Just a quick review today, of an oldie but goodie.
Frequently I find myself reminiscing about my childhood toys and remembering a specific toy. Within five minutes, I’ve searched for it on eBay, found it, and bought it. Such was the case recently with this Gizmo figure. Created by LJN, who created many an awesome 1980s toy, the figure was one of several tie-ins to 1984’s Gremlins.
To my surprise, I found the toy mint-on-card for a mere $20 including shipping. A bit more expensive than if I ran across it at a yard sale, but saves me the trouble of actually going to yard sales/toy shows/etc.
Packaging: First off, I can’t describe to you the odd nostalgic feelings that arose when I saw that art of Billy with Gizmo in his backpack. It’s very strange to get a sense of déjà vu from something nearly thirty years in your past.
Oddly enough, this is what you could call “collector friendly packaging” a good twenty years before the concept existed at all. I was able to cut the single piece of tape at the bottom and remove the bubble without damaging the cardboard, and I could easily replace the figure in the box and tape it shut again. LJN put a surprising amount of effort into a fairly simple little figure.
Design & Sculpt: Even as a kid, I recognized that this figure wasn’t sculpted all that accurately, compared to the movie Gizmo. The major problem is the eyes–they’re too big and too wide. They almost look like an anime version of Gizmo.
However, the rest of the sculpt is pretty good, with a nice amount of texturing on the fur. He stands about 3½” tall. As you can see from the back of the package, there was also a much larger Gizmo figure, but I never owned that.
Plastic & Paint: Gizmo is made from a rubbery plastic that’s quite squishy. He’s survived the twenty-seven years between 1984 and now relatively intact, except for a small bit of tackiness from a slight degradation of the plastic.
The paint work isn’t too intricate, and by today’s standards it would probably be called thick and perhaps a bit sloppy. Again, however, it’s not bad for the time it was made.
One thing I remember about my childhood version of this toy was that the white on the figure got dirty very easily, and fairly permanently. This one, being “brand new,” obviously doesn’t have that problem yet.
Articulation: Gizmo has cut joints at the neck and shoulders. NECA has upped that ante with their own Gizmo (one upcoming version has movable eyes), but for 1984 this was pretty standard.
Quality Control: He’s a rubber figure with three points of articulation. There’s nothing much to mess up here.
Overall: I bought Gizmo primarily to add him to my so-called Toy Shrine–my collection of vintage childhood toys. However, he’s a lovable little guy, and I think I’m going to keep him on my desk for a bit.
He may seem quaint by modern standards, but to a five-year-old boy in 1984 who wasn’t fond of plush toys, this (along with a bendie Stripe figure) was the Gremlins toy I wanted.