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Vault Review: Revoltech
Takeya Gundari Myoo

Before we jump into the review, here’s a quick summery of who Gundari Myoo is.  The Myoo are the five belligerent deities who represent Buddhism’s power to overcome the earthly passions, and guard the four directions and the center.  Gundari is the guardian of the South.  He distributes celestial nectar to the poor and is the scourge of demons.  His eight arms carry various weapons in order to fiercely defend the virtues of Buddhism and its followers.

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Revoltech Takeya’s Buddhist line is one of the most interesting collections that I’ve ever amassed.  A toy line based on various real-life religious figures and deities is already pretty unique.  So when you add the super articulation and insane amounts of sculpted detail, you get a line that pretty much impresses with every release.  It’s difficult to pick the “best” figure with so many exceptional products, but Gundari Myoo has to be near the top of the pack.

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The thing that sets Gundari apart from pretty much every action figure that I’ve ever owned is his eight arms.  Figures with multiple arms connected at their shoulders usually have a hard time balancing aesthetics with functionality.  Articulation typically suffers most with the arms getting in the way of each other, leaving the poor collector with a figure that only looks decent in one or two positions.

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This is why I really have to give major props to the folks at Kaiyodo.  They were actually able to design a figure that has full swivel/hinge movement in each shoulder, while at the same time keeping the overall figure looking very organic.  His arms can even rest at his sides in very natural looking positions (Well, as natural as a person with eight arms can look).

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Gundari’s overall sculpt is actually quite a bit bigger than most of the previous figures.  I’m not sure if this is to accommodate his multiple arms, or if the line is becoming more popular and they can afford to make them at a slightly larger scale.  Either way, I’m liking it.  It’s nice to have a bit of variation among the various deities, and a larger figure allows for a more detailed sculpt.

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And speaking of sculpted detail, Gundari’s is pretty amazing.  Unlike a lot of his predacessors, Gundari is mostly naked.  There’s no real armor on this figure, instead he’s wearing a combination of flowing robes, bracelets, armbands, and a necklace.  (Surprisingly his necklace and sash are two separate pieces!)  But I think the coolest things are the white snakes coiled around each wrist, and the two tied together as a belt.  (Never mess with a man who uses live snakes as a belt.)  And if that wasn’t enough, his snake belt isn’t just holding up his robes but also a tiger pelt with a sculpted face.   Continue to page 2…

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16 comments to Vault Review: Revoltech
Takeya Gundari Myoo

  • Zed

    That albino python belt gives new meaning to the term “trouser snake.”

    Really liking this series of figures both for the concept and the execution. I do wonder if there’s some sense of a clash of commercial and religious sensibilities when they’re viewed by practicing Buddhists, though.

    • Vault

      Lol, I didn’t even think of that for the snakes!

      Buddhism has a lot of different sects, so there’re probably a lot of different view points on the subject. I’m not exactly a practicing Buddhist, but I do have a lot of respect for the philosophy side of it. One of the things I personally struggle with is my love of material possessions like toys, versus the fact that each thing I own is a responsibility that limits my spiritual side to a certain degree.

      But there are those that see Buddhism as more of a religion, and it’s not uncommon to have figures and idols that represent the dieties to pray towards. So in a way these toys are just articulated expressions of that practice.

      • Edward

        Buddhists also use the visual representations to meditate, not just pray. One strand in Esoteric Buddhism says that certain truths are easier to grasp through visual representations than through words. That’s why some of these Esoteric Buddhist deities have very little “backstory.” They are iconic representations of certain psychological, spiritual, or cosmic truths, rather than characters in a Buddhist Bible story. So don’t feel bad about gazing at your icons. Having a visual experience does not necessarily make you a vulgar materialist!

  • TC

    Wow. These figures are absolutely incredible. I’m kind of sitting here in awe of that last picture, Vault. I mean, this is just such an odd, niche subject to choose to make into action figures. Buddhist gods? You wouldn’t think there would be much demand for that, but the execution is amazing. The detail and articulation are just sick. If I had an unlimited budget, I would definitely pick all of these up, but I’ll have to settle for looking at the galleries from your reviews.
    And like Zed asked in the previous comment: How do Buddhists feel about this? It looks to me like their deities are treated pretty seriously and given first class treatment, so is there any conflict? And does Revoltech plan on doing this with any other Pantheons? Their Greek/Roman gods would be awesome!
    And speaking of hyper articulated/detailed figures, now that DCU is almost done, any chance you could review some of these Play Arts Kai DC figures I’ve been seeing? Not sure I want to start collecting $70 figures, but…

    • Vault

      Takeya, the artist who sculpted these figures, does a really fantastic job. You should definitely check out his other work just to see the crazy amounts of detail he puts into a subject.

      See my above answer about the religious aspect.

      I’d personally love seeing other cultures’ mythological figures in a toy line. Figures from Greek, Roman, Norse, Egyptian, etc. would make for an amazing looking shelf. A couple years ago I had Robert Baldwin relay this question to them at Wonder Fest. Unfortunately their answer was pretty vague. They seemed open to the idea, but the Buddhist figures had just started coming out and they weren’t sure how well they would sell yet. They did say they’d think about it, but there hasn’t been any word on the idea since then.

      The PAK line is really interesting, and some of the figures look really great. Unfortunately I don’t really like the scale they’re in, and the price point is also a bit hard to swallow. The consistantly expensive MonsterArts line takes up a good part of my budget, making it difficult to even pick up one or two PAK figures.

  • Faugh

    I have this guy, he’s awesome. Only one I have from the line, but I’ve always had a weakness for figures with more than two arms, for some reason.

  • Brainlock

    Another home run for this line. Out. of the. Park.
    (sorry, my FB feed is currently a sea of Redbird Nation.)

    I agree with TC, that I would like to see them handle some of the Western Pantheons like the Olympian and Aesir groups. With this detail in the Buddhist, the Western groups could be nothing short of awesome. Ooh, then we could also have Hellenic vs Roman Olympic Pantheon variants! 😉
    (and the Marvel and occasional DC figures would be envious!)

    I think my only complaint (besides not being able to afford them!) is that the group shot is too busy! I mean that in a good way, but the finer details of each figure are lost in a sea of awesome sculpts and detail.

  • dayraven

    that belly button is beyond epic. it could double as a lunch box! it’s almost more of a gut vagina.

  • Tim H

    Hey Vault! Thanks for the awesome review! I’ve been waiting for you to get back to your Takeya collection. I have Gundari as well (in fact, after reading your Fujin review, I tracked down the entire collection.

    My only fault with Takeya’s design is that Gundari should be three-faced like the Ashura. But, how can I complain, considering the work that went into the arms. I was hoping Takeya would flesh out the rest of the “Bright Kings / Vidyaraja / Myoo / Mingwang”) because the next inline rides a bull and has eight legs. 😉

    When is your review of Fudo Myoo coming? 😉 PS. Takeya has Garuda the Eagle coming out next. He’s a bit more to form though… like one of the Shitenno, but with a beaked face, different armor, and a flute.

  • Tim H

    PS. Also, if you play video games, check out the latest Tomb Raider (setting: Japan). There are statues of Fudo Myoo, Tamonten, and Jochouten all over the island.

    (the game identifies Tamonten and Zochouten as Himiko’s “Storm Guards”)

    The game is anachronistic, but hey it’s a beautiful looking game.

  • Tim H

    Also, your Red Ashura looks great. I wound up with the woodgrain-version (colored one was heavily marked up on ebay and amazon, whereas the woodgrain was still available retail from Japan Hobby Link).

    The woodgrain versions were a clever idea, but they lack life. My ashura looks like a shadow on my shelf compared to the colored shitenno and Fudo.

  • Tim H

    PS. On the subject of the toys as religious symbols:

    My wife is Chinese-born Buddhist and thinks they’re interesting. She did act annoyed with the Kannon figure. But I suspect due to the price. 😉

    And you have to figure that Takeya was probably born into a Buddhist family himself.

  • StrangePlanet

    Ouuuuuu… Harryhausen Kali.
    This is a badasss figure though that I imagine could very well do everything a great Kali could, if only it had alternate weapon-holding hands.