The Case of the Shrinking Giant Gorilla.

Discussion in 'Japan Toys' started by Roger, Sep 1, 2020.

  1. Roger

    Roger Prototype

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    The Case of the Shrinking Giant Gorilla.
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    On the right is a 1997 Marusan light blue reissue of the 1967 standard sized Giant Gorilla. It is the same size as all of my other Giant Gorilla reissues, 20cm tall.

    On the left is a figure I bought last week, something I expected to be the exact same toy, but as you can see it is smaller, 17cm tall. The sculpt is identical to the larger one and has the same SAN stamp on the foot.

    The smaller figure has cracks in the torso that have been glued, something I was informed about beforehand. When I hit both figures with a hair dryer for the same amount of time, the larger one softens quickly as expected but the smaller one does not. Lastly, this is pretty subjective, but when I tap the smaller one with my finger, the plastic doesn't feel like standard sofubi, it feels like polystyrene, like a model kit.

    I have reached out to Kaminaga-san from Marusan about this and he is trying to figure it out. My three hypotheses right now:

    1) This was made at a different factory and/or with different production tooling. There are examples of this, like the scaled-down Dengeki Godzilla that was sold at regular retail and the subsequent exclusive version sold at Kodomo no Jidaikan which was slightly smaller.

    2) This is a bootleg. The person who sold it to me bought it in an auction lot a little over a year ago. It did not come with a header card or any other information. I am trying to get the seller to track down the person who sold it to them.

    3) This is a normal 1997 reissue that experienced some environmental condition that shrank the entire toy perfectly evenly but made the cured plastisol brittle and less pliable.

    If anyone else has come across one of these, I'd like to hear about it. If you have a Giant Gorilla reissue handy, please feel free to measure it and let me know if it's less than 20cm tall. It would be great to find out that someone else has one of these.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2020
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  2. ultrakaiju

    ultrakaiju Die-Cast Staff Member

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    The Case of the Shrinking Giant Gorilla.
    Fascinating Roger, and I of course love how you continue to pick up variations on this guy from so many places (like the two-colours we've discussed in the past) only to discover when having it in hand how they are different. I am afraid I don't have any further insight to offer on this particular oddity, though if Kaminaga-san doesn't know, it would be few people who could guess at its origins. I highly doubt 3) is a likelihood to be honest. My initial impression on seeing it, before reading your thoughts (and that Mr. Marusan doesn't know about it) was that it might have been from the earlier ('97?) releases of the Marusan repros, which were a little bit smaller that the standard size; we've discussed the Godzilla in particular at length. Proportionally and historically, this would all seem to fit, and as I recall even the vinyl sounds a bit like this. But as I said, I just had never heard of the Giant Gorilla in this line, nor does it seem to have been included as part of it (at least not in production) if Kaminaga-san has no recollection of him. As a re-tooling or bootleg, I am really questioning too, as the scaling is so different (i.e. not the minor size differences you might see from master molds versus production molds, or even off-casts for bootlegging. And yet the sculpt is so strikingly exact in nature. This is almost a scanned down and resized copy, something which would/does take a lot of professional skill, time, and effort to execute. This does not seem to align with any of the crudeness of bootlegs either. In fact, looking at the two of them, I thought that the version on the [photo] left was the one which was the 'original'. Is this the one which was up on Mercari? Wow, what a mystery. And what a great toy you got there, Roger. I am quite jealous. I really look forward to learning more about it, and the discussion I am sure is to follow on here. Thank you so much for picking this up (even if I hate you for it! ;) ) and for sharing here.
     
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  3. Fedhai

    Fedhai Toy Prince

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    The Case of the Shrinking Giant Gorilla.
    I have exactly the same giant blue gorilla and when I wanted to get my hands on it it was nowhere to be found ... Is this a coincidence ? I don't think so.

    But I also have the pink version so I measured my giant pink gorilla (no jokes please) and he is 19cm tall (no jokes please).

    The mystery of the giant gorilla remains unsolved.
     
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  4. Roger

    Roger Prototype

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    The Case of the Shrinking Giant Gorilla.
    Thank you for measuring! We will continue to collect data.
     

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