Astro Toy Super Action Statues: Jotaro Kujo and Star Platinum
by David Cabrera, Apr 18th 2010
Super Action Statues Jotaro Kujo and Star Platinum
Series: Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Hey, kids, what's your favorite Shonen Jump fight manga? This is my list:
1: Fist of the North Star
2: Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Everything else is on spots 8-120. As such, I am quite pleased to be double-reviewing two pieces from Medicos' Super Action Statue line of Jojo figures.
Here's Jotaro Kujo, protagonist of Jojo part 3 (the story is a mutiple-generation epic), and Star Platinum, a super-powered manifestation of his psychic energy called a Stand. As should be immediately apparent, these two are simply fabulous. Author and possible immortal Hirohiko Araki is well known for the way his characters vogue through the comic, sometimes posing in ways which are so fierce as to defy time and space. Simply behold the cover of the average Jojo volume, which these two appear to have stepped off of. Araki's designs are reproduced dead on here, from the chain hanging freely from Jotaro's coat to Star Platinum's statuesque paint job. The sculpt and detail on these guys is definitely a notch up from the average Revoltech or Figma: no expense was spared in painting and no detail of these flamboyant, ornate designs has been left out.
These guys wouldn't be in character if they couldn't properly "Jojo pose", and to that end Medicos seems to have designed the figures-- Jotaro in particular-- specifically to do so. The sheer range of motion on these figures, while not on the same level of a Revoltech or a Figma, can readily accommodate most anything you can think of from the manga and any other "Araki-like" pose you might imagine. Even Jotaro's coat has a little hinge in the middle that allows it to billow dramatically on imaginary winds.
Jotaro and Star Platinum both come with a pile of replacement hands, ready to replicate any jazz-hands battle pose you'd like, and two heads: one normal and one angry. Jotaro, however, has a strange and inspired choice of extra accessory: the fronts of his thighs are replaceable. And what the hell do you replace the front of a man's pants with? Pants with pockets. Furthermore, there's a set of stump hands (they cut off in a round lump at the fingers to save space) designed to go into these pockets. This ingenious solution makes a hand-in-pocket pose simple. Who's to say his hands aren't really in there? Of course, if Jotaro's hands aren't in his pockets the replacement thighs just look weird and get in the way of poses, so you'll really only want them for this single purpose. But if you know Jotaro Kujo, the hulking teenage delinquent who spends most of his days swaggering with his hands in his pockets and shooting mean looks at people, you know how important this tiny detail is to his character.
Jojo fans will also love the way Jotaro can grab the brim of his cap (faithfully rendered here as half hat, half hair) intimidatingly. Again, there is a hand included that is specifically for this purpose. This figure is all about these tiny, crucial character details: the descriptions I've found online claim that the figure was made under the supervision of Araki himself, and if this is true, the story certainly accounts for the perfectionist attention to detail found in this line.
Star Platinum looks fantastic: the coloring and the sharp lines-- human in places, inhuman in others-- deliver the distinct impression that he's been carved out of some ancient stone. Given the nature of Star Platinum's role in the manga (to rise up out of Jotaro and punch people senseless before returning) and how much bigger he is than Jotaro, his figure doesn't quite have the same quirks and range of motion, especially not in those beefy arms. I worked hard to make this picture as fabulous as possible, but you can see that he just can't strike a pose like Jotaro can. As seen here, one of the accessories is a hand with two hyper-extended fingers: yes, Star Platinum really does use this trick in the manga. A poke is sometimes as good as a punch!
Unfortunately, the display base on my Star Platinum figure just doesn't seem to work. At first, I thought I must have been doing something wrong. I wasn't: the peg just doesn't seem to go properly into Platinum's back. When it does, the connection is weak and the display base doesn't effectively support the bulky figure, greatly limiting the amount of poses it can be displayed in. In the pictures, I'm actually just leaning Platinum's rocky back against the thing and hoping it catches. I even tried putting it on a similar Figma base, to no avail. It feels weird that they wouldn't get something this major right, and it feels like I've got a defect or something. Jotaro has no such problems. The base fits snugly and solidly: it even leaves room for his coat. Even if this is just an defect, it won't help you much if you get a display base like the one that came with Star Platinum. A good base with a lot of support is really vital in this age of ultra-posable figures, and screwing this up is a serious loss for the figure.
That said, are these worth what they cost? Absolutely. Unless you're completely nuts and drop $200 on a Real Action Hero (hey, if I could do that for the column I would!), these are the finest Jojo's action figures you're going to find. Even putting aside the problem with my display base, Jotaro's definitely a more interesting toy than Star Platinum is. Still, it's hard to resist the allure of having the hero and his Stand to display. How else to re-create my own "oraoraoraoraora" scene at home? Medicos has already rolled out figures of most the main heroes of Part 3 and their Stands (including fan favorites and Internet memes Dio Brando and The World), and they're getting started on a Part 4 line. If the figures keep up this level of quality, they're all probably good buys. A little more expensive than most Japanese action figures? Yes. Worth it? Also yes. God is in the details, after all.
Next week in Jojo's Increasingly Bizarre Adventure: Jotaro and Star Platinum take on THE STRONGEST STAND?!
Want these figures? Here are your best bets:
Hobby Link Japan: $38 before shipping for either Jojo or Platinum (shipping from Japan can be steep: use the estimate on the site)
Big Bad Toy Store: $44.99 before shipping for Platinum, preorder. Jojo (second color variant) is in stock for $52.99.
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