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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Another Unique Guy - Atlantic Japanese Infantry

As I was selecting the figures to use for the Banzai Charge post, I came across this guy which I find pretty unique, in a weird kind of way. He is part of the Atlantic Japanese Infantry set, and he is supposed to be wearing twigs as cammouflage. While it is a nice idea to make such a figure, I think that the execution came out short of its potential. Let's look at it in a bit more detail.

There are a couple of things that don't look right to me when I look at this figure. Some of the branches around him look more like antlers. In fact, take a look at this fantasy figure from Schleich and see if it does not remind you of him. Also, if the guy is wearing cammouflage, wouldn't it have been better to pose him in a crouching/crawling position, rather than standing upright? Standing like this he just looks out of place in the jungle. Certainly not Banzai material.

Here is the reverse side. Another thing that does not look right is how all the foliage is on the same vertical plane. I am sure it was designed this way because it is easier to release such a figure from the mold when it is manufactured, and of course, that has to be considered when designing a figure, but it should not come at the expense of giving the figure a pose that is still compelling and realistic.

Having said all this, I do have to give Atlantic credit for the idea of making a guy wearing foliage as cammouflage -so far it is the only one that I am aware of. Anyhow, Atlantic was in production back in the 80's and the toy solider industry has improved substantially since those days. Now, if some current manufacturer took that idea and ran with it, producing a whole set of foliage wearing guys in different realistic poses that might be a business opportunity waiting to be tapped.

Here is a picture of Apricum, Schleich guy that I was referring to.

Click here to see some pictures of Japanese Infantry in action.

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