Astro Toy Revoltech Lupin the Third
by David Cabrera, Oct 31st 2010
Well, look at how this schedule turned out. As you're reading this, it is probably the best holiday, Halloween. Perhaps you're all out trick-or-treating: I recommend dressing up as an Astro Toy mascot, like Neko-Arc or Ed With Too-Long Arms. As it happens, Halloween is also my birthday! Generous parties are welcome to send over a Blu-Ray of House or a RealArcadePro (a thing that makes me cry it is so beautiful). In any case, I demand that you all have a great Halloween right after you're done reading this.
Now here's a guy who isn't scary at all (unless you're a cop, a beautiful woman, or both), but we've been planning to cover him since he was announced. When my editor told me “Dave, we're doing this one,” the toy was already on my short list. Finger on that pulse, ladies and gentlemen!
Maybe five years ago Lupin the Third wouldn't have needed an introduction, but I believe he does these days. Monkey Punch's master thief has been stealing valuables and evading arrest since the 60s. Lupin's about action! Action figures. Revoltechs are good action figures, so why not?
Even for an anime character, Lupin's a pretty skinny guy: wiry might be the word. The figure itself is pretty lightweight and feels a little delicate as a natural result. It's always worked for him in animation-- Lupin is most fun when he is flailing-- but it's a strange thing to render in three dimensions. This guy's legs are so skinny that they're actually too small for the standard Revoltech ball joint. Even a tiny one would make a knob-kneed mess out of him, so there's nothing more than a standard up-and-down hinge there. I can understand why they did it, but it seems a little out of character for a Revoltech piece.
Yeah, he smiles. And he gets angry. Sometimes.
The strong point of the figure is not so much the body itself but the exceptional accessories. I've said before that one of my favorite things about Revoltech and Figma is that there's usually a lot of room for expression. Now Lupin is a slick master thief and all that, but more importantly (and this is a life lesson for all of us) he has a good time doing what he does. He is a goof and a letch, and yes, he smiles. To that end, the figure comes with three replacement heads and a small mountain of those distinctive, hairy Monkey Punch hands. One can take our man Lupin from his usual self-satisfaction to “is that a helicopter” horror to the old favorite lecherous grin. Some of the hands are for very specifically Lupin tasks, like the lockpick hand or the holding-a-precious-gem hand.
But he's cool. You know-- he uses Walther. The machine cries. Bang bang!
Aside from the obvious Walther P38, Kaiyodo's guys have thought like Monkey Punch and outfitted Lupin with a loadout that's typical of a caper. A simple hook and string (but wait, where am I supposed to tie this thing?) make but one of several brilliant accessory choices. A folding chair? A simple stool? They're basic, pedestrian and cheap-looking, but they're also kind of Lupin, don't you think? The back of the packaging suggests you sit Lupin down for a drink (a tiny whiskey glass is included) with the forthcoming Revoltech figure of his old pal Daisuke Jigen. But Jigen's not here yet, so you're going to have to remember the way you thought about these things when you were eight and make up some scenario where Lupin has to climb on a chair to reach a light bulb with Hitler's diamonds inside of it. Think about it!
Go. Go, man. You've got to. Feel it.
Finally, there are effect parts that evoke bullets ricocheting off the ground, and the Revo-chip container (if you don't recall, they're points you earn by buying Revoltech figures that you can only redeem for prizes in Japan, or at least via a proxy in the country) is shaped like a safe, in a final stroke of ingenuity. Finally, people outside Japan have a use for one of these damned things!
He's a groovy guy. Yeah. Lupin the Third.
This is a good start to what I presume will be a full Lupin Revoltech line, similar to the way absolutely everybody in Fist of the North Star has a matching figure and multiple variants. Jigen is coming out, so at the very least Goemon, Inspector Zenigata, and Fujiko can't be far behind. And of course, there's the whole matter of the color of Lupin's jacket, which serves as something of a mood ring for Lupin animated productions. Green-jacket Lupin as seen in the first TV series and Cagliostro is nearly a given, and I wouldn't be too surprised if they triple-dipped with pink-jacket Lupin either.
Yeah, Lupin. You're great.
Want this toy?
Lupin is on preorder at Big Bad Toy Store for 29.99 before domestic shipping.
If you can't wait and you're willing to pay about ten bucks more when all is said and done (like we were), Hobby Link Japan has the figure for about $28 before international shipping.
When he isn't killing time on fighting games and mahjong, David Cabrera gets hype about anime, manga and gaming at Subatomic Brainfreeze.
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