Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Magaidou

Magaidou (マガイドウ) is a company that produces gashapon for capsule toy vending machines. Some of their more popular lines include junkyard cars [trains, ships, spaceships...], Medjed, and figures made in the style of green plastic army men.


Their first set from the Green Army Japan (グリーンアーミージャパン) series was of figures taken from Chōjū-giga, while their second set was of a sankin-kōtai entourage.


Sankin-kōtai (参勤交代) was a custom imposed upon feudal lords during the Tokugawa shogunate as a means to reduce their economic power.


What caught my attention about these figures when I saw them in Tokyo recently, was that they were 1/72 scale. The figures came out in 2016, so I didn't see them in any of the gashapon machines that I encountered, but they are available from a number of different shops selling gashapon toys.

The original price for one capsule containing two figures was ¥200, which is about how much I paid for them. Later, I found places on the internet selling them for under ¥800 for a complete set (before shipping).

The first two sets consist of peasant siblings and a dandy (百姓姉弟&伊達男), and a lantern [carrier] and spear bearer (提灯&槍持ち[1]).


The third, fifth, and sixth sets consist of a standard [bearer] and archer (大羽車[2]&弓組み), a foot soldier and musketeer (御徒歩&鉄砲組み), and a spearman and parasol [carrier] (長槍&大羽車[2]).


The seventh and eighth sets are of a forward attendant [3] and chest [porter] (先祓い&挟箱), and a three part palanquin (bearing lord) (御籠(殿様)).


I was unable to find the senior retainer and horse set (御家老&馬セット) to complete the entire series.

The figures are made of PVC and are definitely toy-like. The sculpting is very basic, with thick, over scale weapons and accouterments. However, I think this is understandable, since they were made to represent green army man figures.

Here's a Japanese video review that give a closer look at the full set of figures.





[1] The word used here is yarimochi, which translates as spear carrier, but I think that he is actually carrying a naginata, so the term may be more generic for soldiers with polearms.

[2] The word used here is daihaguruma (?). I don't even think the Japanese reviewer in the video is super sure of this kanji reading. The only definition that I was able to find of the word [haguruma] stated that it is a portable shrine similar to a mikoshi, which these are obviously not. I called one of the daihaguruma a standard, though I think its a big bunch of feathers, and the other one a parasol, though it's some sort of dome-shaped item wrapped in a cloth.

[3] I translated the word sakibarai as "forward attendant" because that is one of the definitions of the word, but the figure carries a monk's shakujō which suggests that another meaning related to "exorcist" may actually be more appropriate. I decided to go with "attendant" because the figure is definitely not dressed as a monk, but it's possible I made the wrong choice...


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

500,000 Hits


For various reasons, 2017 has resulted in my lowest post output by far. Still, as of today, the blog has received enough traffic to reach 500,000 hits.

Thanks to everyone who has been reading my blog, and to those who've corresponded with me. I apologize for not always being able to respond as I would like to, but events of the past year really took away a lot of my free time.

I was able to get away for a couple of weeks at the end of the year, and now I'm back and ready to write more articles on our favorite scale.


Sunday, December 3, 2017

McEwan Miniatures


Over the summer, Reviresco brought the old school McEwan Miniatures line of 25mm (and 28mm) fantasy miniatures back into production. I purchased a few of the 25mm figures hoping that they were similar in size to their 25mm Starguard figures.

This post is a short review of the miniatures that I received. The first figures are of a Demon Class I and an Evil Priest.


The Evil Priest is sold as part of the Evil Priest & Sacrifice set, which consists of the former Evil High Priest (Heros and Wizards WZ-11), and Alter [sic] of Chaos with Sacrifice (Fantasy Items AS-22).


The Evil Priest has the look of an Egyptian priest, and perhaps was modeled after Thoth-amon from the Conan stories by REH.

The demon is not the Type I Demon of AD&D, but I like it because it is not much bigger than a human, which is how demons are often pictured in medieval illustrations.

The next miniatures are a Sphinx Female and a Sphinx Male.


These are not colossal sphinxes like stone monuments, but they are of a size that reflect figures shown on ancient Greek pottery. They also look like they may have been modeled after the gynosphinx and androsphinx illustrated in the AD&D Monster Manual.


The final figures are from the Armored Goblins set. These figures were previously called Lesser Orcs (Heros and Wizards WZ-10). The set consists of six figures in two poses with shields and a mix of swords.


The figures appear to represent goblins (orcs) of Isengard based on the symbol depicted on their shields. They also remind me a lot of the old Citadel Red Orcs.

The McEwan figures match up very well with 1/72 figures. They are obviously crude in comparison to modern figures, but I still like them a lot. I wouldn't say it is due to nostalgia, since I wasn't even aware of  these figures when I first started playing FRPGs. Perhaps it is their simplicity that makes me use my imagination to fill in the details when I look at them that makes them appealing. Who knows?

I plan on getting more figures from the line, and if others are interested, Reviresco is currently having a 20% off sale until Dec. 15 2017.