Review by NekroDave
Shortly after returning home from Japan with my four other yokai toys, I was informed that there was one more that I needed to get to complete the set. That toy was Ikkaku Daioh, commonly referred to as the "Blue Demon", although according to Club Tokyo, the term actually means "One Horned King".
Like most of the others in the series, Ikkaku Daioh features only one single point of articulation, that being at the waist. His arms are permanently in a fixed upright pose. He looks like he might be casting, or warding off, a spell.
Although he is roughly the same height as the Abura Sumashi and Hitotsume-Kozou toys, he looks smaller since it is his horn is nearly one inch tall. His appeal lies mainly in his dark blue color which is nicely contrasted by the bright yellow of his clothing. Some brown and red round out the color scheme.
Two other factors may make Ikkaku Daioh appealing to the yokai collector. First, he's probably the rarest of the Nitto Yokai toys, so one might enjoy hunting for him and treasuring the toy more once it's acquired. However, even though he's the hardest to find, he does turn up. It took me nearly one year to get one, and even in that time I passed on at least two specimens while waiting for one at a price I liked.
Secondly, this is the only character in the set that does not originate in traditional Japanese folklore. Daiei Studios created this character specifically for their late 1960s series of yokai movies.
Like most of these vintage yokai toys, Ikkaku Daioh is best enjoyed when displayed with the others. Unfortunately, there are only the 5 vintage yokai vinyls. Some more recent toys have been released, but not many. Perhaps the most notable recent yokai toys are the Daimon standard size vinyl by M1 and several smaller yokai vinyls from companies such as M1, Tomy and Bear Model. There is also a very nice doll of Abura Sumashi by Tsukuda Hobby, but overall the yokai seem to have gone somewhat neglected in toy form, which is a crying shame, in my opinion.
If you are interested in learning more about traditional Yokai monsters, be sure to check out the upcoming book Yokai Attack! The Japanese Monster Survival Guide. It's available this summer in Japan and later this year in both the US and the UK. The book is written by good friend Matt Alt (of ToyboxDX fame) and his wife Hiroko Yoda, both stars of the "Great Yokai War".
|Posted 21 June, 2008 - 10:00 by NekroDave|