Sunday, March 10, 2013

Zenith - Up close

Zenith, the maker of gargantuan sofubi toys, is something of a mystery - and so are their figures. I've only ever seen them at One Up Akiba. Not sure if that's because Zenith is a low key outfit that irregularly releases figures, or if because One Up is the only place with large enough cases to house these behemoths.

Here are some detailed pics of a couple of Zenith sofubi towers.
I haven't measured them, but I'd estimate they're between 18-24" tall. This particular incarnation has multiple horn limbs.
Is there something behind all the shapes and symbols carved onto the totem-like creatures? Is there rhyme or reason or homage to some ancient South American tribe? Or is it just a massive figure with so much space that they filled it up with random sculpting? Is this just an 8 bit representation of something "mystical" or "meaningful"?
I like the color choices, which evoke a kind of earthen origin. This Zenith has more appendage-like limbs, with arms and hands forming from the branches.
And if you look at the figure either from a few feet away or up close, the character starts to come into clearer relief. Here you can see wheels and channels sculpted into the figure. Some of the parts even look like bolts, which almost make it look like they grafted found parts onto the sculpt and integrated them into the form.
Looks like we've found the zenith's zenith - maybe not quite at its apex, but certainly prominent. Or maybe it's a nose complemented by the two eyes in the circular part just above it. Who knows? I think that's part of the point of the figure - it's five building blocks of highly detailed sofubi that maybe everything you think it is, or maybe nothing at all. Whether you think it's triumphant or trivial, at least it's different.

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