banchō
Production Company: Zoomoth
Distributor: Zoomoth
Years of Production: 2011
Countries/Regions Available: Japan
Size/Scale: 2.5"
Figure Trade Markings: (G) NBGI
Approximate # of Figures: 4 sculpts x 5 colorways



Details:

What I have been able to learn about the story of Zoomoth has been very interesting. I apologize beforehand for the sparse information and for any potential misinformation. If you have more informations and/or corrections, send them my way!

Zoomoth is a Japanese "company" that has created keshigomu figures of select characters from three popular Japanese franchises - two video game and one manga - that do not have keshi toy lines. Zoomoth was able to team up with individuals behind the amazing Necros Fortress keshigomu toy line. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how the two groups collaborated. For instance, I'm not sure if the Necros Fortress members actually sculpted the pieces or played a role in prototyping and producing the figures.

The Zoomoth figures are officially recognized as part of each of the three franchises, which is super cool. A little bit of information about each franchise follows below. There are a total of four Zoomoth figures: 2 from the one video game franchise, Bravoman; and 1 each from the other two franchises.

Each of the four figures comes in five colorways: Flesh/Peach, Green, Red, Blue, and fully painted. They're made of a wonderful soft vinyl material, and are a little larger scale than most Japanese and Western keshi -- roughly 2.5" tall. I've included a comparison image with a M.U.S.C.L.E. figure below.

As you'll see in the pictures, the sculpts are of the highest quality. They are truly on par with other official keshigomu toy lines. Furthermore, they resemble perfectly the various characters from each franchise that they are meant to represent. I have one figure in green and note that there is very light flashing around some of the fine detailing on the sculpt. So light, in fact, that it won't be noticeable in the pictures below. This lends some added character to the figure and distinguishes it from mass produced keshigomu. However, until I see more of these figures in person, I can't know if this is unique to the particular figure I have, just green figures, or all figures.

As far as I can tell, the figures can be purchased at various Japanese toy shows and Yahoo! Japan.

Okay, let's take a look at the different franchises and their Zoomoth figures! (Note that the images featuring a collage of thumbnail images were taken from Zoomoth.com with permission. Visit there to see larger versions of those images.)

Genpei Tōma Den


Credit: The Arcade Flyer Archive


Taira no Kagekiyo

According to Wikipedia, Genpei Tōma Den first appeared as a Namco arcade game in Japan in 1986. It was a side-scrolling action game featuring a resurrected samurai, Taira no Kagekiyo, who fought for possession of the Imperial Regalia of Japan.

The game and main character, of course, were a success and were subsequently released in different mediums over the years.

As noted above, the sculpt captures the spirit of the character perfectly.

Kongō Banchō




Akira Kongō

According to Wikipedia, Kongō Banchō is a long-running manga that began in Shōnen Sunday in 2007 and is written by Nakaba Suzuki. It tells the story of Akira Kongou; a large, powerful man who has a simple, humble, and down to earth approach to life. He's typically good natured, but isn't above fighting if it means defending the weak. It's an archetype well represented in Japanese manga and anime. Other notable examples of this type of character are Kato Masaru of Gantz, Goku of Dragon Ball (Z), and Ogami Ittō of Lone Wolf and Cub.

Bravoman


Credit: The Arcade Flyer Archive


Bravoman


Black Bravoman

According to Wikipedia, Bravoman (Beraboh Man) is another Japanese arcade game released by Namco, this one in 1988. It's about the adventures of Hitoshi Nakamura. Nakamura is visited by the alien Alpha Man who gives him several (odd) items that transform him into Bravoman, a bionic hero with telescopic limbs capable of fighting his way toward defeating the evil Dr. Bomb. Along the way, Bravoman faces off against his evil twin, Black Bravoman. Owing to its great success, Bravoman characters and homages to them have appeared in later video games and media over the years.

It is a green sculpt of Black Bravoman that I was able to obtain. It's a wonderful sculpt featuring a very fun, playable pose that stands firmly on its own. It has a nice weight and texture owing to the soft vinyl material, and therefore feels great in the hand. I actually find the scale at 2.5" to be quite nice.

Let's see some pics!









Each Zoomoth figure comes in a gashapon capsule with a pamphlet! (The scans below of the pamphlet are lo-res and do not reflect the actual, good quality of the pamphlets.)




Click to enlarge


Click to enlarge


Click to enlarge

What a unique and fascinating toy line, if it can even be called that! I can only imagine the excitement fans of each of these franchises experienced when they learned of this wonderful Zoomoth project. I think all of us can think of several video games, comics/manga, and movies/anime that we love that have not seen keshigomu of their own made. Who wouldn't love to have keshigomu from Hayao Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke, Masamune Shirow's Ghost in the Shell, or Hiroya Oku's Gantz? We can always dream, right?

Oh, and wait feverishly for July 24th when Zoomoth reveals a new product...!

Special thanks to the author of Nama Niku for helping me gather information for this entry!

Related Sites and Resources:

Zoomoth

The Arcade Flyer Archive

2 comments:

King.the.100t said...

Great write-up and looks like a fantastic line! Need to try and get one or two!

nanoFatato said...

These are wonderful sculpts!
And a very insightful review Soups, I might try to get some!

Post a Comment

Post a Comment

 
 
 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...