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Hiro Aliens / Wonder Grow Monsters / Growlion


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#1 Lamar913

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Posted 15 February 2024 - 03:56 PM

Hello!

I’m new to the LRG community and joined specifically to find these obscure little alien minifigures — one of the last “bucket list” items I’m trying to find after 30+ years of toy collecting. I really appreciate any information or leads that anyone can provide!

They’re variously called Hiro Aliens / Wonder Grow Monsters / Growlion. It’s a small set, only 11 pieces, and they’re based on alleged alien encounters from the 1950’s to the 1970’s. From what I have gathered, they were originally manufactured and released as rubber keshi in Japan, branded as “Growlion”, then subsequently exported to the US as “Wonder Grow Monsters”, which expanded when placed in water. Somewhere in between these two releases, a rare few hard plastic examples popped up in the US (I strongly suspect via capsule vending machines, possibly bootlegs) and also perhaps Japan via the manufacturer. These are the sort I am looking for. These hard plastic ones generally can be found in a kind of faded orange color, light purple, pink, or translucent blue in the US and a very few from Japan have been found in shades of darker blue and purple. They also change color when placed in hot water. Based on eBay sales and posts on Instagram, I know examples have been found in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Texas, and California. A set of 9 from Japan sold on Mandarake during 2019. Each is stamped “HIRO” on their backs.

I will pay a very nice price for each and any of these little guys. To sweeten the deal, I may have something to trade as well — I’ve amassed quite an eclectic collection over the years and likely have something of interest to most.

Thanks for reading this post! If anyone has any additional information about these toys, please share! I’m excited to be part of this community and appreciate the opportunity to contribute when and where I can.

Warmly and with gratitude for any assistance provided,

Lamar
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#2 cloning007

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Posted 16 February 2024 - 05:28 AM

I have a small collection of them that I also have been hunting for over the years. There is a guy sean_skjervan on instagram who has made some really nice bootlegs of them. If you have instagram hit me up cloning007 


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#3 Lamar913

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Posted 17 February 2024 - 08:29 AM

Thanks for your reply, Cloning007! I just messaged you on IG. And yes I’m familiar with Sean’s Hiro recasts and have a few myself! Sean is a great guy and I absolutely love his work!!
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#4 Lamar913

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Posted 17 February 2024 - 07:06 PM

Will post pictures of the few I have once I figure out how to do that…

Edited by Lamar913, 17 February 2024 - 08:03 PM.

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#5 Lamar913

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Posted 17 February 2024 - 08:01 PM

Also, if you happen to have Hiros but not interested in selling, I’d still like to connect! Looking for any additional information about this line, especially the hard plastic version. They’re quite a mystery! Does anyone remember acquiring one of these when they were released during the 1980’s?
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#6 jkaris

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Posted 22 February 2024 - 09:13 AM

I've got the hard plastic orange hairy guy. I got him in a random lot, years ago. Not sure where. Would have been eBay or Yahoo Japan though. Probably eBay.


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#7 Lamar913

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Posted 24 February 2024 - 12:15 PM

Thanks for your response, jkaris! I have an orange hairy guy too, thanks to Sean Skjerven! I believe you’re referring to “Venezuela.” The figure is based on an alien encounter with a creature known as “Littlefoot”…

https://cryptozoolog...wiki/Littlefoot
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