Mega Man 8 released in North America with no more than the usual amount of fanfare. A special edition package came with a small booklet of the series history, and there was also a chance to buy a Mega Man figurine in honor of the Blue Bomber's 10th anniversary (even though it was still only his 9th). In Japan, however, things were a bit different. There was Rockman 8 merchandise galore! I'd have never believed it myself if not for the book Rockman Super Encyclopedia (pictured right), which came out in Japan in May of 1997. There was a whole variety of good available, from simple toys to whole room decor! And all for the game Rockman 8 (and by some association, the 10th anniversary).
Some of this stuff you've surely seen before, but I'll bet there's a good chance that some of it you haven't. Hit the break below to take a gander!
Bandai may be making waves now with their D-Arts line, but they're far from unfamiliar - they've been making Rockman goods going on 20 years now. These are their Mega Armor model kits, featuring various characters from Rockman 8. You've probably seen these before; I even had a few a while back (although they were Chinese versions). The Rockman and Blues assembled figures had a buster capable of shooting a small metal ball. The page also says there were Duo and Astro Man kits available too. I do recall seeing Duo (and Forte as well), but I can't ever say I've seen an Astro Man figure! Maybe it's a mistype?
Rockman 8 gashapon figures! You know, those dispenser machines that pop out a random encapsulated toy. There were a total of 21 types of these figures, and 2~3 were included in a capsule for a mere ¥100. Not a bad deal!
The rest of the gashapon figures. I wonder how many full collections are still around today? Over on the right, Roll laments that she wants to be made into a figure too. Don't worry, Roll, you got your day eventually.
Here's where things get more interesting. On the left we have a variety of vinyl figures by Bandai once again. The top were "Power Buster Rockman" figures for ¥200 and the bottom were "Rockman Fighters" figures for ¥100, which also came with a sticker. Both were included with packs of ramune candy. They could be purchased at supermarkets and candy stores.
On the right was how the real big spenders showed their Rockman 8 love. Itoki Co. is a manufacturer of furniture, including a line of study furniture for children. They'd made other Rockman themed furniture before, and 8 would be no different. But be ready to hurt your wallet - the desk alone cost a whopping ¥89,800, or $790 US using the currency exchange back at the end of 1996 (man were those the days!). And all it really had was a nifty Rockman collage. Sold separately were the chair with Rockman 8 cushion for ¥19,800, the Rockman 8 floor sheet for ¥9,800, and a satchel backpack with a Rockman 8 keyring for ¥27,000. If you were lucky enough to get all those things, you better have studied hard!
Here we have stationery galore. On the right is a variety of goods by Mitsubishi Pencil (who are a part of the electronics and automotive super conglomerate) and Showa Note. The left features pencil cases and a sets of colored pencils, with 12 color and 24 color sets. On the left we have regular pencils, a sketchpad and coloring book. Other products by Mitsubishi not shown include a container for slippers and a handbag.
Then in the lower right is something real interesting. Apparently, Bandai had machines called "Prename" installed at various game centers. These let you select from various designs and make your own meishi; eight to a sheet. And wouldn't you know it, there was a Rockman 8 design too.
Hey, wait a sec. What does it say there on that pencil box on the left? What the...
...Huh??? What the heck does that mean? Who is Dr. Nemy!? Even if that's not what it says (maybe it's "OR. NEMY."?), I really can't understand what it ought to mean. Was it just supposed to say Dr. Wily? How do you misspell it that badly!
Finally we get to the end, and back to a little more familiar stuff. Up top is a puzzle released for Rockman's 10th anniversary; a collage featuring all the characters from the past 10 years. A friend of mine named Joey managed to get one of these and I was always really jealous! What I never knew, though, is that there were actually two varieties. A 300 piece puzzle for ¥2,000, and a 500 piece puzzle for ¥3,000. The puzzle was produced by a company called Central Hobby.
Below is the CD single by GANASIA, featuring the Rockman 8 opening song Electrical Communication and the ending song Brand New Way. Actually, did you know that besides this, the duo of GANASIA only released one other single before they broke up? A little sad, that.
Anyway, that wraps up what the book had to offer. I'm sure there's plenty of other Rockman goods floating around out there. It may be impossible to document them all!