Namco Mini-Diorama Figurines (2004)

Namco Mini-Diorama FigurinesYou may or may not have noticed that here in the summer of 2005, has been featuring a lot of games and other items by Namco, the Japanese video game maker who gained worldwide fame with games like Pac-Man, Galaga, Dig Dug and many more. Namco, formerly the Nakamura Manufacturing Company, celebrates its 50th year of operation in 2005, so it seems only fitting. Another one of the items released just in time for that anniversary is this nifty set of colorful figurines commemorating some of the company’s games. Released only in Japan, the figurines may not represent what western fans of classic games consider to be well-known, high-profile titles, but even with the small dioramas depicting scenes from lesser-known games, the design and craftsmanship of these toys are impressive.

For the old-school fans, there’s plenty here you’ll recognize. Dig Dug, Mappy and Pac-Land get colorful treatments that bring the games’ classic artwork into the three-dimensional realm. They also have some intiguing use of translucent material – Fygar’s fire-breath in the Dig Dug figurine, for example. Newer games are represented by The Legend of Valkyrie, Family Stadium (a Nintendo Famicom game whose figurine isn’t seen here, but can be seen on the box artwork) and The Quest of Ki, whose figurine is a kind of “chaser card” in this collection.

The two most intricately-detailed gems of the whole set, however, are the dioramas representing Xevious and the early dungeon-crawling adventure game Tower Of Druaga. The detail, texturing and paint work on both of these are very impressive, and they each really capture the dynamic feel of each game. Xevious‘ “floating” Solvalou ship model is to die for, a great replica ripped straight from the 2-D artwork on the side of the arcade cabinet. (It’s not for nothing that this page has multiple views of the Xevious ship.)

The only drawbacks to this set? The games we don’t see here. I would’ve drooled over a replica of the killer space station from Bosconian to rival the Xevious ship, or something representing the original Pac-Man. Or a Galaga boss ship capturing a player ship in a translucent tractor beam. The possibilities are endless – and this is before we get to more modern Namco fare like Tekken, Soul Calibur, the Ridge Racer series, Katamari Damacy and so on.

Namco Mappy Mini-Diorama Figurine

Namco Pac-Land Mini-Diorama Figurine

Namco Tower Of Druaga Mini-Diorama Figurine
The Tower Of Druaga.

Namco Legend Of Valkyrie Mini-Diorama Figurine
The Legend Of Valkyrie.

Namco Xevious Mini-Diorama Figurine
Namco Xevious Mini-Diorama Figurine
Namco Xevious Mini-Diorama Figurine
Namco Xevious Mini-Diorama Figurine

Namco Quest Of Ki Mini-Diorama Figurine
The Quest Of Ki.

Namco Mini-Diorama Box Front
Namco Mini-Diorama Box Back