Sunday, June 21, 2009

[RealxHead / リアルヘッド]

I hardly write about RealxHead on this blog it seems, even though I would count it among my favorite vinyl toy lines. Toward the end of 2007 and through 2008, RxH experienced a meteoric rise in popularity; almost every new toy sold out instantly and older releases began selling for hundreds of dollars. I think it was this craze that led to the absence of RxH on, er, RxM!. There was really nothing left to say.

I won't go into much detail on the "bubble" and its deflation, since I think this has been dissected to pieces on various message boards. But Mr. Katsura has since taken an interesting tactic, by mixing up old and new sculpts, and in-store and regular releases. He also used the recently popular mini-size figures to explore new sculpts, creating the Kaikya Series, consisting of 6 new, mini-style characters that had never been produced as regular size toys. There has certainly been a fresh and exciting feeling to RealxHead as of late. So while the craze may be over, I think the reinvention has begun.

RxH - Fighter Chaos

This bubble-vinyl Fighter Chaos [ファイターカオス] was sold recently at Shinto Gangu. I've heard that the bubbles are either the result of using old vinyl material or stirring the liquid vinyl during production... I'm not sure which is the truth. People don't seem too crazy about this one, but I think the light spray of bright colors on bubble vinyl is perfect. It reminds me of a summer festival in Japan.

RxH - Fighter Chaos

This one originally came with a black kerchief around its neck, but I left it off. It was too much of a contrast with the colors.

RxH - Rodriguez

The golden figure, I have been told, is supposed to reference Japanese Haniwa clay figures. One product listing called them the "Training Man" sculpt, so I'm not 100% about that. I feel like I have heard about similar wooden dummies used for combat training in Japan, but can't find a reference. At any rate, his name is Rodriguez.

RxH - Evilbat

Last up today is Evilbat [イビルバット], who is the newest addition to the RxH cast in Mutant Zone Series 3. Inside sources say that he represents Mutant Evil after his absorption of villain Ohgan Bat's life essence. Evilbat was preceded by the Akrokaiser-possessed Mutant Head (Kaiser Head), so perhaps this is a move by Evil to counter the combined power of Akrokaiser and Mutant Head. Good thing Akrokaiser and Ohgan Bat did not combine... or you would have an Akro-Bat. (Wah waaaah.)

RxH - Evilbat

This version of Evilbat is the so-called prototype release, even though there are a few of them in circulation. The bright orange-red vinyl is almost too bright to photograph properly. It's a little larger than the standard RxH figure, and feels somewhat heavier as well.

RxH - Evilbat

The hook arm is, unfortunately, not articulated as is the Chaos-style arm. This was slightly disappointing, since it would be interesting to be able to change its angle. It's kind of lumpy and, well, not my favorite part of the sculpt.

There were also a few unpainted early versions of Kaiser Head. It would be great if I could find one to pair with this guy.

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