Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Gang of Five

So I had a few friends from the Island of Lost Toys stop by the apartment for a visit. It's interesting how old material items from your past trigger serious nostalgia attacks. These date back to 1989 - back before the Japanese started outsourcing their toys to China. (Remember when "Made in Japan" was considered to be the biggest threat to the American worker?)

I need to figure out what I want to do with these guys. It seems a shame to leave them in a shoebox for decades at a time.

For those of you that care, these are old Bandai Musha Gundam figures, from back in the day when there were only a handful of Gundams. From left to right, Gundam, Gundam Mk. II, Zeta Gundam (missing his crest), Gundam Double Zeta and Nu Gundam. Imagine sixty-foot tall robot war machines in samurai armor. The second photograph shows the Musha Gundam near a photograph of a more recent version of the same, so you can see what its actual color scheme should look like, instead of pink plastic.


catnapping said...

I remember when almost everything in my home was 'made in japan.'

One of my brothers got it tattooed on the bottom of his foot. (Two of my brothers were made in Japan...the one who was actually born there got the tattoo.)

I can remember when some things made there were crap - not well put together. I can remember when you could tell just by the print on a box if something came from Japan...the spacing between the letters was always off...I think just a hair more space than our typesets...

But we had beautiful things from Japan. Ebony and Cherrywood furniture...a "coffee" table with mother of pearl look like cherry blossoms. We had several brass items that had pagodas and junks (always with Fuki in the background) etched/carved...and then enameled in black, so the etching was bright and shiny...

We had silk lamps, silk drapes, silk embroidered upholstered chairs, silk slippers, and several red and/or black enameled boxes with paintings of Fuji.

The toys were almost always and robots, mostly.

Any action figures...were actually kept in glass. Porcelain bodies - Kabukimono, Samurai, and Geisha...all in beautiful silks. I'm trying to remember if plastic had even been invented yet...

I could never see Japan as a threat. It was our own corporations that were the threat. Their method of operations...the way they treated their workers...the shit they put on the market.

I bought Japanese cars because they were better than American. I bought Japanese electronics because they were better than American.

I don't buy Chinese, because the stuff they send us is not better than American. But then China is too influenced by America's corporate culture and business ethics.

Japan, while influenced by America, didn't buy into our corporate culture. They put pride before profit.

catnapping said...

that's Fuji...hit the wrong key, soory.