The figure, Yusei Majin, is produced by the same outfit that runs Cosmo Knight Alpha, a (mostly) vintage toy store in Tokyo. I first reported on Yusei Majin in summer, 2012, when the prototype sculpt was revealed at that year's summer Wonder Festival. Here's a look at that sculpt:
|Yusei Majin prototype sculpt|
|Yusei Majin New Year's Day 2013 release|
Here's how the indie sofubi figure came into being.
The toy it's based on, Ooze It, was released in 1981 by Ooze It Inc.
|Ooze It - 1981|
More after the jump:
CKA's owner, Yoda-san, told me he first encountered the toy (or at least a likeness of it) in 1983. That year, an Ooze It bootleg was released in Japan:
|Ooze It bootleg - 1983|
Yoda-san really liked the figure but it wasn't until later that he discovered that it was based on Ooze It, which he eventually picked up. Fast forward many years, and he got to work on making his own homage to Ooze It. And that gives us Yusei Majin, which at around 10-12" tall is bigger than both the bootleg and Ooze It:
|Debut Yusei Majin|
There's so much more cross-pollenation between US and Japanese toys, a classic example being Transformers, which were originally based on diecast Japanese toys (mostly by Takara), then remade into plastic toys by Hasbro, and then reimported into Japan.
Twisty and windy go such toy tales, appropriate perhaps as we enter the year of the snake!