'Vintage' era unpainted flesh bootlegs

Discussion in 'Vintage Vinyl' started by ultrakaiju, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. ultrakaiju

    ultrakaiju Die-Cast Staff Member

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    'Vintage' era unpainted flesh bootlegs
    While not technically of the same timeframe as what most might consider vintage, these figures - which seem to have come out around 1983 - qualify for me in a roundabout way in that 1) they appeared before the late 80s/early 90s resurgence of full size kaiju toys, and 2) are essentially just direct copies of the vintage deals, which were not available for sale at the time.

    They have been mentioned on here a few times before, but I thought it would be interesting and worthwhile to gather all the knowledge people have on them together in one place. I don't know much more than what has already been said, but I am sure if we put our collective toyheads together we might come up with some interesting stories. I know I would love to know more. As a brief refresher,

    So, on to the important stuff: the toys. :) I have picked up a few of these recently, and while the quality may not be quite there compared to the originals, they are nonetheless great figures and I feel like they occupy an important part of the toy manufacturing history. Bootleg toys by themselves fascinate me, but to have something seemingly random remade like this, in a whole series, without a license, and some 10 years or more after the originals came out is incredibly interesting. I do love the flesh vinyl, but thinking of all the crazy and fun bootleg paint schemes I can dream up that they might have done for the characters really gets me smiling. I'd love to know more about the history of these toys, who made them, how they produced the molds (from original casts?), and how they were sold/appeared on the market. The inspiration to boot the original kaiju must have been really something if you stop and think about it (and very novel at the time, I would venture to say), and possibly lead to the reproductions we see now of so many of the original molds, which we take for granted in collecting, and which forms the basis - at least for me - of the hobby.

    First off, a "Marusan" KO Daimajin. I really like this guy, even though he might be missing his scabbard. Not as cool as the original, of course, but far easier on the wallet. Daimajin remains one of the classic toy sculpts. A nice transition figure to the M1 repros until I can someday add a vintage version to my toy family. Interestingly, this guy had his legs reversed initially when I got him (see lower photo) just like the originals often did/do. So weird. Especially after all that time and awareness. Anyhow, I debated leaving them as is, for pseudo-historical appeal, but in the end had to pull out the ol' hair dryer and gave him the proper leg stance. Now he stands equally ready for vigilant guard duty in the rockface or town terrorising.

    Standard sized Daimajin bootleg:


    early shot demonstrating the swapped feet:
     
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  2. ultrakaiju

    ultrakaiju Die-Cast Staff Member

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    'Vintage' era unpainted flesh bootlegs
    Okay, here is another somewhat interesting one. For one thing, it is a Nitto knockoff, which in and of itself is not all that popular a line, and the Gappa film itself, despite holding such great kaiju, did not seem to inspire that many toys from it. I love the Nitto figures though, they have a delightful crudeness and innocence that is all their own and makes them instantly recognisable. This one (albeit a copy) is no exception. Great detail, a fun toy, and hey, a reptile with wings - how can you go wrong? :)

    Standard sized Gappa bootleg:
     
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  3. Sanjeev

    Sanjeev Post Pimp

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    I don't think I've ever actually seen that Daimajin boot for sale...but I'd sure love to pick one up someday! The Gappa is pretty killer as well.
     
  4. Mark K

    Mark K Addicted

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    'Vintage' era unpainted flesh bootlegs
    Steve, as much as I love that Gappa, I don't think he belongs in this discussion. First, I believe he was released in the late '90s around the time that Gamera (and other Daiei character) toy book came out. Second, he is not a boot. I have the Gappa, Gyaos and Viras (there was also a Gamera) and they all came with a small tag with a Daiei licensing sticker. I think they were actually made by some later iteration of Nitto. Perhaps someone could translate the tag and shed some light on the subject.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. ultrakaiju

    ultrakaiju Die-Cast Staff Member

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    'Vintage' era unpainted flesh bootlegs
    Hmm, well that is certainly interesting Mark. And I am happy to be corrected if that's the case. I had no idea there was a late(r) release of these guys. The quality of the vinyl seemed very similar to the other bootlegs and it didn't seem like he was 'finished' as well as the licensed ones, but it is difficult to compare. I can only say that he does bare the Nitto copyright mark (but so does my 'Marusan') and that he was advertised as "manufacturer unknown", which typically I take to mean bootleg. I think I recall seeing a flesh Gamera once upon a time, but definitely didn't have that tag, so I had no way to make a connection to another release.

    So does anyone know more about the other blank flesh figures? So many toy tidbits to dig up. There might not be any way to know for certain (I have no idea if there even were some of those Daiei bootlegs done) without doing a hand to hand comparison. Incidentally, there is almost no way to judge because of lighting/exposure/editing software/monitor settings/etc., etc., but your Gyaos looks more 'pinky' flesh vinyl (and of good quality), whereas mine look quite pale in person.

    This is exactly why I love starting threads like this. Skullbrain is a huge wealth of information, and I never cease learning new things. Feed my toy [knowledge] hunger!
     
  6. brianflynn

    brianflynn Post Pimp Staff Member

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    'Vintage' era unpainted flesh bootlegs
    The nitto vinyls were later reissues and not part of the 1983 flesh bootlegs.

    Also, there are three giant size 1983 flesh bootlegs, Red King, Gomora and King Ghidorah. I even have uncut and unassembled versions of Red King and KG.

    I was told they were bootlegged and kind of hush-hush originally, only made for fun and not for resale really. A friend of mine actually said he bought them out of the back of a car at a toy show in Japan, and he and his friends bough them to swap parts onto broken vintage pieces and repainted many of them (this was in 1983). The 1983 vinyl is different from most other vinyl you normally see, but it is hard to describe. I always thought they were neat, and the fact that they were older always allowed me to collect them as well, although I mostly focused on the Toho versions and not the Ultra versions.
     
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  7. ultrakaiju

    ultrakaiju Die-Cast Staff Member

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    'Vintage' era unpainted flesh bootlegs
    Thanks Brian! Having these for extra 'replacement' parts actually makes a whole lot of sense - especially considering all the incredibly extensive repair work blogs I have seen for vintage Japanese toys.

    As far as giant sized bootleg figures go, I think I once saw a giant Baragon as well, but I could be mistaken. Here is the giant Red King I have (a whopping 35cm! :D ). Being a primary Ultra man, this fella makes me incredibly happy. And of course, I think Red King toys are pretty great at any time. Not sure if they ever copied the Tokyo Tower to go along with the bootleg too.


     
  8. chimply.kaiju

    chimply.kaiju Side Dealer

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    'Vintage' era unpainted flesh bootlegs
    Your not. There is a flesh giant Baragon bootleg also. The flesh Giant Godzilla bootleg also exist.
     
  9. ultrakaiju

    ultrakaiju Die-Cast Staff Member

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    'Vintage' era unpainted flesh bootlegs
    So in furtherance to the discussion above, I attempted to do some more detailed comparisons of the Nitto reissue figure and the flesh bootleg. Unfortunately, my camera is still not the best, so even under the same conditions you can't really get such a good idea of them from the photos.

    For starters, both still carry the original manufacturer's stamps, whereas oftentimes on bootleg toys you will find these have been ground off/filled in in the mold, so that you might have evidence there was a mark there, but it is essentially rendered a 'generic' figure [not the case for this Marusan copy]. On the left we have the Nitto stamp from the Gappa figure, while on the right you can see the Daimajin bootleg retains both the Daiei copyright, as well as the Marusan markings, on the respective feet:

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    As for the vinyl quality, while the Nitto reissue is still not really up to par with what I would consider the quality of modern vinyl toys, he is clearly made superior to the Daimajin bootleg. The material is better and made with great care. It is difficult to see below (I tried to capture it, but it may actually be more evident in the photos above), but the vinyl on the official release is slightly darker, a more pinkish flesh colour, whereas the Daimaijn is fairly pale.



    Both are quite rigid toys, but the Daimajin is slightly more so, and thinner construction, with noticeable flaws/air bubbles in the vinyl, unlike the Nitto figure. There is also a clear glossiness to the higher quality vinyl used from Nitto, while that of the bootleg is flat. This all may be redundant info and no one may care, I am just detailing all these things for clarification and for anyone who might like to know, for discussion of bootleg toys in general. As I said, I just find it all very interesting, but I guess I am a toy nerd who is obsessed with stuff beyond hype and value.
     
  10. brianflynn

    brianflynn Post Pimp Staff Member

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    'Vintage' era unpainted flesh bootlegs
    I have the Baragon, forgot about that one.

    I have not seen a flesh bootleg of the Giant Godzilla. Can you provide a picture?
     
  11. evom

    evom S7 Royalty

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    'Vintage' era unpainted flesh bootlegs
    I dont collect vintage or bootlegs and most likely never will, but i still enjoy reading stuff like this Steve. I love the little facts and interesting things about the differences and histories behind all these. Really fun learning about and much better reading than "ooh thats cool" I think people who collect these would be interested in even the smallest detail.
     
  12. chimply.kaiju

    chimply.kaiju Side Dealer

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    Not my photo. Here you go:
    [​IMG]
     
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  13. toothaction

    toothaction Team Tsubu Staff Member

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    'Vintage' era unpainted flesh bootlegs
    Here's a couple more pics from the same source as the Goji above, CT Mike -

    A giant KG...
    [​IMG]
    ...and a plain ol' Barry:
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Alebrije

    Alebrije Line of Credit

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    'Vintage' era unpainted flesh bootlegs
    The giant KG and the Godzilla are amazing, in what year came out this flesh color bootlegs and where you find it?

    Thanks for sharing!
     
  15. bannedindc

    bannedindc S7 Royalty

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    'Vintage' era unpainted flesh bootlegs
    We actually had 2 in the store at one point, baragon for sure. I can't recall how they ended up there. They weren't for sale since we don't do that kind of thing but they just hung out in the back on different peoples desks. They ended up on the shelves in the back and for a long time, if you peek around the velvet rope at the old shop, you could see them.

    I think someone took photos with them at one of our shows. Maybe it was Kirkland. I feel like I've seen them on skullbrain before.
     
  16. Alebrije

    Alebrije Line of Credit

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    Thanks for the info, lucky those who had at their desks. :D
     
  17. bannedindc

    bannedindc S7 Royalty

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    I think the baragon ended up staring at us for years, we eventually traded him to someone for a pizza.
    I may be making that up.
     
  18. Alebrije

    Alebrije Line of Credit

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    The pizza guy was lucky winner, I hope he has ended in good hands.

    Best regards!
     
  19. Alebrije

    Alebrije Line of Credit

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    @ultrakaiju Steve here I leave you the photos that I tell you before, hope and you enjoy them. The first photo is to make a size comparison between the two figures.
    @Roger in one of the photographs below I added a photo of the standard size Baragon stamps, they look very faint, so it is not possible to perceive well in the photo, I hope and it will serve as a reference.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  20. Roger

    Roger Prototype

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    'Vintage' era unpainted flesh bootlegs
    Regarding flesh colored figures, I would not assume that all or even most of of them are the unauthorized ones that were circulating in the 1980s unless it's explicitly called out by the listing.

    For example:

    [​IMG]Blanks by Roger H., on Flickr

    The giant Goji on the left was given to me in the early 2000s as a gift. It was a test shot from when B-Club was reissuing the figure. I believe Mike Johnson has gotten some of these as gifts over the years, too, so that could also be the case with the flesh Godzilla pictured above.

    If the standard Baragon has Marusan markings, it would make sense that it was one of those 1980s bootlegs. I would do a little bit of research with the giant Baragon. If you have a B-Club reissue to compare it to, pay close attention to the hips and legs on each figure. The B-Club reissue was resculpted to avoid the bowlegged stance and cracking issues that would occur in vintage examples. M1GO did something similar when they reissued the standard Gezora.

    BTW, I commissioned Paul Kaiju to turn that flesh blank into this beauty:

    [​IMG]Big Goji by Roger H., on Flickr
     
  21. Alebrije

    Alebrije Line of Credit

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    'Vintage' era unpainted flesh bootlegs
    @Roger you are right there are some modern flesh-colored figures made by m1go or Bullmark, but I am very sure that these are the vintage ones that circulated in the 80's 1) The seller had it in the description 2) The same seller had at least 6 others vintage flesh color figures of other characters (Standard Goji, Mechanic Kong, Red King, Gomora, Baltan, etc) 3) the standard size vinyl feels very thin and in the case of both figures it has dirt chips inside the vinyl apparently mold residues 4) smell old, when I put them in the showcase they flooded it with that delicious vintage smell.:D

    Roger I had already seen that photo of the Giant Goji on your flickr. It is a beauty, I think Bullmark took out a reddition with a very similar colorway.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
  22. Roger

    Roger Prototype

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    Good that it came from a seller that had others and had the authentic "funk" to it then.
     
  23. Roger

    Roger Prototype

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    Yeah I pointed out the similarity between the custom and that recent Bullmark on another thread. I asked Paul to do a Hawaii version and I think he nailed it.
     
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  24. fosa comun

    fosa comun Toy Prince

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    'Vintage' era unpainted flesh bootlegs
    Some of these flesh boots where on sale in YJ recently, I managed to picked up some, the KG giant and Gomara marusan ( still in japan). But what really got my attention was the first gojira by marusan which was also was a boot, dare I say it had a j tail as well, and it didn't say marusan if I remember correctly. I didn't win the auction but do folks know about this boot? have other folks seen it? love this thread.
     
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  25. Alebrije

    Alebrije Line of Credit

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    'Vintage' era unpainted flesh bootlegs
    Do you score the King Ghidorah?
    That bootleg Goji it’s a beauty, I do not have one in my hands but as far as I know it is the only one of those bootlegs that does not have a stamp and indeed has the J-tail, I do not think it is made from the mold of the original J-tail and in addition to being made of a thinner vinyl, I imagine it also has to be smaller than the licensed one. But @deafmetal Mark must know more about this, since he has both figures in his collection.
     

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