Gamera 9 inch figure by Rocketpro of America
I'm a huge Japanese vinyl collector and I've always been of a mindset that the bigger and more detailed pieces are the ones most worth collecting. Don't get me wrong, I have a vast amount of 6 inch scale sofubi but the ones 9 inches and taller are really eye catching. It's a pretty easy task, over the years I've upgraded my largest Godzilla 3 times and my largest Ultraman twice. But, I came to a stalemate when I started pursuing a larger and nicely detailed Gamera......until one day at the flea market.
I had run into several issues while trying to locate a decent Gamera. Most I have from Bandai are poorly sculpted and just never did the character justice. Over the years Gamera has had some image overhauls and every figure to represent those falls short of impressing me. And it's not limited to scale, I've had 6 inch to 12 inch scale figures and models of Gamera in my hands and each one was insufficient for my collection. I searched for over a year before I lucked into a version of everyone's favorite flying turtle I hadn't seen before.
While visiting my friends at Weekend Warriors Comics at the Oldsmar Flea Market I had stumbled upon this gorgeous piece. Released by X-Plus/Rocketpro in the late 90's, Gamera stands 9 inches tall from top of the head to bottom of the foot and is incredibly well detailed. Rocketpro is the American branch of X-PLUS of Japan, known for making really nice and well detailed heavy gauge vinyl figures. The figure originally belonged to one of the co-owners and had been in his collection since he'd bought it out of a Diamond Distributors ad, unfortunately it had been banished to storage due to lack of display space until he felt like parting with it on this fateful day. After purchasing it for a more than fair price, I happily dusted it off and proudly displayed in a place of honor. This version is the best I've seen and I encourage fans to buy one for their own collection.