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Pojo's Anime: Merchandise

American Merchandise
Video | DVD | Toys | TCG | Games | Manga | Books | Other


Medicom. Kaiyodo. Takara. Huge names in Japan. Ever heard of them in the states?  Didn't think so.  Unless you frequent import shops or online storefronts, you're missing out on a lot of the great toys Japan has to offer.  Hasbro, Mattel, and McFarlane are not unheard of in the Land of the Rising Sun, but their toys barely make up a fraction of the HUGE toy industry.

First toy company we'll feature is Kaiyodo, purveyors of a LOT of fine Anime and video game inspired merchandise.  Their top line, by far, which was recently imported to specialty stores in the US like, Electronics Boutique, Sam Goody and Spencer Gifts, is based on the anime megahit Neon Genesis Evangelion.  Currently, Kaiyodo's NGE line consists of the first five Eva units, each with over a dozen accessories and removable parts.  Rounding out the line was the series' sole human figure, the teenaged Eva pilot Rei, who featured removable arms in clean and bandaged, injured versions, as well as a host of other accessories.  Each of the Evas featured fifteen points of articulation, at all the normal points as well as ankle, wrist, two points in the neck and head, and mid-torso, while Rei sported the standard human repertoire of nine.  Also released by Kaiyodo was the special edition "Extra" Unit 01, which included recolored versions of every other figure's weapons.  Packed in an oversized box and including an extra head and three sets of extra hands, the Extra-01 sold out in most placed it was stocked.  I certainly don't regret buying mine.

Not content to sit on its laurels with NGE, Kaiyodo also offers up a Trigun series, which is currently set at four figures-- the series' main character Vash the Stampede, his allies Meryl Stryfe and Nicholas Wolfwood, and his titan of a nemesis, Monev the Gale.  The Monev figure includes fifty or so individual bullets that one has to string onto a set of wires in order to build Monev's bandolier.


Surely you've seen the dozens or so "blockmen"-styled figures in Sam Goody, KB Toys, and Spencer Gifts.  Little action figures ranging from bands like Powerman 5000, Limp Bizkit, all the way to the Simpsons, take their inspiration from two sources: primarily, Lego, whose action figures served as inspiration for these toys' TRUE forebears: Kubricks.

Medicom first started producing Kubricks in the late 90s, with sets based on some of the most recognizable anime properties.  Neon Genesis Evangelion, Devilman, Majinkaizer, and others served as the first few waves of these 3" dynamos, but they first came to American attention with the Blair Witch Project set, a box of three cutesy-styled characters from the film, complete with the Blair Witch stick symbol.  I own a few sets of Kubricks and, despite their simplicity, these toys rule.  They're entirely interchangeable-- so you can have Shinji Ikari's head on GaoGaiGar's torso with Jack Skellington's arms and The Great Mazinger's feet.  Adding to the appeal is their low price: normal import shop price runs you about 10 dollars for a set of three, which usually comes with an accessory of some sort.

This page is still growing, and as I get more time, I'll be posting reviews and thoughts on all the anime-inspired toys I've collected over the years... keep watching this space for details.

If you have a toy review you'd like to see posted or considered for this site, please email it to