Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Dusty Old Toy Find: Virtual On Cyber DNA Variant Action Figure

I was in the East Bay on business the other day and happened to find myself in Emeryville. I decided to drop by the oldest running Japanese Toy Store in the United States: Kimono My House. The last time I was there if you clicked on the link was way last year when the proprietor Yuki was kind enough to help me weigh the Hakaider blind assortment boxes to determine which one held the highly sought-after and very cool motorcycle. It's still one of my favorite figures partially due to the great story that comes with it. Yuki remembered me and the weighing of the boxes. I gave him my toybot card and asked him to come to the site, search for Kimono My House because I had written an article about that day. It was great to be back in his store as he moved some things around, but it still brought me back to my childhood days as a wee lad. You see, KMH is an old-skool Japanese toy store. You could put this store and Yuki in 1974 and everything would probably look and feel the same - and I like that. It's the kind of store that I grew up with and the kind of store that got me into Japanese toys in the first place. I scolded myself for not visiting more often. I did my usual routine which is to make a quick lap around the store checking out where everything is and to note certain sections that would require more intense inspection. Then I went through each aisle (there is only really 3 aisles...it's a pretty small store) more deliberately at a slower pace looking at each shelf to see if anything caught my eye. Then something caught my eye. It was literally dusty and it was standing on the floor next to the shelf. It was a Virtual On Cyber DNA figure which I had seen before, but this one was translucent in a purple / pink color. This, I had never seen before. It was $28 which is a bit high, but I knew I was going to buy it. I picked it up and started pacing around the store some more. When I buy something, I usually want to buy something to go with it. I like to buy in pairs or more. Dunno why, just silly I guess. I probably spent another 3-40 minutes walking the aisles real slow with Yuki occasionally glancing over at me from his TV and probably wondering when I was going to pay for this toy! I witnessed a long hair hippie / artist type who apparently is a regular who went straight to the vinyl "kaiju" or Japanese monsters. He bargained with Yuki down to 2 for $25 cash, no tax. So when I went up to pay for my figure, Yuki warned me that these figures are especially fragile and often would come broken. He said to be careful and not to mess with the joints too much. I then asked him for a discount, which he gave ($3 off) The funny thing is that when I got him, sure enough the foot was broken off. It is indeed a very fragile figure and I'm afraid to pose it in any alternative manner. The color is amazing and it comes with a stand which is great because I think it would fall apart otherwise. Maybe it's just cause it's old and dusty...

To give you a sense for how old and dusty, I found this article from way back in 2001:

May 1st, 2001, About Action Figures.com:
"Japanese toy manufacturer Kaiyodo is set to continue the excitement of their best-selling Virtual On toy line with the Virtual On: Cypher DNA Side Action Figure, and it's only available in the U.S. through Diamond Comic Distributors.

A hit in the arcade and on Sega's Dreamcast system, Virtual On Cybertroopers revolutionized the one-on-one fighting game premise by applying it to killer robots with fantastic weapons, leaving mass destruction - and a huge army of fans hungry for more - in its wake. Earning an "A-" from Gamer's Republic magazine, who added "this is mech combat as it should be," the game has also been hailed by Dailyradar.com as a "hit," and "an absolute must-play." The game's sequel, Virtual On Oratorio-Tangram, debuted at #2 on GameWEEK.com's Top 10 Dreamcast Game Chart in June 2000, and won even more converts by featuring the designs of Katohi Hajime, who is also the creator of the red-hot Gundam franchise.

The all-new robot warrior Cypher is captured in perfect detail by this 6" action figure, which is cast in varying shades of purple and violet plastic to ensure that the deadly 'bot will look just as good in fans' collections as it does in the hit game itself.

The Virtual On: Cypher DNA Side Action Figure sports 26 points of articulation, variant hands that can be swapped out to hold the robot's multiple weapons, and comes with a unique stand that allows the figure to be displayed as if it were flying - which is exactly how these figures will be leaving toy shelves once fans of the game catch sight of them!"








1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ooh, the Kaiyodo Virtual-On figures. I went on a collecting binge for a while and picked up the Apharmds and Temjins. I actually bought them all used, partly because they're cheaper that way and partly because the seller would already have discovered the weak joints. How did you fix the foot, by the way?

Oh, and the reason you buy figures in pairs is because of the eBay mentality- must save on shipping. ...Even in brick-and-mortar stores. :P

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