Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Jet Jaguar figure from Bandai

I got this particular piece at a random flea market booth. The owner said since it still had it's tag from “China” he'd have to get at least $10 for it, I happily paid the man and went on my way to look him up. I had lost previous auctions for Jet Jaguar, some of which closing for staggering amounts of money; I had lost all hope of attaining a figure of him for less than $30.

Jet Jaguar was the end result of a contest Toho had in 1972 for fans to come up with a new hero for them to use. Trying to capitalize on the many tokusatsu and anime superhero and super robot shows that were all the rage at the time and were kicking they’re asses to speak. The winner of the contest submitted the drawing of a robot called Red Arone(which later became known as Jet Jaguar). The robot resembled both Ultraman and Mazinger Z, both of which were very popular at the time and neither where owned by Toho . The robot was renamed and was set to star in his own feature length film, Jet Jaguar Vs. Megalon. Megalon was a previously scrapped Godzilla monster design and Jet Jaguar was the new monster on the block, but the studio was fickle about sinking a bunch of money to introduce two unknown characters to the Toho canon. Toho is big  on wanting to see a return on their money but then again who doesn’t. So during pre-production, even after doing some tests and storyboards, the project was shut down for several weeks until screenwriter Shinichi Sekizawa was called in to rewrite the script to add Godzilla and Gigan to have more marquee value. The resulting film, Godzilla vs. Megalon, paired Godzilla with Jet Jaguar against both Megalon and Gigan. Four giant monsters for the price of two, now we are talking box office bucks!

To explain him briefly, Jet Jaguar was a humanoid robot created by inventor Goro Ibuki for unknown reasons. He has the ability to communicate with other monsters, alter his size and fly at speeds in excess of most fighter jets of its time. Having been stolen by the underground nation of Seatopia, Jet Jaguar's mission was to guide Megalon to Tokyo so the insect kaiju could destroy it. Eventually, however, Goro regained control of Jet Jaguar and sent him to fetch Godzilla from Monster Island. As Godzilla made his way to Japan, Jet Jaguar flew back to the mainland and faced Megalon. Increasing his size to fifty meters, Jet Jaguar attacked Megalon and was winning the battle until the cyborg Gigan arrived to provide Megalon some back-up. The two evil beasts were too much for Jet Jaguar, who was beaten senseless until Godzilla arrived. After a long fight, Godzilla and Jet Jaguar were able to defeat their foes, sending Megalon back to Seatopia and Gigan back into outer space. After the fight, Jet Jaguar reverted to his normal size, and returned to his home with Goro. 

This particular version was from the 2007 release and had since been retired for the time being. The paint applications were fresh and the figure showed no signs of heat fatigue ( something commonly found in soft vinyl figures that been stored in places without climate control. i.e. warping of limbs, crooked stance, parts look concave that shouldn't or brittle/hard vinyl.). Hang tag still firmly attached with what I'll have to assume is the original swiftack with absolutely no fading to the tag itself. This toy was once part of someone's well cared for collection and I feel proud to give it a space in mine.

No comments:

Post a Comment