In 1959(?) I needed a doll, mom bought me that very first Barbie. I recall being fascinated with the miniature aspect but a zebra striped bathing suit glasses and high heels were only going to keep me occupied for so long.
When G.I. Joe was released. I HAD TO HAVE ONE.
Didn't every red blooded ten year old who played "army" every night until mom called out it was "time?"
And I wanted the pilot or the scuba diver or even the dress Marine in his blues, but not the generic Army or Navy version.
(I got the generic Naval one - grrr)
When the Far East bug bit I soon found a manufacturer called Alfrex that made of all things, one sixth scale samurai action figures.
Yojimbo - the worst Mifune head sculpt - bar none.
Zatoichi - one of the best head sculpts ever.
The list goes one for quite a ways. Many lines were envisioned but the company failed and all we were left with were the completed runs. Most had been limited to 2,500 pieces.
Incredibly detailed. Zatoichi comes with the traditional straw sandals and if you wish to use them you will have to learn how to wrap and then tie them. They are made from straw. These are not slip on, plastic Barbie shoes. Same thing with the loincloth, kimono shirt, gloves, leg warmers, and cloak.
Okay, the included rice balls are plastic, but okay no issue with that. Or the plastic tobacco pouch, although the holder for the pouch requires affixing and tying.
The sword blade, hidden in his cane is metal. And on the experience goes on & on. They spared little time and expense to make these dolls.
In the early 1990s when the were released they were sold for $150 each.
Now on eBay they go from $140 for Yojimbo to over $1,100 for the Seven Samurai boxed set.
The horrific Yojimbo (above)
The actor for comparison
The sublime Zatoichi (below)
The actor for comparison.Overly articulated, beside the twenty to so movement points a regular 12 inch action figure would have, these have several for each limb. There is no pose you cannot achieve, literally.
eBay and vendors overseas are the last place they still live.