Bompire

He’s a vampire. And a Bomber. Thus, “Bompire”. “Vampire” in Japanese phonetics is “banpaia”, and Bompire’s Japanese name is “bonpaia”. Do you get it? Do you get the pun? Do you?

Alright, so Bompire is our first demonstration of a figure that comes with an attachment. This is cool, but it’s going to present a serious problem if you’re a collector, since kids lose stuff all the time and these things are now two decades old. It is my personal belief that somewhere, out there, is a pile of all the lost Bomberman capes that have somehow made their way to each other. As I type this, they are becoming a sentient hive mind hellbent on revenge.

Bompire without his cape.

Bompire without his cape.

So Bompire’s cape is pretty cool, it has a jaggedy design just like it does in his artwork, making it very distinct from all of the other Bomberman capes around. You can take it off and put it on other characters who have attachment slots, as long as it fits, though if you look at Bompire’s back, you can tell that it was shaped specifically for him (most of the characters with back attachments will have oddly-sloped backs so that the attachments fit properly). His pose is an altered variant of how he appears on the cover of the game, kind of like if you took that pose and just cranked up the flamboyancy. His feet are skinnier than those of most figures, so he kind of wobbles a bit sometimes. However, though I’m not entirely sure, I believe that the weight of his cape kind of balances him out. If you take it off, he seems considerably more wobbly.

Honestly, Bompire is pretty boss and I’m glad to finally have this one.

And 1 and 2 and 3 and sliiide!

Machine Bomber

Updated 3/16/2017!

I’ve had this character for a long time, but I was never sure what it was meant to represent, and I assumed it was one of the generic Super Bomberman figures, despite having the more modern face style. A few weeks ago, Ragey informed me that this character is actually unique to Panic Bomber for the Virtual Boy! In Panic Bomber games, if the player creates a big enough chain, a special event will occur, damaging the opponent. Typically, these effects involve something like a rocket shooting up over the screen, but in this iteration of Panic Bomber, if the player makes a chain of four, a Bomberman decked out in spikes will appear in the foreground and blast away their items and characters with eye beams:

A combo of 4 brings out this mysterious Bomberman.

A combo of 4 brings out this mysterious Bomberman.

In retrospect, I suppose it makes sense that he fits in with this group, visually. Like three of the other four characters in the game, his belt has a special insignia on it. In his case, it appears to be a gear.

Try as I might, I cannot seem to find the name of this character, as he is too much of a secret to have been included in the game’s manual, and I’ve yet to encounter a guidebook. Due to the graphical limitations of the system, and the monochrome nature of keshi, I don’t even know what his proper colours would look like! Evidently, he was deemed important enough to warrant a keshi… but then, there were only four other new characters unique to the game, so perhaps the marketing team just issued a print of him to round out the bunch. Anyway, if anybody out there has more information, please get in touch with me here or via Twitter. I will be very grateful, and you will be credited for your service.

Blue, red, and yellow copies.

Three of the colour variations for this character.

Updated 3/18/2017! Thanks, Evi for pointing out what an idiot I am for not remembering that this exists:

Menko card depicting the unknown Bomber in full colour.

Menko card depicting the unknown Bomber in full colour.

This is a disc for Menko, a centuries-old Japanese game comparable to Pogs. There are others from the 90’s – I’ve seen a Golem Bomber one, a Bompire one, and even one depicting a couple of Monk Bombers. This one shows this mysterious guy, which I suppose is further proof that he was deemed important enough for merchandise. Seeing him in colour again, though, I have to say… his palette is a little underwhelming!

Updated 10/5/2017! Finally, the last mystery is solved! Ragey obtained a menko displaying the character’s name. His name is Machine Bomber. It’s been a long ride, but I think we’re finally done updating this article!

God Bomber

Alas, poor God Bomber. Your game looked pretty tight but it was not to be. And yet, somehow, you still managed to grace us with your presence in the form of a keshi. God Bomber comes in the same variety of colours as the rest of the Virtual Boy characters, which leads me to believe that he may have just been a part of the same line, but I don’t really know. It’s truly strange that he exists. Perhaps this is indicative of the possibility that advertising for Bomberman for the Virtual Boy had already begun, and that they were pretty far along when it got cut with the rest of the Virtual Boy lineup. If I ever find out the truth, I will let you know here.

As that article I just linked indicates, originally, I just had a capeless God Bomber, but I have since acquired a completed figure. The cape is pretty cool and wavy and stuff, and has one of those rad high collars. I’m not sure what all to say about this figure other than what’s already been stated. He’s in a very basic pose that most caped Bombermen have held at some point in time.

Two God Bombers, one without his cape.

Two God Bombers, one without his cape.

Bonus Figure – Indy Bomber

Bomberman GB 2, known as Bomberman GB in the west because some asshole decided to supplant Bomberman with Wario in his English GB debut, is one of those rare Bomberman games that features a new protagonist other than White Bomber: Indy Bomber, White Bomber’s bomb-whipping ancestor. As the name implies, he’s basically Indiana Jones in Bomberman form. You can tell him apart from the Bomber Kid figure of Super Bomberman 3 by the style of his hat and the satchel he wears around his torso. I’m not sure if he was part of a set or just a single release, but he comes in the same colours as the Virtual Boy figures, and he’s from a handheld game, so I’m just lumping him in here with the rest of them.

They belong in a museum!

That’s all for now, but we’ve just scratched the surface. There are a whole lot more of these figures to cover, so stay tuned!

h/t: Special thanks to a close friend of mine for helping me to complete over half of this set, as well as Ragey for scanning in the Virtual Boy artwork I included in the Monster Bomber section.

This article was updated 8/20/2017 to include more pictures of duplicate Monster, Mummy, Bompire, and Indy figurines.

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