Review by animelover24
The following review is an excerpt from a work in progress. The larger project details the rather odd circumstances that led to the authors fascination with Japanese toys. The article is written from the perspective, and with the limited knowledge he had in 1978 when he was building the collection. Therefore, much of the information on the toys will be inaccurate, the toy stores listed non existent, and the prices ridiculously low.
This little guy has the unlikely name of King Joe, and the equally unlikely role of giant super-villain from outer space.
Tony, from Toys International, informs me that King Joe is indeed a villain from the Japanese television show, Ultraman. He's also toy number 01 in a series of six transformable robot monsters from the Ark Company. Except for the hands, feet, and accessories King Joe is made of die-cast metal. Like the other Arkron figures his parts fit together with a peg and socket assembly. The robot can be disassembled, re-built, and combined with other robot monsters in the series in an endless number of ways.
There is no English on the box or instructions. This is important insofar as this toy, despite its cute appearance, is not appropriate for small children. Not only are there many small parts to choke on, the shooters are just plain treacherous. (Fun, too!) At 12.95, he isn't cheap either, but the toy is almost all metal, well crafted, and genuinely fun to play with. King Joe, and his fellow Arkrons are as addictive as a bowl of pistachios. You take them apart, re-assemble them, get another idea, and take them apart again - it can go on for hours. Not only that, King Joe is a cool little figure to display on a bookshelf, or to leave on the coffee table as a conversation starter.
A word of caution, however: King Joe will not be in your possession for twenty-four hours before you decide that you need to get the other toys in the Arkron series. Resistance is futile. You have been forewarned.
King Joe is available at Toys International, and Kunimatsuya.*
*The stores (as well as the Ark company) are no longer in business.
|Posted 8 March, 2005 - 20:52 by animelover24|