The ‘Hunt’ for superb custom figures ends here!

You’re not going to find better custom 1:6 scale figures and weapons than Hunter Pig‘s incredible one-of-a-kind offerings. If I was loaded, whoooo boy…

HunterPig (aka IronCrossHunter on eBay) is particularly gifted in weathering and ‘battle damaged’ armor and clothing, with some superb custom weapons as well. Just great stuff…

If you want to do some kitbashing of your own, the new Ignite/Crazy Owners figure is a decent place to start.

The “Martial Ninja” is available in a somewhat lame black version, and this much nicer grey ‘digital camouflage’ limited edition. The definitive write up on this piece is over at Toy Haven.

It’s not a bad figure, but the manufacturer’s ambitions were greater than their ability to execute. The head is ABYSMAL. Bypassing my misc. parts bin, I literally threw this thing in the trash minutes after unboxing it, replacing with a head from a BBI ‘Saburo’ WWII Japanese officer. The grey version has a ‘Hanzo’ style hood compared to the black’s more typical design, and it looks great with well-painted eyes peering out.

Now normally, I absolutely loathe camouflage ninja gear, but this pattern is subtle enough to look more like a naturally aged/mottled textile. With the new head and some replacement weapons from ‘blind box’ collectible toy company Mononofu, I’ve got a veteran shinobi field commander I’m pretty happy with.

Only 200 of these were made, so buy now or cry later. I recommend Good Stuff to Go online, they have the figure boxed, plus tons of loose parts from other Ignite/Crazy Owners ninja figures as well as Triad’s Taki.

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Posted in Toys and Statues December 11, 2010 at 12:10 pm.

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KARASUTENGU KABUTO manga

Is there a more perfectly 80′s manga creator than Buichi Terasawa? His art – augmented by then fledgling computer graphics – oozes MTV, Nagel, neon, hair products. His samurai wore suit jackets with the sleeves pulled up; traditional garb filtered through new wave and aerobics fashion.

After cyber-punk classics like Space Pirate Cobra and Goku – Midnight Eye, he snuck in a retro-futurist piece of what I guess you’d call ‘Bamboo Punk,’ a ninja and demon-infused epic called Karasutengu Kabuto (aka Raven Tengu Kabuto or just Kabuto).

Spend any time looking at Terasawa’s body of work, and you notice some things;

His heroes have BIG hair (as did their creator).

He loves ASS (especially the thonged variety), and there’s plenty of bootylicious swordgirls around.

Everyone has a GREAT time fighting. His worlds are a fun place for a dashing hair-metal hero.

His character design (especially the supporting casts) are always interesting and out-of-the-box.

There’s great tech (even in the period book).

In general his self-indulgent books are fun as hell.

A major pioneer in the integration of computers and the printed page, Terasawa’s properties translated very well to electronic media, and the fact that his heroes and heroines are often blonde caucasians didn’t hurt for worldwide distribution in myriad languages.

While Kabuto wasn’t nearly as prolific as Cobra, you can see all sorts of stuff that would influence manga, anime and video games for decades. Plenty of masks and monsters, too!

Uber villain vs. ensemble cast: Kuroyasa Douki is the armored ebodiment of eternal evil, with Kabuto and crew of shinobi and demi-gods standing in his way.

“North Genbu” the Red Tengu is just awesome. He’s the big muscle, and has the phallic nose to prove it.

Spider head-crawlers right out of John Carpenter’s THING remake.

“South Suzaku” is pretty much everyone’s favorite character. This buxom blonde divine kunoichi is always getting into clothes-ripping, flesh-revealing trouble.

This nine-headed, mask-spewing demon is as big a perv as Terasawa!

Buichi Teraswa is perhaps single-handedly responsible for the 90′s-00′s kunoichi look. Suzaku’s ninja go-go outfit, based on bits and pieces of historical garb and anachronistic costumes seen in Onmitsu Doshin shows and 80′s Kadokawa flicks, has been copied endlessly. Takara’s ultra-collectible “Cy-Girl Shadow” 1:6 scale figure is a direct lift.

He also created the costumes for the exploitation flick Kunoichi Ninpocho, cementing the 2-piece bikini-kimono / Roman loin-cloth style outfit you see in all the shinobi soft porn now. The man likes the exposed thighs, and who’s to argue?

Need further proof of Terasawa’s perv worn on his sleeve? Check out a memorable clip from the Kabuto manga. Tongue-in-cheek for sure, but which cheek?

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Posted in Books and Manga October 19, 2010 at 7:29 am.

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Best figure I HATE ever…

I have a real pet peeve – when it comes to RED NINJA I’m a total hater.

I understand why comic book and toy companies use the color, I get the appeal of the aggressive hue, etc. and so forth, whatever… But regardless, I’m annoyed as hell by red ninja suits in movies and comics and especially toy lines.

However, this upcoming 1:6 Scale Cobra Red Ninja Viper from Sideshow Toys is pretty damned incredible!

I like the hood options, love the forearm armor, and the kusarigama is BOSS!

Sun hat... STUPID! Yari... awesome.

The extra feet are phenomenal - limitless posing for stealthy walking or front kicks.

Hasbro invented the 1:6 format with the original GI Joe in the 60′s, then produced the best-selling ninja figures of all time in the 80′s with the redefined GI Joe: A Real American Hero line. However in the decades since, they’ve really failed to deliver a good 12″ product, so now they license their characters out to their competitors, who routinely kick their ass in the collectible markets. Sideshow has already sold out of a limited variant edition of the above figure in pre-orders at a whopping $130! Guess they’re doing something right. Shit, if the costume what black or grey on this, I might have jumped at it myself…

So, if you’re going to own a stupid red ninja figure, I guess this in the one. I myself would rather own one of the other ‘red ninja‘ below.

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Posted in Toys and Statues June 19, 2010 at 12:22 am.

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A Tonbei-esque 1:6 kitbash

Fooling around with some sixth-scale stuff last weekend, put together this Tonbei the Mist-like kitbash:

I have all sorts of 1:6 shinobi cluttering my place, but I always wanted to do an elder suppa figure, a crafty old spy. And while the grey suit is common to television series and movies like Samurai Spy and Samurai Fiction, no one had really done one in the toy field, so it was off to work I went.

Maki Fuyukichi, center, as Tonbei the Mist - TVs most popular ninja (in two countries, too). I think the Ignite sixth-scale suit I used here is better made than the cheap TV suits back in the day...

And that's Kei Tani as an homage to Tonbei and ilk in SAMURAI FICTION.

The grocery list of frankensteined parts for your hobby enthusiasts:

  • Body and head: Gamitoy “Callous Soldier” Dr. J
  • Hands: Twisting Toyz Italian WWII figures (best sculpted hands ever)
  • Shinobi shizoku: Ignite white ninja outfit, RIT dyed Pearl Grey
  • Weapons: Mononofu katana, kunai adapted from a 21st Century Toys WWII British SAS ‘smatchet’
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Posted in Toys and Statues February 17, 2010 at 9:01 am.

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TAKI: video game heroine comes to 1:6 scale

I’m not a video game guy in the least, but man do I love the elevated place lady ninja have in that realm. If only movies followed suit more often…

Taki is a twin short-sword wielding kunoichi from Soul Calibur, famed mainly for her ridiculous gravity defying breasts. Seriously, a Russian auto-show model or Tamba Bay strip-club pole dancer would look at this girl and say ‘give me a break honey…’ But, such is the freedom of the pixelated world, and why not cater to your core audience?

Sixth-scale figure specialists Triad Toys have a superb quality 12″ licensed figure of Taki available, and there’s a great review by Michael Crawford via MWC Toys here. I love the 1:6 format, and kitbash stuff as often as my wallet will afford (which is not often). This one’s on my short list.

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Posted in Toys and Statues January 12, 2010 at 9:23 am.

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Amazing 1:6 SHIRANUI

mackMiraiNinja2-1

Anyone wanting to show their appreciation of this site can remember me at Christmas and send about three bills to Art of Toy in Japan…

I’m actually a big fan of the Keita Amemiya’s Mirai Ninja (aka Cyber Ninja and/or Future Ninja), despite it’s drawbacks. It’s goofy, looks cheap at times, is set-bound, goes too long and drawn out – just like the Zieram films and Moon Over Tao. But also like those, the character design is OFF THE F’N HOOK! Plus it’s probably the last Maki Fuyukichi ninja film and all the effects are old school analog…

This is the best figure yet of the amazing cyborg franken-ninja. WANT!

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Posted in Toys and Statues August 14, 2009 at 11:58 pm.

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