Real x Head Mutant Head (Orange Booska)
Review by Prometheum5
Real x Head is a small Japanese vinyl company started and run by Mori Katsura in 2003. Mori’s first figure was the Oni-Head, but he saw much more success with his second figure, the Mutant Head, the start of the iconic Mutant Zone series. The Mutant Head sculpt was borne out of Mori’s love of classic 80’s toys, especially Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Taken from the Super 7 Mook and the new Encyclopedia of Kaiju, the Mutants are an invisible race that lives in the forests and mountains in natural harmony, existing outside the realm of human perception. The evil Mutant organization Akrobat is led by the militaristic Akro-Kaiser, and the Mutants dislike humanity because of the damage we do to their natural habitats, and so cause accidents and natural disasters to punish us. During an engagement, Mutant Head is injured and loses his ability to stay invisible. Mutant Head is found by a young boy and nursed back to health, showing Head that not all humans are evil. When Mutant Head returns to confront Akro-Kaiser about their aggression towards humanity, a schism erupts within the Mutant world over how to deal with humans, leading to what amounts to a civil war among the Mutants against Akrobat, with the human-defending Mutants being lead by Mutant Head.
The Mutant Head sculpt’s heritage can clearly be traced back to Mori’s love of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, with its round and friendly face, bare chest, and three fingers and toes. The Mohawk, torn shorts, and skull belt buckle provide a little punk flair, and enough originality to make Mutant Head a fun fight figure. All of the Real x Head Mutant Zone figures stand around 5 ½” tall, and the standard Mutant Body, derived from Mutant Head, is articulated at the shoulders and neck. It might not seem like a lot of play value, but the sculpts are loaded with character, feel great in your hands, and can be posed with some serious dramatic flair. The basic Mutant body does not have a ton of detail, but this is intentional, in order to allow a great deal of detail to be filled in with paint work. The myriad and complex colorways on Real x Head figures have been a major contributing factor in Real x Head’s success. The particular figure reviewed here (only because it is currently the only Mutant Head I own) is a tribute figure stylized after Booska, a Japanese mascot character (about which I admittedly do not know much). Real x Head figures are painted by Goto-san, a legend in the Japanese vinyl industry, who has been painting since Bullmark was the dominant name in Japanese vinyl. Booska Head features a large number of sprays including an opaque cream color, a light and translucent black for the spots, all based on a really vibrant orange vinyl. I believe the eyes are hand painted with a brush, but it is also possible they were done with a mask. A companion Mutant Head exists in a similar paint job, but based on a great looking bubblegum pink vinyl.
I know that the modern Japanese vinyl niche is really not for everyone, but if you are at all interested in vinyl toys, kaiju, or classic 80’s action figures, I’d recommend giving a Real x Head figure a try. Mutant Head here is just a taste of what is out there, and I am going to follow-up with the rest of the line, starting first with all the figures based on the standard Mutant body, and then moving into some of the unique-bodied figures and newer original Mutant Zone sculpts. The characters are fun and imaginative, and the seemingly endless colorways make it so that there really is something for everyone within the RxH line. If you like the look of the figures, I’d recommend just getting out there and picking one up, and then if you like it, taking a look at the RxH section in the Super 7 mook, which documents the first few years of RxH.
|Posted 26 October, 2009 - 20:26 by Prometheum5|