Monday, June 18, 2007

Matango (マタンゴ) by M1Go

I have only done my little reviews in the past on action figures... with articulation and weapons and such... so I have not been exactly sure how to do reviews of kaiju figures since they are so different. It is all subjective, of course, but I think kaiju is collected for different reasons. Maybe not... Either way, here we have the M1 sculpt of the Matango monster from the Toho film Matango: Attack of the Mushroom People.

I have stated before that this movie was underwhelming to me, but it honestly was not terrible. It was one of those situations where you go into something with certain expectations, and when that something is totally different it feels like a let down.

This was an intelligent horror film, honestly (I'll admit when I am wrong!) but I had gone in expecting a campy monster flick, which it is not.

Well, it is like the crew of Gilligan's island arguing and killing one another over food and sex....

Regardless, the mushroom monsters in the film are very cool despite what opinions of the film itself may be, and I have found myself craving these guys much like the crew craved the scary looking mushrooms.

The one pictured here I just picked up from a board member at skullbrain. Unlike my custom figure below, this guy comes with a squishy glow-in-the-dark mushroom! The two Matango pictured below are mine as well. The larger one is the same M1 sculpt as pictured above, but the paint job is custom done by SHAPESHIFTA.

I'll try to post a similar review format here and see how that works out. I wont use a numerical score here since I am reviewing a few figures at once.

Sculpt //4.5 out of 5//:
I really like the M1 sculpt of the Mantango monster. What I have found appreciate in kaiju toys is creativity when it comes to a pre-existing character. There is something to be said for super accurate representations of these monsters, but when a sculptor 'makes it his own' (to borrow a bad cliche) it makes the figure stand out in my eyes. The elements are nicely stylized and not overly simplified here. It is smooth and flowing while still being bumpy.

I definitely prefer this sculpt to a similar sculpt made by Marmit. (Shown to the right here... image stolen from ebay user minicupid.) The head on the Marmit sculpt looks like a cupcake there instead of fat broccoli like M1.

This M1 sculpt is well balanced and stands easily. The arms and legs both articulate at the torso which can provide some classic kaiju poses, but don't expect to get many action poses from these guys.

Paint //5 out of 5//:
On the officially colored Matango, the paint is out of control! This crazy rainbow application has a smooth and nice, high-gloss finish on the bright green vinyl... very interesting and unlike any other of the few figures I own. It has what is almost a random application of many colors, with some black and silver and gold even making an appearance on top of the lumpy head. The yellow application on the chest hair is well placed, really setting off the head where all the colors gather.

SHAPESHIFTA's custom of mine is a little more subtle in its color application and is well blended. The eyes stand out nicely with goldish paint despite there being no pupils. The overall almost metallic sheen to the green and blue has a nice organic feel which fits the character nicely. SHAPE did a great job on the figure I think.

Coolness //4 out of 5//:
Regardless of one's opinions of the movie, the Matango figure is a standout piece. It can be viewed as humorous or just plain cool, and will most certainly be a conversation starter. It is very original and I think it is very cool. It is unlike many kaiju monsters I have seen.

Value //4 out of 5//:
For me, I feel like Matango figures are a good value. Right now these figures seem to be very popular with collectors that appreciate them. That said, there have been quite a few evidently, and the prices generally stay pretty reasonable, especially when considering the size (about 9" - standard kaiju size)

Overall //4.5 out of 5//:
Positives: An always killer M1Go paint application, it looks like broccoli and it is waiting for that humorous fridge photo

Negatives: Can be a little top heavy

The Matango figures have their pluses definitely and are highly unique. It is cool that they are linked to a respected movie and if you are into such things, how can you go wrong with what appears to be walking broccoli. Any killer vegetables are OK by me.

The M1 figures are great (and superior to the Marmit sculpts out there that are comparable), and they have come in various colors and even glow that I have seen.

1 comment:

RobotXMonster said...

Great review of everyone's favorite toadstool- I like having the background behind the character explained. It adds a lot to my enjoyment of a figure.

Keep posting reviews when you can- I appreciate your attention to detail. Good stuff.