Life In Plastic: TOY REVIEW: Strange Monsters


Sometimes, I end up with a toy I really want to review, but the timing is all wrong.  In the middle of last month, I got hold of several rather awesome indy figures, but they were pushed back because of Halloween and October’s He-Man toys.  Ah, but finally, you can look at… STRANGE MONSTERS!


Produced by Unbox Toys, the idea was to grab three indy toy artists and tell them to make a kaiju-themed monster.  Any monster.  And then, they would factory-produce the design in vinyl.  Said artists are Ironhaus (you’ve seen his stuff here before), Zectron, and Bigman Toys.  And yes, you should buy their regular work, too.  These figures are available here and there, witht he first (green) wave at the Little Rubber Guys store.  Currently, Tug-O-War is sold out, but it will be available again in future waves and colors.


Each figure is 3″ tall, and made of soft vinyl.  None ofthe artists had any restrictions concerning sculpt, so they really do vary in terms of design and the number of pieces necessary to construct a figure.  But come on, this is their chance to show off!  This project was about two years in the making, and watching the progress just made finally receiving these figures even sweeter.  Each toy comes in a baggie with some awesome card art, and two even have their own stories!  So, without further adieu, let’s take a look!





Man’s reliance on nuclear power, ultimately, was the very dependency that would destroy everything. Humanity was notorious for its avarice.  Every enterprise known to man employed penny-shaving tactics in business, and construction was certainly no stranger to that principle.  When a construction company won a bid for a Pacific shoreline reactor, the cost-cutting practices went in effect immediately, affecting everything from materials to staffiing.  The job was finished before deadline and far under budget, resulting in promotions for those in charge of the project, and a hefty profit for those financially invested in it.  Things were good… for a while.  The cheap materials and rushed cratsmanship didn’t hold up for long, as five years later, the reactor was put to the test during a meltdown… and the reactor failed, miserably.  What came next was expected, and unstoppable.


A massive hunk of flesh and bone, Necrolossus is easily the most-detailed of the group.  He’s a big, craggy, toothy, gory giant, and certainly matches the normal Ironhaus style, but this figure is about twice as large as Rommel’s usual material, and he spent two years on it.  It shows.  The detailing is absolutely clean and professional, so much so that it looks like you could find it on a store shelf, easily.  Necrolossus has a really dynamic, pose, too, and it’s not hard to fit other toys right in his hand.  This was the first figure I saw in the line, and it’s easily a mascot for the whole thing.





“Hatano Hideharu was head of the Natano clan, and successfully maintained is clan hindered Nobonuga’s march to Kyoto at Yagai Castle util he offered Nobunagasurrender, and was dishonorably executed.  A year later, the castle was almost completely gone.  Vanished.  Old wives said they’d seen it slowly thundering through the forest, to the sea.  No one believed them until now.  Hatano has returned… Stone, flesh, muscle, and monster are destroying the best forces of the East Asian Experimental Mutagen Defence Force.  Cannonballs rip through our cities and ourbest giantified martial artists are unable to offer any notable resistance.  What can we offer to make him stop, we do not know.  We must defeat him… Japan beseeches you, die!  Shogu-Nasty!!!”



ShoguNasty is a tribute to those weird, esoteric kaiju from Sentai shows – you know, the ones where the designers got sick of making dinosaurs and just went for… stuff, right?  Giant eyeballs, footballs with limbs, or… well, houses.  Bigman Toys decided to pack this figure with detail, and even designed it to look like a man in a suit.  Of the three, it looks the most “handmade,” which is an issue of taste (some peopel prefer a clean factory look, others prefer a raw handmade look), but it is definitely the busiest of the sculpts.  With eyes on both ends, tentacles sprouting from its back, and strnage combinations of flesh and stone, this figure looks almost like a mountain combined with a castle!





Tug-O-War does not come with a storyline (aw, nuts), but Zectron has stated that he is, “A monster with a tug boat on its back used to disguise itself as it swims around looking for whaling ship to destroy.”



Easily the “cleanest’ of the three sculpts, Tug-o-War is a departure from the really busy looks of the other two, but it works heavily in his favor.  It’s hard to tell if this is machine or muscle (or both), but Tug-O-War is one of those figures that stands out on any shelf.  Even without the hilariously-sculpted tugboat on its back (and ice surrounding said boat), it’s a really cool-looking multi-eyed dinosaur monster.  It’s a change of pace from the others, and yet still fits in perfectly with the group.  If Necrolossus is the atomic monster and ShoguNasty is the mystical Japanese one, then this is the aquatic Kaiju!



Well, there you go.  Three incredibly awesome figures, all affordable – though you may have to watch out like a hawk to get all three, they are more than worth it!  Hopefully, Unbox will start contracting more artists, and end up giving us a whole army of kaiju!



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