Let the gift-giving season begin!

posted in: 3 - Toys and Merch | 0

Let’s start a few weeks of gift-giving (or retail self-therapy) ideas for any and every ninja fan. I’ll kick things off with these 7-8″ ¬†Summit Collection resin ninja statues, a real throwback to the days of un-licensed figurines in the 80’s. You see these in Chinatown gift shops, swap meets and dirt malls, and all over eBay (search “ninja statue” under Collectibles – Cultures and Ethnicities) for anywhere from $25-40.

The sculpts reflect a surprising literacy in various ninja media properties, while skirting that ‘different enough’ fence so as not to attract legal issues. Someone somewhere did some homework…

These have been available for a few years, and come in different color variations – bronze, gold, black and silver, faux pewter and brushed copper – but the full-color painted line is really where it’s at.

Out of six pieces, the swordsman on the right is my third fave. Retro pillowy costume, studded accents ala KAGE NO GUNDAN. I don't dig the bare forearms or the gold-accented cheesy "ninja-to" though, so points off there.
This guy is #4 for sure. I dig the kama, but what the hell is that palm-job with the wavy shuriken? Would rather see a chain coming from the kama going up to that hand, or maybe a smoke bomb - something that actually fits the hand.
Really nice detail on the hood folds, though...
The grey archer is the second best of the line, perhaps the most striking and dramatic of them. I love the grey color (harkening back to 60's TV) and movement in the cloth. The bow is slightly asymmetrical, as it should be.

Copper wire for the string is a good idea, although needs some care to get straight and tight. The arrows molded on the back are waaay too long, and the red flights aren't exactly stealthy, but otherwise this is a sweet statue.

THIS however, is the Duke A #1 of the line! Totally inspired by Sonny Chiba's classic Hattori Hanzo gear from KAGE NO GUNDAN, if he had an armor-cracker in his belt instead of nunchaku, this could almost be licensed.

That's a real metal jewelry chain, which pulls though the hand for posing at various lengths.

There are two additional figures in this ninja line, a rather Alexander Lou-esque white ninja with gold and red details (I hate this pose), and a really lame two-tone blue figure (mysteriously out of scale with the others). These are clearly the dogs of the line and seem to be absent from more recent restock assortments at the shops in the wholesale district where I’ve found them.

There are also two or three samurai lines from the same company of varying execution and cheesiness. None approach the coolness of the Hanzo and archer statues above.

A bonus with these is the solid resin, making them rather break-resistant in shipping and they can take a good dusting – no glass case needed like with other more fragile and expensive pieces. Drawbacks, if any, are the paint details. Some of the eyes could use a modeler’s retouching skills, and you can see in the very first pic a lot of studs that should have gotten the copper paint but didn’t, so a few minutes with a paint pen may be in order.

I’d buy soon if you’re interested, as over the last year I’ve seen the weird monochrome versions become a lot more common than the color painted ones. I myself don’t like the fake pewter or glossy bronze looks, but certain figures look better without the sometimes questionable paint schemes.

Note the figure in the middle, a variant I've only seen in monochrome.

All in all, these are a nice, readily-available gift that although new have a surprising retro sensibility to them, and can be had for a reasonable price.

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