Featured Figure: Vintage Bandai Penny from “Inspector Gadget”

It has always been my intention to include memorabilia here on Moe Dimension, in particular figures, but like a lot of things this idea always seems to end up on the back burner. However, today I’m pleased to present one of my most treasured pieces of memorabilia: a vintage figure of Penny from the original Inspector Gadget cartoon from the eighties, manufactured by Bandai.

As you may know, I’m a big, big fan of Penny and this is a figure I got back in the eighties, when I was still growing up but kind of growing out of toys. So unlike most of my other treasured toys (my Kenner Star Wars figures, for example), I did not play with this figure very much, if at all, so it’s in very good condition.

This is a photo of the front. It’s a beautiful sculpt, isn’t it? I don’t think you could get a much better representation of Penny, even with today’s technology; she looks like she jumped straight out of a CRT TV!😁 There are some colours missing (the patches on her trousers, for example), but that is most likely due to the budgetary limitations of the time.

This is the rear. It may be hard to tell from the photo, but the markings on Penny’s back are as follows: © DIC 1983, CHINA, BANDAI. So that means this figure will soon be 40 years old!

Going off on a bit of a tangent for a moment, I was rather surprised that last year two new Inspector Gadget figure lines were released: one from the American toy company Funko and one from the Korean high-grade figure producer Blitzway.

The Funko Inspector Gadget line was part of Funko’s POP! VINYL brand, which are highly stylized figures with oversized square-shaped heads. POP! VINYL figures are incredibly popular and they cover an amazing variety of pop culture properties. But I don’t find them at all attractive, so the Penny figure from this line was of no interest to me.

As for Blitzway’s Inspector Gadget figures, I was excited when I first found out about them but when I had a good look at the Penny figure, I was disappointed. It’s not a bad representation of her, I suppose, but she looks way too thin and the colours seem slightly off. And another thing: these figures aren’t cheap. On Blitzway’s own website, Penny (who comes with Brain) was listed at USD 69.00. This is quite expensive for two figures that are both under 120 mm tall.

Anyway, the reason I brought up these two recent Penny figures was to highlight how much more appealing the old Bandai figure looks in comparison (in my opinion, of course). Well, that’s about it for this post, but I have one more photo to show…

This is Penny along with the other two figures I own from this line, Brain and Inspector Gadget himself. I have seen what appear to be other figures that may have been part of the same line, but I’m pretty sure that these were the only figures released in Australia.

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