Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Project: Obitsu April 2015

This month, Project: Obitsu features a doll that I just recently acquired. She's so new that I haven't thought of a name or back-story for her. She's based on a small bust SBH 27 cm white skin body with an Obitsu head (W-01 or W-02?) and a custom faceup. Her dress is from Azone and as yet, I have added no other items of clothing or accessories. The best part of all is that this lovely lady was ¥3000...about $25 US at the the time of this writing! I was stunned at that price and even more shocked to see how lovely she is in person. I only wish I knew who the artist was so I could give proper credit. In a moment of inspired creativity (OK, pure laziness) I've temporarily named her April 'cause well... yeah, she's the Obitsu girl for guess what month.

I've gotta say that's just a beautiful faceup. I couldn't have done anything like that myself and I would've paid more than $25 for an artist to do it.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Let's Joe! April 2015 -part 2

The second set of photos for this month's Let's Joe! covers the accessories avaiable for the WW2 Takara Combat Joe.

First up, some of the extras from the basic figure. These items are the helmet, web belt and rank patches. Unlike the Hasbro versions I remember, these patches are printed on a cloth-like material. The belt and helmet are also unique, although I found the helmets strap system a bit wonky compared to the Hasbro version.

The basic carded accessory set includes some unique items not found in Hasbro releases. The entrenching tool (shovel) and cover look at least similar to the early Hasbro items as does the canteen pouch. The canteen IS different than any Joe versions I've seen, however. The .45 pistol is vaguely similar to the US versions, although molded in a solid green with no additional paint. The first aid pouch is obviously different from the plastic Hasbro version, the pistol holster looks different too and the three cell ammo pouch is unique and seems to require you fold it before you put it on the belt. My guess is that it will hold three 30 round magazines for the Thompson M1 submachine gun.

Speaking of the famous "Tommy Gun", that comes next and is one of the most interesting pieces for me.

It's a model kit! Not kidding here, you build Combat Joe's weapon by cutting plastic parts off sprues and snapping them together. I guess some plastic cement would help too but it does appear to be a snap together kit.

Sorry for the glare but you can see the sprues and instructions in this shot. You even assemble the four magazines from two halves each and there are also a couple of grenades. Can you imagine a kid today getting a bag of parts and instructions to build their own accessories from? Heck, even I'm not that patient anymore!

Finally, here's a shot of the assembled M1 Thompson SMG. I didn't stop and build this from the kit above. The seller I purchased these items from included an assembled weapon as well. I didn't see the grenades or spare magazines but I'm not too worried about that.

I'm not a big collector of vintage Joes and non-US versions but I thought this guy was too cool to pass up. I had wanted a Combat Joe for many years and was thrilled to find one in excellent condition at a very reasonable price. I'm tempted to add another one to my stash-o-crap... uh.... collection if I find something interesting again. There's also a "modern" (1980s style) US soldier and a SWAT team member, as well as a WW2 German soldier and an officer. Even more interesting is the Combat Joe in a Godzilla suit! Then there are a number of figures and accessories from the '60s and '70s that are closer to the Hasbro offerings except for the unique anime-style head. OK, OK, maybe I should stick to this one guy. For now...!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Let's Joe! April 2015

This month, I decided to branch out a bit and use one of the open spots I left on my list of  Let's Joe projects for this year. Our Joe for April is a Takara Combat Joe, one the many licensed versions of Hasbro's classic GI Joe produced and sold around the world. Takara is also one of the only companies to produce unique headsculpts not based on the "classic" original Joe head. To be honest, I don't know a great deal about these Joes except that this guy is a later production version from roughly the mid-to-late 1980s. He represents a WW2 US soldier and comes with a full complement of gear. I've decided to leave his gear on the card for now and I'll probably substitute some vintage repro Joe gear or items from Cotswold or even older Dragon figures instead. Meanwhile, I'm leaving him in just his basic uniform and boots as you see here. The history of GI Joe in Japan is pretty interesting in and of itself and includes forays in to Henshin Cyborg, Microman (US-Micronauts) and eventually Transformers! Yeah, imagine that. The early Takara Henshin Cyborgs also inspired the initial Medicom figures, which used a modified version of this guy's body, licensed from Takara which was in turn licensed by Hasbro. An interesting aside is that Tsukuda, another Japanese toy and model company, produced a licensed version of Action Man, again licensed by Hasbro etc. etc.... *WHEW*

I'm going to divide this into two parts to keep this entry from becoming too large. The next entry will cover the accessories.

Just 'cause....

I found this in one of my files and decided to share it. I really miss the Piknik photo editor that used to be part of Picassa but I guess I'm the only one who does. Besides, Big G has to pay for all those grandiose multi-million dollar failed schemes they partake in and parking a freebie photo editor on their vast server network was obviously weighing them down. Anyway, it was fun while it lasted and here's one example of me playing around with it.