Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Gundam vending machine/party favor bootleg figures
What: I remember there being one particular store when I was a kid that had the best toy vending machines, which I usually got just as excited about as any toys that could be found on the store shelves. It was my local Toys R Us, and it's where I got a good portion of my bootleg mini figures. The general theme of one of the vending machines they had there was creatures from outer space, and for a quarter it would produce all sorts of Japanese toy knockoffs, from M.U.S.C.L.E. bootlegs to various kaiju to robots. And most of the time, the robots were one of the guys pictured above, which are bootlegs of Gundam toys. Back then I had no clue they were Gundam bootlegs, or even what Gundam was. I still know very little about the anime and couldn't tell you who any of the particular characters are supposed to be, but I'm glad to at least know what they're knockoffs of!
These are made of hard, light plastic and come in all sorts of colors. Some sculpts are still sold as party favors today, but the colors seem to be limited to orange, yellow, green and blue. I don't know exactly how many sculpts there were, but an example of each different one I own can be seen in the first photo above.
When: I got most of mine from the early-mid 1990s. Some of them are still available to buy today, but as party favors, not vending machine prizes.
Where: Sold as prizes in toy vending machines, plus as party favors.