The mischievous style
of the golden age of garage kits
The poor man’s nuclear weapons. It’s an expression worthy of the managing director known for his big-hearted character, but being “easy to use” was also a truly important point for the future prosperity of the culture of figures.
“We’ve been following the rules of artists for a long time, but there are many times when I can’t even talk to young licensors nowadays who don’t even know the Japanese characters for “model,” haha, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to accept publishing supervision. With that in mind, we hang everything on what interesting product we can propose that you can’t find anywhere else. Otherwise, what meaning is there in modelling? There were Eva works from the very beginning that allowed you to appreciate the creativity of every manufacturer, not just ours. Still, all I remember from Gainax is getting scolded whenever I met with anyone, or talking about trivial things.”
Now, let’s introduce one of those “trivial things.” Among the figures that had captured the attention of everyone including the general public since Eva, there was one sold as a gachapon capsule toy.
“When was it… There was this capsule toy, a ‘bath vignette’ made based on Misato during a bath scene. When you sit in a bathtub, the human buttocks kind of spread like this. Oshima, the sculptor who designed this, made it very detail down there (TN!!!: Wasn’t sure of a more “PC” way to word this…). There were a lot of instances of people getting angry over people who had that. There was also a lot of fighting over one of Asuka where you could see her underwear under her yellow dress, haha. Another product I still remember is one by Kinoshita (Takashi), a soft vinyl figure of Unit 01. It was a kit made using mega soft vinyl and was 40 cm tall, but making such a complicated robot specifically out of soft vinyl is absurd to begin with, and as expected, once its body is put together, it has no punch, haha. It was a way of time, so people more often enjoyed the packaging.”
That’s the “Mega Soft Vinyl Evangelion Unit 01”, introduced below on this page.
“As for why the packaging has lines on it, I don’t know why they went with something unexpected of a garage kit at that time, haha. (TN!!!: Not sure if I didn’t misunderstand this) I was sure that the shop manager, Sato (Hiroki Sato, who was in charge of Eva copyright products at that time), would absolutely hate this, so he wasn’t shown until he checked the colors of the proof. ‘There’s no way, don’t show him until it’s done!’ Of course, he hated it, haha. ‘Why does a package need all of this text?!’ In the end, though he let us push it through with that impact. We didn’t show Sato things we thought he’d object to until the absolute last second. For us, if we’re able to bring it when it’s complete, we have confidence in it being something good that customers will approve of, but if it’s in progress, we’re bad at explaining it in proposals or in person. So even though by all rights we have to get approval during the process while we progress through something, we sped through things and showed them at the very end. Sato probably understood that, as well, even if it made him angry, haha. He also recognized good things as good. That was generous of him, and I’m very grateful.”