UPDATE (3/16/2017): This article has been updated to include another keshi, which I previously did not believe to be a part of this set. More detail on page 2. Thanks for reading!

Keshi are little rubbery figurines that have been popular in Japan for decades. You can get them out of gachapon (capsule toy) machines or in little packages or boxed sets or what-have-you. Though some are pre-painted, they’re generally unpainted, monochromatic figures that come in a variety of colours. If you’ve ever passed by one of those gumball machines with the little rubber ninja or monkeys or stuff in them, think like that, except these are much bigger (each Bomberman figure is close to 5cm wide and 5cm tall) and are often tied to popular game or cartoon franchises. Naturally, the ones I’m most interested in are the Bomberman figures.

There are actually a lot of these little guys, as I’ve found out through research and collection over the years, so I decided to try to catalogue them. As a wise bard once said, many years ago, “Gotta catch ’em all.” It is a mantra I have taken to heart.

Though I have a truly ridiculous amount of these standing around on my shelves, the only set I’ve truly completed (no missing attachments) is the Virtual Boy set, so that’s what I’ll be showcasing first. These figures come from the Virtual Boy version of Panic Bomber, and are comprised of the four monstrous Bombers who are faced as bosses within the game (strangely, their group has no name that I’ve uncovered). I’m also throwing in the figure from the unreleased Virtual Boy game as well as a figure from a Gameboy game that doesn’t seem to fit into any other set. Without further ado, let’s get started…

Bomberman Virtual Boy Series Info

  • Year: Circa 1995
  • Number of figures: 10
  • Figure size: Normal (up to 5cmx5cm)
  • Known colours: Yellow, red, white, dark blue, pink

Bomber Wolf

Bomber Wolf is the lycanthropic first boss of the game. As this is the first figure I’m covering, I’m going to go ahead and point out just how finely detailed these are. The fur around his collar is meticulously textured, and all the little details of his outfit, even a little seam in the back of his coat, are all there. Even his claws are distinctly separated from his fingers and toes. There are a lot of keshi out there of varying levels of quality. The Bomberman figures are all very high quality with very accurate sculpts. If one were to paint them, or find painted versions that exist for some of the series, it’s even clearer. If you’re into Bomberman, these are definitely worth the money they cost nowadays, two decades on.

Monster Bomber

Monster Bomber is a big guy, but his figure is scaled down to match the height and width of the others. This is likely for two reasons: production costs/equipment, and being able to fit into the same gachapon machines as the others in the set. The same is true for all of the bigger characters from the other games throughout the series. If it suits your fancy, you could probably place them at the appropriate distances to create a sort of illusion that makes them seem like they’re scaled properly, or you could be like me and set them up beside each other without really caring.

Anyway, Monster Bomber stands in the same pose he holds in his artwork. His middle and ring fingers are merged together in a sort of reverse-Spock thing, I assume for some practical reason that of which I’m unaware. I do actually have a minor qualm with this figure, actually. Instead of the normal ball antenna, Monster Bomber has a big bolt, but it’s in the same position on the crown of his head – if you take a look at his artwork on the cover of the game, you can see this. Strangely, it seems that whomever sculpted this figure only looked at his front-view artwork and assumed that the bolt just comes out of the top of his head, so that’s how the figure looks. Actually, you can tell from that artwork, as well, that the bolt is angled back due to its perspective, but whatever, it’s mostly just a little oddity worth pointing out.

The hardest part of creating a patchwork corpse monster? Choosing what colour he should wear…

Bomber Mummy

Bomber Mummy has his chains and everything, which is pretty sweet. He has one foot on top of his metal ball, which I must admit looks rather cool. Due to the smaller base of the ball, though, it makes him considerably more susceptible to toppling by a brush or shake. Still, his other foot provides enough of a foundation that he’s not the most accident-prone of all the Bomberman figures I’ve encountered, so it’s not too big of a problem. The little sun-shaped symbol on his belt is instead rendered as a smooth sphere, which is an understandable choice given how tiny it is on the figure.

We have a few of these, so here’s another shot:

I could make a joke about why his wrapping is yellow, but I'd like to think I'm classier than that.

I could make a joke about why his wrapping is yellow, but I’d like to think I’m classier than that.

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