Japanese Crash Bandicoot Plush

This one's an old favourite of mine, and the poor guy looks a little worn nowadays!


I got Crash Bandicoot, here, from a local game shop almost sixteen years ago - back in the days before importing was marginalised, and before British game shops were homogenised.

He's a Japanese plush, made by Banpresto to promote Crash Bandicoot 2. These plushes would have been released as prizes in Japanese arcades in late 1997 (which is when Crash Bandicoot 2 was released there), and they made it to the shop that I got Crash from in late 1998. They were available in several different poses and expressions reminiscent of the game - those being this one, which is the standard pose, as well as spinning, running, and "dead" (which made Crash look like roadkill).


As you can see, he's based on the Japanese Crash Bandicoot 2 promotional artwork, and not the Western stuff. I always quite liked the style of it! I'm pretty sure that this is because the artwork in question felt a bit closer to the in-game style, somehow.

As you can also see, unfortunately time has not been kind to the vinyl-coated fabrics used for his gloves and shoes! The vinyl on the fabric has flaked off in places. Thankfully, on the white vinyl parts, where this is most definitely at its worst and where very little of the vinyl coating remains, it doesn't really show, because the backing fabric is itself white. Normal humidity over time seems to have this effect on this sort of fabric - I have a few Japanese prize plushes from around 1997 to 2003 or so who have all had issues with this (for some reason, a 1993 plush, who will appear in a future entry here, has no such problems, so I assume that it has something to do with the way such fabrics were produced during this particular era). Unfortunately, there seems to be no way of stopping it. It's a good thing that I'm not one of those collectors who strives for permanently keeping things in ultra-super-duper mint condition, or else this would drive me mad! Even with the flaws introduced by these problematic fabrics and embellishments, I love all of them just the same as I ever did. ;)


I always felt that the Japanese Crash Bandicoot plushes captured Crash's essence really well, in spite of the Japanese artwork being somewhat different. In fact, I feel that the essence was captured even better here than in some of the later Western-produced ones, which were made in the style of the original Western artwork. The reason for this seems to be that the Japanese plush designers paid better attention to the details of Crash's features and shape in relation to the games, whereas the Western-made plushes exaggerated certain traits (such as Crash's eyebrows) to ridiculous proportions, causing them to look "off" to varying degrees.

Crash remains a favourite plush in my collection, and I'm really pleased that I had the chance to get him when I did. (y) Who could possibly have known that British game shops as they once were would cease to be a very short time after I purchased him?


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