While growing up, watching Kaiju (Japanese monster) movies, on local channel WCIX, in South Florida, I think I was the only kid in my school obsessed with Godzilla, or basically any Dai-Kaiju, like Gamera, or even Daimajin, so when, in 1981, while inside the now defunct Zayres store, in Hialeah, I stumbled across a wall, all the way, in the back of the store, inside the toy department. On the wall, were a bunch of racks. On the racks, I saw some plastic-looking toy monsters, all about bout 6 inches tall, in plastic bags, with a simple card stock, attached to the top. On the front of the card, it read “Godzillas’ Gang,” in cheesy fonts, with a rather horrible looking picture of Godzilla underneath. On the back of the card, was a picture of every monster, in the series. The sad part was that Godzilla, was the only one missing on that wall, which sucked because he was the one I really wanted. I was too shy to ask the Zayres staff, to see if they had Godzilla ones [:(] Each of the remaining bags contained monsters I’d never seen before. In actuality, these monsters were featured in the Ultraman series, Return of Ultraman, who I didn’t even know existed. How did this happen? In 1979, Mattel, hot on the heels of their Shogun Warriors line, both big (jumbo machinders) and small (chogokin), wanted to expand their line to include smaller, affordable monsters for the kids, like me [:)] to play with, so they somehow got a hold of Eiji Tsuburaya, creator of both Godzilla, and Ultraman, and let Mattel put out a series of toys called “Godzilla’s Gang” when, in fact, Godzilla, was the only one in any Godzilla movies. The rest were, indeed Tsuburaya’s creations, but they weren’t even any of Godzilla’s villians, but Ultraman’s villans, instead!. Why they did dothis, I, or nor anyone else, will ever know. Recently, I won an auction on ebay, for one of the figures, Bemustar, AKA “Bemstar”.
As I got him out of the box, I noticed how new he looked. It was liked he stepped out of a time machine. He’s a only about 5.5 inches tall, and his head and arms move. However, his legs don’t which is typical for a large number of vinyl kaiju. Bemustar appears to be some sort of villain from the series The Return of Ultraman from 1971. He’s sort of an evil, looking, alien bird creature, capable of stabbing anyone with its spikes which protrude from the end of its arms. When I used to play with him, as a ten-year old, I’d often call him “hook hands.” This is one hell of a vinyl. Small, yet, well made enough with interesting detail and craftsmanship. The original Popy version was bigger, and more detailed, but I was still really impressed with this vinyl, even though, when I used to play with it, as a kid, I was just happy to have a toy Kaiju! If you ever see this vinyl, get it, it’s rad! I give this one 6 pentagrams. Yes, it’s THAT good! For a look at Bemstar, (as he’s known in Japan) in action, check out the video below: