Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Sukeru (Skull) Kun by Bounty Hunter

Next up, also from 1997, we have the Sukeru Kun by Bounty Hunter. I won't go into all the Bounty Hunter detail again like on the Kid Hunter blog, but since then I did read in Super7 magazine that the Sukeru Kun is supposed to be the skeleton of the famous cereal mascot Frankenberry! Very cool idea. I wonder how this Kun would look with the long spindly limbs like Frankenberry has.

I believe the Skull Kun was a toy before the character was featured on a shirt unlike Kid Hunter.

Header //N/A//:

The same Bounty Hunter clear plastic bag.

Sculpt //4 out of 5//:
Simple yet effective. Knowing the inspiration behind the figure adds a lot to the sculpt in my opinion. The form is great for it... it is obviously the Frankenberry form while being different enough to not have ripped it off. I love the long slender arms and the hands that rest across the big pot belly. The teeth and protruding lower jaw look great I think.

The lines are clean and the figure is very well balanced with a low center of gravity. The detail work is even sculpted into this piece and not just painted on... from the comic crack in the skull to the round eyes to the bones along the arms to the stylized rib cage... they all are dimensional elements of the vinyl highlighted with the paint.

One thing I might like to see different is the joint at the waist. The pelvis/legs are obviously wider than the torso, and I would like to have seen this more flush. The change from the upper to the lower part are so blatant, that I think it must have been the sculptor's intention to do so. The bottom half blends nicely into the squared off feet, so maybe this lower half is made to resemble.

I would also have liked to have seen a little more poseability. The shoulders move and the waist rotates, but there were later BxH Kuns released that had joints on the arms as well as the ankles.

Also, the shape of the arms keeps them very close to the body. While I really like the look that this provides with the hands resting around the large belly, it really limits where the arms can be posed. They essentially have to stay at the bottom of the belly because they can rub the paint of the face or just not be raised much higher than that.

The sculpt is a great blend of rounded, cartoon lines and more traditional Japanese monsters.

Paint //3 out of 5//:
A trademark of Bounty Hunter, the paint is minimal and intended to maintain a monochrome appearance. The piece is sculpted entirely out of black vinyl and white is painted on top for the skeleton parts. This makes it a definite stand out piece.

The paint application itself is fine, but it could have been done a bit cleaner. Perhaps I am spoiled by the Japanese toys made today, but there are some edges where the white was masked that are a little soft, and this figure and paint style benefits from sharp, clean lines.

Coolness //4.5 out of 5//:
Frankenberry's skeleton. If that sounds like a cool idea to you, then this is a figure for you.

I had to deduct just a little because I think Kid Hunter is a bit cooler haha.

Value //2.5 out of 5//:
It's going to be pricey just because of it's history. It was actually produced in China, and it is not the original Bounty Hunter toy, but because it is getting up there in age and is still part of the foundation of Bounty Hunter's venture into toy production, collectors will be more reluctant to let it go.

Overall //4.25 out of 5//:
Positives: An OG piece, nicely stylized, Frankenberry's skeleton

Negatives: Lax paint application, expensive on secondary market, limited poseability

Despite the negatives listed, I really would recommend this toy to a collector. It has attitude while not taking itself too seriously. It's a great mix of the Western style we see today, marketing characters of the past, with a taste of kaiju thrown in.

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