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.

KARASUTENGU KABUTO manga

posted in: 2 - Books and Manga | 2

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?