Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Betakong by Sunguts

Another gorilla! Yay!!

This little guy's name is Betakong (ベタコング) from the Beta Kaiju Series (ベタ怪獣シリーズ).

This one brought to you by the good folks at Sunguts (サンガッツ). Actually, Sunguts is one person from what I understand, who sculpts a wide variety of characters from Gamera and Godzilla to his beta series like this or manga characters created by Shigeru Mizuki. All in all, they are solid, quirky little sculpts that are pretty distinguishable from other toylines out there. I'll have another Sunguts figure that is sort of gorilla related that I will write about soon... a caveman! Although I believe the caveman is from a Mizuki character.

This toy is what appears to be another take on the classic King Kong bootleg, but I suppose it could be a random gorilla too.
On an aside, I've decided to ditch the number scoring, as it was beginning to feel sort of arbitrary to me. I still want to keep the categories, however.

Not a bad header, but not a fantastic one by any means. It does not seem to relate to the Betakong besides the sticker on the back that gives the name and price. The front looks pretty cool with some illustrated Sunguts characters. The yellow is bright and would stand out well, and the card stock it is printed on it nice and glossy and heavy. The back isn't great from an artistic standpoint, but at least it's informational, right?

Very Sunguts-y sculpt. While I typically like for my toys to be at least somewhat articulate (joints, not speech!), the perma-arms up pose here doesn't bother me all that much. It's a funny pose that I most likely would have him standing in anyway. Even though it is slightly bigger than a standard mini (I'd say this gorilla is in the 4-5 inch tall range), he is jointed like a mini only at the waist.

The facial expression is great, and the teeth are a nice touch. This and the body proportions give the figure a very cartoony feel, which fits in with much of Sunguts figures of the recent past.

I don't really care for the fur texture on the figure. It looks rushed as you can still see the excess material pushed out of the way where the knife or whatever tool just made the lines over and over. it could have benefitted from a little smoothing I think. Maybe if there were more fur marks, this wouldn't seem as glossed over as well.

The figure is cast in brown vinyl, but it is a nice warm tone, and the paint on the chest and ass are delicately applied, fading out nicely into the brown vinyl. The yellow, while not being realistic when considering the brown is moreso, works well in contrast. The eyes feel a little wonky, but the brush-applied face is a nice contrast to the softer paint on the body.

Overall, a very simple, but very effective paint job.

After shipping from Japan, this figure is not the cheapest, but it isn't ridiculous either. Being a gorilla-head, it was a good buy for me.

Positives: Fun sculpt; nice, simple paint job

Negatives: Overly simple fur pattern, arms stuck in UP

Solid entry from Sunguts here. It is not a stand-out piece, but it's fun and pissed and fills in that little gap in your gorilla shelf quite nicely.

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