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[Good Model]

Imai - Good Model, Now Roll Over

text: Robert Duban & Matt Alt, graphics: Robert Duban

October 2003


[Gadora] Imai made model kits. Lots of model kits. Lots and LOTS of model kits. Imai produced models from a very diverse range of characters -- from Robodachi to Macross and everything in between. There are numerous non-character Imai kits as well. The company's recent bankruptcy in 2002 seemed to mark the end of Imai's long and productive history.

Back in the 1970's, Imai made a minor foray into the mini-sized diecast toy market, with a line called "Good Model." These character toys are from licenses largely unknown in the United States. Strangely enough, the toys from their most well known license, Casshan, do not bear the Imai logo on either the toys or the boxes, but they do share the "Good Model" designation. There is also at least one non-character toy in the Good Model series.

Here's a bit about the shows these toys are from:

Casshan - 2/10/73 - 6/25/74
A very popular series that was created by the same team as "Gatchaman" ("Battle of the Planets"). Casshan's robotic canine sidekick, "Friender," is one of the more memorable designs from the series. Imai rendered each of Friender's various vehicle modes in toy form. Imai also produced a toy of one of Casshan's enemy's ships.

Mighty Jack - 4/6/68 - 6/29/68
An SF spy drama based on the exploits of the counter-espionage team "Mighty Jack" in their insatiable efforts to topple the organization of mad scientists known as "Q." Rather than the human actors, the star of the show for kiddies was undoubtedly the enormous, multi-purpose flying battleship called "MJ." The outlandishly mod-looking theatrical version ("Fight! Mighty Jack") would hit American airwaves in the '90's thanks to the parody show "Mystery Science Theater 3000."

Submarine 707 - 1960's
A manga set in 1942, centered around the exploits of a "wolf pack" of German U-Boats, bent on hunting down the Beatles' famous yellow vessel. Just kidding, unfortunately.

Super Jetter - 1/7/65 - 1/20/66
"Super Jetter," a black and white science fiction adventure show with a time travel theme, aired in 1965, marking it as one of the earliest Japanese animated television series. Set in the 30th century, the hero Jetter uses his trusty time machine, "The Shooting Star," to track down a league of "time criminals."

[image] Friender Jet
[image] Friender Car
[image] Friender Tank - red version
Friender Tank - yellow version
[image] Friender Marine
[image] Gadora
[image] Mighty
[image] Submarine 707
[image] Submarine Junior 707
[image] The Shooting Star (Ryu-Sei-Go)
[image] Space Expedition Vehicle

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