Kaiju Toys

The Japanese Craze of Kaiju Toys

Japanese Culture Kaiju Toys

Kaiju Toys

Kaiju toys are they more than just a toy? It seems to depend on how much exposure you've had to them.

In Japanese Kaiju literally means "strange beast" . Translated in English it loosely means "monster".

In reality, kaiju are mythical creatures featured in popular Japanese TV shows known as Tokusatsu. Tokusatsu had a huge influence on both ugly doll creators Sun-Min and David since they were small children , and now wish to create genuine Kaiju figures to honour those cherished memories.

Tokusatsu, is a Japanese word that literally means "special effects." In particular, Tokusatsu means the use of special effects in live action film or television dramas.

Tokusatsu TV depicts the three main elements of fantasy, horror and science fiction, but confusingly movies and TV shows in other genres can sometimes be classified as Tokusatsu as well.

The Godzilla and Gamera film series are great examples of this type of Kaiju monster movies, including TV series like Superhero, Kamen Rider and Metal Heroes.

This genre is proving to be immensely popular within the Japanese entertainment industry and in recent years has also begun to develop a small but loyal and growing fan-base outside of Japan.

Kaiju toys are typically fashioned after conventional animals, insects or mythological creatures however, there are more exotic examples.

Even traffic lights, faucets and vegetables like tomatoes are all grist to the artists imagination when creating these super creatures.

Then there's Kamen Rider Super-1 includes a whole army of monsters based on everyday objects such as ladders and umbrellas.

The term Kaiju is used in the West to describe monsters from Tokusatsu and Japanese folklore. From the Japanese point of view though vampires, werewolves, zombies and mummies from Wetern mythology belong to this genre too and are often credited to be the source of inspiration of the Kaiju designs.

Typically, Kaiju toys serve as cannon fodder for evil warlords. Some Kaiju can also be cast as elite warriors serving as the right-hand men to the greater villain but are ultimately destroyed by the heroic forces.

The kaiju figures started becoming much sought after, when Tokusatsu television productions began using them as sidekicks to the hero of the narrative. These figures were seen saving civilians from the evil warlords and were also shown demonstrating complex personalities.

Due to the phenomenal success of these TV shows, Kaiju toys are fast becoming a collector's dream.

Investing in Kaiju toys now will no doubt stand the collector in good stead in the future as their popularity spreads ever wider.  

About the Author

William Smith writes regularly about family related topics. I hope you enjoy this article

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