A new figure is joining the Monster Extra Land line from Bandai Spirits as well as the litany of Godzilla merchandise. And it’s an obscure one to most unless you’re a diehard G-Fan who can’t get enough of the Showa Era.
Jet Jaguar, the flying and growing robot whose lone appearance came in Toho’s Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973), has two figures for sale that come in a dual pack with several accessories. Here is the listing and details on Big Bad Toy Store’s website.
The product description reads as follows:
“From the 1973 film Godzilla vs. Megalon, Jet Jaguar joins the Monster Extra Land line in posing and flying forms! He comes with pieces to recreate the scene of him growing larger (Megalon-size).”
As it says, one figure is posable, as in standing, and the other is of Jet Jaguar in a flight pose – or “Flying mode.” Accessories include two sets of extra detachable arms for different poses you can place the standing figure in.
It also comes with a crystal-looking piece that attaches to the standing figure’s chest, symbolizing the way the robot grows in the film. Now marvel at the figures and their poses below.
And, finally, check out this really cool poster art.
Jet Jaguar started as the very different character Red Alone, created by a young kid from Japan for a contest in 1971 held in tandem by Toho Studios and Tsuburaya, creator of Ultraman.
This wouldn’t be the last time a character would come about this way. Biollante from Godzilla vs. Biollante was also the result of a contest.
A brightly colored Red Alone design was shown on Japanese television but didn’t cut it with the studio. Special effects director Teruyoshi Nakano oversaw a new design at Toho’s behest. They wanted to channel Ultraman to cash in on the burgeoning Tokusatsu craze.
Nakano went ahead with a design he meant to be “unappealing” and the character was renamed Jet Jaguar (for reasons) once the suit was complete.
He was supposed to star in his own film, Jet Jaguar vs. Megalon, but Toho urged Godzilla and Gigan to be added to the mix to boost the box office. That’s how the film became Godzilla vs. Megalon.
In it, Jet Jaguar, the invention of a scientist who can control him via a high-tech medallion, goes to Monster Island to convince Godzilla to help him fight the underground kingdom of “Seatopia.”
Seatopians, disturbed by nuclear tests, are bent on conquering the world with their greatest weapons – Gigan and their burrowing kaiju beetle god Megalon (just go with it).
Other than inexplicable Superman-style flight and super-sizing himself, Jet Jaguar’s abilities include super-strength, beams of light that scan for unseen threats, and hand-to-hand combat.
Video games gave him new powers such as a tornado attack, a seismic punch (the “Rhino Pound”), and his “Plasma Clap” laser beam that takes more inspiration from Ultraman.
Not one of the more popular characters for decades, according to fandom polls, the giant “robot man” is being embraced by fans in greater numbers nowadays. He made a notable splash in the IDW series Godzilla: Rulers of Earth.
The name for the set, Godzilla vs. Megalon Monster Extra Land Jet Jaguar Punch, Punch, Punch, is a nod to his theme from the movie: “Godzilla and Jet Jaguar: Punch! Punch! Punch!”
Bandai’s Jet Jaguar figures are available for pre-order but won’t ship until December. Big Bad Toys cautions even that projection isn’t guaranteed. In any case, taking the plunge will cost you nearly 350 big ones ($346.99) and require a non-refundable $52.05 down payment.
If that still sounds up your alley, kaiju fans, then leave us an undeterred reply in the comments.