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All posts for the day October 24th, 2016

The Castle Of Cagliostro is a Japanese Anime action/comedy released in 1979 and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It follows master thief Lupin The Third as he and associates Jigen and Goemon attempt to find the source of counterfeit bills, but in doing so ends up rescuing the princess held by Count Cagliostro and uncovering the hidden treasure that the Count is after.  

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Name: Lupin the third – Castle of Cagliostro (series 1 and series 2)
Line: Kubrick
Manufacturer: Medicom
Released: 2003
Price: Then: recommended retail price 504 YEN .  Now:  varies depending on figure
Scale: 3.5 Inches in height
Accessories: Various (depending on figure)

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Medicom make a lot of different products, one such product they are known quite well for are Kubricks. For me the Kubrick figure is a type of toy/collectible I would only ever associate with Japan, even although it shares similarities with Lego, the design is still what I would call ‘very Japanese’ so much so that if I were to put together a short list of toys that instantly make you think of Japan Kubrick would be one of them.

Their simplicity is one aspect that really appeals to me, how a character is broken down to about as basic as it can be, but still is a great representation of the character, is definitely part of the Kubrick charm in my opinion.

Back in late 2002 and early 2003 Medicom released two series of Kubricks based upon the classic anime film, Lupin The Third: The Castle Of Cagliostro. listed below is a breakdown of each series and the ratio of figures per batch of 24, these were blind boxed so you never knew what figure you were going to get, on top of that Medicom loves to throw in chase figures which are really rare and can be quite hard to come by.

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Series 1 consists of the following figures:

Lupin The Third (5:24)

Daisuke Jigen (4:24)

Goemon Ishikawa (4:24)

Fujiko Mine (in disguise) (2:24)

Lady Clarisse (in wedding dress) (4:24)

Gustav (1:24)

Kage (Cagliostro assassin) (4:24)

Series 1 CHASE Figure: Archbishop (assortment ratio unknown)

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Series 2 consists of the following figures:

Count Cagliostro  (3:24)

Lady Clarisse (4:24)

Inspector Zenigata (4:24)

Police Riot Officer (6:24)

Fujiko Mine (4:24)

Lupin The Third (in wetsuit) (3:24)

Series 2 CHASE Figure: Count Cagliostro (in Cagliostro wedding ceremony attire) (assortment ratio unknown)

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The Castle Of Cagliostro was one of the first Anime films I watched when I was younger, at one time, one of our local TV stations (SBS) had a weekly screening of classic anime films and along with Akira, Ghost in the shell etc  The Castle of Cagliostro was one of them and after first viewing I found myself wanting to watch it and others again ( so it was a short trip to the video store for me!)

Also if anyone knows the full list of anime movies SBS screened during that time, let me know as I’m curious about what the full list was!

Needless to say, these movies left a big impression on me and made me a fan of anime from there on.

Now, when it comes to these particular Kubricks, on my first trip to Japan I picked up just Lupin by himself from Liberty 7 (back before they got raided for all their Kubricks) (and from the sounds of it, I should be placing the blame well and truly on that little box, if the stories are true from their blog page)

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As I obviously recognized him and was also won over by the Kubrick charm at the same time I could see he was from a set, but decided just Lupin was enough for me at the time, However each trip I would slowly pick up a new figure or two from each series, until it was starting to look pretty much complete outside of Gustav, the Archbishop and the chase figure of Count Cagliostro. (Thanks to Nakano, Osaka and other various Japanese stores selling Kubricks)

Thankfully as luck would have it I was able to snag all three from eBay from a Japanese seller who had them up for sale (series 1 in a complete set and the count by himself) after being able to do some research on the chase figures through Mandarake’s sold listings on their website (it’s almost like an archive after all!)

Seeing that there’s so few info on this set I’ve decided to review it as part of my ongoing effort to cover toys and figures that don’t get as much love as they should (pretty much my blog’s mission statement anyway!)

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SCULPTING

Kubricks are made using a base body and then adding extra pieces to them to make up a character, the base body consists of smooth flat surfaces it works well as a blank canvas for the character to be created on. Each figure is a pretty great representation of each character as they appeared in the anime, each with their own specific accessories. They all look great, even if some of the extra chest pieces look a little soft and a little oversized. (Fujiko, for example)

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PAINT

The paint application is the other part of the puzzle to really make Kubricks look great! Most of these figures are not too heavy with the paint applications, it’s quite minimal in all honesty. Still, it’s all very neat with little to no slop.

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ARTICULATION

Kubricks will in most cases share the same amount of articulation unless hindered by an accessory (the Alien space suits for example) Kubricks have the following basic articulation: swivel head, ball-jointed shoulders, swivel hands, swivel waist and ball-jointed hips. These joints are meant to mirror human movement and they accomplish that quite well for each joint’s simplicity. You can get some decent poses if the extra parts don’t interfere too much. But, In most cases, the neutral arms down by the sides, legs straight AKA straight out of the package pose works best.

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ACCESSORIES

Each Kubrick comes with appropriate accessories and Medicom really did a great job with these. As you can see in the photos each character has the appropriate gun or sword, but some of them don’t come with anything at all as that’s perfectly fine too as some of them didn’t have anything to begin with. (Lady Clarisse for example)

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POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

Not too many things I can think of. Perhaps, losing the tiny accessories or even the hands as they can come out fairly easily. These are made for collectors however, so they should be well taken care of.

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PRICE

Good thing most of the characters in these two series aren’t going to be very expensive if you happen to come across them. only the chase figures or ones that are short packed will have a higher asking price. So it just depends on how much of a completionist you are.

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OVERALL

Kubricks in general are always going to be cool. The designs are that perfect combination of simplicity and detail and I think Medicom have pretty much covered all the characters they possibly could from the movie. I think this is easily the most complete set of Lupin merchandise you are going to come across let alone from the Castle of Cagliostro. If you are a big fan of this movie like me, the two series of Kubricks are a nice set to have. it was fun for me to track down the complete set, even if it did take a bit of time to do so, but there was a lot of toy store hunting in Japan, with eBay ultimately filling in the last few gaps. Medicom have done an excellent job as usual.

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