Kubrick

All posts tagged Kubrick

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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GTA Vice City is an open world video game published by Rockstar games in 2002. It was set in the fictional city of Vice City and follows the story of Tommy Vercetti who seeks out those responsible for a drug deal gone wrong. The Vice City Kubrick set was released around the time of GTA Vice City Stories game in 2006. But was re-released in 2013 and sold through the Rockstar Warehouse.

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Name: GTA Vice City
Line: Kubrick
Manufacturer: Medicom
Released: 2006, reissue released in 2013
Price: Then – 6000 YEN Now – 6,000 – 10,000 YEN
Scale: Between 2.5 and 3 Inches in height
Accessories: Tommy Vercetti – Shotgun, Candy Suxxx – camera, Lance Vance – M4, Ricardo Diaz – machine gun, Ken Rosenberg – bottle of champagne

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Gta Vice City was a great game at the time of its release; I personally really enjoyed playing it myself, on PC and loved the 80’s setting and references (like Scarface). I don’t think it has aged as well as it could even with nostalgia glasses on. But, it still remains one of my favourite in the GTA series.

For me the Kubrick figure is a type of toy/collectible I would only ever associate with Japan, even tho 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.
In the Vice City set you get a good selection of characters being:

Tommy Vercetti
Candy Suxxx
Lance Vance
Ricardo Diaz
Ken Rosenberg

It’s a nice mix of the most important and memorable characters in the game. I’m reviewing this set as there really seems to not be a lot of information or quality reviews out there for this great and unique Kubrick set. I don’t normally review sets or more than one or two characters in a review, so I’ll be using blanket terms, unless singling out a specific thing about one of the characters in particular.

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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. Most of the characters in this set have an additional chest piece and unique hair sculpt. Most of the sculpting is quite well done, but the chest pieces do look a little soft and the details aren’t as sharp as I would like. But besides this, the combination of chest piece and hair really helps to make each character look like the game character they are meant to be. But this doesn’t really come together until we get to the paint application.

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PAINT

The paint category is not only where these figures shine the most, but where everything comes together. All the paint applications on these figures are clean and crisp. No slop or blemishes what-so-ever. The simple faces really work well with the style of the characters based off the drawings and in-game graphics. Great pastel colours on the suits as well.

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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 and the chest pieces don’t restrict the waist articulation much, if at all. The only issue I had was that Candy Suxxx’s hair limits the head to no movement at all. (Insert adult joke here.)

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ACCESSORIES

Each character gets their own accessory. They are all pretty appropriate for each character, for example Ken Rosenberg with his champagne bottle or Lance with his m4. As they all have the same hand you can swap them between characters if you desire. I wish Tommy came with his samurai sword, but I guess the shotgun will have to do.

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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

I paid around $70 AUD for this set plus shipping and I’m pretty happy with that considering its limited to apparently 3000 pcs worldwide for five Kubricks that’s a pretty good price IMO. I think anything above $100 is really pushing it and I don’t think its worth much more then that even for die hard GTA fans.

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OVERALL

I really think this is a neat set. You don’t normally get much in the way of toys or figures from GTA, besides that one off GTA 3 Claude 12 inch figure from Sideshow. So it’s great that we get a few sets from the different games from the series. A lot of fans have been asking for GTA 4 and 5 Kubrick sets and I would like to see that happen also as I’m sure they would be just as cool. This set is worth picking up if you are a fan of Kubricks, GTA or GTA Vice City.

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Say goodnight Mr. Diaz!

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The 1989 Batman live action movie is considered one of the better batman movies that have been made. With Jack Nicholson playing the Joker, Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Tim Burton directing, there was an enjoyable mix of story and action with two great actors bringing their talent to the roles. Being a popular, comic book based movie there has always been a lot of merchandise both at the time of the movie, and after. There have been some good collectibles/toys made (Kenner) some excellent ones(Hot Toys) and then there are Kubricks which fill another different niche all together!

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Name: Batman, Joker
Line: Kubrick
Manufacturer: Medicom
Released: 2004
Price: Then – 1,200 YEN Now – 5,000 – 10,000 YEN
Scale: 3.5 Inches in height
Accessories: Batman – Bat-a-rang, Joker – long nose pistol.

 

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For me the Kubrick figure is a type of toy/collectible I would only ever associate with Japan. Even though it shares similarities with Lego, 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 can be, but still is a great representation of the character. This is definitely part of the Kubrick charm in my opinion.

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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. For Batman and Joker they have additional pieces added to them to complete the character: Batman has his cowl, an added chest piece, his utility belt and his cape; Joker has his coat body piece and his hair/hat head attachment. All these parts are fairly simple in appearance and look authentic to the characters they are meant to be.

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PAINT
The paint application is the other part of the puzzle to really make Kubricks look great! Batman is limited to his head underneath the cowl, bat symbol on his chest and yellow utility belt. Joker has the most detail, with his clothes and head having a lot of detail added to them. Both Batman and Joker, although simplified, still evoke the characters quite well, so there is no mistaking who they are supposed to be. The head underneath Batman’s cowl even looks like Keaton too!

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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 pose, but just like the movie batman’s cowl restricts his head movement. Also, Joker’s coat tails restrict the waist a little bit. 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
Both Kubricks come with appropriate accessories. Batman has his Bat-a-rang and Joker, his long nose pistol (used near the end of the movie). They are sculpted well and look nice; they are also cast in the colour they are meant to be. They also both fit into the characters hands without much effort and stay put too.

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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
Here is where it starts to get a little nuts. These figures, as cool as they look, are very small. So when they double or even triple in price, you really have to be asking yourself is it worth it to pay so much for such a small toy? If these were larger figure, I don’t think the price would be too bad. But for their size I don’t think the price inflation is justified, no matter how rare they are considered to be. Anything above $50 AUD for a MOC figure is asking too much in my opinion. Especially if they are loose too. Most other Kubricks go for $30 AUD loose and that is a more appropriate price.

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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 even the stylized faces still convey the characters quite well. These two figures are great and really look cool together. If you can find them and for a decent price, it’s worth picking them up if you are a Batman fan, but also if you are a Kubrick fan. They are just that good.

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