Sunday, February 15, 2009

A New Comic Book Toy: Triad's "Lone Wolf and Cub" Figures

Toy maker Triad Toys is making figures based on the classic manga series Lone Wolf and Cub (or Kozure Okami in Japanese). Which means 1/6th scale toys of ronin Ogami Itto and his son Daigoro. There's a little discussion on the Sideshow Freaks forum (a message board for fans of Sideshow Toys and pop culture collectibles) on whether they should be based on the movies or the original comic book series. Movie-version backers want a realistic figure and fear a "manga-style" sculpt.

But I disagree. Kojima Goseki's art would lend itself to a really nice-looking sculpt, and it could still look like a real person. His art style is of an older vintage than some of the newer, ultra-slick, stylized stuff that most people associate with Japanese comics. The supporting or incidental characters can be kind of caricatured or cartoony, but Ogami Itto himself is a steely-eyed killing machine.

To me, the real Lone Wolf and Cub are the comic versions. I'd love to see the movies someday (they look super-cool and the guy who plays Ogami Itto also plays the Japanese coach in The Bad News Bears Go to Japan), but Kojima was the best storyteller in comics, period-- and I'd prefer to see a figure that honors the original inspiration.

Evidently, Triad isn't basing their figures on the movies or the comic. And this kid probably won't get to play with them:

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