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Hanuman

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15 comments posted
This is pretty incredible. I

This is pretty incredible. I can relate to in many ways - I'm American-born Chinese and have always had issues with cultural assimilation, feeling a dichotomy between ethnicity and nationality. But one thing that has always been very important to me is the Chinese novel, "Journey to The West" and the character of Sun Wu-K'ung, the monkey king, who's based off of Hanuman. There have been a few figures that were planned for release previously of Wu-K'ung, ones not based off of a movie or TV license, but have never actually made it to shelves. Congratulations on finding not only a figure of Hanuman but a well made one as well. I may have to pick this one up.

Also the Ramayana is stupendous.

And Virgin comics sucks.

Jetjagaa's picture
Posted by Jetjagaa on 11 February, 2009 - 18:43
Momma did OK

Thanks for sharing this, Sanjeev. Your momma did okay with you, it seems. It's nice to get the cliff notes version of both a cool set of toys, and their culturally sound history,and inspiration for manufacture in the first place. Nice balance of both in this review. Not just "It's RAD, git it,git it!"

I'm sure many people try to get a little bit'o info on the religious beliefs of their neighbors, but sadly the cultural history,and folklore stories rarely come to attention. So, thanks again for doing just that, with a cool toy!

BTW, was this same guy at NY Comic Con this year?

BBTW, can we still poke fun at each other for all other reasons? Not going all weepy boy on us are ya?

repairtechjon's picture
Posted by repairtechjon on 11 February, 2009 - 22:25
Great Story

Sanjeev,

This almost sounds like a Modcineaste review: sharing a bit of yourself with the toy review itself! ha ha

First these toys are fantastic, I wouldn't be surprised if these get popular as they are so different than anything else on the market and they look so well manufactured and the painting is great. This review just came out of left field between Super Sentai reviews and Macross Reviews. Thanks for pointing these out and I hope people learn a bit of your cultural history in the process. My history of India class was one of my favorites in College and I remember reading a comic book that we were supposed to read for class that were based on real people in Indian History featured a great Joan of Arc type military leader that defeated a bunch of invading armies. That would make a great action figure as well.

Southern California will always have its connection to its New Spain roots but with own developed culture thrown in for good measure. My latino background roots were never far away. It's not that I had any problems relating to cartoons that didn't feature latino characters but I though it was extra cool that the lead characters in the Mysterious Cities of Gold were from Spain and Native Americans. It was just another reasons I loved that cartoon so much!

Dankon!

Leonardo Flores
CollectionDX Staff Writer-West Coast Bureau

Modcineaste's picture
Posted by Modcineaste on 12 February, 2009 - 12:00
Thanks so much for the

Thanks so much for the comments guys! As y'all could tell, this was an important review, and getting feedback like this means a lot to me!

Jetjagaa, I know what you mean: being a child of immigrants in the US is such a weird experience. It's tough to feel like you belong fully to either culture sometimes. And stuff like cultural appropriation is so enraging (I feel it, for example, whenever I see the Yoga studio in every rich, white, liberal neighborhood in Boston). So, I'm totally with you about Virgin comics.

I'ma have to check out "Journey to the West". I've obviously heard of it many times, but I'm still very much backlogged on my Chinese classics. Still trying to get translations of Romance of the Three Kingdoms... Anyway, good luck with finding a Sun Wu-K'ung figure! I'll definitely keep my eye out...afterall, there're Guan Yu toys available, so it's definitely possible!

repairtechjon, you make a brotha blush! ;) Visibility around one's cultural heritage is never that easy--especially for Asian Americans, so it's cool to get opportunities like these...and actually have people engage in the conversation! As for Mahender being at NYCC this year, I honestly don't know. Nekrodave and I just sorta floated back and forth between a few spots. I know I didn't get a chance to walk the whole floor--just not enough time! If Mahender was there, then I'd feel a bit like an ass for not finding him to say hi!

Incidentally, I'm told that Mahender and the rest of the Kridana crew will be at the New York Toyfair next week! If you're around (and can get in), stop in!

Leonardo, always a compliment to compare my reviews to yours! You're right--they are very unique toys and from what I hear, they're garnering a lot of attention back in India! I'm hoping this leads to TONS more figures, including a super-improved Rama. Anyway, I, too, hope that people get a better picture of me because of this review. You should start reviewing toys of Latino characters, man! ;),br>

By the way, can you find out about that Joan of Arc person? I'm not aware of any prominent female military leaders in Indian history, but that sounds VERY cool!

--
Sanjeev

Sanjeev's picture
Posted by Sanjeev on 13 February, 2009 - 12:04
I walked around quite a bit

I walked around quite a bit on Sunday and, although I wasn't looking for it, I didn't see any of these toys. I'm guessing he wasn't there, although it's possible I missed him.

Great review, though!

"This must be settled the way nature intended....with a vicious, bloody fight!"
Onyx Blackman
Principal, Flatpoint High

NekroDave's picture
Posted by NekroDave on 13 February, 2009 - 12:59
"And stuff like cultural

"And stuff like cultural appropriation is so enraging (I feel it, for example, whenever I see the Yoga studio in every rich, white, liberal neighborhood in Boston). "

Not to start an argument or anything,but isn't that kind of how we on CDX and other websites treat Japan's culture?

kidnicky's picture
Posted by kidnicky on 14 February, 2009 - 13:01
I don't think this treads on

I don't think this treads on starting an argument at all. In fact, I think it's a pretty important topic, actually!

I don't see Japanese toy fandom in the West as cultural appropriation at all...at least the way we do our thing around here. The term "appropriation" implies a sort of colonization. Nothing is being "claimed as our own" here. The folks on this and our sister sites have a genuine appreciation for Japanese robot and monster toys. This love is sincere and it's deep...not a passing whim or fancy. Most of us grew up with these toys and cartoons, and we cherish these memories.

For example, most USers who appropriate yoga or karate (pronounced kuh-RAH-tee, of course!) at their "studios" or McDojo's may believe that they love/respect what they do, but few demonstrate a sincere desire to learn about the culture these things come from...the history, the spiritual side, etc. And even fewer seek to build actual relationships with Indian or Japanese folks still traditionally practicing these Ways. God forbid! ;)

You can see this when talking to them. You can read it in their organizations' publications. It's subtle, but if you spend enough time interfacing with folks like these, you'll see that the emphasis of what they're doing is routed in consumerism. They're trying to "buy" culture...to possess it or otherwise "own" it. (Think "New Agers" or hippies...)

Japanese toy fandom--at least around these parts!--isn't routed in consumerism, ironically (tell that to my wallet!). It's routed in a deep respect for the toys, the fiction from which they spawn, and the people who produced them (and what they've gone through to get here). I see it as true appreciation of these toys...almost as one would appreciate art. (Not to get into the toys-versus-art debate, however!)

I welcome other perspectives though...

--
Sanjeev

Sanjeev's picture
Posted by Sanjeev on 14 February, 2009 - 21:30
Yeah,that makes sense at

Yeah,that makes sense at least if we're just speaking from CDX's standpoint. I've been running into some serious weeaboos on the net lately,and sometimes I forget that the weird ass people so prolific on the web are only a small,small fragment of anime fandom as a whole.

kidnicky's picture
Posted by kidnicky on 15 February, 2009 - 11:14
Ah, well there ya go. It was

Ah, well there ya go. It was my understanding that "weeaboo" basically means a Western otaku trying to "be Japanese". If that ain't cultural appropriation, I don't know what is. And I know we've been dancing around saying it bluntly, but it has to be said: cultural appropriation is a form of racism.

--
Sanjeev

Sanjeev's picture
Posted by Sanjeev on 15 February, 2009 - 15:45
So both a surface interest

So both a surface interest in another culture and an interest so deep that you try to become that culture are both cultural appropriation and therefore racist somehow? Photobucket Is a complete lack of interest safe? If so, I think I'm good. Photobucket

"This must be settled the way nature intended....with a vicious, bloody fight!"
Onyx Blackman
Principal, Flatpoint High

NekroDave's picture
Posted by NekroDave on 15 February, 2009 - 20:30
Tricky, no? ;) On the

Tricky, no? ;)

On the surface, it looks as simple as you make it sound...that's what makes it so damn frustrating! I guess that's why George Carlin (RIP) said that we should all just...boink...until we're all one color! :P

--
Sanjeev

Sanjeev's picture
Posted by Sanjeev on 16 February, 2009 - 00:48
Jetjagaa, I just found this

Jetjagaa, I just found this Medicom RAH of Sun Wu-K'ung, as he was depicted in some Japanese prime time soap opera that was made into a movie. Dunno if that's really what you had in mind, but other than that, I think cloth puppets/dolls are the only other game in town...

--
Sanjeev

Sanjeev's picture
Posted by Sanjeev on 13 February, 2009 - 12:33
Rational toy?

Hah! I WILL engage in a mutually respectful, rational discussion, so THERE!
Boy did this toy get some jabberjawin'. Awsome! (all *boinkn'* aside)

repairtechjon's picture
Posted by repairtechjon on 16 February, 2009 - 00:58
Hehe...just hang around with

Hehe...just hang around with us some more...we're like this all the time! Just unedited. ;)

--
Sanjeev

Sanjeev's picture
Posted by Sanjeev on 16 February, 2009 - 01:54
I enjoyed this educational &

I enjoyed this educational & entertaining review.

I was raised Christian but I ain’t a religious bigot & I truly enjoy learning about our planets various belief systems, religions, ETC.

I might get this dude. He’d fit perfect atop a Gargoyle statue I have.

He looks like a very well done figure that has good articulation!

I enjoyed hearing some about your culture too!

I ain't a atheistic but at the same time, I just ain't sure just WHAT to believe anymore! Whew!

BlazeEagle

BlazeEagle's picture
Posted by BlazeEagle on 27 February, 2009 - 04:20
 
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